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Guidelines for Reporting a Classroom Action Research in ELT

Parlindungan Pardede

Universitas Kristen Indonesia

This guideline was written to help the students of the English Teaching Study Program of UKI write their Undergraduate Thesis—the documented report of the process followed and the results of original research they conducted in fulfillment of the requirements for the undergraduate degree from the study program. Since the undergraduate thesis should be presented in a manner that will reflect credit on the student, the study program, and UKI, the present writer believes that the students need practical but comprehensive guide to write the research report.

To make this guideline practical, the conceptual matters (typed in black) necessitated to figure out what to write in every section of the undergraduate thesis are presented in user-friendly manner and are provided with simple but comprehensive examples (typed in red).

The Cover, Abstract, Table of Contents and other front matters could be downloaded from here. I expect this guideline is helpful for all students in their trial to do their best to finish writing their undergraduate thesis.


In a single paragraph, provide a comprehensive introduction to this chapter. List what you are going to present successively. The following is a sample of an introductory paragraph.

This report reveals the findings of a study carried out to improve primary school students’ vocabulary mastery by using songs.This chapter provides overall introduction to the study. It consists of six sections, i.e. the background of the study as well as its limitation, research questions, objectives, scope of the study, and significances of the study.

A. Background

In this section you need to present three items: (1) a brief introduction to the general area to be addressed by the study; (2) the problems to solve or condition to improve and their urgency to deal with; and (3) reason(s) for choosing the topic.

First of all, in one to two paragraphs, introduce the general area to be addressed by the study. Use the description to create a sense of interest in the topic. The following example hopefully helps you write an introductory paragraph for your action research report.

Vocabulary, defined by Hiebert and Kamil (2009) as the knowledge of meaning of words, is a component of a particular language that maintains all information about meaning used by people in expressing ideas and learning about new concepts. McCharthy (2003) stated that the biggest component of any language course is vocabulary. It is also the most important element to study. No matter how well the students learns grammar, no matter how successfully the sound are mastered, without words to express a wide range of meaning, communication cannot take place in any meaningful way.

That is why vocabulary has an important role in all aspects of language skills. Without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed. Someone cannot express his idea and learn about new concepts without having enough vocabulary. Realizing its great importance in communication and learning, vocabulary enrichment is important, whether it is through language learning process or development capability in a language which has been mastered. The more vocabulary someone mastered, his skill in a language will be increasing also. That is why vocabulary teaching itself is also a most important because students’ language is related to the mastery of vocabulary that will affect the quality and quantity of language. Thus, improving and teaching vocabulary needs to have more attention since earlier stage

Next, reveal the real problems and show why it is urgent to solve them. Use factual data (obtained by researcher’s observation or quoted from valid references) to support the urgency of carrying out studies to solve the problem. Relevant results of previous researches are also good to write here. Check these paragraphs.

However, facilitating children study English sooner alone cannot guarantee better mastery. If the teaching of English to the young learners is not provided with well-designed curriculum, good teachers, appropriate media, and conducive learning environment the program will fail. Johan’s (2008) survey conducted in Jakarta reveals that 95% of 360 senior high school students who began learning English in primary school could not communicate better in English than their classmates who started English learning in senior high school. Shamira’s (2005) study indicates that the major reason why senior high school students in Jakarta could not communicate in English was their poor vocabulary, and Wawan’s (2006) study exposes that the students in 25 primary schools felt that vocabulary learning is uninteresting due to the monotonous techniques and boring media.

The present writer’s observation in SD Laut Teduh Jakarta revealed the same condition. The students are unenthusiastic to study English, including vocabulary. Their poor vocabulary causes them unable to comprehend simple sentences with simple words, not to mention to orally express something in English. In relation to these phenomena, the urgency for providing young learners’ English classes with interesting techniques and media is very obvious. If we don’t solve the problems, our students will never have appropriate amount of English vocabulary. This, in turn, will make them unable to communicate in English, as Nation (2001) states that language learners need to know very large numbers of words to enable them to communicate in the language.

Orlova (2003) notes that for the last two decades, the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) methodology has been actively considering the possibility of using music and songs in class. Based on her 10-year experience of incorporating songs in the language teaching, she claims the use of songs in language classes puts students at ease, makes them more attentive and can increase their desire to learn a language. Based on his longitudinal study, Lynch (2005) concludes that songs can offer an enjoyable speaking, listening, vocabulary and language practice. In line with them, Beare (2010) reports that using music in the beginning of a lesson is a great way to introduce new vocabularies to students.

Thirdly, before closing this background section, provide reason(s) for choosing the topic. Write a paragraph to accommodate this. The following sample might inspire you to write your own.

Vocabulary teaching and learning is an integral part in the English Language Curriculum used in SD Laut Teduh. However, most students face difficulties when they read even simple sentence and communicate in English because they lack the needed English vocabulary. To help these students, it is significant to explore deeper on these difficulties as well as provide innovative ideas in order to improve the teaching and learning of vocabulary. In addition, As a student of English teaching study program, I have a great interest in this problem. Find solutions for the problem is very challenging to me.

B. Problem (s) Statement
List 1 or 2 problems identified from the background in interrogative sentences. See the following.

The problem was specifically formulated as follows:
1. How do songs improve the students’ vocabulary mastery in teaching and learning process?
2. Can songs effectively improve the students’ vocabulary mastery?

To get the complete guidelines, click here

To get Siahaan’s Using Story Reading Technique to Improve EFL Young Learners used frequently as an example in the guidelines, click here