Academic journal article International Journal of Linguistics

The Readability of Science: Student's Book for Junior High School Year VIII Viewed from the Lexis and Grammatical Aspects (A Content Analysis of Science Lesson of Junior High Schools of Surakarta)

Academic journal article International Journal of Linguistics

The Readability of Science: Student's Book for Junior High School Year VIII Viewed from the Lexis and Grammatical Aspects (A Content Analysis of Science Lesson of Junior High Schools of Surakarta)

Article excerpt

Abstract

This research aims at finding out the readability of Science Student's Book for Junior High School Year VIII of science lesson of Junior High Schools of Surakarta in 2011/2012 academic year through lexis and grammatical analysis.

This research applies a descriptive qualitative method specifically a content analysis. The primary data are the lexis and sentences used in Science Student's Book for Junior High School Year VIII while the secondary data are test scores obtained with cloze test. The data were obtained by applying several methods, i.e. content analysis of the book, test, observation and interview. Data source and method triangulation were applied to obtain validity. Meanwhile to analyze the data, the ethnography technique proposed by Spreadly was employed.

The research findings show that in terms of the lexis used in Science: Student's Book for Junior High School Year VIII specifically in chapter I, II, IV, and VI as the sample of the research, the total number is 13.908. This consists of 13.421 content words and 487 function words. Based on the questionaire distributed to 151 respondents of SMPN I Surakarta, SMPN 4 Surakarta, SMP Kalam Kudus Surakarta, and SMP Al- Islam I Surakarta, 1634 words are considered new words and 833 words out of 2876 words are considered unknown. There are 1631 simple sentences or 63 % of the whole, 485 compound sentences or 90% and 413 complex sentences or 17 %. It is found that the complexity of the sentences is high approximately 14 words per sentence. Based on the research, the result of the cloze test done by the respondents and the computation using Flesch Reading Ease Formula show that the readability of Science Student's Book for Junior High School Year VIII is low. The cloze test result shows that the readability gained from the respondents of SMPN I Surakarta is 31%, SMPN 4 Surakarta 28%, SMP Kalam Kudus 24% and SMP Al-Islam I 14%. It is concluded that the mean score of the readability is 24%. Whereas the readability obtained from Flesh Reading Ease Formula is 57.8%. Some factors causing the low readability of Science Student's Book for Junior High School Year VIII are some of the students are not keen on reading English texts, some of them do not read English articles on Science very often outside the class which results in inadequate prior knowledge. Furthermore, the students have low intrinsic motivation in reading English text.

Keywords: Readability, Lexical, Grammatical

1. Introduction

Reading has been defined widely by many experts. Koswara (1998: 6) argues that reading is acquiring understanding of the words written by someone else and is the basis of early education. Furthermore, Aminudin (1987:6) argues that reading is reacting, which provides for the read a person's reaction to first carry out observations on the letter as a representation of speech sounds or signs other writing. Based on both opinions, the reseacher concludes that the most important thing is that reading is the foundation of early education.

While readability is a term in the field of teaching reading that takes into account the level of difficulty of the material that is appropriate to read. Readbility is a measurement of the suitability of a particular reading for readers to rank certain readers. (Harjasujana and Vismaia S. Damianti, (2003: 3)).

In school, good textbook contains material that is not only in accordance with the curriculum, but also must be written with a high level of legibility. Textbook discourse with a high level of legibility will support the achievement of quality education. Morever, textbook providing the discourse with high reading level will also increase the ability of students in the learning process.

A research on textbook subjects of Science due to the teaching materials in science subjects are using narration, description and illustration in English language, so it is necessary to study the level of usage of the term, sentence complexity and its relation to the students' level of legibility by the program participants. …

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