AN ERROR ANALYSIS OF USING PAST TENSES IN NARRATIVE TEXT MADE BY THE TWELFTH GRADERS OF SMA NEGERI 1 TANJUNG MORAWA
1.1 Background of Analysis
Every countries has their own language to communicate. By using language, they can communicate between one another. It means that language is a mean of communication. Bennet (1968: 4) says that language is the most distinctive of human activities. It is difficult to disentangel the components because they spill over into human personality itself. As a starting-point, language may be thought of in broad terms as having many of the characteristics of a code. As such as it depends on the tacit agreement between speaker (or writer) and listener (or reader) that a set of signs, more or less systematised, shall have certain references.
Knapp and Watkins (2005: 29) say that language is always produced, exchanged or received as text; that is, language as a sytem of communication is organised as cohesive units we call texts.
Richards (1985:95) says that errors can be classified to vocabulary (lexical error), pronunciation (phonological error), grammar (syntatic error), misunderstanting of a speaker’s intention or meaning (interpretive error), production of the wrong communicative effect e.g. through the faulty use of speech act or one of the rules of speaking (pragmatic error).
Norrish (1983 : 7) explained errors as follows : “Errors is systematic deviation from the accepted system of the target language. Mistake is non-systematic deviation from the accepted system of a language being learned and it is usually due to human limitation such as tiredness, nervousness, and fatigue”. It means that errors may occur because of the limitation of human being in mastering the target language.
Errors may occur in all components of language such as grammar. Knapp and Watkins (2005:33) say that grammar therefore needs to deal with language from three perspectives: the generic, the textual, and syntactical.
The students sometimes do not realize that they make mistake because of the ignorance of the grammar. The students sometimes face many difficulties in using tenses. The researcher realized that the mistakes or errors that students made in using tenses especially in past tenses need to be analyzed carefully.
Azar (1989: 24) describes that the simple past tense indicates that an activity or situation began and ended at a particular time in the past.
Azar (1989: 24) describes that past continuous tense is both actions occurred at the same time, but one action began earlier and was in progress when the other action occurred. Sometimes the past continuous is used in both parts of a sentence when two actions are in progress simultaneously.
Azar (1989: 39) says that past perfect tense expresses an activity that was completed before another activity or time in the past.
Tenses are needed in english texts. Sometimes students still confuse how to use tense in a sentence. As in narrative text, tenses are very important to describe time in the text. Because a narration tells a story or describes a sequence of events. Smalley and Ruetten (1986:24) say that narration usually refers to telling of a story, the term is used to described the relating of an experience. That experience may be in the past (past narration), or it may be a typical experience (what people usually do), or it may be going on now (present narration).
The writer is interested to choose schools as the location of analysis and research of the students’ error. The research was conducted at SMA Negeri 1 Tanjung Morawa. The reasons to choose this school as location of the research is terms of accesibility and the same research is never conducted in there. Universitas Sumatera Utara
1.2 Formulation of Problems Analysis
The problems of the study which the writer would like to analyze as follows:
1. What kinds of errors are made by the twelfth graders of SMA Negeri 1 Tanjung Morawa in using past tenses in the narrative text?
2. What are the causes of the errors made by the twelfth graders of SMA Negeri 1 Tanjung Morawa in using past tenses in the narrative text?
1.3 Scope of Analysis
In a research, it is very important to limit the scope of analysis to get the relevant data. It will be better by limiting the analysis into the errors of using tenses. Tenses are one of the important parts of grammar in English. In this thesis the writer would like to analyze the errors in using past tenses, especially in simple past tense, past contiuous tense, and past perfect tense in narrative text made by twelfth graders of SMA Negeri 1 Tanjung Morawa.
1.4 Objectives of Analysis
The objectives of the study are:
• To find out the kinds of errors are made by the twelfth graders of SMA Negeri 1 Tanjung Morawa in using past tenses in the narrative text.
• To find the percentage of the errors are made by the twelfth graders of SMA Negeri 1 Tanjung Morawa in using past tenses in the narrative text.
• To find out the causes of errors are made by the twelfth graders of SMA Negeri 1 Tanjung Morawa in using past tenses in the narrative text.
1.5 Significances of the Study
Finding of this study, the writer hopes that this thesis are expected to be useful for students and teachers. After identifying, analyzing and describing the errors it is expected that the problem can be solved and the students can improve their errors that they make and increase their knowledge about tenses, especially about past tenses (simple past tense, past continuous tense, and past perfect tense). Furthermore, this is useful for English teachers to creat and find a better strategy in teaching to determine how far they know the ability of their students’ knowledge. Beside that, this thesis can also be used as a reference for the other researchers who are interested to research the same topic in the future.