These are my experiences in teaching English as a foreign language

Adikku sedang menonton Real Madrid versus Chelsea sambil makan nasi goreng is translated into My brother watching Real Madrid versus Chelsea while food fried rice.

Bulan bersinar menerangi malam is converted as like as The moon rays bright night.

It is written by the 11th grade student. How should I do? He knows a little rule about English grammar, he can’t speak English well, his pronounciation is terrible, his writing even duller. In his book, he has to read complex stories full of strange words (for him), answer many questions, speak properly, and listen comprehensively. Then, if he has to join a final test, I am scaried to know his score! For sure! Sorry dude, I don’t want to bully you, really. However, as a scholar in English major, I am too sad to face these facts.

It could be the curriculum of teaching English was not seriously prepared for Indonesian students and their typical characteristics. The students are given the texts that they have to read, they discuss issues and learn prescriptive grammar, yet they can’t comprehensive those essential meanings! Some of students can understand it well, but many of them can’t. Particularly, the students who live in suburban or rural areas. What they know is they have to get good marks in English. They don’t consider about the epistemic side of learning English because they get bunch of materials. As a result, simply, they cheat their friends.

Introducing class of words

Instead of complaining, I decide to try new methods: by introducing my students about the class of words. I tell them about noun class, verb class, adjective class, etc. I teach them each class’ function in a sentence. Ah, I remember my Linguistic class. It’s called knowledge of words (morphology). I am sure my students have some words in their minds; I just help them to classify it into the right groups.

Introducing sentences

The next step is trying to combine words to create a sentence. A simple sentence consists of “Subject+Verb+Object”. We don’t need to be disturbed by prescriptive grammar (tenses, structure, etc). The most important thing to do is create a sentence using words that we have classified. Later, if we’ve had one, let’s talk about simple grammar; such as Simple Present Tense, Present Continuous Tense, Simple Past Tense, Past Continuous Tense, Simple Future Tense, and kinds of Perfect Tense. They do some mistakes and I try to fix it together with them. Now, I know why my lecturer didn’t laugh to her students who can’t use the grammar well. I appreciated it, Mam. I will always and now, I practice your way to do so. Thanks to teach me how to teach other.

Reading per paragraph

In order to test them, I have a question and they have to find its answer in a paragraph. I want to know how they comprehend a sentence in the text based on their understanding about creating a sentence. They read aloud and find the difficult word’s meaning in the dictionary. I introduce them to the context, situation, and condition the characters have. They start to answer the question. Oh! I am very happy that soon they are able to communicate in English. 🙂

Listening the letters

If you want to pronounce a word of English well, read the phonetic transcription in the dictionary and try to pronounce the letters well. If you know the stress and strain, you will understand what exactly the meaning the words have. Listen English words everyday; from film, television, songs, etc. It doesn’t matter how many words you listen; but when you’re consistent doing it, you will be impressed by your ability in English. Trust me!
Speak everyday

Of course, you have to do this. You don’t need to be scared if your pronounciation is bad or your structure is wrong. No. Language is about routinity.The more you use it, the more you comprehend it. You can use the social media such as Skype, Facebook, Twitter, etc to find foreigners. Don’t forget to speak to yourself in English. It’s interesting! If you have enough money, you can ask your parents to get you abroad. It’s better than all efforts.

Happy English everyday

I think, Indonesian students should learn English actively, effectively. essentially, English is one of the languages in the world that has the same function as the others; to communicate. So, try to learn a language means try to communicate by using it.

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