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Evaluation Of Students’ Attitude And Perception Of Fulfilling English Language Requirements At Faculty Of Law, Palu City

  • Jamiluddin
  • Muhammad Arasy
  • Dwi Putri FKIP
  • 160-167
  • Jan 28, 2023
  • Language

Evaluation Of Students’ Attitude And Perception Of Fulfilling English Language Requirements At Faculty Of Law, Palu City

Jamiluddin, Muhammad Arasy, Dwi Putri FKIP

Universitas Tadulako, Indonesia 

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to find out the attitudes and perceptions of students towards teaching methods and strategies applied to English courses at Faculty of Law and to find out the attitudes and perceptions of students about meeting the needs of English language teaching materials at Faculty of Law. This research is a descriptive-qualitative research, namely describing and analyzing data collected through research instruments, namely questionnaires and interviews. The informants of this research were 40 students of Faculty of Law who had programmed English courses and had passed the English course. The results of the study revealed that (1) the attitudes and perceptions of students towards the methods and strategies of teaching English lecturers at Faculty of Law are quite good, it’s just that they need to provide a lot of exercises in the form of English dialogue or conversation using role playing techniques which provide lots of opportunities for students to practice speaking about legal fields that are commonly used every day; (2) students’ attitudes and perceptions of English teaching materials at Faculty of Law reveal that teaching materials need to be considered for reformulation by adding ‘English speaking’ materials in the form of dialogue or conversation through role play models and increasing vocabulary teaching ( vocabulary) relating to legal terms commonly used in the field of law.

Keywords: Attitude, perception, English needs, students of law.

Introduction

          Law number 12 of 2012 concerning Higher Education states that higher education as part of the national education system has a strategic role in educating the life of the nation and advancing science and technology by paying attention to and implementing humanities values ​​as well as the sustainable cultivation and empowerment of the Indonesian nation. Higher Education is able to develop science and technology and produce intellectuals, scientists, and/or professionals who are cultured and creative, tolerant, democratic, and have strong characters. Therefore, education needs to be developed and strengthened, especially for students in tertiary institutions so that they are ready to face the era of globalization by preparing themselves at least in terms of mastering English as a global language.

          The ability of students to communicate in English both orally and in writing, for example, has many benefits, both related to scientific development and related to their future jobs and professions after they have completed their studies at tertiary institutions. Therefore, in tertiary institutions, English is a subject that must be followed by all students from various study programs. This course is generally offered in the early semesters at tertiary institutions. This shows how important it is to learn English as a means of communication to support a student in the academic field and the world of work.  Students at least know what they are learning and why they are learning English. Teaching staff or lecturers at tertiary institutions, of course, can invite them to explore the benefits of mastering English for their progress. Thus, learning English is not just a formality but an intellectual need that must be met like other basic needs.   To be able to develop good English learning materials, it is necessary to pay attention to the principles underlying the development of learning materials, where the material should have an impact on students. The material should not make students feel anxious so that they are encouraged to study it to the fullest. Lecture material should be related to meeting the needs of students. Lecture material should be able to provide opportunities for students to use the language to achieve communicative goals and in the end, students are motivated and passionate about learning to find out for themselves.  Margono and Agus Widyantoro (2017) state that students should be given as many opportunities as possible to use the target language to communicate. Therefore, the materials developed should allow students to use the target language to communicate. The material does not only teach about language, but it must contain communicative exercises both orally and in writing according to their needs in the future. Thus, learning models should be created so that students can interact and communicate with each other as much as possible so that knowledge sharing occurs (students-centered learning).   One of the objectives of the English course taught to Law Faculty students in the first year (Semester I) is for students to be able to communicate in English both orally and in writing. Therefore, an RPS (Semester Learning Plan) is prepared that meets these needs. This course is one of the general courses, which every student is required to follow/program.  We and other lecturers are entrusted annually to teach English courses by the Faculty leaders both at the Faculty of Law, University of Tadulako and at the Faculty of Law, University of Muhammadyah Palu so that they have sufficient initial knowledge and experience about lecture conditions, the lecture process, and student abilities. In giving lectures in class, they follow the semester learning plan (RPS) and syllabus that have been prepared beforehand so that the lecturers feel that they are optimal enough to give lectures through strategies and ways of explaining lecture material so that students can easily understand what is being taught.   On the contrary, the results of pre-observations and interviews with several students who had taken and passed English courses at the Faculty of Law obtained information that they had not studied optimally. Only fulfilling the demands of lectures in class because inevitably someone has to pass the course (non-formal interview in December 2021). Information was also obtained that they wanted the course material to be adapted to their needs in the future according to the profession they would be involved in later. However, what is encouraging is that the students appreciate the methods and ways of teaching that have been applied by teaching lecturers in English lectures (Informal interview in December 2021). Sobur (2013) explains that in perception there are 3 (three) main components and one of them is ‘reaction’. This component (reaction) is a perception which is then translated into positive behavior as a reaction due to external stimuli. When it is related to the teaching process, teaching is an effort to provide stimulation (stimulus), guidance, knowledge, and encouragement to students so that the learning process occurs.  Through the analysis of the attitudes and perceptions of students of law towards the real need for English, it is hoped that this will have a positive impact both in the lecture process where students are more enthusiastic and motivated to learn English as well as as an added value to the student’s professional development in the future. The results of this analysis also serve as input for English lecturers at the Faculty of Law to reformulate and design semester learning (RPS) and teaching materials according to student needs. Therefore the formulation of this research question is:

  1. What are the students’ attitudes and perceptions of the teaching methods or strategies used in teaching English courses at Faculty of Law?
  2. What are the attitudes and perceptions of Law Faculty students towards meeting the needs of English teaching materials taught by lecturers?

Research Method

          The design of this study uses a qualitative approach. Qualitative research is research that intends to understand the phenomenon of what is experienced by research subjects (informants) by means of descriptions in the form of words and language in a special natural context and by utilizing various natural methods. Qualitative research methods in this study used descriptive research methods. Descriptive research is a research method that seeks to describe and interpret what it is. It is descriptive in nature because the purpose of this study was to obtain an overview of students’ attitudes and perceptions of fulfilling the English language requirement at the Faculty of Law.   This research was conducted in March-October 2022, while the research locations were at the Faculty of Law, Untad and the Faculty of Law Unismuh, Palu. The subjects of this study were 40 students for the 2020/2021 academic year. Data collection techniques used in this study were questionnaires and in-depth interviews. The data collection technique through a questionnaire was carried out by giving a set of questions or written statements to the subjects (informants) of this study to answer. This questionnaire sheet is used to find out the teaching methods and strategies used by lecturers in giving lectures and to find out the attitudes and perceptions of informants regarding meeting the needs of the English language at Faculty of Law.  Furthermore, the second data collection technique was an interview in the form of a question and answer session between the interviewer and the interviewee to obtain information or opinions about the methods and strategies for teaching English as well as the attitudes and perceptions of the informants regarding meeting the needs of the English language at  Faculty of Law so far. The interviews used in this study were in-depth interviews to determine more open issues where the interviewees (informants) were asked for opinions according to what they felt and experienced. In conducting this interview, the interviewer noted important things related to the object of research. Sugiono (2011) classifies 6 types of related questions, namely: (1) questions related to experience, (2) questions related to opinions, (3) questions related to questions, (4) questions about knowledge, (5) questions related to the senses, and (6) questions related to background or demographics.   The data analysis technique used in this study is the process of searching for and systematically compiling the data obtained from data collection techniques, namely questionnaires and interviews, by organizing the data, compiling it into patterns, choosing which ones are important and will be studied and making conclusions so that they are easy to understand by oneself and others. Qualitative data analysis techniques consist of three stages of activities that are interrelated with one another, namely, data reduction, data display and drawing conclusions.  According to Sugiono (2012) there are three stages in qualitative data analysis, namely:

  1. Data Reduction. Data reduction is a process of simplifying and categorizing data. This process is an effort to find themes and form concepts. The results of this process are themes, concepts and various descriptions of the data, both regarding things that are similar or contradictory. Data reduction is a sensitive thinking process that requires high intelligence, breadth and depth of insight
  2. Data Display (Data Display). After the data is reduced, the next step is displaying the data. This process is carried out to make it easier for writers to construct data into a complete social picture. In addition to checking the extent to which the completeness of the available data. Furthermore, in displaying data other than narrative text, it can also be in the form of tables, graphs, matrices, networks and chats. By displaying data it will make it easier to understand what has been understood.
  3. Conclusion Drawing (Verification). The expected conclusions in qualitative research are new findings that have previously existed. The discovery of data in the form of a description or description of an object that was previously unclear so that when examined it becomes clear. When the data presented above is supported by solid data, it can be used as a credible conclusion.

          After obtaining data, the researchers analyze them by means of inductive thinking. Inductive thinking, which departs from specific facts, concrete events, then general conclusions are drawn from these specific facts or events.

Finding and discussion

Research Findings

          In this section the researchers describe the results of the research from the instruments used to make it easier for researchers to analyze the results of this study at points of discussion which are of course linked to the results of previous research and literature studies related to the object of the research.

a.  Questionnaire Result Data  

A total of 40 sampler questionnaire sheets were distributed and given to informants and all were returned. As for the data from the data collection instrument used, the results can be described as follows:.

Table: Informant Questionnaire Result Data (Students)

No Quesioner Description Total of Students (%)
Yes No
1. Do you enjoy learning English at your faculty? 35 (87,5 %) 5 (12,5 %)
2. Do you really understand how your lecturers teach  English  at your faculty? 30 (75 %) 10 (25 %
3. Is the delivery  of English lecturers in teaching good enough? 36 (90 %) 4 (10 %)
4. Does your lecturer provide opportunity for independent study? 40 (100 %) – (00 %)
5. Does your lecturer give you opportunity to ask questions? 39 (97.5 %) 1 (2.5 %)
6. Does the materials presented meet the elements related to your future needs? 8 (20 %) 32 (80 %)
7. Is  the material provided good enough  to support  your work after finishing your study? 8 (20 %) 32 (80 %)
8. Is the material taught by the lecturer difficult to understand? 10 (25 %) 30 (75 %)
9. Is there any speaking material?   2 (5 %) 38 (95 %)
10. Do you enjoy learning speaking? 34 (85 %) 6 (15 %)
11. Is the lecture material provided by the lecturer according to your wishes? 5 (12,5 %) 35(87.5 %)
12. Is the teaching of English vocabulary taught by the lecturer according to your field of knowledge? 10 (25 %) 30 (75 %)
13. Does speaking material take precedence over other language skills (writing, listening and reading) material? 35 (87.5 %) 5 (12.5 %)
14. Does you lecturer teach models of English dialogue/conversation  based on  your discipline?   2 (5 %) 38 (95 %)

          When paying attention to the responses of informants (students) in the table above, it can be seen that students generally enjoy learning English, namely as many as 35 (87.5%) of the number of informants. This was very encouraging because of the 40 informants, 35 informants (87.5%) stated that they enjoyed learning English. 30 (75%) informants are also happy with the lecturer’s way of teaching. All (100%) informants said that the lecturers gave them the opportunity to ask questions. Lecturer delivery in teaching is quite good, namely 36 (90%) informants. However, only 8 (20%) informants said that the material being taught met the needs of the student’s scientific discipline. This shows that there were 32 (80%) informants who stated that the course material did not meet the needs of students after completing their studies at  Faculty of Law.          Furthermore, when paying attention to the results of the questionnaire regarding the understanding of the material taught by the lecturer, only 10 (25%) informants said it was difficult to understand and 30 (75%) informants said the learning material was easy to understand. In lectures in the class the informants wanted more ‘speaking’ material, namely 35 (87.5%) of the total informants. When paying attention to the answers of the informants, in general they enjoyed learning ‘speaking’, namely 34 (85%) of the informants. It can also be seen that ‘speaking’ material is prioritized over other ‘language skills’ (writing, listening, and reading), namely 35 (87.5%). From 40 informants, only 10 (25%) informants said that the English vocabulary taught was in accordance with the informant’s field of science and 30 (75%) informants said the vocabulary taught was not in accordance with the informant’s field of knowledge. Other information from the questionnaire results showed that 38 (95%) of the informants who responded that English dialogue/conversation material was adapted to the informant’s discipline, the rest, namely 2 (5%) of the informants who said it was according to their wishes.

  1. Data of Interview Results

          The interview model conducted by the researcher to the informants is open freely so that the answers from the informants can be developed more deeply as needed. The types of questions given to informants referred to questions related to the informant’s experience, questions related to the informant’s opinion, questions related to the informant’s knowledge, and questions related to the informant’s background. Data from interviews conducted by researchers revealed that in general the informants enjoyed learning English. This is in accordance with the results of the questionnaire which was distributed to the informants as well. The results of the interviews also revealed that the method of teaching English lecturers at Faculty of Law was quite good and it was revealed that most of the informants liked and enjoyed the lecturer’s teaching method, only a few informants were not happy with the lecturer’s teaching method. This prompted the researchers to find out more deeply so that the researchers developed further questions about matters related to the teaching materials taught so far by the informant lecturers.          The results of interviews with informants who were happy and liked the lecturer’s way of teaching stated that it was quite good, it’s just that the informants had very minimal knowledge and experience of English. The informant who was not happy with the lecturer’s way of teaching after developing his questions more deeply, it was revealed that the informant wanted lots of examples and exercises related to the material being taught. Furthermore, the researcher developed the interview by asking about the teaching materials being taught, most of the informants wanted additional material, especially material related to general legal issues. This can also be seen in the answers to the questionnaire which wanted teaching materials to be provided according to the job requirements of the informants after completing the study as much as 80% (32 informants). From the development of interviews the informants wanted to develop vocabulary (English vocabulary) related to their field of knowledge. This can also be seen from the results of the questionnaire 75% (30 informants) who want English vocabulary development material that is in accordance with the informant’s discipline.          The results of interviews about language skills (listening reading, writing, and speaking), most of the informants wanted ‘speaking’ material in the form of ‘dialogue’ and related to legal issues. This is also in accordance with the data from the questionnaire results, namely 35 (87.5%) who want English speaking material in the form of dialogue (conversation). There were also results of interviews with informants who wanted an emphasis on teaching ‘English writing’, but only a small number of informants wanted an emphasis on this teaching. The results of the researcher’s interview with informants regarding the need for improvements in teaching materials, all informants said they agreed to review English teaching materials at Faculty of Law. Most of the informants wanted the teaching materials to be adapted to the content of the material in the field of law so that they could add to the vocabulary and legal terms that are often used daily in the field of law.  In the next interview, the researcher asked whether English was necessary for the informant? Everyone said it was necessary, but teaching materials were needed that were easy to understand, especially for informants who had very little knowledge of English. It is necessary to increase the number of exercises in the form of ‘speaking’ in the form of ‘dialogue’ with role playing models practiced by fellow classmates in class. Models of English dialogue or English conversation, such as role play, are very helpful for students to express their experiences according to the role assigned to them.   At the end of the interview, the researcher also asked about the informants’ background knowledge of English. In general, they said that when they were in senior high school, their understanding of English was very limited and they paid very little attention to the English subject. This is what made the informants don’t understand English, so when they became students and attended English lectures at  Faculty of Law they felt the impact.

Discussion 

                  The research results revealed by the informants gave hope because in general the informants (students) were happy and liked learning English at Faculty of Law. This shows that the expectations for learning English at Faculty of Law are still very high. When paying attention to the results of the questionnaires and the responses of the informants through interviews, in general the informants liked the teaching methods and the delivery of material by the lecturers to the informants. The data obtained from the data collection instruments used, also revealed that it was basically students who had low knowledge and skills in English since they were at high school age and  because they were not accustomed to learning as well.  When paying attention to the data obtained from the informants, there are several substantive things to consider from the material of lecture given to students so far, namely the requirements for an analysis of the needs (doing needs analysis) according to the hopes and wishes of students about English learning materials. This is, of course, possible because the English course at  Faculty of Law is only taught for one semester and as a general basic course (General English), so teaching materials are needed for specific purposes (English for Specific Purposes). Therefore, the content of lectures needs to be reformulated, especially in one of the existing language skills, namely ‘speaking’ in the form of English dialogue (conversation), role play (role play), and reinforcement of legal English vocabulary or terminology which are often encountered by students in every day.   Niken Paramita and Adiloka Sujono (2020) state that the characteristics of English for Specific Purposes (ESP) are designed to meet the needs of learners related to the knowledge students are currently pursuing. Therefore, the analysis focuses on linguistic aspects that are relevant to student disciplines so that there are differences in General English material and ESP material. Furthermore, it is stated that when designing learning materials with reference to ESP, it is necessary to pay attention to the four pillars of ESP, namely needs analysis, learning objectives, materials and teaching methods and evaluation methods.  Needs analysis based on research findings through the two data kinds of  instruments used must pay attention to the interests of students after completing their studies at  Faculty of Law. Therefore, an analysis of their needs is to reproduce materials related to legal issues, whether in the form of ‘reading text’ or ‘speaking’ learning materials in the form of dialogue (conversation) through role-play techniques where the material is the teaching is related to legal material for the purposes after students plunge into the world of work respectively. Talking about learning objectives, of course, one pay attention to the expected output after students learning English at Faculty of Law. The learning material designed is adjusted to the level of understanding of students, so that the expected learning objectives can be achieved. To achieve the learning objectives, one of them is considering teaching materials in accordance with the level of difficulty of the material and the needs of students after completing their studies at law faculty, at least having a basic understanding of legal English. Therefore, the material is arranged in stages starting from the simple to the teaching material which is rather high and adapted to general terms about law.  After analyzing (doing needs analysis) materials of teaching, then develop materials and strategies or teaching methods (materials and methods) that are adapted to the abilities and needs of students and suitability with their scientific disciplines. The success of teaching is determined not only by the instructor but also by teaching techniques and strategies that suit the student’s condition. Without paying attention to the circumstances and conditions of these students, enabling teaching and learning of students only aborts their obligations as a course subject at  Faculty of Law. The last part is the evaluation (evaluation). In this evaluation phase, an assessment is needed that can measure student success and obstacles in the teaching and learning process for English courses for certain purposes (ESP). In this assessment, of course the results can be used as evaluation material for both evaluation of teaching materials as well as teaching strategies and techniques carried out in class so that in the future teaching materials will increasingly meet the needs of students who can support understanding of English after entering the world of work.          The results of study also revealed that the lack of exercises in the form of English dialogue (conversations) and role-plays (role-play) in the learning process so that students with minimal understanding find it is increasingly difficult to learn and understand English courses. Therefore, students need a lot of practice expressing ideas with varied and fun methods or techniques so that students are motivated to speak. Hilma Safitri, and et al. (2021) state that in order to make speaking practice and students motivated to speak, game techniques (role-play) can be carried out in the lecture process. Furthermore, it is stated that there is no single method and technique that is truly accurate for a learning process carried out by students in a class with different backgrounds, abilities, and ways or learning styles. Dorg (2015) states that the use of a variety of learning methods is important to create effective and efficient learning. According to Hilma Safitri and et. al (2021) there are several learning models that have been developed by experts to improve students’ speaking skills, one of which is the task-based learning model. The data from the questionnaire revealed that only a small portion of material was provided in the form of English dialogue (conversation) to improve student speaking. Therefore, it is necessary to increase the number of task-based learning models that focus on doing assignments in an interaction in the classroom and using specially designed learning frameworks (Richards: 2006). An activity can be called a task if there are four criteria in it, namely (a) focus on meaning, (b) there are gaps, (c) there are outcomes, and (d) students use their own language resources when working on and practicing the results (Ellis , 2009 in Lambert, 2019) Ni Ketut Supasti Dharmawan (2013) states that Legal English often has a different style from English in general (General English). Often this type of language is considered difficult to learn. This is also the case for students at Faculty of Law, moreover, most of the students do not yet have sufficient basic knowledge of English which leads to the actual need for Legal English. This situation is likely to be one of the reasons why most students attending English lectures only fulfill lectures so that they hope to graduate without thinking about how useful the role of English is in supporting their profession after completing their studies at tertiary institutions. This kind of thinking needs to be of particular concern to lecturers of this course at Faculty of Law so that students feel happy, excited and motivated to learn English in order to support their profession in the future.

Conclusion And Suggestion

Conclusion The conclusions of the results of this study are as follows:

  1. The attitudes and perceptions of students towards the teaching methods and strategies of English lecturers at Faculty of Law are quite good, it’s just that they need to provide lots of exercises in the form of English dialogues or conversations using role-playing techniques which provide many opportunities for students to practice speaking about the field of law and legal terms that are commonly used every day.
  2. Students’ attitudes and perceptions of English teaching materials at Faculty of Law reveal that teaching materials need to be thought through to be reformulated by incorporating ‘speaking’ teaching materials in the form of English dialogues or conversations. The results of this study also reveal the need to increase the provision of vocabulary relating to legal terms that are commonly used in the field of law.

Suggestion

          When paying attention to the conclusions from the results of this study, the researcher suggests several things:

  1. It is necessary to pay attention to teaching materials that are tailored to the needs of students, so that they can make students more enthusiastic about learning.
  2. It is necessary to consider teaching materials that are in accordance with the level of student abilities and teaching materials that are created and taught by paying attention to methods and strategies that are in accordance with the desired teaching materials.

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