1.1 Background of The Study
English has spread to become an international language in all over the world. In this global era, learning English has been a necessity since much information from the media (TV, radio, and internet) is conveyed to public in English. Indonesia is one of the countries that use English as a foreign language. Because of its importance in the global era, the Indonesian government gives English a special status in school curricula and English as the medium of instruction in teaching learning process. This policy is aimed to enable students to communicate in English. As a foreign language, learners in Indonesia get difficulties to study English. Relating to this, Ramelan (in Amalia, 2009) states:
“The most learning problems are caused by different element between the two languages. The degree of difficulty is determined by the degree of differences between the two languages that is their first language and the target language. At a relatively old age he will have a lot of more habit interference than when he will start learning it at much younger age in understanding new words”.
Based on the difficulties described above, in order to make teaching learning process successful, teachers have to consider some factors in teaching learning process such as communication between teacher and students, methodology, time allotment, the interest and motivation of the students, library and also books used. All of them may influence the result of teaching learning process. This research deals with the problems of using English as the medium of instruction for Mathematics subject; of course it was related to the communication process using English in daily teaching learning process.
In education, teaching learning process cannot run well without communication. In other words, there is no educational activity without communication. It is impossible to teach without communication. (Jourdan in Yusup, 1990:1). All of the activities need communication. In educational field, communication more concern with aspects of educational process, especially in teaching students.
Recently, Mathematics subject has been taught in English. This may create unfamiliarity to the students and may slow down or retard their Mathematics learning. Normally, students’ concept of prior experience and knowledge influence students’ learning in Mathematics. Students prior knowledge and experience can be amazingly tenacious and resistance (Gilbert in Aziz, 2005). It is therefore essential for this research to explore students’ perceptions and opinions about their problems on learning Mathematics in English in order to gather information and to get the clearer picture on what has happened in the Pioneering of International Standardized School.
Since the Mathematical knowledge and skills can only be delivered through language therefore this study focused on teacher’s and students’ problems in using English as the medium of instruction in teaching learning process.
Related to this research, there was a thesis entitled “Students Perception on Teaching and learning Mathematics in English”. This research done by Aziz bin Noordin, Faculty of Education.2005. University of Technology, Malaysia. His research was carried out to gather information and to get the clearer picture on what have happened regarding teaching and learning science and mathematics in schools. The results of his study described what have happened in the schools regarding to the implementation of English language in learning science and mathematics. Students encountered language problems as well as contents’ problems and to overcome these problems they need help and guidance from the teacher. Emphasized should be given more on building up students proficiency in English before they could learn science and mathematics efficiently.
The object of this research was the 10th Grade Students of SMAN 1 Kebumen, especially in Mathematics subject. The researcher chose SMAN 1 Kebumen as the object of this research because this school is the pioneer of International Standardized School in Kebumen and this school uses English as the medium of instruction in teaching learning process. SMA Negeri 1 Kebumen has become the Pioneering of International Standardized School since February, 2005. It was based on SK No: 81/C4/MN 2005 of Department of National Education. Schools with international standard are the school mandated by the Educational Act no. 20/2003 and Government Regulation No. 19/2005.
The 10th Grade Students were experiencing transition period from junior to the senior high school. In this period, they have to adapt with the new environment and new teaching learning process using English as the medium of instruction, especially in Mathematics Subject.
The researcher chose Mathematics Subject as the object of the research because Mathematics was one of the subjects that uses English as the medium of instruction in the Pioneering of International Standardized School. Based on the preliminary research which has been done, the Mathematics teacher and most of the 10th grade students said that Mathematics is difficult to understand, furthermore they have to use English in daily teaching learning process. Because of using English, they have to face two problems. First, the Mathematics teacher has to teach Mathematics using English and the students have to learn Mathematics that is difficult to be understood. Second, they have to use English in daily teaching learning process. All of the above explanation motivated the researcher to choose Mathematics as the object of this research.
1.2 Research Questions
The researcher stated the problems as follow:
1. What are the problems faced by Mathematics teacher when using English as the medium of instruction?
2. What are the students’ problems in understanding Mathematics when it is delivered in English?
3. What are the efforts to solve the problems of communication in teaching learning process?
1.3 Purposes of the Research
1. To find out the problems faced by Mathematics teacher when using English as the medium of instruction.
2. To find out the students’ problems in understanding mathematics when it is delivered in English.
3. To find out the efforts to solve the problems of communication in teaching learning process.
1.4. Outline of the Thesis
This thesis is divided into five chapters covering different discussions. The classification of each chapter is stated below:
1. Chapter I; it contains the background of research which states some motives of choosing topic, discussion, and research location. Besides, it states the research questions and research purposes which have to be answered or accomplished through an analysis.
2. Chapter II; it deals with the literature review or theory used to support the research.
3. Chapter III; it explains the method for analyzing data including technique of determining population and sample, technique of collecting data, and criteria used to conduct the analysis.
4. Chapter IV; it contains the analysis categorized into result and discussion. It explains the result of observation, interview, and questionnaire provided in an analysis.
5. Chapter V; it contains some conclusions and suggestions referring to the result of analysis.