English is one of the international languages that is used by many people in the world and in many areas of everyday life. Therefore, using English is the easiest way to communicate with people from other countries about many aspects in human life such as technology, economy, social, and politics.
For Indonesia, English is a foreign language. Learning a foreign language is an integrated process that the learner should study the four basic skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. We use it to understand our world through listening and reading and to communicate our feeling, need, and desires through speaking and writing. By having more knowledge about language skill we have much better chance of understanding and being understood and getting what we want and need from these around us.
According to J.D Angelo (1989:5), writing is a form of thinking. It means that writing is an activity to express ideas, issues, events, feeling or thinking to the others through written form. Cohen and Reil in Kusumaningsih(2001:1) say that writing can be defined as communicate act, a way of sharing observation, thought, or ideas with ourselves and others. It is a tool of thinking. By writing we can tell about people, remember the facts and ideas.
Based on the statement above, it can be concluded that writing is expressing ideas, facts, feeling, experience, and thought in written form.
In writing, the aspects include the use of vocabulary, structure of the sentence, composition of the sentence, spelling, and punctuation. These aspects are important to master in order to be able to produce good writing.
Writing, one of the productive skills, is considered difficult, especially writing in a foreign language. According to Axelord and cooper in Ma’mun (2004:5), writing is a complex process and such contains element of mastery and surprise. When students want to write something they should have a lot of information, ideas, and thought in their mind so that they will be able to express them into sentences, paragraphs, and an essay.
The writing ability is the main activity of composition. The writing should be systematic and detail. A knowledge or study about good writing or how to write composition is much needed.
Writing is one of four basic skills. It is very important in teaching and learning English. Writing involves some language components (spelling, grammar, vocabulary, and punctuation). This is in line with what is stated by Braine and Claire May (1996:60), writing clear sentences requires you to learn the rules of English grammar and mechanics such as the correct use of verbs and pronouns, as well as commas and other marks of punctuation.
There are various ways to organize the sentences in a piece of writing. One of them is recount text. Recount text is the form of text that aims at retelling events for the purpose of informing or entertaining. In the recount text, the sentences are usually organized according to time order or chronological order. One thing happens and then another thing happens, and the events are told in the same order.
Based on my experiences, there are some problems found in the field when giving writing materials to the students, especially the recount text.
The first problem is that the students’ writing is not comprehensible, because the content of the composition is not relevant to the topic, the ideas are not clearly stated, the ideas and sentences are not well organized. The second problem is that there are many errors in vocabulary, grammar, and spelling.
Another problem is the students have low motivation and are not interested in doing the task since the writing activities are not interesting. Usually, the students are asked to write sentences and paragraphs without being given some clue so that it is difficult for them to express their ideas on a piece of paper.
Besides that, the students have difficulty at telling their experience. This is because writing is difficult for them since they have to master enough vocabulary, spelling, and grammar.
In reference to the explanations above and the strong desire of finding the solution of these problems, the writer has motivation to do the research in improving the teaching of writing in real class by using picture series as the instructional media. It is hoped that the media improve the students’ ability in writing, especially recount text.
recount text, and it may guide, help and encourage students to express their ideas, opinion, and thought onto paper.