Monday, March 14, 2011

Non-Native English Teacher and Native English Teacher, which one is better to teach English as Foreign Language (EFL)?

NPM: 08521108
In Indonesia, English is neither the mother tongue nor the second language. It is one of foreign language which is also a compulsory subject listed in the curriculum of national education of Indonesia. As a result, students should study English, especially for the transactional and interpersonal skills. 

The students of school graduate are demanded to master at least the basic skill of English. Almost of Indonesian schools employ the local teachers to teach English. It means that the teachers are non-native English teacher. 

Meanwhile, people may only find the native English teacher in several schools; it may be the ‘expensive’ private schools using international curriculum. However, the high demands of Native English teacher is constantly raising in Japan and China. Does it mean Native English teacher is better than Non Native English teacher?
Native Teacher Vs Non-Native English Teacher

Research findings indicate that the first language may contribute to student target-language comprehension, use and learning. Moreover, and contrary to the popular belief supported by the hegemony of the virtual position, small amounts of first language use may indeed lead to more comprehensible input and target-language production (Turnbull and Dailey-o’cain, 2009: 5). 

Regarding to this point, Non-native English teacher can be better to teach English. The non-native English teacher can use the first language properly to convey the lesson. Besides, they can understand more about the characteristic of the students because the teacher already has the experience of learning English as Foreign Language. 

However, Non-native English teacher, somehow, has some problems with their English mastery. The non-native English teacher may not speak with English accent and style, and they may not master enormous vocabularies as the native teacher. It can be said that the English proficiency of non-native English teacher is not as perfect as the native English teacher. 

In conclusion, both non–native and native English teacher are good to teach English as Foreign language. In my opinion, we just need to adjust to which EFL class they are better. In the beginner EFL class, I think the non-native English teacher is better than native English class. I think it is impossible to conduct an EFL class using English in a beginner level. 

Skinner in Turnbull and Dailey-o’cain (2009: 06) argues that some first language use can facilitate connections between the target language and prior knowledge and ideas already developed in the first language. Regarding to this opinion, I can conclude that the use of first language in EFL class is very important, especially for the EFL beginner class, and non-native English teacher has the ability to facilitate this kind of EFL class. 

Meanwhile, the native English teacher is more appropriate teaching the advance ESL class, which consists of advance English learners. Therefore, the learners can focus to study English for the advance skill, for example speaking using native accent and style. 

Reading : 

Turnbull, Miles and Dailey-O’Cain, Jennifer. 2009. First Language Use in 
              Second and Foreign Language Learning. New York: Multilingual
READMORE - Non-Native English Teacher and Native English Teacher, which one is better to teach English as Foreign Language (EFL)?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Teaching English as Foreign Language in MAN I Surakarta

NPM: 08521108

This post is written as the TEFL lecture assignment of the teacher training and education program, Slamet Riyadi University.

Due to the teaching trainee program of my university, I’ve been placed as a trainee teacher in MAN I Surakarta. Although the program was only for three months, it has given me adequate experiences of teaching English as foreign language to teenager. 

MAN stands for Madrasah Aliyah Negeri . It is an Islamic state school which is equal to Senior High School. MAN 1 Surakarta is located on Jl. Sumpah Pemuda No. 25, Kadipiro, Banjarsari district, Surakarta city, zip code: 57136, Phone & Fax: (0271)852066. This school has a big concern on Islamic subjects. However, English is also taught as a compulsory subject. 

The school has the same programs with other senior high schools, such as science, social and language programs. Moreover, MAN I Surakarta also has a boarding school program which is considered as the program that accommodates certain excellent students. Luckily, I’ve been asked to teach the students of the boarding school program during my teaching trainee program. 

Generally, the students of boarding school program are very smart and clever. They do not only study in a regular class, but they also have to study in their boarding school. Moreover, there is a rule of the boarding school that asks students to optionally speak whether using Arabic or English. Since they are obligated to avoid the use of mother tongue in their daily conversation, they may acquire their foreign language better than any other regular students in this school. 

As a trainee teacher, I have a job to succeed the real English teacher for about three months. I’ve been asked to teach the basic competence of Senior High school students, such as text genres and certain expressions. During my teaching trainee, I used three phases teaching technique (PPP) which is combined with the communicative approach. 

According to Harmer (2001: 80), the PPP are presentation, practice and production. Through this way, the teaching learning can be teacher centered. During the teaching trainee program, I try to collaborate the PPP with communicative approach which emphasizing on the students’ activity to avoid teacher centered language learning. The communicative approach stressed significance of the language functions rather than focusing on grammar and vocabulary Harmer (2001: 84). Thus, it can support the teaching process of the basic competences of the students, the transactional and interpersonal skill. 

During the presentation, there is an important part called brainstorming. The brainstorming is the effort of directing students mind into the topic which is going to discuss. I usually give many interactive questions which are related to the topic after greeting and checking the students’ attendance. Then, the teaching process is continued to the presentation phase. During the presentation, teacher tries to model students about the topic discussed. For example, I try to describe one of the student’s appearances when I teach the descriptive text. Through this way, I can ask the other students to give opinion about the students who is being described. The students seem to be active and they know how to describe their friend based on the physical appearances. 

The next is the practice skill. The teacher puts the big emphasize to stimulate students to be active in learning, by giving some pair-work or group work exercises. It is very important because interaction between language learners can motivate each other to use their target language. Moreover, Byrne (1992: 76) states that it is recommended for a big class with many students should be divided into pairs/groups to provide students with an environment within which they can communicate easily and freely, and within they can work independently with less interfere from teacher. For more interesting teaching learning, we can also use games to practice the skill. 

The last phase is the production skill. It is a chance in which students can practice their skill individually. I like to use homework as the production of each student. Homework can motivate students to re-study the previous lesson. As a closing, I also make a review. I asked several students about some important notes of the current lesson. I make a conclusion and give a little preview of the next lesson. 
Byrne, Donn.1997. Teaching Oral English. Kuala Lumpur: Longman.

Harmer, Jeremy. 2001 .The Practice of English Language Teaching Third 
             Edition. London: Longman
READMORE - Teaching English as Foreign Language in MAN I Surakarta

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Advantages of Internet for Children

In the former life, people have to subscribe a media, such as newspaper, tabloid, and magazine to get the most update information around the world. During the big advance of technology, people are able to access knowledge and information freely and easily through a media that called internet. 

Through the internet, people not only get the information but they are also able to do their daily activities using such helpful thing. Nowadays, Internet is not only a secondary need, for some people internet becomes the main need of their daily life. Unfortunately, not all of the internet users are adult. 

Children or teenagers now are able to browse the internet freely, whether in their home or in the internet cafe. Children are fast learner. They can even master the internet literary only by watching their friend or adult browsing the internet. 

There are some advantages of internet for the children: 

Positive effect on physical development of the children 
People may not see the impact of internet to the physical development. However, internet usages give a positive impact to the physical development. According to the knowledge of muscular development and motor control skill, the use of internet that demands the keyboard and mouse usage will naturally enhance the child’s eye-hand coordination and motor skill. 

Positive effect on cognitive development 
Children who use the Internet show gains in cognitive abilities such as memory, logical problem solving, critical thinking, concentration, abstraction and comprehension. The Internet exposes children to information to improve the quality of learning that they can transform into knowledge. Through the use of the Internet, children’s language and literacy development is often promoted, allowing for greater gains in verbal and nonverbal skills. 

Positive effect on social development 
Internet cannot and should not replace human interaction or relationships, nor take the place of activities such as sharing verbal conversations with our children or reading together. However, internet allows children to socialize with other children through the use of email, chat rooms, and instant messaging, increasing the development of communication and social skills.
READMORE - The Advantages of Internet for Children

Friday, April 16, 2010

The importance of group classroom activities

English class is used to be as communicative as possible because teaching English is not only about understanding the grammar but also how to apply it in the real world. In some cases, students like to work independently. They tend to be more comfortable with their own opinion when doing the tasks or exercises. 
Giving the assessment as the evaluation of the lesson is very important. Teachers should know their students ability and in which point students may find the learning problem. Teachers usually give many individual exercises to measure students’ understanding level of the lesson that they taught. 

In Indonesia, TEFL teacher may usually use an extra-exercise book (non-textbook) intended for individual work. This book which is mostly known as LKS (students’ worksheet) is written based on the related textbook. This book doesn’t support interaction between students and teachers or students to students. It’s mere an exercises that mostly presents multiple choices as the main assessment. 

Actually, the student-centered approach to improve learners' communicative competence has been adopted by some language teachers. Group work, one of the most important class activities for developing students' communicative ability, is gradually being applied to teach English as a foreign language (EFL). Group work is very useful for TEFL classroom. It helps the learners to involve into various interaction types and support a more conducive and cooperative class. 

When students work in group, they seem to lose their pressure of the listening to full explanation of the teachers. Moreover, they can boost their communication experience and share their opinions to reach a final solution. It is a simple forum for students to solve a problem with their own perspective. Group work helps students to improve their cognitive and affective aspects.
READMORE - The importance of group classroom activities


Copyright The Sun Shine © 2008 – 2011