English is one of the important languages to learn and master. Indonesian government recommends English as a compulsory subject at Junior high school, Senior high school, and University. Based on KTSP (2006), the scope of teaching English in Junior High Schools includes four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. In order to create good communication, students must have good pronunciation to convey what they are talking about.
The four skills in English, listening, speaking, reading, and writing are supported by language components. The components are pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar. Pronunciation is how we pronounce a word. When a speaker cannot pronounce words properly, other people will be difficult to understand what he or she speaks. If a speaker constantly mispronounces words, it will extremely difficult for a listener to understand it. Someone who can pronounce a word correctly will be able to explain what she or he meant to a listener, so that a listener can understand. Yuzawa (2007) stated that “Understanding English pronunciation is a fundamental and vital skill needed for those who want to use English language as means of communication”. Therefore, English learners should be able to master its pronunciation also.
English pronunciation is not easy, in this language; a letter might have more than one way to pronounce. It depends on the word containing the letter. For example, what, way, hate. These words contain of letter ‘a’, but they do not sound in “a” identical way. This inconsistency of sound makes English learners, especially in pronunciation, find difficulties. The difficulties are also faced by Indonesian students.
The researcher did preliminary research by meeting English teacher in SMP Negeri 6 Palu. The researcher asked her about the students’ problem in pronunciation. The teacher stated that the problem of the students, especially eighth graders, they were not able to pronounce a word in English properly. They were lazy to learn and never read. They still pronounce English words in the way they pronounce in bahasa Indonesia. For examples, the word Doctor was pronounced Doktor instead of /dɒktə(r)/, enough was pronounced enoug instead of /ɪˈnʌf/, and think is pronounced ting instead of /θIդk/. This, for sure, happens for the inconsistency of the pronunciation of English words.
In teaching pronunciation, there are some ways to help students to solve their problem. One of them is by using Short Story. Short story is a form of prose fiction story. This idea is supported by Suyanto (2012: 46), “Cerita pendek dapat diartikan sebagai cerita berbentuk prosa yang pendek”. In other hand, the literary of short story is not too long. It makes this media can be used in teaching and learning in the class without taking much time. This idea is supported by Pardede (2011: 17) who said “Short stories are the most suitable literary genre to use in English teaching due to its shortness”. Besides, short story is interesting to read because the text contains pictures.
The objective of the Research is to prove whether the implementation of short story can improve the pronunciation of the eight grade students at SMP Negeri 6 Palu or not.
Author : Nurhana Akhmad