GENRE-BASED TEACHING READING
AT SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL
By. Herri Mulyono
In term of viewing language as means of transferring and connecting information, the language plays great role within human’s life cycle and to be a crucial part that cannot be taken apart from every situation in human’s interactions. Concerning to the language practices in daily life context, there are three language stages when human begins to communicate; they are performance, function, information, and epistemic stages. In the first performance stage, people are expected to read, write, listen to as well as speak out the symbols acknowledged as language by their own culture. Regarding to this kind of situation, language is only supposed to function within limited environment which is only about how human function those symbols as mean to send or even receive particular information among them.
Secondly, people are supposed to stay at functional level that they could use the language to cover their daily needs such as reading newspaper, magazines, manuals or other kind of instructions. This environment may draw advanced human live circumstances in which language may have been devised in real communication situation. Real communication situation here means that people are able to function the language further that they may establish a language as a product that other may use and understand.
The informational level indicates how people have been able to use the language further which is more than as symbols to communicate with other but more to fulfill requirements in their needs. For instance, in such condition people are able to access sort of information which is bridged by the advanced competence in their language. Further, people’s ability to express, use, apply the knowledge they have achieved for their own environment could be an indication that those people have already gained the highest stage of epistemic.
As wide-acknowledged language, English has established its dramatic function in all world wide interaction especially in term of printing media like magazines. The assimilation of English as an international language to language and cultures from the origin country affected appear within the absorption, adaptation, as well as conversion of particular English language words, function as well as symbols to the original language and cultures. Sequence of such this assimilation, English words, expressions as well as function may be apparent to the advertisement, cinema or other publication in particular mass media like printing, newspaper and magazine.
In world wide use, English is shown up at many international publications of mass media like newspaper and magazines such as reader’s digest, International Tempo Magazines, Times, etc. as mean to deliver message, information or other intentions. In this condition, achieving at proper understanding of English as international language may become one of necessities for those who are willing to obtain particular understanding from those messages, information and intentions carried out by those media.
The spread of English language in term of mass media publication has been widely acknowledged. This occurrence exhibits the use of English as primary mean in many printing media like Reader Digest, Times, Jakarta Post to deliver the news, entertainment, messages or other kinds of information besides the use of native language. This environment then obliges readers of those printing media to the competence of English in particular English reading skill.
In Indonesia, the use of English in side of printing media has been familiar for decades. The local and international publication of Tempo magazine and Jakarta Post, and some other English local magazines like C n S magazine, Reader’s Digest Asia, Interaction, provide evidence for such situation. The use of English as tool to deliver materials in those media has indicated that wide use English in Indonesia beside the use of Bahasa Indonesia and the native languages spoken by many Indonesians. Viewing to this condition, English has been adapted to the curriculum by which big proportion of school hours given to the teaching and learning such this language has been regarded to enabling students to have competence in skills of English including reading, speaking, listening and writing.
High school curriculum sees English as tool to communicate oral and written. Communication is regarded to understand and express information, thought, feeling and to develop sciences, technology as well as cultures. This means integrated English communication is expected to exhibit students’ competence to discourse which cover the ability to understand and or produce particular text orally and or in written within the scopes of four language skills; reading, speaking, listening and writing. In this sense, the teaching and learning English as of primary school subjects is directed to develop such above mentioned abilities that expected graduation would be able to communicate, discourse in English in particular literacy.
In addition, the teaching and learning English at level of high school is expected to achieve informational stage. This is intended to prepare them to the advanced level of education at university. Informational stage within English language competence draws condition in which people have ability to access sciences by devising fully their competence in language they have learnt.
Genre is seen as types of reading discourse that covers the area of descriptive reading type, narrative, recount, spoof, exposition, argumentative and some others. The use of genre is obvious in the English curriculum especially for level of secondary school like senior high school in Indonesia. The use of genre in language teaching and learning particularly in area of reading comprehension is viewed to be best alternative in providing room for both teachers and students to widely improve the English teaching and learning practices in classroom environment. Genre-based materials in reading lessons give more chances for students to actively participate in teaching and learning materials that the use of genre-based materials is also to provide more opportunities for language performance in daily life context.
Reading is one of English language skills besides listening, speaking, and writing. Concerning to listening and reading skill as receptive skills, reading skill deals with ability to receive information from both written and oral language. In this role, reading skill covers individual competent to absorb or understand information from written English language such as English newspaper, magazines or other poster and banner.
In defining reading skill, Nuttal exposes understanding of reading as “getting out of the text as nearly as possible the message the writer put into it.” In this term, reading activity is individual effort to make use their background knowledge to find out meaning, information or other messages as being intended by the author thorough his or her writings. In this view, Harmer points out that “in read life people generally read or listen to do something because they want to and because they have a purpose doing so.” Of course, regarding to what is noted by Harmer, the activity of conducting reading action might be directed by particular intention.