Improving EFL Students’ Writing Skills Through Novel as Reading Material I. Introduction Writing is one of the central pillars of language learning (Ariana, 2010). Someone will have a clarity and ease in communicate their message to a far larger audience than through face-to-face or telephone conversations if they can writing well. (Felix, 2018). Especially for EFL student, the purpose of learning a foreign language is to improve the learner’s four skills (writing, listening, speaking and reading ) to achieve the ultimate goal of mastering the language.
Every time skills are mentioned, they are ordered according to the moment they occur in the teaching-learning process (Ariana, 2010). Writing skill can be learned like any other skills. Writing skill can be improved, but someone have to read a lot. The author suggest novel as reading material for english foreign language classes. The novel is an example of a literary work that contains a culture in it. A novel can be said to contain the culture of the people using that language which he wrote in his writing.
It can be claimed that novels as reading material in language classes encourages more thoughtful and directed language learning especially to improve EFL students’ writing skills. (Keshavarzi, 2012 ; Zainal, 2017 )II. Review of Literaturea. Writing skills Someone’s capacity to convert thoughts into words with important aspects of writing such as correct grammar and proper standards of punctuation is definition of writing skills.( Varun Khullar, 2017 ).This is believed become frequently used and important in people’s daily life. For the example, people need writing skills when write a caption for their social media, write a job application letter, or write song lyrics ( for song writer ). Writing also taught in formal education because having this ability of each student is important.Students have to have a good skills on it. Students should have determination to build this kind of skills because define a good ability in writing skill is not easy. There are definitions of writing skills. (Iftianty, 2016)- Writing is the one of communication form. Someone will be able to communicate efectively if have a good skills in writing. The better someone writes, the more easily people will get what they mean. Students have to organize their knowledge and beliefs into convincing arguments, they also need to convey meaning through well-constructed text. It takes a time and practice if someone wants learning to write well. – When someone is writing, they are trying to communicate with other people through what they have written. In writing writer use orthography in order to build good sentences which can convey a message to the reader, so here communicative writing can be formed. (Ffakhar, 2016;Amrita Bhowmik, 2016)b. Novel 1.1 Definition of Novel According to ExpertNovel originates from the Italian word which contains the meaning of reviewing small things, which are then interpreted as short stories in the form of prose. ( Abrams Via Nurgiyantoro, 2009) A novel is a work of fiction story that is quite long not too long but not too short. (Nurgiyantoro, 2009) A story that created in novel is related to real or fictional events imagined by the author through his observation of reality. ( Scholes, 1984) Novels are often contrasted with short stories, the difference being that short stories focus on intensity, while novels tend to be broad “expands”. Good novels tend to focus on the emergence of complexity ( the ability to convey complex problems in the shole of story ). A good novel should create a world that made it different from the implicit short stories which tells problem briefly. (Sayuti, 2000) Novel also called as a form of literary work that have cultural, social, moral and educational values. (Nurhadi, 2000; Dawud, 2000)1.2 . Example of Novel for EFL Reading MaterialThese are example of Novel which can we use as reading material in EFL class ( Allan Northrop, 2016 ) : a. The Wind in the Willows by GrahameThis novel was published in 1908, it tells about the adventures of the animals that live by the river. This is a kind of children literature that takes place in the village. Grahame, the British writer wrote imaginative story with simple laguage. b. Lord of the Flies by William Golding This modern classic book tells about a group of boys who isolated on a uninhabited island. They live there alone without adult supervision. It can be said this novel is a popular study text for schools. The author of this book, Golding using dramatic and descriptive language, so if we read this book we will see it almost similar to poetry. The story makes reader feels as though they are in the scenes theirself.c. The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway ErnestWith straightforward writing style, author tells adventurous story of an old fisherman struggling for his life.The author use clear and short sentence. Many people read it in school and this book is quite good for english language learners.d. Animal Farm by George OrwellOrwell as a writer uses simple English to make all levels of reading interested with the approach “less is more”. This Allegorical novel tells of animals that rebelled against their human masters. The animal characters in this book speak briefly but with clear sentences.e. Infinite Jest by David Foster WallaceThis novel discussing the perils of entertainment dysfunction and addiction.This is kind of astonishing novel that modifies and plays with conventional English.f. The Thought by Gang-Tibor FischerThis story seems hilarious, it will challenge the style of the readers who have become accustomed with modern novelists. The book tells philosophy of professor finds himself broke and in cahoots with a one-armed bank robber and they carry away all throughout France. III. Effect and Impact of Reading Novel to EFL Students’ Writing SkillsReading has a role in improving the students’writing proficiency. Khaoula (2016) found that hypothesis was confirmed that students need a great exposure to language through reading to increase their writing competence. One can be noting here, the teachers should urge their pupils to read and note the importance of both skills ( reading and writing ). They need to know that these two skills are complete each other. Novels proved to be a favorable choice because it successfully made student interested. (Chih-hsin Tsai, 2012)Novels can fit in diverse language programs in secondary and postsecondary education. Gareis et al. (2009) In Hong Kong, Yang (2001) adopted a comparison study to investigate the effects of using mystery novels on adult English learners’ reading proficiency and motivation. Studies have even suggested that writing skills improve from reading as a whole, rather than the separate learning of language and grammar. Both of reading and writing are components in process of learning. Reading involves two things, comprehension of the subject matter, and the memory to memorize the material read. Bacha (2010) explored attitudes and preferences of Lebanon’s students in reading novel through survey. Benefits of reading a novel have found in those two studies. A study noted vocabulary expansion and attitudes of 20 EFL spain university students (Snchez, 2010;Schmitt, 2010).The results shows that students succesed learning of new words, sentence structure. The result also showed positive attitudes of students to the authentic novel-reading experience. (Moumita, 2019) In Taiwan researcher found to the possibility and effectiveness of teaching with novels ad reading material in the language classroom. They add a novel as a material beside the regular EFL textbook in three senior high school classes. Researcher studied the gains in the students’ writing and reading proficiency. Other study found the effects of using novel as material in extensive reading class, web-enhanced class, and literature-based instruction. (Wu, 2005; Jou, 2006). With reading novels, it can expose students to expert writing, and help students develop their writing abilities (Wayne,2006). In addition to that, they help students come up with their own insights, as well as think and write in a more imaginative way. Study says that students’ writings will become organized with relevant discussion and developed ideas, after reading a literary text (such a novel ). Learners stated that the 107 literary text helped them expand their ideas and language awareness. They said that they have got new vocabularies that helped them more effective in writing. (Elhabiri, 2011)IV. Benefits of Novel as Reading MaterialsAccording to Alkire (2010), Gareis et al. (2009), Hiџmanoџlu (2005), Lazar (1990), Melon (1994), and Uyemura (2006), novels, with their unique characteristics as reading material, benefit the students in the following chief aspects: a. Motivating Readers: By addressing complex situations, life dilemmas, and other universal themes that can be connected with readers, built the interest of readers. When readers feel excited and satisfied from reading novels, they are motivated to read more. With readers’ intrinsic motivation they feel less anxious about language and more pleasure from the reading process. Having succeeded in reading the entire novel raises a satisfying sense of achievement, which may not be felt after reading textbooks or other short texts. From this positive experience like this, it can be a stimulus to find and read ther book for readers’ pleasure.b. Improve Language and Vocabulary SkillsReaders also provided with authentic, large exposure to the target language and therefore can be an effective way to increase their skills in reading. In addition, with reading a novel, students become familiar with various linguistic forms, communicative functions and meanings that are intended for native speakers. (Pellicer-Snchez & Schmitt, 2010 ; Wu, 2005).c. Cultural awareness EFL student need to learn how native speakers think, communicate, and live. Despite they just imagining, the world created in a novel not only reflects the author’s own culture, it also presents a complete cultural setting in which characters interact and actions take place. By reading a novel, the readers obtain virtual access to the culture and find the ways the characters view the world, and hence the learning of not only the language, but also the historical, social, political, and economical facts that shape the cultural background of the novel. Other advantages are that novels here has a role to students’ personal growth, improve critical thinking skills (Hiџmanoџlu, 2005), built student-centered learning, and give students a different reading experience beside just read a textbooks (Gareis, 2009). It is also one virtue of a book-length novel to be used over several weeks of lessons. (Melon, 1994)IV. ConclusionThe novel used in this study proved to be a favorable choice because it successfully catered to the students’ interest in the first place. The novel proved to be a favorable choice because many students around the world interested in reading fiction book such a novel. Novel as reading material in EFL classroom has many benefits and strenght such as; improve vocabulary and language skills, also build a cultural awareness for readers. Novels also expose learners to expert writing, and help them develop their writing abilities. In addition to that, novels help students come up with their own insights, including their ability in think and write in a more imaginative way. Can be said that novels as reading material in EFL affected students’ writing skills. It can increasing their writing confident and and their way in writing will be more imaginative, students also will have more variative vocabulary when they write.References : Anonymous, 2019. Pengertian Novel Menurut Para Ahli Terlengkap. pengertian-novel-menurut-para-ahli-terlengkap/ ( Accesed 2019-03-05)Ariana, 2010. SOME THOUGHTS ON WRITING SKILLS (Cod JEL lucrare: F29, Y8 )Ashuramasda, 2013.Mengenal Genre Novel ( Accesed 2019-03-05)Chih-hsin Tsai, 2012. English Laguage Teaching.Students’ Perceptions of Using a Novel as Main Material in the EFL Reading Course. Vol. 5, No. 8; 2012.David, B. 2009. Importance Of Good Writing Skills For College Students. 2016. Why are students coming into college poorly prepared to write?. 2013. 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