SKRIPSI Jurusan Sastra Inggris - Fakultas Sastra UM, 2018

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A Comparative Study of English Department Students' Performance Based on Their Previous High School Background

Randy Levin Virgiawan.


Virgiawan, Randy Levin. 2017. A Comparative Study of English Department Students’ Performance Based on Their Previous High School Background. Sarjana’s Thesis, English Department, Faculty of Letters, State University of Malang. Advisors: (1) Dr. Sintha Tresnadewi, M.Pd, (2) Prof. Dr. H. Gunadi Harry Sulistyo, M.A.


Keywords: Study Background, IPA, IPS, English Performance



In spite of English as a subject is the same within two senior high school programs, IPA (natural science) and IPS (social science) according to both National Curriculum (formerly known as K-13) and the previous KTSP, English as a study program in higher education was categorized as a specific IPS program. This contradicts two things; what English was perceived in senior high school, as it was regarded as a general subject for both programs and also the teaching and learning situation in English Department itself which actually does not see where the students came from nor their backgroud was. This categorization of English in higher education made a subtle assumption that social science students were seen to be more devised to take English program than their counterpart. Furthermore, it could be safely assumed that this gives a supposition that students’ previous high school background could affect and made a difference to their English performance in college level.

This study was conducted to know whether there was a relationship between student’s senior high school backgrounds with their performance as English Department students in college level. The backgrounds defined here were IPA (Natural science) and IPS (Social science). That is, it would see whether there is a significant difference in English score between the students from two parties. In addition, it also aimed to know the students’ perspective towards some issues regarding their English learning before and after they entered the college.

This research used the causal comparative or ex-post facto design. Samples taken were 60 students from English Department of State University of Malang year 2012 until 2015. The data sources used were the Student’s Report Card or Kartu Hasil Studi (KHS) from their second semester. In addition, the researcher also used questionnaire to get the students’ perspective towards their experience in learning English and some issues based on it. The data was then analyzed using SPSS for Windows for its calculation.

The findings show that there was no significant difference in English performance between those two backgrounds. In other words, the study background of students was not related to their performance in college. The same English exposure in students high school was believed to be one of its main factors in causing this indifference. Another potential reason was the implementation of Intensive Course (IC) and the skill courses itself in their college level which minimized, if not eliminated some issues regarding their previous high school backgrounds that could have affected their performance.The students also disagreed with the view that English Department is a specific social science program and opted to see it as a general program open for both backgrounds, in line with English as a subject in senior high school level.

A suggestion proposed by the researcher regarding this research findings was the change of national college entrance examination in Indonesia which placed English Department in IPS category. Alternatively, it was also recommended to re-evaluate the strict dichotomy between IPA and IPS both in secondary and higher education. For future studies, the researcher suggests the future studies be conducted on similar issue, as there are relatively few studies regarding this particular topic in Indonesia.