3 steps to better writing

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  2. 2. ACTION RESEARCH PROPOSALThis action research focus on improving students skills in usingthe verb forms correctly (unnecessary shifting of tenses) whenwriting essays.A total of 30 students of average proficiency in Form 5 Sains 2were involved in this study. A pre test conducted on the studentsshowed that the students made a lot of grammatical errors (verbform tenses). They used verbs that did not indicate clearly whenan action or condition is, was or will be completed. Therefore, itunintentionally changes the meaning of what they intend to conveyand disrupts the flow of their writing.In order to solve the problem, several activities were plannedand carried out. As a result, the students showed improvement asthey made less grammatical errors (tenses) in their written work.
  3. 3. 1. Statements of the Problem.Errors are an integral part of any learningprocess. Form 5 Sains 2 students in SMK SultanYussuf make many errors especially in using theverb form (tenses) when writing essays. Actuallyby now, they should have mastered the tenses.They use verbs that does not indicate clearlywhen an action or condition is, was or will becompleted.Therefore, it unintentionally changes themeaning of what they intend to convey anddisrupts the flow of their writing.
  4. 4. Aims of the studyThis study aims to:-master the usage of the correct verbform (tense)-write correct, meaningful, logicaland grammaticalsentences in essays-improve the writing skills of thestudents.
  5. 5. 1. a. General Objective:- To improve students' ability to write essaysusing the correct verb form (tenses).b. Specific Objective:Students will be able to:- master the usage of the correct verbform.- write correct, meaningful, logical andgrammatical sentences in essays.- improve the writing skills of the students.
  6. 6. 2.0 METHODOLOGY2.1 Pre test2.1.i A first pre test was conducted for the students in Form 5 Sains 2They were asked to write an essay on How I spent my holidays.2.1.ii. A second pre test was conducted. The students were given aworksheet containing 30 questions to discover students problemswith tenses.2.1.iii. The students showed that they had problems with tenses(refer PT1 and PT2).They were confused on the usage of the Verb Form.When using the English Language, we indicate the time of the actionthrough the verbs. The time shown in the verb is what we call thetense. Many students fail to realize the importance of tense in theEnglish Language.
  7. 7. 2.2 Lesson 1(Confusion between Simple Present Tense and thePresent Continuous tense)2.2..i. The students were drilled on the usage of Simple PresentTense and Present Continuous Tense. In spite of the popularbelief that drilling is an obsolete method; I insist that it is anhighly effective method with my target group.Example: They go to aerobics class twice a week. (S. Present Tense)They cannot wait for you now. They are going to school.(Present Continuous Tense).2.2.ii. The students were given 30 questions to answer.2..2.iii. The students could answer although they had some problemsin seeing the differences between the two tenses.
  8. 8. 2.3 Lesson 2(Confusion between Present Perfect Tense and Past Perfect Tense)2.3.i. The students were drilled on the usage of the tenses.2.3.ii. They were given 30 questions to answer.2.3.iii. The students found this area particularly problematic.The simple Past Perfect (I had bought) and thePresent Perfect Tense (I have bought) were oftenconfused with one another.2.4 Lesson 3(Confusion between Present Tense and Past Tense)2.4.i. Students were drilled on the usage of the Present Tense andthe Past Tense.2.4.ii. Students were given questions to answer.2.4.iii. Students tend to forget whether the question is about presentor past time when they are writing.
  9. 9. Unless there is a conscious shift of timefrom past to present or vice versa on the part of thewriter, we would normally expect only the fourpresent tenses to be used when referring to presenttime (simple present, present continuous, presentperfect and present perfect continuous). We woulduse only the four past tenses when referring to pasttense (simple past, past continuous, past perfect andpast perfect continuous).
  10. 10. Tense inIndependentClausePurpose of Dependent Clause/Tense in Dependent Clause Example (s)SimplePresentTo show same-time action, use thepresent tenseI am eager to go to the concert because I lovethe Wallflowers.To show earlier action, use past tense I know that I made the right choice.To show a period of time extendingfrom some point in the past to thepresent, use the present perfect tense.They believe that they have elected the rightcandidate.To show action to come, use the futuretense. The President says that he will veto the bill.
  11. 11. SimplePastTo show anothercompleted past action, usethe past tense.I wanted to go home because I missedmy parents.To show an earlier action,use the past perfect tense.She knew she had made the rightchoice.To state a general truth,use the present tense.The Deists believed that the universe islike a giant clock.PresentPerfectorPastPerfectFor any purpose, use thepast tense.She has grown a foot since sheturned nine.The crowd had turned nastybefore the sheriff returned.
  12. 12. FutureTo show action happening at thesame time, use the present tense.I will be so happy ifthey fix my car today.To show an earlier action, use thepast tense.You will surely passthis exam if you studiedhard.To show future action earlier thanthe action of the independent clause,use the present perfect tense.The college willprobably close itsdoors next summer ifenrollments have notincreased.FuturePerfectFor any purpose, use thepresent tense or presentperfect tense.Most students will have taken sixtycredits by the time they graduate.Most students will have taken sixtycredits by the time they havegraduated.
  13. 13. The 3 Step ApproachThe students needed constant coaching in order tomake them understand better. To arouse studentsinterests and to help them master the correct usage ofthe Verb Form (tense), The 3 Step Approach toError Definition, Classification and explanation wasintroduced.Correcting all of the students errors is notrecommended as it does not help them to learn fromthe errors made.A better alternative is to indicate to students thetype of errors made, using a code of symbols andthen allow them to correct the errors themselves.For example:
  14. 14. Table 1 (code can very)TENSE CODEPresent Tense Pr. TPast Tense PTPresent ContinuousTensePr. CTPresent Perfect Tense Pr. PTPast ContinuousTensePCTPast Perfect Tense PPT
  15. 15. A 3 Step Approach is adopted for the analysis of studentserrors. This approach can be used in any grammar parts.The following outlines the steps involved with the use of atable. (Table 2)(Table 2) Error Definition, Classification and ExplanationIdentification oferrorsErrorsDefinition andClassificationExplanation of rulee.g: It is raining veryheavily in Novemberand December.Tenses PresentContinuous TenseWrong usage of the tense.It should be in PresentTense:It rains very heavily inNovember and December.- habitual / repeated action.
  16. 16. Each of the three steps will be explained:1.Identification of error:- write out the sentence containing the error.- underline/highlight word / phrase / clause which shows theerror.2. What is the type of problem? (Definition andclassification of error)- state type of error verb form (tense)- classify error type wrong usage of tense3. How can you explain the problem? (Explanation ofrule and exemplification)- state the grammar rule which has been violated.e.g.: It is raining very heavily in November and Decemberis wrong. It should be:It rains very heavily in November and Decemberbecause it shows habitual or repeated actions andeternal truths. Therefore, it should be in Present tenseand not Present Continuous Tense.
  17. 17. 2.5 Post testAfter much drilling on tenses and coachingon how to detect and rectify students ownerrors, they are then asked to write the same asessay as in the pre test. They went through theiressays themselves using The 3 Step Approachmethod.The test was conducted to analyze whether thestudents had any progress in writing. Thestudents were also given grammar questions toanswer.
  18. 18. 3. ASSESSMENT AND REFLECTIONBased on my observation, I found that:From the Post test it was found that students were able touse the correct verb form and made less grammaticalerrors in using the tenses in their essays. They alsoshowed improvement in the grammar test, based onthe Post test.The drilling method helped students to comprehendbetter the differences of the verb forms (tenses).The 3 Step Approach method really appeared to bevery useful especially after the drilling where thestudents could analyze the errors made by themselves.
  19. 19. 4. CONCLUSIONThere is a need for students to recognize thesignificance of errors which occur in their writingand to fully grasp and understand the nature of theerrors made. This requires English LanguageTeachers to be better equipped, more sensitive andaware of the difficulties students face with regard togrammar. This can be done with the help of The 3 Step Approach to deal with various errors ingrammar.Attention to error type and an understanding ofthe violation or misuse of specific grammar rulesoffer teachers a means of helping students deal withlanguage and usage problems.
  20. 20. Attention to students errors in the language willempower teachers in the following ways:Teacher knows the progress of the learner.Teacher knows how language is learnt or acquired.Teacher knows the strategies used as assumptions.And / or hypotheses about how students learn aretested and revised accordingly.


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