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1.

1 Background of the Study

Language is a very important means of communication in daily human life.

Human being uses language both in written and spoken forms to express their

idea. As stated by Ramelan (1992: 10), language is an arbitrary system of speech

sounds which is used in interpersonal communication by an aggregation of human

beings, and which rather exhaustively catalogs thing, process, and events in the

human environments.

English has become an international language. People of different countries

speak English to communicate. English is a key, which opens the door to

scientific and technological knowledge. The Indonesian government has chosen

English as the first foreign language to be taught in the schools.

English becomes one of compulsory subjects from Junior High School up to

University. Therefore, the government provides a curriculum as the guidance of


English teacher in teaching-learning process. In the English curriculum 2006, the

learning activities involve listening, speaking, reading and writing. The four skills

are taught cohesively. Although it is focused on the four skills, pronunciation is

not separately taught from the four skills. 2

It is difficult for Indonesian students to pronounce English words correctly,

for example when they are asked to pronounce the word “umbrella” / ∂mbrel∂ /

they will pronounce /umbrella /. It is because of the differences between their

mother tongue and the English. The degree of difficulty in learning is also

determined by the degree of difference between the two languages. The greater

similarity between them, the less difficult it will be for the students to learn the

foreign language (Ramelan,1985:5).

Pronunciation is one of the most important parts of English to communicate

with others since there are differences between the symbol and its sounds. When
we communicate with other people we should not only have a good vocabulary

but also have good pronunciation. Therefore, it is important to teach

pronunciation. As stated by Harmer ( 2000: 183 ) that for all these people, being

made aware of pronunciation issues will be of immense benefit not only to their

own production but also to their own understanding of spoken English.

The students often find problem with pronunciation when they speak, read,

or listen to English words. It might be caused by some factors. Learning English

is very complex since there are many factors that determine the success or failure

of learners in language learning. There are two kinds of factors, which affect

someone in learning English: internal and external factors come from the learners

themselves, such as motivation, interest, aptitude, and intelligence, while external

factors come from outside of the learners, such as the situation and condition of3the environment,
learning materials, and the teacher’s ability in handling the
English teaching and learning program.

Therefore, the teachers should have several special tricks to make their

students motivated to learn English. The learners need a way of teaching that is

enjoyable and practical so that finally they can integrate themselves into English,

for example singing English songs can get the students integrated to English. It is

assumed that they can contribute many things to improve student’s capabilities,

especially in their skill elements, such as vocabulary enrichment, listening and

speaking. Singing English song is believed to have direct influence on the

pronunciation skills. This thesis tries to find out whether songs can improve

achievement in pronunciation.

1.2 Reason for Choosing the Topic

To teach language skill, it is not enough for a teacher just to give an explanation

to his / her students, but it is necessary for them to be brought in an experience in


practicing the language in a real situation. Therefore the teacher needs a way of

teaching that is enjoyable and practical so that finally they can integrate into

English.

There are some ways in the language learning, for example, using picture to

teach vocabulary and games to teach grammar. In doing this study, the writer uses

songs as the media to improve the students’ achievement in pronouncing English

words. 5

Song is a kind of poet sung with music accompaniment. Most people like

songs. It is believed that songs are like magic. People can cry, laugh, be sad or be

angry only by listening to songs. From songs, they can also learn a lot of things

such as culture and new words. Based on the reasons above, the writer believes

that songs can be used as an alternative way in the language learning.

In the curriculum 2006, the English learning activities involve listening,


speaking, reading, and writing. Most students get difficulties when they have

listening classes. It is difficult for them to memorize and comprehend what they

listen to. Therefore, it is better for the teacher to teach the students with

something interesting and valuable in the listening class. The writer thinks that

song is a valuable material because by listening to songs, students can learn

vocabulary, pronunciation, expression, and so on.

However, the teacher cannot bring all songs into the class. She/ he should be

able to select appropriate songs for the students. She/ he should think about the

level of the students, the theme, and the students’ interest of the songs.

Based on the explanation above the writer wants to show to English teachers

that there are actually many ways of English teaching, which are useful as the

alternative treatments for the students problem in teaching pronunciation. She


hopes that it will be a valuable contribution to the development of English

teaching in general and teaching pronunciation in particular. Gross errors of

pronunciation seriously distract attention in the communication. 7

1.3 Statement of the Problems

In order to make a systematic approach in solving the problems, the statement of

the problem is: are songs effective to improve the students’ achievement in

pronouncing English words?

1.4 Objective of the Study

In line with the statement of the problems, the objective of the study is to find out

whether songs are effective to improve the students’ achievement in pronouncing

English words

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study is expected to have a significant contribution in quality improvement


of the language teaching. In particular, it is expected to be a very useful input for

foreign language teachers in teaching pronunciation. It is also hoped that the

result of study can help the students to find alternative ways to improve their

pronunciation quality.

1.6 Outline of the Report

In order that this study is easy to follow, it is organized within the five chapters as

follow. Chapter I deals with the Introduction. This includes Background of the

Study, Reasons for Choosing the Topic, Objective of the Study, Statement of the

Problem, Significance of the Study, Outline of the Thesis. 8

Chapter II includes Review of the Literature Related to The Characteristics

of Junior High School Students, Songs as a Teaching Media, The Definition of a

Song, The Elements of Songs, Songs in the Language Learning, Teaching

Pronunciation, The Elements of Pronunciation, Students’ Problems in


Pronouncing English Words and Songs to Improve Achievement in

Pronunciation.

Chapter III presents Data Collection, Population and Sample, The

Instrument of the Research,Validity, Action Plan and The Analysis Method.

Chapter IV presents Data Analysis. Chapter V presents the conclusions of

the research and suggestion. 9