Click2irma’s Weblog

Threat or Treat?-Teaching English

Posted on: November 14, 2008

Teaching English On Children is a Big Challenge..

It’s depend on the children knowledge’s background, environment they live in, and the position of English in their environment (Is English becoming their second language, or is it becoming their third or even the fourth language? – besides the mother tongue languages : Indonesian or buginese or Torajanese? or other tribes in Indonesia?)

I experienced, when I taught in Bambini Kindergarten School Makassar, (I taught four until six years old children), they even can’t say letter”r”perfectly! but you know what,…they can speak English well with me as their teacher..I also taught a 3,5 years old child, his name is Javelin, and I bet, he is cleverer than my sixth graders here..

I don’t have any intention to underestimate my students here with my students in Makassar, what I intent to say here is only about the language acquisition and language acquired.

Why my 3,5 until 5 years old students are clever than my sixth graders (12 years old) ? because my  3,5 until 5 years old students , when they return home, their parents, even their nanny speaks English to them..so the learning is continue..it becomes continues learning..they get use to with the words, the sentences, the language!

Than my 12 years old students, when they return home, their father and mother speak Indonesian on them, or even speak Soroakonese, Buginese,Torajanese..or other “ese”..

They only spend 7 hours at school, study English with me only 2 hours. twice a week..then..other teachers teach using bahasa? how can they speak English fuently if the condition like that?  

Blame the school? I don’t think so! we only have limited time to be with them, the parents have more time. Than, the parents? how’s their condition? dad …busy at work..mom, busy with the “arisan2″or any other stuff..both of them can not speak English and have no time to study English (becoming the most reason heard)

As a matter of fact, it’s their own children!!!they got the emotional correlation better than us, the teacher..why don’t they give time to teach their children at home?

I am not married yet, I am too afraid of raising a child (or children..GOSH!!) ..it’s a big responsibility given by God to raise a child (again..or children!!!)..

When I decide to marry, and decide to have a child, I want to spend my whole life to be a good parents.. my children is the most important thing ever! They are becoming my first priority in my life..

So, what I want to say right here – because becoming a teacher also a great responsibility (they are not nickel to be produced, or orchid to be grown up, they are a creature!a human being, a chaliph created by God, the next generation!) – I have a big expectation on my students.. I want them have a good knowledge in English, although their environment not supported, I will make that environment!

I insist them to study by applying Treat (make English as habit, through giving rewards to those who dare to speak English all the time-, make my classroom a real “English” through the displays, the flashcards,the game, and of course the teaching!) and Threat!(applying discipline : the using of time out through speak bahasa in English time, as a punishment they will read English book for two pages in 10 minutes with good pronunciation!)

Well, treating and loving a child doesn’t mean spoiling, and disiplinizing a child is not bad at all..

That’s what I want to share in this blog of mine!!

Dedicated to : all Soroako Parents

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8 Responses to "Threat or Treat?-Teaching English"

Hi Irma – Interesting post here about teaching English in Indonesia. I think the students are lucky to have a passionate teacher like you. As a former English teacher, I enjoyed giving “treats” in class too. And yes, they are more motivated this way 🙂 All the best!

Salam kenal mbak, kami justru punya masalah kebalikannya. Sejak enam tahun lalu kami tinggal di Canada, saat itu anak2 kami belum bisa berbahasa Inggeris sama sekali. Saat itu anak kami yang bungsu baru berusia 3,5 tahun dan sekarang bahasa Inggeris anak2 kami jauuuuh lebih baik dari ortunya. Masalahnya anak kami yang bungsu tidak mau sama sekali berbahasa Indonesia, padahal dirumah untuk percakapan sehari-hari kami menggunakan bahasa Indonesia……dia hanya mengerti tapi tidak bisa mengucapkannya, bagaimana toh mbak?? Liburan summer lalu kami pulang ke Indonesia, dia agak kesulitan berkomunikasi dengan ompung dan saudara2nya.

Thanks for your support Christine..glad to know that this blog got a response from another teacher..Looking forward to learn from you as a former English teacher..learning from a senior..hehehe..

And for Ibu Vonny, jangan bosan2 ngajak bicara anaknya pake bahasa Indonesia..anak2 yang belajar butuh proses, kadang qta sbg ortu maunya instant (maaf lho,..bukan maksud bcr “ga ngenakin”), nanti ada saatnya otaknya yang merekam kata2 yang dia dengar, lama klamaan bakal bisa ngomong..trus, jangan bosan2 encourage anaknya aja , biar anaknya mau ngomong..jelasin, ni bahasa Indonesia juga bahasa kamu nak, bukan cuma bahasa Inggris aja..kalo kamu bisa nguasain banyak bahasa,lebih bagus lagi..plus, tambahin kasih anaknya bacaan cerita2rakyat Indonesia (folklore), seperti hikayat MalinKundang, Tangkuban Perahu, dll..biar skalian ngajarin moral dari cerita2tadi, juga ngenalin tradisi kita.

Oh iya, murid2ku juga paling senang dibacain cerita2..mereka excited banget lho bu!sampe pada mangap smuanya..

Kalo ibu pulang ke Indonesia, beli itu, yang wayang2golek, puppet2 kaya gitu bisa jadi media buat cerita kita lebih interesting …
Mudah2an jawaban saya bisa jadi solusi bu Vonny..

or maybe Christine have some idea, she is a senior teacher,..you may ask her too..

betul2 bu gur kitayang satu ini.
keep on fighting till the end

Great article Bu Guru… Looks like, parenting equal to resposibilities. Hope, I’m not one of that kind of parents in the future (when I have a family). -mudah2n nd salah mi grammar ku ini-

Mantab mi grammar mu! keep on improving cess…!

One day, I want my kids to have such dedicated and sincere teacher like Ms. Irma…
Tapi, jangan q galak2 nah Bu… 🙂

Hello Teacher Irma! Good day to you. You’re indeed a wonderful teacher, an efficient and effective one. I salute you for making teaching-learning a meaningful process.
You have been a blessing when I’ve learned that you are from Bambini School at Makassar, Indonesia. I have been praying for that school since the agency emailed me the requirements to become a qualified teacher of that work place of yours (Bambini School). Reading your blog gives me an essential background about the children there.
Thank you for sharing your experiences which helps me a lot.
Praying to pass all the requirements before time and be qualified to work their. God bless you and your work.

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