Presentation on improving the teaching of indonesian language
IMPROVING THE TEACHING OF INDONESIAN LANGUAGE:
REFLECTING ON STUDENTS’ MISTAKES IN THEIR ENGLISH DISCOURSE
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- The principle: Students naturally transfer their Indonesian way
of thinking into English (adapted from Alwasilah 1991; quote
also here Prof. Dr. Muh. Amin Rasyid).
- Simply put, if their Indonesian is good, their English will equally
follow; if their Indonesian is much to be desired, their English
will be too.
- This principle is known as ‘language transfer’. Shown in the case
above, language transfer can be positive or negative (Note:
inform here about LBPP LIA Int’l Conference 2010 in April in
- Positive transfer enhances English learning; negative transfer
- This transfer can be at the sentential and discoursal level.
- To be concluded at this point: Whatever is bad in students’
English especially at the discoursal level (below) can be referred
back to its teaching in Indonesian language subject.
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English-Indonesian Corresponding & Non-corresponding
- Through simple Contrastive Analysis: (very) little resemblance of
English grammar to Indonesian at the sentential level
- ‘Aku cinta kamu’ for ‘I love you’ and vice versa.
Problems at this level - the English teacher
- At the discoursal level, though, there exist aspects in common
between English and Indonesian. Some at the sentential level,
many more at the discoursal, they are: run-on sentences vs
cut-off thoughts, phrase forming and collocation,
clauses, parallelism, coherence and cohesion,
transitional markers including punctuation marks,
relevant vs irrelevant ideas, discourse development, &
logic (from Antoni and Radiana 2001).
Problems at this level - not only the English teacher, more
relevantly, the Indonesian teacher (Continue with samples
problems after this prepared in an ms word slide).
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Possible Reasons Underlying the
Problems in Students’ English in Their
- The English teacher teaches mainly
elements at the sentential level dealing
with sentence components but not
sentence patterns, affixes etc. but not parts
of speech, words but not collocation,
phrases but not chunks of ideas, etc.
- At the sentential level, the teacher doesn’t
teach making a discourse—oral especially
written—following such steps as those
proposed by Antoni and Radiana (2001)
inspired by Alwasilah (1993: 78) (Show the
steps prepared in an ms word slide).
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The Teaching of Indonesian Language
Contributes to the Problems in …
- Penerbit Epsilon Grup (2005): lots of texts
in the section of Indonesian language
- Still, to be assumed: in the teaching-learning
process, when dealing with a text, the
teacher just asks the students to answer
reading comprehension questions, not as far
as telling them to respond to the text writing
a reader-response essay, to summarize it, to
discuss its interesting points, to present the
points, etc. all of which require the students
to use their Indonesian language above the
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above the sentential level—at the discoursal
level utilizing all the discoursal aspects.
- Alfianto (2006): the teaching of Indonesian
language at formal school conventional, rote
learning-focused, & full of complicated
linguistic theory; not contributive of efforts to
develop students’ ability in using the
Indonesian language; this especially so, he
continues, with writing skills.
- Antoni (2003): as a result,
students/professionals make problems even
in documents such as reports where the
language used should be formal (Show the
examples prepared in an ms word slide)
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Improving the teaching of
- Focus on sentence patterns not sentence
components; deal with aspects crucial not
only in the expression of ideas but also in the
making of meaning: run-on sentences vs cut-off
ideas, phrase making and collocation,
clauses, & parallelism
- At the discoursal level, teach the steps in
producing a discourse—oral especially
written—such as those by Antoni & Radiana
(2001) utilizing coherence and cohesion,
transitional markers including punctuation
marks, relevant vs irrelevant ideas,
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discourse development, and logic.
- Badudu (2009): confront students with a discourse in
which they are to find flaws with regards to the above
aspects. Then they retell/rewrite the discourse,
loathing to make such mistakes in their discourse.
Later they can tell/write their own discourse on a topic
of their own choice.
- If students are to deal with a text: assign them more
than just answering reading comprehension questions;
ask them what they like about the text and why, tell
them to rewrite the text in their own words, ask them
to make a summary of it, request them to respond to
the text writing a reader-response essay, etc. all of
which will require them to utilize the above-discussed
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Still continued )
- Catatan Sawali Tuhusetya (2008): writing
activities should be reactivated and
nurtured at school. This is crucial & relevant
as writing is part of efforts to develop logic.
In writing students are trained to formulate
an idea, express their opinion in a
systematic and logical way, weigh pros and
cons, integrate actions, fantasize, etc.
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