Language has important role in human life, since it is a tool which human use to interact with other people. Therefore, mastering several foreign languages is considerably necessary, especially English. Status of English as universe language has made people in the world to mastering English.
Considering the fact above, Indonesian government put English as one of compulsory subject that should be mastered by the students. It is not only cover four language skills areas (listening, reading, speaking, and writing) but also others aspects of language such as vocabulary. Vocabulary is supposed as the important element in learning English to support the four English skills itself. By having enough vocabulary, the ability to communicate and to convey our social need can be established. If learner has enough vocabulary, they will able to understand the utterance which they listens, they will able to speak fluently, and they can understand the content of the text easily.
Based on the result of interview with the English teacher at SMP N 15 Kendari, the writer got that the English ability of students is still low because of the lack of vocabulary. To improve students’ vocabulary, teacher has to use appropriate technique, both directly and indirectly. Direct ways such as: showing pictures, using flash cards, and semantic mapping. While indirect ways can be done by means of reading text and summarizing it.
In this study, the writer chooses semantic mapping technique to improve students’ vocabulary. This technique builds students’ prior knowledge or schemata because using semantic mapping can establish students’ prior knowledge. By using this technique the students also can study independently. It support by Mori (1993) who said that “semantic mapping makes the students become independent learners in the sense that learn by using their own writer thinking.
Based on the above reasons, the writer interests to conduct a research how to improve students’ vocabulary. The title is “The Use of Semantic Mapping in Improving Students’ Vocabulary achievement at Class VII A of SMP N 15 Kendari”.
1.2 Research Question
Based on the background of this study, the writer formulates the research question as follows: “is there any significant improvement of students’ vocabulary achievement as a result of using semantic mapping technique in teaching vocabulary?
1.3 The Objective of the Study
The objective of this study is to find out whether there is a significant improvement of students’ vocabulary achievement as a result of using semantic mapping technique in teaching vocabulary or not.
1.4 Significance of the Study
- It becomes source information for English teacher, particularly English teacher at SMP N 15 Kendari.
- It can help students in mastering vocabulary.
- It becomes a reference for the next researcher who wants to conduct a research which same with this study.
The hypothesis of this study is “there is a significant improvement of students’ vocabulary achievement as a result of using semantic mapping technique in teaching vocabulary”.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study will focus on the teaching of vocabulary by using semantic mapping technique at class VII A of SMP N 15 Kendari. The vocabularies that will be use is the vocabularies which find in the textbook for Junior High School which particularly using by the students and the textbook is based on KTSP curriculum.
1.7 Definition of Term
In this definition, the writer just defines only the important terms. They are:
- Semantic mapping is a strategy that can be used in all disciplines to demonstrate the relationships between ideas. When teaching vocabulary explicitly, it can be used as a tool for students to discover the relationships between vocabulary words.
- The vocabulary achievement in this study is the score of students after they receive the treatment.