INTEGRATED TEACHING OF READING : THE INDONESIAN CONTEXT
Universitas Muhammadiyah Purwokerto
reading, entry, content, language element
In Indonesia, English a foreign language because of students only have formal contact with English during lesson hours. Therefore exposure is very limited. This means that it is within these lesson hours that teachers should facilitate the learning of the four English skills, namely listening, speaking, reading and writing. As the entry to the world of English printed materials are used and because of that reading becomes the main classroom activities. This poses a problem for English teachers, do they have to focus on the content or the language of the reading material. If we have to answer this question we have to know that the main objective of the learning process is to provide students with language knowledge and skill. So theoretically, priority should be on the students' language growth. This means the accumulation of vocabulary mastery and grammar knowledge. But the two language components itself cannot be studied in isolation, they should learned from the language in use. Because reading is the entry into the English world for students, it should facilitate the acquisition of elements which will later be used in listening, speaking, reading itself and writing. Therefore, the words in the reading material should treated in terms of their meanings, sounds or pronunciation, spellings and uses. There should also the systematic discussion or explanation of the grammar of the reading material. The combination of grammar and vocabulary is very useful for the extraction of meaning of something which is heard and written and also for the expression in the form speech and writing. With this integrated approach students will acquire the basics for other skills than reading itself. Of course this does not mean that the content of the reading material should be addressed. The content can be regarded as the gimmics. Just like when we eat. We eat because we have to absorb the nutritious value of the food, but if we just take that we may lose appetite, so it has to be accompanied with taste. Without taste eating will be dull, without nutrition eating will be useless. The taste is the content and the nutrition is the language elements of the the reading material.