Classroom Action Research (CAR)
Classroom action research (CAR) is classroom-based research conducted by educators in order to reflect upon and evolve their teaching. It is a systematic, documented inquiry into one aspect of teaching and learning in a specific classroom. The purpose of CAR is to gain understanding of teaching and learning within one’s classroom and to use that knowledge to increase teaching efficacy/student learning.
The slide posted below (similar to the one I used in your class) introduces the main basic concepts concerning CAR. To get more detailed explanations of the concepts, please study Penelitian Tindakan Kelas: Sebuah Pengantar and Meningkatkan Kualitas Pembelajaran Melalui Penelitian Tindakan Kelas. Though they are in Indonsesian, I expect you could study them without any difficulties.
The slides could be downloaded from here
To get an example of classroom action research implementation please study Siahaan’s Using Story Reading Technique to Improve EFL Young Learners’ Vocabulary. (The complete paper could be downloaded by clicking the link provided below the abstract). After studying the article, see how it is reviewed based on the concept of the action research procedure in the following section.
Review of the Action Research Procedure
in Siahaan’s Using Story Reading Technique to Improve EFL Young Learners’ Vocabulary
The eight stages of Action research procedure.
Stage 1: The researcher identifies, evaluates, and formulates a problem that is viewed as critical to her everyday teaching.
Stage 2: The researcher consults with other interested parties—teachers, other researchers, and administrators—in order to focus the problem more clearly and perhaps suggest the cause of the problem.
Stage 3: The researcher reviews research literature to find out what can be learned from comparable studies.
Stage 4: Based on the reading, the researcher may modify or redefine the initial statement of the problem, which may take the form of a set of objectives or a testable hypothesis.
Stage 5: The researcher specifies the research design including the participants, choice of materials, and procedures.
Stage 6: The researcher clarifies how the project will be evaluated.
Stage 7: The researcher implements the project and collects the data.
Stage 8: The researcher analyzes the data, draws inferences, and evaluates the project.
Using that eight stages of action research procedure as the basis of evaluation , here is the review of Siahaan’s Using Story Reading Technique to Improve EFL Young Learners’ Vocabulary.
The problem identified by Siahaan was kindergarten students’ lack of vocabulary which causes them to lose focus and motivation, unable to express what they want to communicate, and find English difficult to master. Since vocabulary knowledge is an essential pre-requisite for language acquisition, she believes to increase the learners’ vocabulary mastery should be made the first priority.
The article doesn’t include this stage. Siahaan probably skipped this because she had got the appropriate focus of the problem. She had also realized that the problem was caused by the wrong use of strategies and techniques and that the vocabulary learning was not yet enjoyable and meaningful to the students.
According to the article Siahaan conducted a comprehensive literature review. The references she studied covered current publications and research reports on the nature of vocabulary, the great importance of vocabulary in communication and learning, vocabulary teaching strategies and techniques, and the use of stories as an effective and interesting medium to develop children’s vocabulary.
Based on her literature review, Siahaan directed her study to see whether story reading technique as a complementary teaching activity significantly improve her K-1 grade students’ EFL vocabulary. To achieve the objective she specifically formulated the problem in two research questions: (1) How does the use of reading story technique affect the K-1 grade students’ EFL vocabulary learning? (2) Does the use of reading stories technique improve the K-1 grade students’ EFL vocabulary mastery?
In addition, she also stated the action hypothesis of the study as follow: “If the reading stories technique is used, the K-1 grade students’ EFL vocabulary mastery will increase.”
Under the methodology section of the article, Siahaan specified that the study was a three-cycled action research which was conducted in two month (May to June 2012) in Grace Kids Preschool, Kelapa Gading, Jakarta. The participants of the research were the 10 K-I students taught by the researcher. During the study, the researcher selected stories that were combined with the students’ textbooks. The stories were regarded as complementary learning materials.
To evaluate the study, under the methodology section Siahaan clarified that she collected the data using test and non-test instruments. The test technique was used to collect quantitative data derived from the participants’ vocabulary achievement. Non-test techniques were used to collect qualitative data, including: observation, documentation, and interview. Tests were carried out four times; the pre-test, post test I, post test II, and post test III. The non-test techniques were carried out using observation sheet, documentation and interview guide.
Under the results section, Siahaan described how the project was implemented in three cycles. The description of the four action research steps (Plan, Action, Observation, and Reflection) in each cycle is quite comprehensive. She included the process description and the data obtained in each cyle.
To analyze the quantitative data obtained from the tests, t-test was employed by using SPSS version 17. To analyze the qualitative data, the descriptive analysis technique was employed.
All the three paired-samples t-tests Siahaan administered to test the action hypothesis disclose that the use of story reading technique significantly increased the students’ vocabulary mastery in each cycle. Therefore, the action hypothesis “If the reading stories technique is used, the K-1 grade students’ EFL vocabulary mastery will increase” is accepted.
The descriptive analysis used to examine the qualitative data revealed that along with implementation of using reading stories technique to develop the students’ vocabulary, the class management gradually improved and the students’ enthusiasm and involvement kept on increasing from cycle to cycle. This increase of engagement then increased their achievement.
At the end of the article, Siahaan concluded that the classroom action research she conducted caused class management improvement, more fully attention to every student, better performance in the story reading, and students’ enthusiasm and involvement increase. This increase of engagement, in turn, increased their achievement, as shown by the results of post-tests conducted at the end of every cycle. Therefore, using story reading to increase children’s vocabulary is very effective.
Realizing its high effectiveness, Siahaan recommended kindergarten EFL teachers are to use story reading technique as an alternative to boost young learners’ vocabulary development.
Using the review of Siahaan’s Using Story Reading Technique to Improve EFL Young Learners’ Vocabulary above as a sample, read and review Nazara’s Improving Students’ English Pronunciation Using the Explicit Teaching Approach. As shown in the example, all you need to do is to briefly but succinctly describe the relevant points of each of the eight stages of action research procedure provided in the article.
Write your review on the reply section below by Tuesday, May 27, 2014. After that, please criticize 2 (two) other students’ review by showing at least one weak point in their reviews. Deadline for the critic is Thursday, May 29, 2014.
The fundamental goal of the peer critic is to facilitate everyone (the writer, the critic, and the reader) to get better understanding of the topic being learned, to develop critical thinking, and to increase the skills to answer questions. Therefore, don’t hesitate to put your critics to anyone work. Please note that the weak points you could comment could be a misconception, grammatical error, inappropriate diction, and other relevant matters which will contribute to the improvement of the answer or work.