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CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

1.1        
BACKGROUND OF STUDY

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The National
Blueprint mentioned English Literature component where the component is given
the role of encouraging English proficiency of school students(Kaur & Mahmor, 2014) English
literature in Malaysian secondary school plays two roles which are i)
literature as an elective and ii) literature as a tool to teach English. Direct
reference to literature and improving students’ English proficiency through
literature component is done at the secondary level of education(Kaur & Mahmor, 2014) Graphic novel
such as Black Beauty, Journey to the Centre of the Earth and The Boscombe
Valley Mystery has been introduced to the lower secondary school students
in 2011 as one of the literature texts used in literature class at school. With
regard to technology and electronic devices that has been blooming since the
past decades, the younger generation has become more and more of visual
learners. According to Lyga and Lyga(2004) as cited by Rajendra(2015), ‘Generation Visual’ is what they called students that were
exposed to the various types of texts on a multimodal platform. Lyga and
Lyga(2004) as cited by Rajendra(2015) also added
that it is boring and laborious, and also alien; the text that is on an
immobile page. Thus, as cited by Rajendra(2015)according to
Kress (2003) old media or writing need to be shaped again into different genres
to face the attack of new media. Graphic novels cater to both young adults and
children, so it proves that graphic novels represent one of the most vibrant
and increasing in growth for the types of literature for students.

 

1.2        
STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM

 

Students view
literature as a boring subject due to the teachers that prefer the traditional
method of teaching literature(Bee, Abdullah, & Mohd, 2017) Students tend to
ignore the aspects of meaning making in learning and only focused mainly on the
public referents of meaning(Bee et al., 2017). Students also
find it hard to distinguish whether the teacher or the subject that make them
to lose their interest in learning literature as the teacher sometimes do not
appear to be enthusiastic with the teaching and learning lesson in the
classroom(Bee et al., 2017) As cited by (Edina anak Lanying, 2005), according to
Pandian(2000) it is essential for the students to learn not only to read but
also embedded the reading habits for enjoyment and lifelong learning. Past researchers
has done study on the use and benefits of graphic novel such as ‘Multimodality in Malaysian Schools: The
Case for the Graphic Novel’ (Rajendra,
2015), ‘ Graphic Novels in Primary English
Classroom'(Syafiq, 2013)and also a study by Sabbah,
Masood, & Iranmanesh(2013) on ‘Effects of graphic novels on reading
comprehension in Malaysian year 5 students’. However, there are only few
research done on the effect of the use of graphic novels in Malaysian secondary
school class.

 

1.3        
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

 

In this paper, the researcher will discuss
the use of graphic novels in promoting students learning and understanding of
literature based on the research objectives and research questions stated in
this study. This research will also discuss the literature reviewed by the
researcher. The researcher will also describe the methods used in determining
the samples, the methods used to collect data and also the methods used to
analyze the data.

 

1.4        
RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

 

The objectives of this
study are as follows:

1)    To study students’ attitude towards graphic novel.

2)    To find out the understanding of the students on the
text given.

3)    To find out the students’ preferences of the types
literature text.

 

1.5        
RESEARCH QUESTIONS

 

The research questions
for this study would be:

1)    What are the students’ attitudes towards graphic
novel?

2)    What are the students’ understandings on the given
text?

3)    What are the types of literature text that students
prefer?

 

 

1.6        
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

 

This research is hoped to bring benefits to the
following parties:

TEACHERS

The results that will
be obtained from this research can help the teacher to consider using the
graphic novel not only for the literature class but also other class such as
grammar class so that the teacher can teaches different skills using this type
of materials.

POLICY MAKERS

From this research, the
policy makers can get some insight on the types of literature text that the
students prefer so that they can add or improve the syllabus according to the
students need and interest to make it less boring for the students.

STUDENTS

The students will be
able to improve themselves by taking interest in the materials or texts that
they read. If they engage voluntarily in their reading the impact will be much
greater on the comprehension of the text.

1.7        
LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

 

LIMITATIONS

The sample size
is small which only consist of 60 secondary school students. Therefore, the
result cannot be generalized to the whole population of secondary school
students in Malaysia.

DELIMITATION

The samples only
consist of form 2 students from only one school in Selangor. Therefore, the
result cannot be generalized to all form 2 students and all school in Selangor.

1.8        
DEFINITIONS OF TERMS

 

LITERATURE

 

            According to Merriam Webster Online
Dictionary (2017) literature is written works such as poems, plays,
and novels that are considered to be very good and to have lasting importance.

            In this
research, literature is defined as the reading materials or literature texts
that are being used as part of the syllabus in secondary school in Malaysia
such as poems, short stories and drama plays.

 

           

GRAPHIC NOVEL

 

            According to (Park, 2016), graphic novel
is an animated novel that includes a range of genres and according to Baird and
Jackson(2007) are “told with words and pictures that augment the story” as
cited by(Park, 2016).

            Graphic novel in this research is defined as the printed
story that is presented in a comic-strip style or illustration and may also
include words, phrases or dialogue that will be distributed by the researcher
as after school reading materials which may based or may not based on the school
syllabus.

 

 

LEARNING AND
UNDERSTANDING

 

            Merriam Webster Online Dictionary (2017) defined
learning as the
activity or process of gaining knowledge or skill by studying, practicing,
being taught, or experiencing something; the activity of someone who learns.
The definition of understanding according to Merriam Webster Online Dictionary (2017) is the knowledge and ability to judge a
particular situation or a subject.

        In this
research, learning and understanding is defines as the process of studying and
requires knowledge with the ability to comprehend the information from the text
given that the author has assumed to be intended in the writing.

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW 

2.1       PREVIOUS
STUDIES

 

2.2       THEORITICAL
FRAMEWORK

 

 

                There are three
theoretical frameworks that can be connected and used for this study which will
be explained further in this topic.

 

Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Theory

 

The first theory will be based on Howard
Gardner’s multiple intelligences theory. According to Gardner & Hatch(1989)
intelligence can be defined as ” the capacity to solve problems or to fashion
products that are valued in one or more cultural settings” as cited by (Ibnian & Hadban, 2013). There are of
nine intelligences that Gardner had formulated through his past researches that
he has conducted with other researchers which include biological and as well as
cultural research(Ibnian & Hadban, 2013). There are seven
intelligences listed initially which are: linguistic, bodily kinesthetic,
spatial, logical-mathematical, interpersonal and interpersonal; later on he
added the eighth and ninth intelligence which are naturalist intelligence and
existential intelligence respectively.

 

The best type of intelligence that can be
linked to this study from the nine intelligences stated above is the spatial
intelligence. Spatial intelligence is the type of intelligence which is one’s
ability to change or manipulate and create mental images in order to solve
problems(Ibnian & Hadban, 2013). Graphic novels
also serve as the best type of texts to be used for light reading among young
learners as comics and graphic novels consist images accompanied with words
hence it will enhance their ability to understand and comprehend the text (Syafiq, 2013). Using graphic novel
in the classroom can motivate students with spatial intelligence to read and
engage with the literature lesson as it involves images and visuals rather than
words-only text besides it can also attract the interest of other students with
different types of intelligence.

Krashen’s Free Voluntary Reading

 

The next theoretical framework that this
research can relate with is free voluntary reading which is proposed by Krashen(2003). According to
Krashen(2003) the most powerful tool in language education may be the free
voluntary reading. Free voluntary reading is also an effective way of improving
literacy and good for language development(S. D. Krashen, 2003).

 

In the studies that he did, the results
shows that free reading is enjoyable for the readers to engage in the situation
or condition which involves reading. This is supported by (Syafiq, 2013), a researcher of another study that the
most suitable way for the readers to improve the reading habit is by developing
Free Voluntary Reading motivation and initiative. One of the applications that are
related to Free Voluntary Reading that Krashen address in his report is
‘Sheltered Popular Literature’. Sheltered popular literature is proposed by
Krashen(2003) where it combines the benefits of literature teaching with the
benefits of Free Voluntary Reading and the application also tries to solve lack
of familiarity with the existing texts which is a problem that is faced by many
second language readers. It is a literature class with the same intention as
any other class(S. Krashen, 2005). As stated by
Krashen(2005) the focus in sheltered literature is not on the “classics” but on
the type of literature that the readers will be interested and easy to
comprehend(S. Krashen, 2005).

 

The characteristics of the students such as
age, proficiency and background can influence their choice of literature text(S. Krashen, 2005). The images and
pictures presented in graphic novel can also serve as the factors that can
caused the students to be interested in literature and want engage in free
voluntary reading as graphic novel is a very light and simple type of
literature. This type of reading materials can be used as the tool to introduce
and promote literature to the students that feel reluctant to learn literature
in class.

The Schema Theory

 

             The research is also based on the last
theoretical framework which is the Schema Theory.

 

Figure 1: Possible Schema Effect as cited by
Syafiq,2013

(adapted from McCrudden,2004)

 

            According
to An (2013) as cited from
Rumelhart(1980), the Schema theory is used to explain the process used by
readers in using their prior knowledge to comprehend and learn from a text.
Schema can be defined as “generic concepts stored in memory that is represented
by a data structure”(An, 2013). While another
definition by McCrudden(2004) and Nasaji(2007) states that schema theory is ”
the idea that the cognitive processes understand and recall take place in the
information stored in the memory” as cited by Syafiq(2013). Syafiq(2013)
explain further on how the theory can be applied by giving examples such as in
a reading comprehension, the reader will be able to relate to the word ‘tree’
compared to a more complex word such as ‘the flowering oak’ as the reader may
already has the schemata or background knowledge. There are 3 different types
of schema which are formal schema, content schema and cultural schema(An, 2013).

            Pictures,
diagrams and visuals presented in the graphic novel can help the students to
activate their schemata as they are reading the text. With the help of prior
knowledge that they are able to retrieve from their memory they will be able
comprehend and understand the text better. As stated in the example given by
Syafiq(2013), the phrase ‘the flowering oak’ will be difficult for students’
with low proficiency or students that never encountered the phrase before to
comprehend the meaning of the phrase, however if it is accompanied with a
picture of a tree, the students will be able to relate the phrase with the
picture.

CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

 

3.1       INTRODUCTION

 

                In this chapter, the researcher will address
on the research methods, reliability and validity, methods of data collection
and methods of data analysis.

3.2       RESEARCH METHODS

 

The research design employed by the research is experimental design
as according to Chua(2016) it is the best design to use for conducting a
comparative research among group. The respondents will be randomly assigned
into two groups which are experimental group and control group with 30
respondents in a group. The researcher will manipulates the variable for the
experimental group, which is the presence of graphic novel and later on will
observe the change of the other variable. The other group only will be given a
written text rather than a visualize text. Each group will be given with a
pre-test and a post- test to test their understanding of the text.

 

 

The samples of this research will be taken from a secondary school
in Selangor which are Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Meru in Selangor. 60 students
from each school are taken as the research respondents The number of
respondents selected for the research which is quite many, the researcher thinks
the number of samples selected is suitable for this research because according
to Chua(2016), the research can be conducted on large number of respondents at
the same time .The age range of the respondents is 14 years old which are the
Form two students of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Meru in which are the most
suitable type of respondents as they will learn English using graphic novels
through their literature class. The respondents may also consist of mixture of
male and female students.

 

 

As for the instrument used in this research, the researcher used a pre-test,
a post- test and a set of questionnaires to collect her data. The instrument that
will be used in this research is suitable as stated by Chua(2016) as it can be
used to measure the effectiveness of using graphic novel to promote students’
learning and understanding of literature. The purposes of using the
questionnaire as the instrument for the research are to collect the data on the
differences of students in the experimental group and the control group in
their understanding of the given text and their preferences on the type of literature
text. A pilot test will be conducted before the tests or the questionnaires can
be distributed and administered to the respondents as Chua(2016) has stated
that this step is needed to guarantee the reliability and validity of the
instrument.

 

3.3       RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY

 

                According to Chua(2016), validity also
refers to the capability of a measurement or a research instrument to measure
the true value of a concept in a hypothesis. Chua(2016) also added that
validity can be said as high if the instrument administered can accurately
measure the idea or concept mentioned in the hypothesis. Therefore, validity of
this research means that the definition of the concepts introduced or stated in
this research and the phases of operational must be constant with each other.

 

            Reliability can be defined as the
capability of the study to obtain the same value when measurement are repeated Chua(2016)
In this research, when the tests given to the respondents produce the same
results of the first and second tests that are conducted within a certain time
period then tests used for this research can be said as to have high
reliability.

           

           

 

3.4       METHODS OF DATA COLLECTION

 

                Before starting the process of data
collection, the researcher will ask for the permission to carry out this
research from the parties involved. For this research, the researcher will
inform and obtain permission from the school administration and also from the
district ministry of education to avoid any problems that can arise in the
future in regards of this research.

 

            Next, the researcher will identify
the samples needed in term of its number and characteristics of the respondents
that the researcher requires for this study. The researcher will select the
samples that she needs using the suitable sampling method.

 

            After the determining the samples,
the researcher will administer the test and the questionnaire that the
researcher has prepared beforehand to the samples. The researcher will
administer the tests and questionnaires by herself. However, if there are any
changes in administering the instruments, the researcher will inform the person
that will help her in administering the tests and questionnaires about the
research process.

           

The samples will be informed and briefed about the research and the
process of collecting the data. The researcher will also clarify to the samples
that the result of the tests and questionnaires will not affect their examination
results in any way. The data collected will also only be used for this
research.

 

The data from the tests and questionnaires will be collected. Then,
the data will be recorded and analysed using the Statistical Package for Social
Science (SPSS) Software.

           

3.5       METHODS OF DATA ANALYSIS

 

With regards to data analysis methods, the researcher will collect
back the distributed tests and questionnaires from the respondents on the spot.
The data from the answered instruments will be collected and analysed using the
Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) Software.

 

 

By using descriptive statistic and comparing means, the data
collected will be computed and analysed. Then, to identify the means, standard
deviation, minimum and maximum point, the data were analysed by the researcher.
The researcher will construct a table and the raw data collected will be keyed
in. The analysed data will then tabulated and characterized as the findings.

 

 

The data analysis procedures will be done by the researcher in steps;
hence the data will be organized, so that it will be easy for the researcher to
refer back to the data collected when needed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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