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17 Speech act


(Psycholinguistic Studies)

Dayu Retno Puspita1, Agus Sulaeman2

University of Muhamadiyah Tangerang1,2

dayuretnopuspita@umt.ac.id1, sultanwahyu13@gmail.com2



This research analyzes Lecturer’s Imperative Teaching in teaching English to PGSD students at Muhammadiyah University of Tangerang. Aspects analyzed include the form of speech acts and the meaning of speech acts imperative contained in teaching English. This research uses descriptive method. Data collection techniques used in this study is a recording technique. Researchers record conversations conducted between lecturers and students. This research data comes from conversations between lecturers and students of PGSD. The result of the research shows that politeness strategy applied in English language teaching especially in PGSD student of 6th semester English Course at Muhammadiyah University Tangerang is a strategy of politeness of context. The context found is the compassion of imperative speech acts in the form of forcing, inviting, and pleading with the discovery of three of the four functions of language according to Leech (1993: 162), ie competitive, convivial, and collaborative. However, the commonly used language function is the collaborative language function. The success rate of use of imperative speech acts is very effective in teaching English so that learning can be done well.


1. Background

Language plays an important role in communication. With language, humans can interact with each other. Through language, lecturers can convey a purpose to the students, vice versa. Lecturers can give greetings, questions, praise, and orders to the students. Language activity especially in English teaching process is very precisely studied with the theory of speech act (speech act). Because the activity of speakimg occurs in the context of teaching. A speech event is a form of speech involving two or more parties in a particular time, place and situation (Chaer and Agustina 2004: 62). Meanwhile, according to Austin (1965), the language is not just saying something (saying some thing) but also doing something else (doing some thing), which convey certain intentions, such as sending or asking others to do something requested by speakers. Speech is a pragmatic analysis, a branch of language science that examines the language of the aspects of its use. Cohen (in Hornberger and McKay (1996) defines speech acts as a functional entity in communication, while Yule (1996) states that speech acts as an act done through speech.


2. The Objective

The objective of this research is to analyze Lecturer’s Imperative Teaching in teaching English to PGSD students at Muhammadiyah University of Tangerang.


3. Theoretical Framework

Searle (1976) classifies speech acts based on the speaker’s intent when speaking into five types: 1) Representative is a speech act that binds the speaker to the truth of what he says; 2) The act of speech directive is a speech act intended by the speaker so that the partner said to act according to what is mentioned in his speech; 3) The expressive speech act is a speech act intended for the speaker to be defined as an evaluation of what is mentioned in the speech, including the utterance of thanking, complaining, congratulating, flattering, praising, blaming, and criticizing; 4) Commissive speech acts are speech act which binds its speaker to carry out all the things mentioned in his utterances, eg swearing, pledging, threatening, declaring ability, vowing; 5) Declaration of speech acts is a speech act intended by the speaker to create new things (status, circumstances, etc.).

Some grammarians use other terms that are basically not much different from the term imperative sentence, such as Alisjahbana and Gorys Keraf using the term sentence command. Alisjahbana (1978) interpreted the phrase of command as saying that its contents ruled, coerced, ordered, invited, requested, that the ordered person do what is meant in command. Leech (1993: 162) classifies the function of illustrative speech act into four types, namely competitive, convivial, collaborative and conflictual. The meaning of the four functions of speech acts are: 1) Competitive is the objective of competing to compete with social goals such as asking, commanding, and begging; 2) The convention is an illocutional goal that coincides with social goals such as thanking, congratulating, offering, inviting, welcoming, and greeting; 3) Collaborative (collaboration) is the objective of ignoring social objectives such as announcing, instructing, and ordering, demanding, imposing, reporting; 4) Conflicting (contradictory) is the purpose of illocution contrary to social goals such as rebuking, railing, and nagging, threatening, accusing, condemning, cursing.

Research relevant to this research is research conducted by Iwan Khairi Yahya with title directive speech acts in the interaction of teaching and learning subjects Indonesian language and literature in SMA Negeri 1 Sleman Yogyakarta. The results showed that the use of question types and questioning functions were used more when compared with the use of other types of speech acts and functions. The types of speech acts found in the directive include the types of requests, questions, orders, prohibitions, permission, advice. The functions of the directive speech acts found include the functions of: requesting, pleading, praying, asking, interrogating, instructing, demanding, restricting, approving, granting, condoning, allowing, advising, advising, asking and demanding, asking and directing, inviting and praying, directing and asking, directing and Demanding, directing and advising, and the latter allowing and suggesting.

Subsequent research relevant to this research conducted by Ratni Indah Suryantini with the title of expressive speech acts on the interaction of teacher learning and grade 1 elementary school. The result of the research are: (1) expressive speech form on teacher learning interaction and 1st grade students of SD Negeri Purworejo and SD Negeri Gemolong 1 academic year 2011/2012 number 21 expressive speech data with intent to congratulate, praise, blame and condolence, (2) ) Expressive speech strategies used in the interaction of teacher learning and 1st grade students of SD Negeri Purworejo and SD Negeri Gemolong 1 academic year 2011/2012 is a direct and indirect expressive speech strategy with news, question and command mode.


4. Methodology

This research is qualitative research with descriptive method. This research data is a speech in the process of learning to teach English. The entry examined is the lecturer’s imperative speech. Technique used in data collection is a technique of free libat ably proficient, recording techniques and record techniques. The data is obtained directly by recording the dialog or lecturer’s speech during the learning process takes place. Once data is collected, data analysis is performed. In this research, data collection method used is simak method and skill method. Methods refer to have basic techniques tangible techniques tapping (Mahsun, 2005: 90). Technique tapping is called as a basic technique in the method refer to the essence of the dye is realized by tapping. Researcher got the data done by tapping the use of language of a lecturer and student. In addition, the researchers also used the method skillfully. Method of provision of data with skill method caused by way taken in collecting data that is in the form of conversation between researcher with informant (Mahsun, 2005: 90). The skill method has the basic technique of fishing technique, because the expected conversation as the implementation of the method is only possible if the researcher gives stimulation to the informant to generate the language phenomenon that the researcher hopes. Data analysis using this pragmatic method aims to describe imperative politeness in the interaction of lecturers and students of PGSD. This method is also used as a supporting method of descriptive research used by researchers. The results of data analysis of imperative politeness research of lecturers and students are presented informally. The findings of research are in the form of imitative speech acts and the meaning of imperative speech acts.



The act of imperative speech is a form of speech that serves to express or demonstrate attitudes in the form of forcing, inviting, enjoining, urging, pleading, suggesting and governing with the discovery of three of the four functions of language according to Leech (1993: 162), namely competitive, convivial, and Collaborative.


Data 1: Deceive Imperative Forms Collaborative Functions

Lecturer : Who can explain briefly our last lesson / topic?

Student : (silent)

Lecturer : Come on. Nobody remembers our last lesson?

Angga, were you in my class last week?

Student A : Yes, Ma’am

Lecturer : What did we discuss last week?

Student A : parts of body

Lecturer : Yes, and I hope you still remember who prepared the pictures

of parts of body.



When the lecturer asked about last week’s lecture materials, all the students in the class were silent and no one answered. Seeing this, the lecturer immediately acted by forcing the student well with the words “come on. Nobody remembers our last lesson? “. From the form of forced speech above, the function in accordance with the speech is a collaborative function (working together) that aims to require cooperation between students and lecturers so that lectures can run smoothly.


Data 2: Imperative Imperative Tasks form invites Conventional Functions

Lecturer : Now, it’s time for exercise take out your exercise book.

Student : Yes, ma’am.

Lecturer : Open your module and do exercise 5. This is going to be

group work. so please make a group of four people.

Student : yes

Lecturer : Do you have a question?

Student A : Should we do all questions?

Lecturer : Yes. There are only five questions in the exercise.



When the lecturer has explained the course materials in front of the class and some students ask questions. Then, the lecturer gives the task of doing the exercises and forming the group to discuss with each group. Then the students asked to confirm the instruction of the teacher is whether the matter in doing all. Meanwhile, the purpose of group formation in doing the exercises so they can discuss, cooperate and solve problems together.


Data 3: Speech Imperative imperative forms Collaborative Functions

Lecturer : Well, students, the bell is ringing. We have to stop here.

Student : I’m not finished with the exercise.

Lecturer : ok, listen all. Those who are not finished with the exercise can

not leave the class. You have to stay here and finish the


Student : How about us? We have finished.

Dosen : Those who have finished can submit your work to me and you

can leave the class. See you tomorrow.



When the bell rang, the lecturer asked all the students to stop their work. While there are some students still have not completed their task. While some students have already done the task before the bell rang. The lecturer asks the students who have completed the task so that the task can be gathered and they can leave the class. From the above urgent form of speech, the function associated with the utterance is a collaborative function (in collaboration). The relationship between context and function in the form of the above speech, that is, the lecturer wants the student to be able to complete the task as soon as the bell sounds and the time to finish the task is over.



Based on the results of data analysis above, can be drawn some conclusions from this article. Among these are the politeness strategies applied in teaching English, especially in the 6th semester PGSD students at Muhammadiyah University of Tangerang into a strategy of politeness of context when it is found the politeness of imperative speech acts in the form of force, invite, and urges with the discovery of three of the four functions of language according to Leech (1993: 162), ie competitive, convivial, and collaborative. However, the frequently used language function is a collaborative language function. The success rate of use of imperative speech acts is very effective in teaching English so that learning can be done well.





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Chaer, Abdul dan Agustina. 2004. Sosiolinguistik Perkenalan Awal. Jakarta: PT. Rineka Cipta.

Cohen, A.D. (1996). Dalam N. H. Hornberger & S. L. McKay. Sociolinguistics and Language Teaching. Cambridge: CUP

Leech, Geoffrey. 1993. Prinsip-Prinsip Pragmatik. Jakarta: Universitas Indonesia.

Lavinson, SC. 1994. Pragmatics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Mahsun. 2005. Metode Penelitian Bahasa: Tahapan, Strategi, Metode, dan Tekniknya. Jakarta: PT Raja Grafindo Persada.

Searle, J.R. 1976. A Classification of Illocutionary Acts dalam Language in Society 5. Great Britain: University of California.

Wijana, I Dewa Putu. 1996. Dasar-Dasar Pragmatik. Yogyakarta: Andi.

Yule, George. 1996. Pragmatics. Oxford: Oxford University Press


21 Improving the students pronunciation


(An Action Research at Tenth Grade Students of SMK Karya Bahana Mandiri Bekasi)


Noening Poejilestari





The aim of this research is to solve the English pronunciation problem. Besides, this research is also to know the effectiveness of using choral drill technique in teaching pronunciation. The research is conducted at SMK Karya Bahana Mandiri Bekasi, in semester two of academic year 2011/2012. Data needed is obtain from direct and indirect observation and collaboration. In the direct observation, the data is from field observation. In the indirect one, the data is from the test result. Meanwhile in collaboration, the collaborator informs teaching and learning process through choral drill technique. Based on the data collected it is found that some students are active in pronunciation practice through choral drill technique. Further, the students have more desire and motivation to improve their pronunciation skill. Looking up the evaluation table, the pronunciation from twenty one students in three cycles can be explained; in the first cycle, there are only three students (15%) who achieve the standard of minimum score. In the second cycle, there are nine students (45%) who achieved the standard minimum score. While in the third cycle, all of them (100%) can achieve the standard minimum score. Furthermore, the writer concludes that the use of choral drill technique can be one of the appropriate approach to teach English pronunciation for the students.


1. Background

Language as means of communication is very useful and flexible. It is one of a macro thing that people need to communicate each other. Language is really rich and beautiful, because by the language we can express almost everything such as thought, action, ideas, emotion, information, etc. This activity indicates that language is essential thing to be mastered. Language can also be used to transmit culture from generation to generation. This world consist of hundreds of countries which consider has own language. So, to transfer a lot of information from or to different countries needed understandable language called international language.

As an international language, English is used in communication among people all over the world. English is also used in written texts and books as the source of knowledge that people really need. It is a fact that English is the most frequent language used in international communication, because there are a big number of the countries that use English as a means of daily communication, and there are the number of non-native speakers that use English in incidental communication, especially in international communication.

The function of language including English is to communicate each other. So, if someone’s pronunciation is not correct, he or she cannot transfer the information to other people. That is why, learning pronunciation the words of the language clearly and correctly is one of important part of learning English. Pronunciation is one of the most important in sub system of language and one of the kinds of skill that must be taught to the students, especially in English as an international foreign language.

Pronunciation is more important than phonetic. Stress and intonation are as important as the sounds themselves and should be taught from the very beginning. Whether pronunciation needs special attention or focus in language teaching depends on many factors especially learner factors.

Learners whose native language has similar sounds to English are less likely to have problems with pronunciation. Learners who have more exposure to English need less focus on pronunciation. Adult learners need more focus on pronunciation because they are more likely to substitute English sounds with sounds their native language.

Pronunciation is always important not only for beginning students, not only when it interferences with intelligibility, but at all times. Before the students start drilling in oral expression, it is important for them to develop an adequate pronunciation of language. This will be better to do beginning, so every word they utter sounding more and more habit and no faulty of pronunciation should be made can be very difficult and most time consuming.

Unfortunately, students really hard to pronounce the word correctly, although they have learned English since they were in the elementary school. That is the reason why the writer chooses the students’ pronunciation.

Also known as listen and repeat, choral drills are mainly used for modeling target language. The teacher says a word or sentence out loud and students try to repeat it verbatim with correct pronunciation, stress and intonation. The teacher may even mark the utterance on the board with phonetic script, stressed syllables and rising or falling intonation; possibly even tapping out the rhythm of the stressed syllables while enunciating.

Choral repetition is a commonly used method of drilling. Students simply have to repeat words or phrases after the teacher. This is a good method because it means that students are given excellent model pronunciation immediately before they are asked to respond.


2. The Objective

The objectives of this paper are to present the outline program and its implementation of choral drill technique in improving students’ pronunciation. This paper also present steps of classroom action research in three cycles which each cycle consist of four steps; planning, acting, observing, and reflecting.


3. Theoretical Framework

3.1 Pronunciation

Good pronunciation of a language is important. Articulating foreign language will always very dissonant to all beginner because they do not want to give revolution change assumption. Student bravely to articulate is very important step to teach and everyone who learns foreign language because will be assisting them to study good uttering or good speech. Daniel Jones said that “good speech as a way of speaking with is clearly intelligible to all ordinary people, but speech is a way of talking with is difficult for most people to understand, it is caused by mumbling or lack of definiteness of utterance” (Daniel Jones, 1986:5). Teaching pronunciation must be interesting for the students, if the teacher can give an interesting menu in the learning process. The students’ ability will be created and supported progressively. As Chambers state that “Pronunciation is the act or a manner of pronouncing a word, sound, and letter. Pronunciation is also the correct way of pronouncing a word. Sound in a given language, a set of symbols indicating how a word is to be pronounced” (Chambers, 1997:110).

Pronunciation is also pronouncing authoritatively or proclaiming, declaration, promulgation, a pronouncement. According to Chambers dictionary, pronunciation is the act manner of pronouncing words, sound and letter. Pronunciation is also the correct way of pronouncing a word, sound in a given language or a set of symbols indicating how a word is to be pronounced.

According to Webster, pronunciation is also the act or manner of pronouncing something articulate utterance or the way or ways in which unit language is usually spoken or on the basis of analogy would be spoken by person qualified by education or otherwise to be speakers worthy for imitation. According to Jody Pearsall, pronunciation is the way in which a word is pronounced. Spelling does not determine pronunciation.

English pronunciation sometimes is difficult rules existing but not reliable because many possible exception. English pronunciation can sometimes be a little tricky or not consistent. Mainly for two reasons, the first is that English has many homophones, words that sound alike but don’t look alike. When we hear rain, someone may mean rain, reign, or rein. The other reason is that English words often pronounced differently from quite closely related words in other language. In learning English pronunciation the students should have to produce receivable pronunciation.

3.2 Aspects of Pronunciation There are four aspects in teaching pronunciation, they are :

a) The Sound of The Language

Each language has its own distinctive set of categories and part of the process of leaning a new language is learning the significant sounds. The person who begins the study of foreign language is faced with the problem of having to produce unfamiliar sounds. A system that would represent each different sound with differet symbol would help him identify and imitate those sounds.

N.E. Collinge said, “sound is the perception of the movement of air particles which causes a displacement of the eardrum. Certain concepts in acoustics (frequency, amplitude, waveform analysis and resonance) provide the bases for an understanding of the structure of these sound waves. The subject is the dealth with by fry (N.E. Collinge, 1990:3). While according to Mark Hancock, “a sound is a phoneme. In teaching pronunciation it is often necessary to make it clear when you are talking about sounds and when you are talking about letters” (Mark Hancock, 1995:5).

b) Stress

Stress is emphasis given to syllables in words. Often words that look very similar in two languages actually have the stress in a different place, making them sound quite different. It is useful in teaching about stress to use symbols to represent stress patterns. The stress patterns of words can change in the context of speech under the influence of surrounding words. For example, the stress in the sixteen /s;”ti:n/ may be lost in the phrase sixteen days. This is called stress shift. Stress is the first vocal features we will deal with. Stress can also change the meaning of a sentence “He won’t go” implies a meaning different from ”He won’t go”. In English, proper use of stress enables you to clearly understand the difference between such words as the noun present (a gift) and the verb present (to introduce, to offer)


c) Rhythm

Rhythm is the way a language sounds as a result of the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in speech. Rhythm are different between languages and contribute to the characteristic sound different languages have. Rhythm is created by the strong stresses or beats in a sentence. In many languages, the rhythm is syllable timed. This means that all vowels in all syllables are pronounced almost equally

d) Intonation

Intonation patterns involve pitch and are responsible for the melody of the language. Speakers frequently depend more on intonation pattern to convey their meaning than on the pronunciation of the individual vowel and consonants. For example, in English the same words can be used to make a statement or ask a question. If your vocal intonation rises, you are asking a question and become the question, when you raise the pitch of your voice at the end (Paulette Dale, 1985:83).

3.3 The Goal of Teaching Pronunciation

We come now to the question of what goals should be set for individual learners. How ‘good’ should the learner’s pronunciation aim to be? Whereas some time ago it might have been said that the goal should always be native – like pronunciation, even though it was realized that this would be achieved by relatively few, most people now think that this is an in appropriate goals for learners. The great majority of learners will have a very practical purpose for learning English and will derive no particular benefit from acquiring a native-like pronunciation.

Learners who want to work as air traffic controllers or telephone operators, for example will need to have a pronunciation which easily to understood in less than ideal conditions. In these situation there is a limited opportunity for repetition and second tries; indeed, these can be dangerous.

While native-like pronunciation may be goal for particular learners, and while we should never actively discourage learners from setting themselves ‘high’ goals, for the majority of learners a far more reasonable goals is to be comfortably intelligibly. Let us focus on the word ‘confortably’ it is significant that in English and many others language we can make a distinction between ‘hearing’ and ‘listening’. Hearing requires more presence plus ears, listening requires work; we can ask someone to ‘listen carefully’ and accuse someone of not listening to what we have said. We all realize that some people are more difficult to listen to than others and when we listen to a foreigner speaking our native language we expect to have work a little bit harder. But if we have too hard a time – if the person pronounces in such a way that we have to constantly ask for repetition – than at some stage we reach our threshold of tolerance. We become irritated, and maybe even resentful of the effort that is being required of us. In some cases we may be willing to be patient and ultra-tolerant, in some cases we may have to be, but for the most part we aspects conversation with non-native speaker to be ‘comfortable’. In setting goals for our learners we must consider the effect of mispronunciation on the listener and the degree of tolerance listeners will have for this.

From the statement above the writer concludes, the goal of pronunciation is the native-like pronunciation which is important especially to the learners who plan to become an English teacher that requires native like accent, even though they have to work little bit harder to get native like accent.

In teaching English pronunciation there are some factors that affect pronunciation learning that should pay attention by the teacher, as follow:

1) The native language

2) The age factor

3) Amount of exposure

4) Phonetic ability

5) Attitude and identity (David Nunan:10).

In teaching English – especially teaching English pronunciation through drill technique – to be more successful the teacher not only should have to take into account certain factors (biological, personal, socio cultural, pedagogic mother tongue influence and setting realistic goals) but also the roles of the teacher. Those are the teacher as a controller, assessor, organizer, prompter, participant, resource, tutor and investigator.

3.4 The Teaching Pronunciation and Its Problem

Why is it usually so extraordinary difficult for students to learn sound or another? The first reason, of course, is that some sounds of new or target language do not exist in the learner’s native language. The ability of students to produce some words should be practiced in class. The other problems, the students feel bored in studying English especially pronunciation. It happens because the students do not like to study English, so they are lazy to practice and to pronounce English words.

The method that is usually used by the teacher to be the cause of success or failure in language teaching, but the extreme has a view that methods are a little importance. There is the view that the teacher is the only important element, methods are only as good as their teacher.

Pronunciation teaching forms a part of many sequences where students study language form. When we model words and phrase we draw our students attention to the way they are said; one of the things we concentrate on during an accurate reproduction stage is the students pronunciation.


3.5 Drill Technique

Drills went out of fashion with audiolingualism because they became associated with mindless and repetitive approaches to teaching. However, drills definitely do not have to be mindless, and they offer a welcome opportunity for learners to get their tongues around new language without the extra strain of trying to communicate. Most learners love them, as long as they are done confidently and do not dominate teaching.

For many teachers, drilling conjures images of a teacher standing next to the whiteboard saying a word and students merely repeating it, again and again. Drill is a form of controlled oral practice involving cues and short responses and focusing on one specific language point which is given only after the initial presentation and before freer forms of practice (such as role plays, discussions, etc). This is supported by Paulston by stating that drill is the automatic use of manipulative patterns and is commensurate with the assumption that language learning is habit formation. It involves the method of learning through instrumental conditioning by immediate reinforcement of the right response (Christina Brat Paulston, 1965:130)

Drill relatively are easy when engaged in pronunciation drill and provide students with a breathing space during which they can converse their mental energy and also might simply involved in that drill.

Pronunciation drill has an important place in the teaching of pronunciation as mean to help the students on articulation become more automatic and routine. It is seen as a step towards more meaningful, communicative practice. “Tobe truly effective drill has to move beyond the simple identification and mimicking the contextualized sound contrast characteristics of input (Rodney H. Jones)

The drill can also be made more lively and memorable by concentrating not just on oral and aural modalities but also including visual representations and training in the awareness of sensation. The benefit of dill may depend on learners aptitude for oral practice.

Teaching pronunciation through drill technique has an important place in the teaching of pronunciation as a means to help articulation become more automatic. This technique regarded better than other existing technique as a step toward more meaningful communicative practice. In teaching English pronunciation through choral drill technique the teacher first goal should be to give assistance during the regular speaking lesson to the students who are having difficult with particular sounds. The particular sounds that the students will find difficult will differ for different language background.


3.6 Choral Drill

Listen and repeat drills also known as choral drills are typically used for modeling language. These drills occur when teachers say a word, or sentence out loud and students repeat what has been said. The danger of choral drills is that they can become mind-numbing for both teachers and students. The good news is that there are many ways to spice up choral drills.

The goal through choral drill technique is accuracy and the standard is high. However, a lot of listen and repeat can become very boring and demotivating, especially for long and difficult sentences. For a very long sentence, one useful technique is to have students repeat one extra phrase at a time starting from the back of the sentence.

Another use for corralling is to asses students’ ability. It is very difficult to repeat language you do not know. Try it with someone who speaks a language you do not understand. Get them to say a sentence in their mother tongue and try to repeat what they say accurately. This is a very mechanical form of drilling, and as such students may be able to complete them without much thought or understanding of what they are repeating.

3.7 Classroom action research

The classroom action research is a part of action research which teacher, with collaborator, takes a part in educational improvement and brings a good effect for quality and quantity improvement in a classroom activity. The teacher directly observes the students to get the improvement in the classroom. Hollingsworth states “classroom action research is to bring a theory and a practice of improvement educational system, including participatory research, collaborative inquiry, emancipator research, action learning, and contextual action research, but all are variations on a theme.”( Hollingsworth, 1997:205) It is said that in action research, researcher teacher has to put simply theory and action, action of the research is ‘learning by doin’ – a group of people identify a problem, do something to resolve it, see how successful; their effort were, and if not satisfied, try again.


4. Methodology

This research use the qualitative paradigm in the classroom action research. The subject of the research is all of the students at the accountancy tenth grade of SMK Karya Bahana Mandiri. There are 21 students in accountancy class which is consist of 2 boys and 19 girls.



At the first cycle, most of students still showed their lack of attention and interest to the subject given and they were too shy to practice. But then after they practiced the dialogue, they began to show their interest once at the step. It was showed through the second cycle, where some students started to practice and choose the difficult word based on their self before practice. Finally they participated fully and were active during the lesson. In the activity all students got the same opportunity to pronounce the words. They happily involved themselves and freely to pronounce although there are some students who have low motivation in the following kind of activities in the teaching learning process; it is shown by some of the students that do not have books that used, they are also lazy to learn English and there are limitation and lack of the knowledge of English.

In this research, the writer found that there were some benefits of using the technique in teaching pronunciation for students such as; it is enjoyable and interesting for the students, they play in pairs, interact in pairs and correct mistake each other. The course lets the students to address their own difficult words by underlined them before practice. This is very useful for them because they can get the good pronunciation from the teacher.

In the classroom activities, the writer could see the progress of pronunciation ability from the students. There was increasing in the amount of students who achieve the target of minimum score from cycle 1, 2 and 3. The writer took their score from exercise that they have done. It was indicated that teaching pronunciation through choral drill technique reached better and better in pronunciation practice. And as the result of the research, the writer took the students score based on their pronunciation practice that the writer evaluate and divided into some of categories, there are utterance, stressing, rhythm, and intonation



In learning English, students are less motivation and they tend to be bored in the class activity, because of that the writer used choral drill technique that can improve the students’ pronunciation skill along the learning process. Besides, the choral drill technique can help the students to find out the certain information or knowledge in short time in practicing pronunciation. Through choral drill technique, the students can study continuously and disciplinary in understanding the dialogue with the efforts to pronounce well.

Implementation of using choral drill technique in teaching learning process to improve pronunciation in grade tenth worked smoothly and as planned. Although at the first meeting of a classroom’s atmosphere was not conducive enough but it can be overcome, it is because the students had got habitual with the new technique which is taught and it can be seen from the increasing of average score which is in cycle 1 the average score is 54.25, whereas there were only three (3) students who can achieve the standard of minimum score. In cycle 2 the average score is 69,5, whereas there were nine (9) students who can achieve the standard of minimum score and in cycle 3 the average score is 100, whereas all of the students (19) can achieve the standard of minimum score.

Choral drill technique make the students encourage to communicate in English. They are not shy anymore and more confident to communicate in English even though sometimes they still make mistake

in teaching learning pronunciation using choral drill technique, the writer asked the students to study the material given and prepare themselves to practice with their friends, but before it the writer asked the students to underlined the words that they think difficult to pronounce and the writer will give the correct pronunciation of the words. the students more encourage and more active when the writer gave the material by work in pair, they more confidence to improve their ability and to practice the words in pairs.



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16 Language imageries/symbols


Mangantar Sitohang





This research attempts to analyze Shakespeare language symbols/imagery in King Lear (Tragedy Drama). It is generally agreed that there are always many factors why a playwright is still remembered from a century to next centuries, and among many factors that could make someone always well-known/remembered is his/her language factor beside the theme or the messages s/he wanted to convey, of course. King Lear had succeeded to choose the right rhetoric devices or signs in his period and wonder many people are still amazed / inspired up to now due to his unique and rich language. His symbols / imagery, combined with verse and prose in King Lear can express penetratingly the essence of a thing, emotion or situation in term of another, thus convey the sharpness of one’s own vision and sensitivity one’s reader or spectator, again the imagery / symbol here, are connected aspects or angles of people’s lives, and all are interwoven beautifully, and again it’s the language quality of King Lear that makes the researcher is tempted to observe it.


1. Background

Among many world class/great playwrights, Shakespeare is the only one labelled as the greatest plyawright, As Martin Lings said “ Shakespeare has been defined more than once as ‘ the most famous writer in the world’ . Admittedly, fame does not coincide with execellence; but he is by common concent- we migth even say international consent- a dramatist who has never been surpassed “ (The Secret of Shakespeare). Even though he was born many centuries ago, he is still recognised / known as the greatest playwright in England and in the world up to now (Samekto, SS,MA. page 21 1986).

His works are still popular up to present, that’s because of his brilliant style to write very rich themes and issues and to show interesting techniques in Characterisation, Structure, Imagery and Verse and Prose in almost all his works, and his works still can be enjoyed by his readers / listeners or moviegoers.

The form of his work is unique and incomparable, impaired by faults as brilliant as the colours in the golden pheasant’s plumage. He was afflicted by all the diseases of style proper to his age, one after another, as well as by it’s happy bravery, and blended them in a style entirely his own, which transforms it’s constituent elements and harmonizes disparaties as numerous though they had been assembled in each play in fulfillment of a wager. (History of English Literature, Legouis &Cazamian’s 1957: 435)

Shakespeare is like food, we take very much for granted. It is only when we come across a passage of a particular intensity in a play that we question how that language has been employed to achieve the result, just as it is for exotic dishes that we enquire about the ingredients. To many, therefore Shakespeare may well seem more familiar than most modern dramatists. This situation is accentuated by the assimilation of so many Shakespearean expressions in our daily language (N.F.Blake, 1989 : 7). So his language style to impress and entertain his readers is beautifull and unique, and up to the present many famous quotations from him are popular and inspiring to us, such as; What’s in a name? That which we call arose . Parting is such a sweet sorrow. All that glitters is not gold. To be or not to be. The course of true love never did run smooth , Take her or leave her, Although the last but but not the least (the last two taken from King Lear) The above Shakespeare’s sayings are are really refreshing and easy to remember and they are eternal even though they were created hundreds years ago.

In King Lear, Shakespeare always displays the magnificent range of his linguistic power and linguistic richness, and they are almost inexhaustible and King Lear itself contains some of the highest peak of Shakespeare’s poetic art, and as a result his words often contain many connotations. In short the language found is diverse and alive. So the researcher is curious to investigate and reveal how Shakespeare shows the diversities of his language in King Lear and to convey his exact and alive message in the right context.

As mentioned previously that much of Shakespeare’s fame or popularity up to now is much influenced or colored by his language style that makes almost all his works are still memorable and King Lear is without exception. Again, Shakespeare’s language diversities and richness found in King Lear are very rich or colorful, and to mention some such as; poetic and verse elements, register (language variety) and symbolism/imagery. And researchers only focus in this investigation, deals with symbolism/imagery, as symbolism/imagery itself has many types/kinds and also has slippery references in real life situation. So in King Lear, the presence of symbolism/imagery can often express penetratingly the essence of a thing, emotion or situation in terms of another, and thus to convey the sharpness of one’s vision and sensitivity to his/her target audience. And this play has the vibrant web of imagery which makes story becomes compelling, dark, harsh, and disturbing, as the readers / audience are also challenged to grab both denotative messages and connotative messages as well.

Their uses in the play are to portray the characters habit or personality and again the presence of imagery certainly describes ideas and object aptly but at the same time, it gives special effect or emphasis and their messages can be slippery at the same time also entertaining. Actually almost the characters in this play use/utter many imageries/symbols, but researcher just focuses the symbols used/uttered by Lear, as His tragedy becomes the main the theme of this play.

2. The Objectives

Based on the background above, the objectives of this study are to find out the symbols/imageries which are used in King Lear used by King Lear Himself and to find out what emotions the symbols signify.

3. Theoretical Framework

The old literary works language characteristics are more unique, such as in King Lear than the more up-to –date ones. Their uniqueness is so abundant so it needs some techniques or approaches to make it more clear, especially dealing with imagery/language symbols meaning analysis, so here the researcher would first see language symbol analysis perspectives from some inter related disciplines.

3.1. Stylistics.

One way of relating language with literature is through Stylistics, which H. G. Widdowson has described as being an area of mediation between two disciplines. The disciplines that he refers to are those of linguistics and literary criticism and Widdowson explains the link between linguistics and language, on the one hand, and literary criticism on the other in the form of a diagram.


Disciplines: Linguistics Literary Criticism



Subjects : Literature Language

( English ) ( English )

The above frame by Widdowson wants to show us that Stylistics is neither a discipline nor is it a subject. The diagram shows that Stylistics can not only facilitate literature and language as subjects to move both linguistics and literary criticism but can also provide for the progression of toward a student better comprehension and appreciation of literature. So it can be paraphrased, that Stylistics, a method of textual interpretation in which of place is assigned to language uses, and the purpose of stylistics is to explore/investigate the language, and more specifically, to explore/investigate creativity language uses or phenomenon especially in literary texts. (Paul Simpson, 2004 : 3)

3.2. Meaning perspectives

From Semantics angle, meaning perspectives partly can be observed from three layers, they are reference, denotative and connotative meanings. Reference is the relation between a language expression and whatever expression pertains to it in a particular situation of language use, including what a speaker may imagine. Denotation identifies the central aspect of a meaning which everybody generally agrees about, while connotation refers to the personal aspect of meaning, the emotional association that the arouses. Connotations vary according to the experience of individuals but, because people do have common experience, some words have shared connotations. And it is widely agreed that connotation meaning will have to do both emotional and personal meanings/messages

3.2.1. Semiotics, Signifier and Signified

The process of creating and interpreting symbols, sometimes called signification which is far wider than language, Scholars like Ferdinand de Saussure (1974) have stressed that the study of linguistic meaning is part of this general study of the use of the sign system, and this general study is called semiotics. Semioticians investigate the type of relationship that may hold between sign and the object it represents, or, in de Saussure terminology between a signifier and it’s signified.

The following is Ferdinand de Saussure’s semiotic triangle showing the theory of indirect relationship of reference

Thought (concept)


Symbol referent

3.2.2. Reference and denotation.

In every language there are words like tree and run and red which seems to have an obvious relation to objects and events and description of the things in the world around us. We are likely to think that a language consists of a large number of words and each these words has a direct correlation with something outside of a language which is its meaning. And if we communicate with one another through language, it must be that we all have the same ‘idea’ or ‘concept’ associated with each word. And according to Charles W. Kreider, the best known elaboration of this view was made by Odgen and Richard (1923) who developed a mentalistic theory about meaning, an attempt to explain meaning in term of what is in people’s mind. Their explanation centers around this scheme:



Word Object


Odgen and Richard called the bond between word and the concept an ‘association’ the bond between concept and object ‘reference’, and the bond between object and word ‘meaning’.

1.4. Imagery Language.

Imagery, as literary term is difficult to describe with precision, because the way it is used is often loosely, but according to Richard, 1997: 173 Imagery language is words or sentences that produce strong picture–like images may be easier to remember than those without visual imaginary. So in broad sense, it can be used to describe any writing which is descriptive, and help the readers to visualize a scene and to experience a playwright’s experience.

But basic essence of imagery is to create a particular picture in readers / audience’s mind. And the most condensed form of imagery can be found in figures of speech, although not all figures of speech involve imagery. Another form imagery is in the use of symbolism. Symbolism is a use of a language in which an image represent something, by the presence of symbolism word or words / sentence can evoke the meaning into more colorful or stronger effects. In King Lear both symbolism and imagery become important parts/elements in almost in every act and scene, and these elements are perhaps King Lear’s icon, and make it as Shakespeare’s greatest works.

1.5. Methodology

In this observation, the researcher uses descriptive discourse analysis to describe the theories related to this research topic.

4. Methodology

This study aimed to get the understanding about the symbols/imageries which are used in King Lear used by King Lear Himself and what emotions the symbols signify. Research methodology used is a qualitative method



Before the researcher attempts to reveal the presence of the imageries/symbols in King Lear, the researcher would like to tell at glance the tragedy of King Lear, more especially in relation with the uses of symbols/imageries , and this following is the very brief summary; “Realizing that He is no more young, King Lear plan to inherit his Kingdom into three parts, as He has three children (daughters), they are Goneril ( the first daughter), Regan ( the second) and the third and King Lear’s most favorite among the three, and before the King Himself announced his total authority about the division of His Kingdom to his daughters, He demanded to hear/listen about his daughters’ commitment for the King publicly/openly when he retired, the first two daughters, Goneril and Regan very successfully pleased their father by giving very beautiful words/promises, and the following Goneril’s reply to King’s demand:

Sir, I love you more than word can wield the matter:

Dearer than eyesight, space and liberty;

Beyond what can be valued, rich or rare… (1.1. 52-55 )

Having listened to Goneril’s flattery beautiful pledge (promise), Lear is very satisfied and happy and He gives Goneril’s portion as already planned.

The second daughter, Regan gives no different flattering verse forms, and a bit longer, hoping to get more attention from the King.

Regan :

I am made of that self metal as my sister,

And prize me at her worth, in my true heart

I find she names my very deed of love;

Only she comes too short: that I profess

…I am alone felicitate

In your dear highness’ love. (1.1. 65 -70 ).


When demanding the open commitment from his most favorite daughter, Cordelia, She simply responds

Cordelia answers: Nothing, my Lord.

Lear: Nothing?

Cordelia: Nothing.

Lear: Nothing will come of nothing: speak again.

Cordelia: Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave

My heart into my mouth: I love your majesty

According to my bond; no more no less…( 1.1 .87-90 ).

Upon hearing his favorite reply, that is totally different from hope/expectation King is upset and furious, and the King final decision is not to divide his kingdom into three but just for Goneril and Regan and Cordelia gets nothing. The King even let someone, King of France marry Cordelia without any dowry and he also curses his own daughter. Both Goneril and Regan are very happy of their misjudgment for his transfer of power. To them, the transfer of power is not total yet as the King still keeps half his knights under his control and Goneril and Regan question about their insincere stance. They both want to have all the knights from their father, but their father reject ,and then Goneril and Regan send their knights to attack the King’s knights and the is defeated even thought is already helped King of France so at last the king becomes homeless as, Goneril and Regan don’t let their father stay with them in turns as the King once hoped before giving his power to them. At last King realized his abundant mistakes, the first two daughters are heartless to their father, beside they also illicit lover for the man called Edmund and of course these are the triggers of all symbols/imageries presence. So mostly it is the King who articulates the symbols and the same time, it is for Goneril and Regan , the symbols are addressed to.

Actually, there are some other characters who use/articulate symbols or who get those symbols in King Lear but the researcher’s focus is to Lear who articulates the symbols and his three daughters to whom the symbols are addressed. Disappointed by his favorite daughter reply, the king is furious, then he swears Cordelia by saying

1-3. “For , by the sacred radiance of the sun, the mysteries of Hecate, and the night , by all the operation of the robs” ( I,I.105-107)1. Sun denotes to one the galaxies that gives light or warm to the earth, while connotatively relates strong passion, Here Lear also swears that his ties with Cordelia are broken, and mysteries source of nature that he mentions represent his passion in revolt against, and the mysteries of hecate denotes the rites of the goddess with the darkness of night and the operation of the rob , According to astrology this denotes the position of the body that determine or indicate somebody’s fate in the future. And in one occasion when one of his loyal men reminded him to think more clearly to his daughter Cordelia, so he could stop his rage, then king answer arrogantly

4. Come not between the Dragon and his wrath” (I, i, 117). Seen connotative angle, this has to do with very personal and emotional condition, showing arrogance or confidence.

The use of dragon shows the denotation great power and viciousness as dragon is known as a most powerful monster in myth. So, Lear thinks himself as a man who is capable of causing terrible disaster, So the possible referent is what illogical tempramental aging person is.

5. He says “The bow is bent and drawn; make from the shaft” . ( I.i. 138). It means he does not any one to interfere he intended to do to his daughter and Lear realizes Goneril’s rudeness and inhumanity to himself, then He utters

6. “…she may feel How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child!…” (I, iv, 273 – 274). Seen from denotative aspect, serpent is one of the poisonous snakes having very sharp and connotatively refers Lear’s has curse toward Goneril to be childless and if it is not, she would be present with a child that gives burden to her all life. Other possible message, that Goneril is the thankless child and the cause she made to her father is much more painful than a serpent’s bite. As a serpent’s bite may kill at once, but what more can be worse than death, beside the great pain and suffering one must endure which made one longed for death. This is how Goneril is being portrayed, the cause of suffering worse than death itself. Lear’s words are symbol of great rage , anger and frustration./

7.”Sharp-toothed unkindnesslike a vulture…” (II, iv, 130), is what Lear told Regan of her sister Goneril is like the ferocious bird that feeds on flesh. Lear is indicating of Goneril’s cruelty on him which he explained as though Goneril feeds on Lear’s heart. This is just really indicating that Goneril has made an action of banishing Lear out of her castle and causes the man to feel hurt by his daughter’s craziest deed. The next symbol Lear attaches to Goneril and Regan is

8.‘Pelican daughters’ (III, iv, 73). Denotatively, pelican, type of bird, when young lings would peck their parents during feeding time and it is thought that the young lings attack their parent in order to feed on its parent’s flesh and blood. Connotatively, this refers to, that Goneril and Regan’s action in banishing away their own father after gaining what they wanted from him. They peck him hard that could eventually lead to his senility and in powerless degree.

Then knowing that her father is badly treated and homeless by her two sisters, she show her anger about the clothes the Lear wears. In King Lear clothes are predominantly used as signs of social identity, meaning they often become central emblem or symbol in the language of the play and very often can show status, prestige and conditions of the wearers. Cordelia shows her anger about the clothes her father wears:

9. Crown’d with rank fumiter and furrow-weeds these denote flowers that are to leader/king’s head in the ceremony or they are bitter smell flower.

10. With hardokes, hemlock, nettles, cuckoo-flowers, these also denote type of flower growing ploughed lands

11. And all the idle weeds that grow this refers to flowers that don’t grow well / healthily as they normally grow among other plants

12. In our sustaining corn. Refers to kinds of plants that could provide source of food like bread, cookies or flour (IV.iv.3-6 ).

The above words are deliberate mockery of kingship (Lear himself is crowned with weeds). This is the sign or symbol that shows a very real shameful appearance of order or condition in society. This should happen, when his daughters baished him. And till about clothes, Lear’s words are;

Robbes and furr’d gowns hide all. Plate sin with gold,

And the strong lance of justice hurtles breaks;

Arm it in rages, a pigmy’s straw does pierce. (IV. vi.158-161).

Lear’s critics or judgement, ‘Robes and furr’d gowns’ or plating of ‘gold’, meaning from outer appearance, they show expensive price clothes, as only the rich can afford, besides they also function to hide or cover all their hypocricy or true identity, that people may misjudge the wearers, and of course this can create problems. Realizing his condition due his own misjudgement, ( V.iii. 304 ) Lear asks himself “

13 . “ Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life?” He quetions himself why Cordelia should be dead so soon, She was killed by unheartedman and this is perhaps the peak of his terrible suffering. To him the basest animals are much more needed that he himself, as he has made some stupid mistakes and lost his favorite daughter who gives him genuine attention / care. Before the death of her favorite daughter, Cordelia, Lear says to her; (V.iii.10-14).

14 . ” Come, let’s away to prison, we two alone will sing like birds in the cage. The cage refers to the bird’s house, but this can be associated with prison, or opportunity to have reconciliation When thou dost ask me blessing, I’ll kneel down and thee forgiveness, so we will live, and pray , and sing, and tell the tales and laugh

15. at gilded butterflies, , refer to butterflies that are colorful and beautiful , but this may also have association with people who are beautifully dressed courtiers.

16. and hear poor rogues. Refers to the needy and sinned people but can also have other connotation like injustices or discrimination

Kinds of symbol/imagery uttered by Lear.

From the above shown facts, Lear’s language symbols present in the play can be categorized/classified as follows;

1 Nature symbol / imagery. 1-3

2 Animal symbol / imagery. 4, 6,7,8,9,10,11.

3. Tool symbol / imagery.5.

4. Clothes symbol. 9,10,11,12.

Additional symbol analysis

1.1. Sun in the play context, has to do with self-confidence or self-ruled character/selfishness of an old man. At the same time, this can also reflect some personal/emotional associations such as giving light, warmth, heat, brightness or clearness, authority so sun does not refers to one of the plants but have many personal /emotional connotation.

2.4.Dragon refers to an imagery fire-breathing animal/ bid monster animal which is very powerful and vicious that can cause great disaster/damage.

But at the same time this can signify arrogant and confident character or arrogance and carelessness an old man/king, (in King Lear context).

2. 6. “…she may feel How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child!…” This sign/symbol can refer and signify fearful , pitiful feeling and great suffering of an old man that makes his life very terrible, or his sweet and beautiful dreams become great disaster to his life

2.7.”Sharp-toothed unkindnesslike a vulture…” This symbol still refers to animal-like daughter behaviour to their father who is getting old. Other possible association to the above symbol ; total forgetfulness, unthankful and brutal. . sister Goneril is like the ferocious bird that feeds on flesh. Lear is indicating of Goneril’s cruelty on him which he explained as though Goneril feeds on Lear’s heart. This is just really indicating that Goneril has made an action of banishing Lear out of her castle and causes the man to feel hurt by his daughter’s craziest deed.

2.8.‘Pelican daughters’ can refer to heartless person to their parents as a result makes their parents in terrible life. Realizing his condition due his own misjudgment,

2.9.Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life?” Possible association from this symbol , is early/unpredictable death , great regret caused by age, stupidity or misjudgment, or animals are more needed than he himself.

2.10. ” Come, let’s away to prison, we two alone will sing like birds in the cage this symbol may refer to life that can give value to others or life that is already guaranteed and /or life having limited freedom.

2. 11. at gilded butterflies, ,signify beauties, arts, entertainment or values to others

2. 12. and hear poor rogues possible association is dishonesty, bad temper and punishment.

3.5. “The bow is bent and drawn ; make from the shaft” . this can signify carelessness, unalertness or making hasty decision that can not be rewithdrawn or something that is already done but impossible to change.

4.9.10,11,12. 9. Crown’d with rank fumiter and furrow-weeds, 10. With hardokes, hemlock, nettles, cuckoo-flowers,.11. and all the idle weeds that grow.12. In our sustaining corn. These signs/symbols are associated with deliberate mockery of kingship or a very real shameful appearance of order or condition in society or belittling the king status


Symbols used.

The dominant symbols present in King Lear and uttered by Lear himself is animal/imagery symbols and mostly their the presence show people’s characters/ bad had habits which have arrogance, cruelty, selfishness, brutality, evil act sadness and regret. And all these bad / wild animal- behaviors bring / cause disaster /suffering or tragedy to people.


Meaning change and extension of animal symbols

All animals used in imagery context, refer / show their negative connotations or associations,( pelican bird feeds fish, serpent is a large poisous snake also called as devil snake almost all other animals) while in reality, they were (are) present in our lives giving some beneficial aspects or inspirations such as; bravery, perseverance, endurance etc, so seen from semantic change, their uses can be classified as;

Perjoration, part of the semantic change that requires negative sense, as the presence animal symbol/sign and clothes symbol seen from negative angles both from personal and emotional aspects

Narrowing, part of the semantic change where by a word goes from a general sense to a more specific one, animal and clothes symbols can be seen from specific situation both personally and emotionally. So all animals used in symbol / imagery context show the likeliness of human behaviour or characters with those beasts, and it leads into suffering or tragedy and clothes for status/condition /prestige or facts.

Signifier and Signified related with animals

As also mentioned on the earlier part, that structure of the language ( to Ferdinand de Saussure’s version) is always related with signifier and signified. So in relation with symbol / imagery, it also has to do with material aspect (signifier) and idea or concept (signified). These two can never be seperated, meaning when there is signifier, there will be also signified, and the meaning or concept (idea) is often arbitrary, as time, situation, interlocutors etc, become important factors, and yet there is no intrinsic/direct relation between sign/symbol with the signified , in other words their relation is also arbitrary.

Again mentioned also in previous parts that Odgen and Richard said , there is also relation the bond between word ( sign/symbol) and the concept an ‘association’ the bond between concept and object ‘reference’, and the bond between object and word ‘meaning’. The relation between words (signs/symbols) and the associations can be personal/emotional . The emotions might have to do with surprises, arrogance, confidence, rages/anger, sadness, regret as shown in the above parts..


Emotion condition revealed

Lear at the beginning feels confident in proclaiming the division or transfer of his kingdom to his three daughters, meaning Lear plans to inherit his kingdom, but one of his daughter, Cordelia could not declare very sweet promises before the public, like her daughters, King Lear showed his madness and arrogance that he decided to disinherit her and He inherits only to Goneril and to Regan and Cordelia gets nothing as Lear feels his is still powerful. When getting inhuman treatment from Goneril and Regan , Lear is shy, disappointed and furious as their promises are totally empty that He curses them by labelling with animal-like behavior daughters, and realizing that he made misjudgment to his daughters, he has great regrets, especially to Cordelia, as she still always shows good respect to her father even though she gets nothing and even constantly gives full supports during her father sufferings before her death. In short, unalertness, misjudgments, rage, madness, arrogance, hatred selfishness, shame, disappointment, frustrations and great regret all are the emotions shown the symbol /imagery presence from Lear’s utterances.


The symbol / imagery used in the play, function to describe the ‘image –idea’ added to the literal idea. Images work to produce an immediate dramatic effect, such as conveying the characters emotions vividly to the audience. Images recur within the play , and occur within the a context of other imagery often closely comparable or structurally related. And they often recur in a modified form, or by appearing in ironic and unexpected context meaning the “image-idea’ is not static, therefore, it can have a developing new messages. Many images suggest that the characters externalise personal qualities, attributed non- human traits. And last but not least, symbol / imagery helps the readers to see the universe as an enlargement of personal experience. These are parts of Shakespeare genius creativity in creating artistic and beautiful language that can be enjoyed up to now, He often conveys his messages not literally but with his own language uniqueness that makes his works well-remembered and King Lear is with exception and if his fame fades away .






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13 The moral value of “America the beautiful”


(A Content Analysis of Coca Cola Advertisement 2014)

Desi Rahmania Sari

Student of STIBA-IEC Jakarta


Bejo Sutrisno, M.Pd.

Lecturer of STIBA-IEC Jakarta



In coca cola ads America the beautiful, the writers analyze moral values on video Coca Cola. The writer used three video Coca-Cola ads America the beautiful, and some related books as the resource the data. The writer watched the video and then analyzed the data. From the analysis the writer conclude that some moral values are freedom, individualism, Achievement, tolerance, and the future. Coca cola indicates that America is so diverse nations, cultures, languages, and ethnics. It’s beautiful thing and Coca cola make this video to celebrate diverse culture in America.  America is the place to learn how to mutual respect with others. And America is country that innovates because America is unique and capable changes in the surrounding environment and brings the profit and success


1.     Background

According Gary Althen (2003:3-5) In Coca cola advertisement “America the Beautiful”, many people from different nations, ethnics, and cultures sing America the Beautiful using different languages like English, French, Spanish, Arabic, India, Hebrew, and Tagalog. Coca cola Ad describes the country of America consisting of different cultures. Gary Althen stated  that Americans have values and assumption in different cultures in their daily lives specifically in living with different cultures. Values are ideas what are right and wrong, desirable and undesirable, normal and abnormal, proper and improper. In some culture example people are thought that man and woman should inhabit separated social world, with activity clearly in the men’s domain and other clearly in the woman. In other cultures man and woman are considered to have more or less equal access to most roles in the society. Assumption, as used here is the postulates, the unquestioned givens about people, life, and the way things are. People in some societies assume, for example, that family life precedes most harmoniously when woman stay at home with the children and man earn money by working outside the home. In other some societies assume that family life work best when outside work and child rearing responsibilities are share by man and woman. In other some societies assume that when a mature man and woman are alone together, sexual activity will almost certainly occur. In others, platonic  (that is, lacking a sexual element) friendship between unmarried man and woman is assumed to be possible. American cultures hold on individualism, freedom, competitiveness, and privacy.

In United States of America advertising is huge business. Like coca cola advertising “America the beautiful” coca cola does market research for their consumer, testing out various sales pitches in the quest for ones that will be influential with differing age, income, ethnic, and other groups. Coca cola ads inform them about available products and services while encouraging them to buy. From the viewpoint of customers from abroad, though, advertising can serve an additional purpose: it affords countless insights into American values, taste, and standards. Coca cola ads can gain some understanding of American society, firstly American ideas about youthfulness and physical attractiveness in males and females, seconds American ideals concerning personal hygiene, thirds the amount of faith Americans have in arguments that include facts and specific numbers, forth male and female relationship both pre and post marital, fifth the characteristics of people who in American’ eyes are considered “authorities” who ideas or recommendations are persuasive, and lastly the sort of things that Americans find humorous.

So coca cola ads can be concluded that coca cola ads trying to understand consumer’s need and behavior by making hyperbole advertisement, and coca cola trying to create consumer perception that coca cola is a beverage, which can be consumed by anyone and anywhere, but more than that coca cola trying to demonstrate the benefit of psychological to consumers. Therefore the writer interested in finds out a more broadly about coca cola ads using American culture as a symbol of the world firstly, the seconds the writer will analyze some statements of people in coca cola ads “America the beautiful” like Carolin and Sushmitha.

Carolyn from English says: “Hearing all the different languages, everyone has their own interpretation. Not everything fits the same way, but I think that’s what makes it so special. I think, like everyone having a different way just kind of shows what it really is”. Sushmita from India says: “The message that we’re sending through this video is so beautiful, that we are all the same. We just have different backgrounds and that’s ok. We’re all American, and we can come together to make change”

2. Objectives

The objective of this research is to find out moral of value on coca cola ads “America the beautiful” and the moral message on coca cola ads “America the beautiful”

3. Theoretical Framework

3.1  Concept of Moral Value

Morals have a greater social element to values and tend to have a very broad  acceptance. Morals are far more about good and bad than other values. According to Hurlock Elizabeth (1997:386), “moral” comes from Latin word mores, meaning manners, custom and folkways. Moral behavior means behavior in conformity with the moral code of the social group. It is controlled by moral concepts the rules of behavior to which the members of a culture have become accustomed and which determine the expected behavior patterns of all group members. Morality has three principal meaning. In its “descriptive” sense, morality refers to personal or cultural values, codes of conduct or social mores that distinguish between right and wrong in the human society. Describing morality in this way is not making a claim about what is objectively right or wrong, but only referring to what is considered right or wrong by people. For the most part right and wrong acts are classified as such because they are thought to cause benefit or harm, but it is possible that many moral beliefs are based on prejudice, ignorance or even hatred, this sense of term is also addressed by descriptive ethics.

Barcallow E (2006:2-4) stated that In its ?normative” sense, morality refers directly to what is right and wrong, regardless of what people think. It could be defined as the conduct of the ideal, ?moral” person in a certain situation, this usage of the term is characterized by ?definitive” statements such as ? that act is immoral” rather than descriptive ones such as ? Many believe that act is immoral”. It is often challenged by a moral skepticism, in which the unchanging existence of a rigid, universal, objective moral ?truth” is rejected. The normative usage of the term ? morality” is also addressed by normative ethics. Moral issue concern both behavior and character; they arise when life presents people with such question as „?what should I do (or not do)”, ? how should I act?” etc. moral issues arise most fundamentally when the choices people face will affect the well being of others by either increasing or decreasing it, causing either harm or benefit. The well being involved can be physical and psychological harm (1) by creating or intensifying such painful psychological states as loneliness, fear, depression, hopelessness, despair, unhappiness, anxiety, and sadness and (2) by eroding such positive psychological states as self-confidence, self-respect, happiness, and feeling of self worth.

Values are related to the norms of a culture, but they are more general and abstract than norms. Norms are rules for behavior in specific situation, while values identify what should be judged as good or evil. Flying the national flag on a holiday is a norm, but it reflects the value of patriotism. Wearing dark clothing and appearing solemn are normative behaviors at a funeral. They reflect the values of respect and support of friends and family. Different cultures reflect different values. Over the last three decades, traditional-age college students have shown an increased interest in personal well being and a decreased interest in the welfare of others. Values seemed to have changed, affecting the beliefs, and attitude of college student. Values are the rules by which we make decisions about right and wrong, should and shouldn’t, good and bad. They also tell us which are more or less important, which is useful when we have to trade off meeting one value over another. Values are ideals that guide or qualify your personal conduct and interaction with other. They help you to distinguish what is right from what is wrong and inform you on how you can conduct your life in a meaningful way. Values are those things that are really important to us. The ideas and beliefs we hold as special.

According to Hurlock (1997:386), moral behavior means behavior in conformity with the moral code of social group. Moral development has both an intellectual and impulsive aspect. Children must learn what is right and what is wrong. Moral behavior is behavior that conforms to the standards of the group with which the individual is identified. But, unmoral or immoral behaviors fail to do so. This failure is due to disapproval of social standards or lack of felling of obligation to conform to these standards-immoral behavior or ignorance of social standards-unmoral behavior.

From above theories it can be concluded that the value can help us to distinguish between right and wrong, desirable and undesirable, normal and abnormal, proper and improper and lead us to do something means, everything has value because it is valuable.

3.2  Advertising

According to As Bovée and Arens (1992:7-8)  that advertising is a part of the marketing mix. It is a form of promotion as well as, for example, sales promotion or personal selling. Advertising can be defined as “the nonpersonal communication of information, usually paid for and usually persuasive in nature, about products (goods and services) or ideas by identified sponsors through various media.  As Bovée and Arens further explained, it is called nonpersonal because it is directed to a group or groups of people rather than to individuals. That is also the reason why advertising is frequently called mass communication. It is used to inform or remind readers about particular products and to persuade them to act. According Hynes and Janson (2007:322), advertisement must be considered to be ‘relics’ thriving on what is going on in society. Advertising serves to describes the events that occur in society. The meanings advertising serves to describe the events that occur in society. According Professor Jef Richard, advertisement is the ‘ wonder’ wonders bread which means advertising is paid communication to promote. Advertising is one valuable domain in which to study persuasion because the main goal of an advertisement is to change customer’s attitudes and convince them to buy particular products.

3.3  Kinds of Advertising

Jean Grow, and Tom Altstiel (2007:195-200) stated some kinds of advertising that can be found in public. Those are:

a.     A Magazine

A magazine ad is an ideal palette for applying all the creative strategies and tactics we’ve discussed in previous chapters. Magazines also present a lot of creative opportunities based on the variety of sizes, shapes, and multiple page combinations. Finally, a magazine ad is a perfect size and shape for your portfolio small enough to fit anywhere, large enough for long copy and to make a design statement.

b.    Posters and Bulletins

People in the outdoor advertising business don’t talk about “billboards”. The two main types of outdoor displays are the painted bulletin and the outdoor poster. The difference is the way they are displayed posters use sheets of preprinted paper glued to backboards, and bulletins traditionally have used hand painted images. Today, painted bulletins have given way to super flex vinyl-coated fabric that gives them almost magazines like quality. Posters can be a creative persons best bet to pad portfolio and win awards. Technically all you have to do is print one, post it somewhere, and voila, you’ve produced a real world advertisement, seen by someone other than your roommate.

c.     Direct mail

Direct mail is marketing communication tool that enables direct response as well as other kinds of transaction. Direct mail is simply a delivery medium, one very effective way for sellers to interact, transact, and directly with buyers

d.    Radio

Radio presents a perfect opportunity for you to flex creative muscles in totally new ways. You’re using words, music, and sound instead of pictures. When you’re the writer or producer, the radio commercial is your baby, and the art director can’t save your lame idea with a great layout.

e.     Television

When most of us decided to become advertising practitioners, there was one prime reason television. Television offers the glamour of show business plus the impact to make or break a brand virtually overnight. Creating a major TV ad campaign not only lets millions of people see your work, it may also shape pop culture for years.

f.     Internet

Today, online advertising has achieved a solid comeback and appears to be headed for long-term, sustained growth.

4. Methodology

To analyze the moral of America the beautiful, qualitative method is used. Qualitative method is descriptive research and tends to use inductive analysis approach.


Coca cola ads take a theme America the beautiful means to celebrated the many kinds, color, lifestyles, and origins of American who are nonetheless one. Over a scene of these many American sing America the beautiful, it showed American face, young, old, brown, white, straight, cowboy, Muslims, Jewish, playing, eating, and exploring all American vistas. From coca cola ads America the beautiful, the writer can see some moral value as follows;

1)     In the first scene (look picture 1) picture America the beautiful, seen cowboys who were riding horse in endless pastures. Cowboys generally prefer a more simple life and one that is not necessarily connected back to nature, but back to the rural outdoor where everything was much simpler. The American cowboy lives what he believes, and does not worry about conforming to anyone’s mold; a cowboy is a man of substance, strength and courage. Cowboy symbols of cowboy hats, cowboy boots, spurs, horses, and belt buckles are evidence of the real culture of hard work, horsemanship, and individualism. The symbol of cowboy means America is the future goals and self-reliance. In order to succeed and achieve personal best, one must be strong and independent

(Picture 1)

2)     In the second scene (look picture 2), seen a girl being chewed gum. Gum is away to bleed off energy, gum represent American overly carefree attitude and need to take life a little more seriously. The symbol of gum means American people must to confront some fear or battle the depression.

           (Picture 2)                                       (Picture 3)

3)     In the third scene (look picture 3), there were two girls who were sharing popcorn while watching movies. Share popcorn with your friends indicates that you can hope and count on a collaborative effort that is going to be beneficial to you. Popcorn is symbolized as seeking knowledge and being willing to learn. So American people must be willing to work hard and take the steps to make the dream reality

4)     In the fourth scene (look picture 4), there is a girl who was blowing the powder out of his hands. Bellows is symbolized as benefits and blessing.

       (Picture 4)                                                (Picture 5)

                                            (Picture 6)

5)     In the fifth scene (look picture 5), there are those people were surfing at the beach. Surfing is symbolized as the ups and down emotional situation or relationship, you may feel overwhelmed, one minute you can be in control of your emotions and the next minute you are not.

6)     In the sixth scene (look picture 6), seen children who are doing tap dance along with her or his friends. Tap-dancing evolved from mainly an American style of dancing seen on plantations and Irish American step dancing. Tape dance is symbolized for African Americans to find a place in society. Tap was more advantageous to African Americans than other forms of dance because it helped them break away from oppressive aspects of their life. It served as a way to define them and lay claim to something. It was a way not only to gain control over their lives, but it was a way to communicate. Dancing is not just to perform, but also to communicate with audience.

7)     In the seventh scene (look picture 7a.b.c), seen a girl who was on her way see the breadth of the desert and seen the happy family who was camper. The camp is symbolized native Americans Indians were a deeply spiritual people and they communicated their history, thoughts, ideas, and dreams from generation to generation through symbol. Native American symbol are geometric portrayals of celestial bodies, and natural phenomena. It means Americans more adventurous.

                 (Picture 7.a)                                            (Picture 7.b)

                      (Picture 7.c)

8)     In the eighth scene (look picture 8), seen an America people from different cultures who was eating dinner and gather together. It means although America comes from different cultures they remain one family.

                     (Picture 8)

2. The moral message of America the beautiful

The coca cola is spreading this message of being culturally connected and coca cola take the attitude to diversity and equality that America is a country of diverse cultures. America has opened her arm to the people of many countries that ultimately make America a great country. America is a home to all and coca cola convey the message that actually has to be value for this that the world is so diverse, but can be combined with the simple things like smiles, togetherness, hobbies and of course coca cola. Any activities and whoever the person and is still drinking coca cola.


1.    Conclusion

       After making an analysis in moral value coca cola ads America the beautiful, the writer concludes that there are America is a home to all because America has opened her arm to the people of many countries. Coca cola shows to the world that America is so diverse nations, cultures, languages, and ethnics that they are American. Although different background they are all equal, it doesn’t matter who they are because they come to America to get happiness, freedom, and a better life.

America is country that innovates because America is unique and capable changes in the surrounding environment and brings the profit and success.

       On the other hand American is also referred to as adventurous because they are courageous and like to look for challenges and risk. American like a music and dance as a sign to communicate with different people other Americans to express them respectively. America is a country that tolerate high because America always respect between individual groups in society although despite of different nation because a sense of the American people is very high socialization.

2.    Suggestion

The writer suggest that the readers to learn how to understand the culture of others who are different. Understanding of the cross-cultural understanding is very important because if not careful to understand it will cause problems. But if the reader has a sense of high cultural sensitivity for others will create relationships in a harmonious and peaceful life.


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Barcallow E.Moral Philosophy:Theories &Issues. Belmont CA:Wadsworth, 2006

Bovee Courtland,Arens William F.Contemporary advertising.Homewood, 1992

Hurlock,Elizabeth B.Child growth and development. United States; McGraw Hill, 1997

Hyne,Janson.Global Imagery in online advertisement, Business Communication Quarterly, 2007

Jean,Grow,Tom Altsiel.Advertising Strategy.London: Sage, 2007