A. Background of the Problems
Language plays so important role in human life. Language is considered to be a system of communicating with other people using sounds, symbols and words in expressing meanings, ideas or thoughts. Language has been used by humans as a tool of communication since he was born. As we see, babies use the language by crying. It is characterized by a crying when the baby was hungry, sleepy or over heat. Crying is used as a tool of communication with people around him to convey the desires and his thoughts. Along with the development and growth of the child’s language will also be developed into a well structured language.
Language is necessity to human life and civilization is certainty not possible without it. All sciences depend upon it and also all education in human life is conducted through it. There are many languages in this world. One of them is English.
Nowadays, English language has become the popular language which is learnt by most people in many areas of the world. English is an international language. It is the world’s most widely used language by society for communication and international contact.
In this globalization era, everyone is demanded to prepare a great resources for their life particularly in science and technology. Of course, to compete against a global demanding, the people should have an adequate knowledge and good skills. Therefore, mastering English language both oral and written English actively is necessity for academic and global media communication requirement because it has become compulsory for everyone who wants to compete against the globalization era.
In Indonesia, English is acknowledged as a foreign language. It became an obligated subject that must be learnt by students from elementary school level up to university level. In studying English, students will learn language skills, such as listening, speaking, reading and writing skills, which include by language component, such as grammar.
Grammar is one of English language component that it must be learnt and understood by students. David Nunan says that grammar is generally thought to be set of rules specifying the correct ordering of words at the sentence level. By learning grammar the students will know about system of language so they will be able to combine and build words into meaningful sentence. There are many grammatical categories that must be learnt by students. For example, part of speech, tenses, gerunds, degree of comparisons, and reported speech.
Reported speech is used to report what other people said or thought without reporting the exact word. By learning reported speech definitely students will able to quote somebody’s words.
Therefore, government has attached reported speech in syllabus since grade X in senior high school as a subject matter that must be learnt by students. Students in grade X have been learning English since they were in grade IV in elementary school, so they have known English for 6 years. Theoretically, they have comprehended about the using tenses, adverbs, pronouns, and sentences. So, learning reported speech is easy for them. But reality in the field, there were many students still have difficulties in learning reported speech. They notice that they often do mistakes when they quote the direct into indirect form. Some students still confuse with certain grammatical changes that have to be made by them. Sometimes they feel so hard to decide what kind of tenses, pronoun or adverbs that should be used when they change direct into indirect speech. Many students said that learning reported speech is most difficult one in learning grammar and structure.
Based on the explanation above and problems existed in SMA Negeri 3 Padangsidimpuan about students’ ability in mastering reported speech, the writer was interesting in conduct the research entitled The Analysis on Students’ Ability in Mastering Reported Speech at Grade X in SMA Negeri 3 Padangsidimpuan.