Tuesday, February 12, 2013


(The Case of the Fourth Semester Students of Regular Education Class
of English Department of UNNES in the Academic Year of 2006 / 2007)


1.1       General Background of the Study
Language cannot be separated from human’s life. It is one of the universal systems in a culture that functions as a means of communication. It enables people to interact, communicate, and make sense of the world so that it is dynamic, and it develops and changes over time as a result of many different influences. In addition, it is used by human beings in communicating with each other, both in oral and in written discourse. English is one of languages, which are used by people all around the world to communicate with each other. In Indonesia, a lot of people are interested in learning English as a foreign language, because they know that English is the international language used in many countries all over the world. Besides, English is considered to be the first foreign language there, because it has an important role in international communication. Consequently, now English is taught in schools, from playgroups until university level. For Indonesian learners, the ability to speak in English is a kind of dream which comes true, because there are few Indonesian learners who can speak English. Learning English as a foreign language is quite difficult because there are so many differences between English and Indonesian culture, it has different system of language; it has different grammatical structures, differences in meaning of words, and different sound system.

In addition, in order to master English, Indonesian learners have to master the four basic skills, namely listening, speaking, reading, and writing. English has its phonological, vocabulary, and grammatical system and so does Indonesian. However, Indonesian learners face many difficulties in acquiring those English systems. One of them is difficulty in pronouncing speech sounds in English. That is because of English is considered to be the foreign language. Besides the problem of speech sounds, another problem in learning English as a foreign language for Indonesian learners is the fact that they have their own mother tongue, and they are getting used to their own language since they were children. “Since childhood a foreign learner has been speaking his mother tongue, which is deeply implanted in him as part of his/her habits.”(Ramelan, 1984: 6) For Indonesian learners, another difficulty in learning English is learning English phrasal verbs. It is necessary to master phrasal verbs because they are frequently used in both oral and written material. Since English is a foreign language, it is understandable why most students face difficulties in understanding words meaning, especially dealing with phrasal verbs. For learners of all ages, the comprehension of idiomatic expressions is facilitated by contextual support. (Cacciari and Levorato, 1989; Nippold and Martin, 1989). One important to be put in mind is that idiomatic expression such as phrasal verbs depend on their context. It helps to grasp their meaning.  Therefore, the context in which a phrasal verb is used will determine the intended meaning of that phrasal verb. Phrasal verbs are admitted to be very important as a part of daily conversation. Phrasal verbs make conversation sounds interesting and convenient to use. Without good achievement of phrasal verb, one will find difficulties in speaking English smoothly and fluently. In learning English, the Indonesian learners have difficulties during their learning process since each element of English skills and components has a certain area of difficulties for the learners. Lado (in Littlewood, 1989: 17-18) sums up the learners’ problem in a well-known formulation: “those elements that are different will be difficult”. Although it may be different for each of the learners, generally the area and the degree of difficulties they encounter are almost similar. Like other English material, phrasal verbs also have certain area of difficulties. Phrasal verbs are part of English materials, which learners of English should master. The mastery of phrasal verb is very important because they are frequently used in daily communication. Besides, there are many written materials such as text books, novels, news papers, magazines, etc using phrasal verbs. Good mastery of phrasal verbs is very helpful for us to get the message the material conveys. On the contrary, poor mastery on them can cause a hindrance for us to get the message of the given material. It is the fact that English students still find difficulties in understanding and using phrasal verbs. They sometimes do not know their meaning or synonym. The two following sentences, for example, have the same meaning, but the one uses phrasal verb while the other one does not. (1) Mother asked me to put out the fire.  (2) Mother asked me to extinguish the fire. From the two sentences, learners are usually more familiar with the second sentence than the first one because the first contains a phrasal verb, which is considered to be difficult for them. Besides, learners also find difficulties in doing exercises dealing with structure of phrasal verb in sentences. For example, we often hear learners say “The radio is a bit loud. Can you turn down it?” Instead of saying “The radio is a bit loud. Can you turn it down?” Considering that students’ mastery of phrasal verbs is very important and its mastery of the students is still unsatisfactory, therefore the writer is interested in conducting a research in order to overcome or at least to minimize the problem of phrasal verbs faced by the students.

1.2       Reason for Choosing the Topic
The reasons for choosing the topic can be stated as follows: First, it is very important for advanced students to master phrasal verbs to develop their skills of speaking, listening, and writing. Moreover, it is very useful for them; especially it can be used in daily conversation in communication. Second, the mastery of phrasal verbs is very useful for students to bridge them to understand scientific books written in English to get important information and knowledge. Third, students who have scanty vocabulary especially dealing with phrasal verbs, they may face difficulties in learning English. Therefore, vocabulary is very important for them in learning any foreign language, without knowing or learning vocabulary, they cannot use the language they learn.
1.3       Statement of the Problems
The problems whether the students can comprehend phrasal verbs by using their mastery of vocabulary can be stated as follows:
(1) To what extent do the fourth semester students of regular education class of English department of UNNES master the phrasal verbs?
(2) What problems do the students encounter in mastering phrasal verbs?
1.4       Purposes of the Study
The purposes of the study can be stated as follows:
(1) To measure how far the students’ mastery of phrasal verbs.
(2) To find out the problems encountered by the students.
1.5       Significance of the Study
The result of the study is expected to give some benefits. The benefits of the study can be stated as follows:
(1) For the lecturers of English Department. The lecturers can find out the level of the s     tudents mastery of phrasal verbs, so they can prepare the proper teaching material. Besides, they can find out the specific difficulties faced by students in mastering phrasal verbs and anticipate the way of overcoming them.
(2) For students of English Department.
The result of this study can be used as an additional knowledge to improve the students’ mastery of vocabulary of phrasal verbs. With the mastery of the phrasal verbs, students can implement them in daily conversation. They can also develop their mastery of phrasal verbs in speaking, listening, reading and writing. By using more than one expression, they can say one idea in various ways.
(3) The result of the study can be used as stimulant information to conduct further research on phrasal verbs since this research discusses phrasal verbs only.
1.6       Limitation of the Study
The limitations given in this study are: (1) The forms of phrasal verbs discussed in this study are separable and inseparable phrasal verbs. (2) Phrasal verbs, which are discussed in this study, are mostly two-word verbs and three -word verbs.
1.7       Outline of the Report
The first chapter, the introduction, introduces the study by giving a description of the background of the study, reason for choosing the topic, statement of the problems, the purposes of the study, the significance of the study, limitation of the study, and the outline of the study. In the second chapter, the theory underlying the writing of the final project is discussed. The third chapter contains the description of the methods and the procedures of investigation. The fourth chapter deals with the analysis of the data collected and the discussion of the result. It consists of both statistical and non-statistical analysis. The last chapter, that is chapter five, contains the conclusion and suggestion.


2.1       General Concept of Phrasal Verbs
One of the characteristics of most English verbs is that they can be combined with a preposition or an adverbial particle to generate a new meaning. The common name for such combinations is phrasal verbs, although we often find that among English grammarians, they give different names and definitions of such combinations.
Frank (1972: 1730) says that: A preposition may combine with a verb to form a new vocabulary item. This preposition may combine with a verb to form a new vocabulary item. This verb-preposition combination goes by several names two part verbs, composite verbs, and phrasal verbs. The prepositional form used with the verb may be referred to as an adverb, a prepositional adverb (or prepositional adverb) or by the more general term “particle”. The verbs in such situations are mostly one syllable words; over the most common preposition are those denoting places in, of, out, off, over, up, down, away, through, etc.Listed bellow are some of the most common verb-preposition combination taken from Frank(1972:173-176):
For example:
Bring about – cause I wonder what brought about his strange behavior. Bring on - result in His long exposure in the rain brought on a bad cold. Bring up – raise a subject
He brings up that subject at every opportunity.
Bring up – rear They brought up their children to behave well.
Do: Do over – redo, redecorate
We plan to do over our entire apartment. Do without (non separable) – sacrifice, no need
No one can do without sleep.
In addition, Crowell (1964: 401) states that a two-word verb is a combination of a verb and a particle, which together have a meaning different from the customary meanings of the two words. For example, in the sentence “The man will call up the stairs” the verb call has its customary meaning of “speak loudly”, up has its customary meaning of “from below to a higher
meaning”. However, in the sentence “The man will call up his friends” the words call and up have the meaning of the verb “telephone”. Therefore, in the second sentence the combination of call and up is classified as two-word verb, but in the first sentence is not. In line with the statement above, Redman (1997: 36) states that a phrasal verb is a verb combined with an adverb or preposition, and occasionally with an adverb and preposition. The followings are some of the definition of phrasal verb:
(1) A phrasal verb is a combination of a verb and a preposition to form a new vocabulary item (Frank, 1972:173).
(2) The term phrasal verb refers to a verb and preposition, which together have a special meaning (Azar, 1989: A 26).
(3) Phrasal verbs are basic verbs, which can combine with different preposition (or articles) to make verbs with completely new and often un-guessable meaning (McCarthy and O’Dell, 1996:170).
(4) Phrasal verb is (abbreviated as phrase verb) a simple verb combined with an adverb or a preposition or sometimes both, to make a new verb with a meaning that is different from that of simple verbs e.g. go in for, win over, blow up (Hornby, 1995: 869).
Here are some examples:
- The price of petrol may go up (= increase) again next week.
- He fell over (= fell to the ground) when he was jumping the fence.
- She tries to find out (= learn/discover) the name of that new company. Speakers of English tend to use phrasal verbs and idioms (especially in informal English conversations) instead of one word since sometimes there is no other precise word to say it. For instance, it sounds funny to say “enter” to substitute “come in” in response to the door knocked. It is more precise to say the tank blew up” instead of saying “the tank exploded”. The combination of verb + particle has syntactic features. Before the writer discusses further such combinations, it is better for us to know the definition of verb and particle. Verb is a word or phrase indicating what somebody or something does, what state of somebody or something is in, what is becoming of something or
somebody (Hornby, 1974: 953). Particle is minor part of speech e.g. an article (a, an, the), a preposition, or adverb (up, in, out), a conjunction (or) an affix (un-, in-, -ness, -ly) (Hornby, 1974: 612). In other words, we can conclude that phrasal verbs are combinations, which consist of a verb and followed by an adverb particle. Many words belong to particle but those that combine with verb to phrasal verbs are only some prepositions and adverbs.

2.2       Characteristic of Phrasal Verbs
Alwasilah (1993: 200) gives restrictions of phrasal verbs as follows: (1) The combination is limited to certain particle such as down, on, off, in, out, up. Although there is no restriction on the verbs, however, the most common verbs are those simple and short ones such as put, take, get, and make. (2) The combination is not freely formed. It is a collocation restriction. The restriction is clearly seen when we substitute the particle with its antonym. We can say “put up with it”, but we cannot say “put down with it”. The words “give out and carry off are not the antonym of give in and carry on. (3) Combination usually can be substituted with one-word verb. However, their
meaning is not exactly the same, carry on means continue, put up with means tolerate, put off means postpone, etc.
2.3       Types of Phrasal Verbs
Gethin (1989:170) classifies phrasal verbs into two types, namely adverbial phrasal verbs and prepositional phrasal verbs. (1) Adverbial phrasal verbs An adverbial phrasal verb is a verb, which combines with an adverbial particle to form a new vocabulary item. Followings are the rules of adverbial phrasal verbs:
1. The particle may come either before or after a noun object, although it precedes a noun object when it has a long modification such as a phrasal or a clause.
For example:
Please turn on the lights OR Please turn the lights on. She called up the nurse who takes care of her sister NOT she called the nurse who takes care of her sister up.
2. The particles always come after the object when it is a personal pronoun such as me, it, them or indefinite pronoun one, standing for a noun used with a/an. For example: Please throw it away NOT Please throw away it. There was 10,000 rupiahs lying on the pavement, so I pick it up.
I subscribe a magazine. Every Monday the magazine boy brings one round for me.
3. Although it precedes nouns, all directly follows personal pronouns and so must also precede an adverbial particle. For example:
The government has started bringing in in a new regulation.
 I am glad it is not bringing them all in at once.
Unlike “all of” which can follow it; “I am glad it is not bringing in all of them at once.
(2) Prepositional phrasal verbs
A prepositional phrasal verb is a verb with a preposition, or with an adverb and a preposition to form a phrase, which like man adverbial phrasal verbs, has a meaning of its own, distinct from that of the separate words (Gethin, 1989: 170). In prepositional verb, the preposition always comes before the object, whether or not this is a pronoun and whether or not is combined with an adverbial particle in three-word phrasal verb. For example: My friend got over his cold. He caught up with the others.
2.4 Word Order of Phrasal Verbs
Related to the example presented above, Azar (1989: 26 A ) classifies phrasal verbs as follows:
(1) Separable phrasal verbs
With a separable phrasal verb, a noun may come either between the verb and the    preposition or after the preposition. For example:
I handed my paper in yesterday.
I handed in my paper yesterday.
A pronoun comes between the verb and the preposition if the phrasal verb is separable.      For example: I handed it in yesterday.
(2) Non - Separable phrasal verbs
With a non - separable phrasal verb, a noun or pronouns must follow the preposition. For   example:
I ran into an old friend yesterday.
I ran into her yesterday.
2.5       Differences between the Phrasal Verbs and Prepositional Verbs
There are some combinations of verb such as combinations of verbs and preposition or verb and adverb. However, we cannot name all phrasal verbs since there are verb-preposition combinations that look like phrasal verbs, but in fact they are not. We call such situations as prepositional verbs. Leech et.al. (1990: 357-59) distinguishes phrasal verbs from prepositional verbs as follows:
(1) Prepositional verb Verb + preposition + noun phrase
e.g. Listen to radio The purpose of preposition is to link the noun phrase to the verb.
(2) Phrasal verb Verb + adverb e.g. Carry on
The purpose of the adverb is to change the meaning of the verb.
 Moreover, phrasal verb often looks like prepositional verb that is verb + preposition. But we can see they are different when we use a pronoun as an object. For example:
Phrasal verb: I look up the word OR I look the word up OR I look it up.
Prepositional verb: I looked at the painting OR I looked at it NOT I looked it at.
2.6 Multiple Meaning
Redman (1997:36) states that many phrasal verbs have more than one meaning. In the examples marked italic, the phrasal verb is much more natural than the explanation in brackets. It was so hot so I decided to take off (= remove) my jacket. I’m always nervous when the plane takes off (leaves the ground). I think she will get through the exam (= pass).
My alarm clock didn’t go off (= ring) this morning. Besides, Praninskas (1980: 216) says that many two-word verbs express different meanings in different contexts, and thus the grammatical patterns they follow is also different. One example is the unit of take off; which is listed below as either transitive or intransitive but not as both. In the context of clothes, take off means to remove and as intransitive; in the context of travel, it means to leave and it is intransitive.
2.7. General Concept of Vocabulary
Learning language cannot be separated from learning vocabulary. Vocabulary supports the speaker to express their opinions, ideas, and feelings in communication. To know what vocabulary is, the following are definitions about vocabulary according to the linguists: Hornby (1974:959) defines vocabulary as the range of words known to, or used by, a person in a trade, profession, etc. Preece (1986:1852) says vocabulary means a list of words with their meaning, glossary of words used in a language or a particular books or branch of science. According to The New International Webster’s Comprehensive Dictionary of The English Language (Webster, 2003: 1407) vocabulary is a sum or aggregate of the words used or understood by a particular person, class, etc., or employed in some specialized field of knowledge. According to Merriam - Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (Webster, 2004:1400) vocabulary is a sum or stock of words employed by a language, group or individual or work or in a field of language. Finocchiaro (1974:73) explains that the student’s vocabulary can be divided into two kinds, active vocabulary and passive vocabulary. Active / productive vocabulary is the vocabulary which he knows and uses actively to express his ideas, opinions, and feelings in communication. Whereas passive / receptive vocabulary is the vocabulary which one knows its meaning and usage in a certain context. From those definitions above, the writer comes to the conclusion that vocabulary is a list of words with their meanings, which is employed in a language, by group or individual.
Teaching of Vocabulary
Vocabulary teaching also invites notable reaction. Some people believe that the teaching of vocabulary is a waste of time since it is of an unlimited number. They think that grammar and pronunciation are the right things to be taught in teaching a foreign language and vocabulary can be gained in communication. Specialists in methodology fear that students will make a lot of mistakes in sentence construction if too many words are learned before the basic grammar had been mastered. Consequently, teachers are led to believe it is best not to teach vocabulary much. Besides, they think that words meaning can be learned through experience, without attending vocabulary classes the students will master a number of words when they become familiar with the situation where the words frequently occur. In addition to that several specialists in methodology at that time seemed to believe that the meanings of words couldn’t be adequately taught so that it was better not to teach them (Allen, 1983:12). The opinion of neglecting vocabulary teaching is right only if the students really have spent enough time for vocabulary. However, in fact, the result is still unsatisfactory. This will be much worse for classes in which vocabulary is put aside as most of the time is spent on the teaching of grammar for examination. It is especially right in countries where English is not the main language for communication. The mastery of vocabulary, including how to pronounce and how to spell it, then it will be very much help the students learn the other components of the language such as structure, fluency, and vocabulary itself. Vocabulary selection must be adjusted to the goal of teaching or learning a foreign language. For example, the function words necessary for the structural patterns should be selected in relation to the teaching of those patterns. On other occasion, when the student wants to lean communication in English, the teacher can use the textbook with a communicative approach in teaching his student to practice guided conversation. The words are selected for dialogues and other communicative purposes. Therefore, teachers who teach vocabulary must be able to make their teaching successful. Wallace (1982:27-30) explains the following principles in teaching vocabulary:
(1) Aims
In teaching learning process the teacher has to be clear about his aims. He also has to decide the words that should be mastered by his students.
(2) Quantity
The teacher has to decide on the quantity of vocabulary to be learned. The decision of the number of new words in a lesson is very important. The actual number of factors still depends on varying from class to class and learner. If there are too many new words, the learners may become confused, discouraged, and frustrated.
(3) Need
In teaching vocabulary, the teacher has to choose the words really needed by his students in communication. The students should be put in situation where they have to communicate and get the words they need.
 (4) Frequent exposure and repetition
It means that the teacher should give so much practice and repetition so that the students master the target words well. He also should give opportunity to the students to use the words in writing or in speaking.
(5) Meaningful presentation
In teaching vocabulary, the teacher should present the target words in such a way that their meanings are perfectly clear and unambiguous. Therefore, the new words should be presented in contexts not in isolation.
(6) Situation for presentation
The teacher should tell the students that they have to use the words appropriately. The use of words depends on the situation in which they are speaking and depends on the person to whom they are speaking. Those principles of teaching vocabulary are to reach the target language. However, the teacher should consider vocabulary selection when they teach vocabulary. According to Haycraft (1983:18) vocabulary selection should be based on the following considerations:
(1) Commonest word
They are the words, which are commonly used, or words that the students need. It means that the vocabulary choice is according to its frequency. Therefore, in teaching vocabulary, a teacher should choose vocabulary that has high frequency in use, either in the written or in spoken form. The students should master the vocabulary of high frequency first, before mastering the vocabulary of low frequency.
(2) Students’ need
The words that are needed by the student are usually worth to be taught to the students. It means that an English teacher should give more emphasis on vocabulary that is very useful for the students both in writing and speaking. In other words, they have to master vocabulary that I really need in communication.
In addition to that, Finnochiaro (1974: 73-74) adds some comments related to the teaching of vocabulary as follows: (1) Vocabulary should be taught in normal speech utterances. (2) New vocabulary items should be introduced in known structures. (3) If possible, the vocabulary items should be centered about one topic. (4) If a familiar word is met in a new context, it should be taught again and practiced. A review or mention of the known meaning of the word should be
made so that the students will understand the contrast whenever possible, only one context should be made so that the students will understand the contrast whenever possible, only one context should be taught at one time. (5) Vocabulary items should be taught in the same way that the teacher teaches every thing else. She/he gives the students an understanding of the meaning in many ways. She /he dramatizes, illustrates using her/him and the students show pictures, and uses any appropriate media and methods. Finally, the writer comes to the conclusion that the teachers can apply the guidelines of teaching vocabulary to teach vocabulary well so that the students
will receive what they really need in learning vocabulary. In addition, teachers should make an interesting situation in teaching vocabulary so that the learners do not feel bored and they will be interested and have a motivation in learning vocabulary.


In doing his final project, the writer collected the required data and information from the two main sources: library research and field research. Library research refers to the activity of gathering data from library facilities such as references of fundamental theories, which support the writer’s effort in doing the research. Field research refers to the research conducted at English Department of UNNES. I chose the fourth semester students of English department as the subject of the research because in the writer’s opinion, they had known enough vocabularies on lexical studies I and II. This chapter deals with the population, sample, and the instruments used in this research as well as the scoring technique. The administration of the test and the method of analyzing the data will also be presented in this chapter.
3.1 Population
Population is the most significant factor in conducting a research. Gay (1987: 02) says that the population is the group of the interest to the researcher, the group to which he or she would like the result of the study to be generalized. The population that the writer used in this study was the fourth semester students of regular education classes of the English department of UNNES in the academic  year of 2006/2007.
The total population of this study is 82 students. They were grouped into class IV A to IV C. The following table describes the classes of the students.
3.2 Sample
As stated by Gay (1987:101) that “sampling is a process of selecting a number of individuals represent the larger group from which they were selected”. Consequently, the degree to which the selected samples represent the population is the degree to which the results are generalized. Related to this case, the writer conducted a population research (a one – hundred – percent sample of the population) because the number of population was less than 100 (Arikunto, 1996:120). On the average, each class had almost the same number of students, that was 27 students. All of the classes were given the same English materials and treatment from the lecturers. Thus, those classes were considered parallels and had the same opportunity to be used as sample. It also meant that each of the student as the member of the population had equal chance of being included in the sample.
To get one class as the sample, each of the class was written in a piece of paper. Then, the papers were dropped out of the slot until it reached one paper of class’ name. This technique of sampling was considered easy to carry out and didn’t need to follow difficult procedures. One of the third classes that had been chosen randomly to conduct the research was class IV B. So, there were  students all together as the sample.
3.3 Instrument
Test was used as the instrument to collect the data in this research. According to Harris (1969:71) there are principally two kinds of test instruments, namely objective and essay tests. The writer decided to take to use two objective type tests. They are multiple choice and completion, considering that it is adaptable to the measurement, at most important educational outcomes of knowledge, understanding and ability. In addition, the writer can get directly as many of the specific skills and learning which he wants to measure. Besides, it will be easily administered. In this case, the multiple-choice test was used for vocabulary test.
3.4 Construction of the Test Instrument
The test materials were taken from the teaching material specifically taught at the second and at the third semester of English department, emphasizing on the vocabulary and understanding idiomatic expression. The vocabulary test given to the students consisted of 60 numbers with a choice of distracters: A, B, C, and D. Each item provides an appropriate context for the lexical problem in the lead. Lado (1961:189) states that present day understanding of the nature of vocabulary and of vocabulary problems do not sanction the use of words out of context in test of vocabulary.
3.5 Arrangement of the Test Items
After classifying the test items, I then arranged the test items into the following numbers:
(1) Multiple choice type tests:
Substituting single word with phrasal verb which has similar meaning,
number: 1, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25. Substituting two or more words with phrasal verbs which have similar meaning number: 2, 5,6,7, 13, 14, 23. Placing a suitable phrasal verb in context; number: 26 – 35.
(2) The completion type test
Substituting phrasal verb with single word which has similar meaning number: 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49,50. Substituting phrasal verb with two or more words that have similar meaning number: 41, 42. Filling a suitable particle(s) for phrasal verbs in context number: 51-60.
3.6 Administration of the Test
3.6.1 Try Out
To collect the data, I used a written test. The total students of class IV C was 27 students. Because two students were absent, so there were only 25 students all together. The test was given to 25 students. The try-out was conducted at the English Department of UNNES, on Monday, 5th of March 2007 in the academic year of 2006 / 2007. I tried it out to the students of class IV C because more or less the level of the students’ mastery was regarded homogenous. To try out, I made 35 items of multiple choice with four options and 25 items of completion. The try - out test was carried out in 55 minutes. Five minutes were used to distribute the test paper. The goal of conducting the try – out test is to measure the validity and reliability of the test. The score of the try – out test can be seen in appendix 3.
(1) Preparation of the Test
The writer prepared the test by designing the instrument and consulting it to his advisor. After it was approved, he conducted the try-out.
(2) Try Out
The try-out was conducted on March 5th, 2007. The writer took one class that was assumed as a representative one, to get the reliability of the test.
(3) Scoring the Test
The scoring of the result was done by the writer. It began from March 6th up to March 7th, 2007.
Harris (1964: 114) states that the reliability and the validity of the test are highly depend on the manner in which the instrument is employed. So, before the test was used to collect the data, it was tried out to measure the validity, the reliability, and the practicality of the test. Arikunto (1992: 135) states that a try out can be carried out in either a small scale or a large one. The try out was carried out on March 5th 2007. Twenty five students took the try out. They had to finish those two kinds of tests in 90 minutes.
3.6.2 Validity of the Test
The significant variables in judging the adequacy in measuring the instrument are validity and reliability. It is quite crucial to determine that the test is appropriate to measure or not. Harris (1969: 19 – 21) states that validity is usually distinguished into three kinds: content validity, empirical validity, and face validity. I used content validity since the test covered representative materials. To find out whether the test had content validity, I arranged the test items dealing with phrasal verbs. To make sure that the phrasal verbs test in which I used in this study had good face validity of a test, I had asked my advisor to check them up. A test is said to have empirical validity if it can show the evidence that the test scores have a high correlation to some criterion such as the mark the students got. To measure the validity of each test item, I used Pearson Product Moment formula. The formula is like this:
The detail computation of validity of test item can be seen in Appendix 4.
3.6.3 Reliability of the Test
Reliability of the test shows the stability of the scores when the test is used. In other words, the test measures an examinee’s ability consistently. Harris (1994: says that to have confidence in measuring instruments, the researcher needs to make sure that approximately the same result will be obtained if the test is given at different time. Based on the point of views, I carried out a try-out to 25 students of the fourth semester students of the English Department of UNNES in the academic year of 2006/2007 to get the reliability of the test items. I did six steps to measure the reliability of the test by the following Pearson Product Moment (Lado, 1975: 336).
First, I administered the test and marked each student’s test paper. The score of the try-out test can be seen in appendix 3. Then, I divided the test results into halves and recorded the scores made by each student on each half. In this case, I divided the first thirty items as one half and the second thirty items as the other half. In other words, I used the beginning and end split system. Then, I listed the pairs of the scores into two columns: labeling the column to the left, x, and to the right, y. Each score under x has a corresponding score under y for the same student. The third step was to calculate the following statistics:
(1) ΣX = The sum of the X scores (odd items)
(2) ΣY =The sum of the Y scores (even items)
(3) ΣX 2 = The sum of the square of the X scores
(4) ΣY 2 =The sum of the square of the Y scores; and
(5) ΣXY =The sum of the product of each X scores with its
corresponding Y scores for the same students.
These data were needed to compute the correlation between two sets of half scores by means of the Pearson Product Moment formula. After that, I applied the Pearson Product Moment formula as follows:
Where: XY R = the correlation of the scores on the halves of the test.
N = the number of the students.
The result of the computation for each set of scores for two groups of answers is presented in appendix 5. In the following step, I computed Pearson correlation of odd and even value ( 1 / 21 / 2 r ) by applying the Product Moment formula. By applying this formula we get the computation below.
The result of Pearson correlation of odd and even value ( 1 / 21 / 2 r ) shows the reliability of half of the test. In the last step, I used the Spearman – Brown Formula to estimate the reliability of the entire test. The formula goes like this: Since the result of the reliability index is 0,941 and categorized very high, (where 0,941 > 0,404) and I used critical value 0, 404, it means that this instrument test is very reliable.
3.6.4 Facility Value of the Test
The facility value of an item shows how easy or difficult the item test is. To determine whether the test was easy or difficult, I collected all 25 test papers, and then I arranged them from the highest score to the lowest score. Then, I counted the facility value of the test items by using the formula like this:
P = B
Where: P = the facility value (index of difficulty)
B = the number of students who answered the items correctly and
Js = the total number of the students
By applying this formula, the computation of facility value goes like this:
The followings are the criteria of P:
P ≤ 0, 3 is considered difficult
0, 3 < P ≤ 0, 7 is considered medium
P > 0, 7 is considered easy
An item is said to have good level of difficulty if it is not too difficult or too easy and its level of difficulty value falls between 0, 3 and 0, 9. The level of difficulty values of 60 items of the phrasal verb test I used in this study fell between this criterion (0, 9). It means that the items can be accepted. The list of the level of facility value of each item of the phrasal verb tests can be seen in appendix 3.
3.6.5 Discriminating Power
It is also important to measure the discriminating power of an item test due to the fact that it can discriminate the more from the less able students. Heaton states that the discrimination index of an item indicates the extent to which the item discriminates between the testers, separating the more from the less able
To measure it, I counted the number of the students in the upper and lower groups who answered the item correctly. Then I subtracted the number of correct answers in the upper group. The calculation of the discriminating power can be formulated as follows:
D = The discrimination index of an item
= A B The number of the students in the upper group who answered the item
= B B The number of the students in the lower group who answered the item
= A J The number of all students in the upper group, and
= B J The number of all students in the lower group
By applying this formula, the computation of discrimination index of an item goes like this:
The followings are the criteria of D:
D ≤ are considered poor;
0, 2 < D ≤ 0, 4 are considered fair;
0, 4 < D ≤0, 7 are considered good; and
0, 7 < D are considered very good.
Based on the computation by using the above criteria, 6 of multiple choice items are considered poor, 16 items are fair and 13 items are good. And 13 completion items are fair and 12 items are good. The result can be seen in appendix 3.
3.7 Collecting the Data
The procedures of collecting the data of this study involve several steps. First was designing the phrasal verb tests. Second was trying-out the phrasal verb test to examine whether or not they needed improvement. It was conducted on 5th of March, 2007. Third was analyzing the phrasal verbs test for its validity and reliability (both on discriminating power and facility value). Fourth was distributing the phrasal verb test to the sample and then collecting them. It was conducted on 18th of June, 2007. In the next chapter, I will analyze the data using statistical and non-statistical analysis.

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