DISERTASI dan TESIS Program Pascasarjana UM, 2016

Ukuran Huruf:  Kecil  Sedang  Besar

VISUALIZATION STRATEGY ON READING COMPREHENSION OF COLLEGE STUDENTS AS OBSERVED FROM COGNITIVE STYLES AND AUTONOMOUS LEARNING LEVELS

AINUL ADDINNA

Abstrak


ABSTRAK

 

 

VISUALIZATION STRATEGY ON READING

COMPREHENSION OF COLLEGE STUDENTS AS

OBSERVED FROM COGNITIVE STYLES AND

AUTONOMOUS LEARNING LEVELS

 

Ainul Addinna

1

, Suharmanto

2

, Yazid Basthomi

 

State University of Malang

Email: lunia.addinna@gmail.com

 

Abstract: This quasi experimental study with 2x2x2 factorial design

was aimed to investigate the effect of visualization strategy on students‟

reading comprehension across cognitive styles and autonomous

learning level. This study implemented reading comprehension test,

GEFT test and questionnaire for gathering the data. The result of this

study revealed that there was no significant difference between the

reading comprehension score of the students who were taught with

visualization strategy than those who were taught with visualization

strategy. There was no significant difference between the FI Students

and FD students in reading comprehension achievement. There was no

interaction between reading strategy, cognitive styles and autonomous

learning level.

 

Keywords: Visualization Strategy, Field Independent, Field

Dependent, Autonomy level.

 

Abstrak: Penelitian quasi experimental dengan disain faktorial 2x2x2

ini bertujuan untuk mencari efek dari strategi visualization pada reading

comprehension dilihat dari cognitive styles dan autonomous learning

level siswa. Penelitian ini menggunakan reading comprehension test, a

GEFT  tes dan autonomy level questionnaire untuk mengumpulkan

data. Hasil penelitian menunjukkan bahwa tidak ada perbedaan yang

signifikan antara siswa yang diajarkan dengan strategi visualization dan

dengan mereka yang diajarkan dengan strategi non visualization. Tidak

ada perbedaan yang signifikan antara siswa FI dengan siswa FD pada

peningkatan pemahaman membaca mereka. Terakhir, tidak terdapat

interaksi antara strategi membaca, cognitive styles dan autonomous

learning level. 

 

Kata kunci: Visualization Strategy, Field Independent, Field

Dependent, Autonomy level.

 

3

Many researchers have explored the use of visualization (Douville, 1999;

Gambrell & Bales, 1986; Peters & Levin, 1986; Williams, Konopak, Wood, &

                                                            

1

2

3

Students of Graduate Program in ELT  of State University of Malang

English Lecturer of State University of Malang

English Lecturer of State University of Malang

 

Avett, 1992; in Jenkins, 2009). Visualization was mentioned as one of the ten

“reader init iated strategies” used by successful reader among 22 dist inct reading

strategy in a study of eight bilingual children (Jimenay, Garzia, and Pearson,

1996). Tomlinson‟s experiment (1997) revealed that students who do visualizing

while reading a text were likely to achieve better comprehension and memory

than those who did not. In addition to that, a six-year study in one school district

conducted by Sadoski and Willson (2006) indicated that visualization could

accommodate students‟ reading comprehension. The students who implemented

visualization in reading program performed better than average students.

 The images are created and emerged in the mind without the presence of

real objects or events from all five senses, as well as emotions, feelings, and are

anchored in readers‟ background knowledge (Hobbs, 2001). Images from readers‟

personal experience frequently become part of their comprehension and were

adopted as they start and continue to read a text. The existing images are revised

after new information revealed through the text, and new mental images are ready

to be used by the reader. They use mind‟s images to draw conclusions, to create

distinct and unique interpretations of the text, and to recall details significance of

the text. 

 It is evident that our own visualisations, when reading the script, would

greatly depend upon our prior knowledge and engagement with the topic

(Manning, 2002).  Schemata as data structure of readers‟ knowledge which stored

in memory is functioning for interpreting new information and allowing it into

new knowledge. The interaction of the new information and old knowledge is

what is termed as comprehension (Anderson, 1984). For good readers, the ability

to create mental images while reading is a process that happens automatically.

Proficient readers use images to immerse themselves in rich detail as they read.

The detail gives depth understanding and dimension to the reading, engaging the

reader more deeply, and making the text more memorable (Gambrell & Jawitz,

1993). The problem is they use this strategy but have not maximized it. It means

that they can make a mental image of the text but cannot maximize this strategy to

help them in comprehending the text.

According to Arcavi (2003), visualizat ion refers to: “the abilit y, process

and product of creation, interpretation, and reflection upon pictures, diagrams, in

our minds, on paper or with technological tools, with the purpose of depicting

and communicating information, thinking about and developing previously

unknown ideas and advancing understanding”. This activity strengthens reading

comprehension skills because students gain more thorough understanding of the

text they are reading by consciously using the words as a clue to create mental

images. Students who visualize as they read not only have a richer reading

experience but also could recall what they have read for longer periods of time

(Harvey & Goudvis 2000). In line with the idea above, Shannan, et al.( in Almasi

& Ullerton, 2012) state that making mental image while reading enhance recall

and retention of text, and it might help readers who tend to activate disparate

information from each sentence to integrate the information, make inferences, and

form a unified picture of event described in the text.

According to Harvey and Goudvis (2000), benefits of visualizing are (1)

Allowing readers to create mental images from the words in the text, (2)

Enhancing meaning with mental imagery, (3) Linking past experience to the

 

words and ideas in the text, (4) Enabling readers to place themselves in the story,

(5) Strengthening a reader‟s relat ionship wit h the text, (6) Stimulating thinking

process, (7) Heightening engagement with text, and (8) Bringing joy to reading. 

Even thought, visualization is proven to helps students in comprehending

the text, yet very few studies that provide information to the students how exactly

to create mental image correctly. Meanwhile, Pressley, Borkowski, and Johnson

identify mental imagery as a strategy that is easy to teach.  Pressley, et al. (in

Almasi and Ullerton, 2012) distinguished two types of methods in teaching

visualization: representational instruction and transformational instruction.

Representational instruction is a direct translation of a text to an image. The image

represents the content of the text. The strength of this instruction is that it requires

no additional text preparation. It is fairly easy to do and can be done in a short

period. Meanwhile, transformational instruction uses mnemonic device,

keywords, or other indirect link to represent the text. It is useful to help students

to retain factual information such as names and numbers. However, it may not

help with the comprehension of overall text since only the keywords are targeted.

These instructions may use illustrations to form mental imagery. 

Jenkins (2009) in her research also generate some instruction in applying

mental imagery in reading, they are:

a. Teacher directed instruction

 In this step, the teacher first establishes and explains mental imagery to the

students. This strategy involves making picture in their minds.  Teacher can

use visual aid to help students after they make image in their mind in order

to match the picture in their mind with the real visual aid or students can use

self-generated drawing, and targeting vocabulary as a mnemonic keywords,

along wit h reading process and creating image in their‟ mind. Giving an

example is very important.

b. Directed instruction

 Teacher asks the students to read the first paragraph and to give example of

images formed in their mind. For self-generated drawing activity, the picture

or diagram does not have to be beautiful because the purpose of drawing the

picture and diagram is to help them understand the passage and then by

defining difficult words by context clues or dictionary and adding the

illustration related to the meaning will help the students apply visualization.

Teacher then asks students who are having difficulty in understanding the

text. Talking about what their mental image may help the process of

visualization. Offering opportunities to discuss mental pictures while

increasing content knowledge by asking "What do you see in your mind?"

"Why do you think you formed that image?" and "What information do you

need to help you visualize what is taking place?" helps students to be aware

of visualization and triggers conversation, also helps them question their

images and adjust them when they create image that do not fit with the text.

c. Group practice

 To put students in a small group after they finish reading the text and

creating a mental image may help them to share ideas and images.

Discussing with peers can be the way to improve students‟ motivat ion and

reduce their anxiety. Students can correct their work after discussion if they

make a mistake. At the end, they can conclude the activity.

 

Different from above, Bortolotto (2008) conducted an experimental

research of the usage of RIDER reading activity to elementary school students.

Students are taught to create visual images that match the content of the text by

following: read: read the sentence, image: try to make a picture in mind about the

sentence, describe: describe your image orally or drawing it, evaluate: evaluate

the image to see if it matches the text and repeat: read the next sentence and

repeat the above steps. It allows them to not only read the text but then make

pictures of the text in their minds. Then, they are asked to draw pictures on paper

and then discuss it with a partner. It is explained that the use of the RIDER steps

were useful in helping the students to remember the process they need to attend to

while reading the text.  After the first teaching session it was noted in that the

students in the intervention group were genuinely excited about using this activity. 

It can be concluded that visualization strategy offers some ways which

divided into two sessions; individual work and discussion session. In individual

work, the students will improve their reading comprehension by working alone

making the mental image based on their understanding in a text. Next, the mental

image can be outline in a form of diagram, picture or mind mapping. Last, in

discussion session, all the students will involve in discussing. Together they

discuss the text and also their pictures. Based on the results above, it is clear that

visualization strategy support students to comprehend English reading text.

Therefore, experimental research was conducted which is aimed in measuring

whether or not visualization strategy has an effect over conventional way (without

visualization strategy) toward the five semesters of universit y students‟ reading

comprehension.

Visualization which involves students in thinking creatively and critically

in comprehending a text has close relationship with cognitive style. Many studies

have been conducted to investigate the effect of cognitive styles on information

processing. Cognitive style is an actual way an individual perceives and processes

information (Riding and Rayner, 2000). Luk (1998) added that “cognit ive st yle

reflects an individual‟s preferred way of act ively processing and transforming

information, categorizing new knowledge, and integrating it within the memory

structure”. Shi (2011) in her study showed that students‟ cognit ive st yles have

posit ive connect ion with students‟ learning outcomes through the interaction of

cognitive styles and the choice of learning strategies. In addition, cognitive style

also determines person‟s t ypical modes of perceiving, remembering, thinking and

problem solving (Messick, 1976). Therefore, cognitive styles are believed to

describe an individual‟s habitual mode of perceiving, remembering, thinking and

problem solving.  

Keefe (1987) believed that cognitive style acted as control mechanisms

“intrinsic” to the basic informat ion processing system used in learning. Learning

outcomes were organized as the product of interaction between cognition

(intellect) and context (task). Therefore, cognitive style becomes one factor in

visualization which can help students to achieve a better reading comprehension. 

Cognitive style covers two fields; they are field independent (FI) and field

dependent (FD). FI or FD refers to how people perceive and memorize

information (Chapelle, 1995). Lightbown and Spada (2001) define that both fieldindependent

(FI)

and

field-dependent

(FD)

refer

to

whether

an

 

individual tends to

separate details from general background or to see things more holistically.

 

Summerville (in Maghsudi, 2007) explains definition of dimension "field" on

independence and dependence as a broad versus articulated style that reflects "the

extent to which individuals process information influenced by contextual field". It

refers to the process of cognition which the information is being processed while

the latter refers to general intelligence, mental ability, scholastic ability, or

aptitude level.  FI learners have been referred to as “analyt ical, compet itive,

individualistic, task oriented, internally referent, intrinsically motivated,

hypothesis testing, self-structuring, linear, detail oriented, visually perceptive, leftbrain,

 

sequential and inductive” . Meanwhile,  FD learners have been referred to

as “group-oriented, global sensitive to social interactions and criticism,

extrinsically motivated, externally referential, not visually perceptive, non-verbal,

right-brain, simultaneous and deductive dimensions and passive learners who

prefer external information structures” (Hall, 2000).

A result of study conducted by Maghsudi (2007) found out that field

independent students score is higher than field dependent students in an English

achievement test. In line with Maghsudi (2007), the previous research on reading

comprehension related to field independent and field dependent learning styles

was currently carried out by Syafitri (2014). She conducted a quasi-experimental

research to see the effectiveness of the flipped classroom on students‟ reading

comprehension as observed from cognitive styles. The result shows that students

with field independent cognitive styles have better reading comprehension than

those with field dependent cognitive styles. Therefore, it can be said that FI

students can achieve better in reading comprehension than the FD.

Besides learning style, another thing that should be considered as a factor

that may influence the process of teaching and learning English is learner‟s

autonomy. Autonomy is not something that teachers do to learners, and also it is

not a teaching method that should be promoted and acquired through formal

learning environment. Learner autonomy has been considered as an essential part

of learning based on the learners themselves, their needs, interests and reasons to

learn the subject (Guevara de Leon, 2010).

According to Little (1995) autonomy is “a capacit y for detachment, crit ical

reflection, decision-making and independent action. The learner will develop

particular kinds of psychological relation to the process of the learning. The

capacity for autonomy will be displayed both in the way the learner learns and in

the way they transfers what has been learned to wider contexts."

Addit ionallly, Litt lewood (1996) defines autonomy as “learners‟ abilit y

and willingness to make choices independent ly”. He also suggested that: „„abilit y

depends on possessing both knowledge about the alternatives from which choice

have to be made and necessary skills for carrying out whatever choices seem most

appropriate”. Learner responsibilit y is demonstrated through the steps learners

initiate to consciously monitor their own progress and the actions they take to use

available opportunities to their benefit, including classroom activities and

homework (Scharle and Szabo, 2000). Then, willingness depends on having both

the motivation and confidence to take responsibility for the choices required

(Littlewood, 1999). 

The autonomy level of the students may be different from one another

since it is influenced by their belief, motivation and attitude in the process and the

content of learning. Thus, the level of the students‟ autonomy hold plays an

 

important role in language learning since an autonomous learning may influence

their learning achievement.   

Mineishi (2010) did a research on East Asian EFL Learners' Autonomous

Learning and Learner Perception, and takes as its focus autonomy of adult EFL

learners in Japan. They are 290, first year Japanese university students from four

different departments involved in the study. Throughout the last session of class,

all participants were given a questionnaire about learner autonomy. Based on the

test scores, two groups of learners were identified in order to get two significantly

different types of learner samples, successful and less successful. In the result,

there were some differences between successful and less successful learners with

regard to their perception of learner autonomy. Less successful learners tended to

prefer working together in groups, they often felt more hesitant to 'stand out' by

voicing their opinions and questions, they tended to expect the teacher rather than

themselves to be responsible for evaluating how much they had learnt more

strongly than successful learners did. It is proved that learner‟s autonomy level

may influence the process of learning and also the students‟ success in learning

English.

Regarding to the relationship of autonomy, reading comprehension, and

learning style, a research conducted by Zarei & Gahremani (2010) showed that

there was a positive relationship between autonomy level and reading

comprehension. The correlational procedure indicates that there is a positive,

relationship between learner autonomy and reading comprehension. It means that

the participants' reading comprehension increases as their autonomy does.

According to them, one possible reason for this relationship may be that as

learners achieve greater autonomy, they become capable of adopting and using

more efficient strategies to improve their reading comprehension. In line with the

idea, Nematipor (2012) investigated learners‟ autonomy level and its relat ionship

with learning style in a sample of 200 undergraduate students studying at the

Department of Foreign Languages, of Azad University, Iran. The results reveal

learning styles were significantly and positively related to their learner au