Learning Journal 1: What works best for language teaching?
Over the years, issues related to finding what method is best for language learners have been a ‘never ending homework’ for teachers, educators, and policy makers. This is not because there is not any method that is appropriate enough to be implemented in teaching language, rather it is because the diversity of learning environments, the uniqueness of teachers and learners, and the availability of supports and facilities that make it difficult for a particular method to be properly adapted. Thus, these aspects should be taken into consideration for creating a suitable approach that fits a certain teaching-learning setting (Brown, 2000). In Indonesia, this situation is somewhat more harmful in terms of curriculum applicability. Since 1984, our country has integrated the communicative approach into the national curriculum. Then, it was revised in 1994. Later in 2004, the Ministry changed the curriculum into a new look based on the competency-based level. Not long after, in 2006, a latest curriculum designated on school-based level was introduced. Despite having all curricula still embraced the communicative approach, what the government overlooked was how the teachers’ readiness to accept sudden changes in their roles as prescribed in the curriculum, not to mention the learners’ different needs and preferences. Dardjowidjojo (2003) has remarked that many Indonesian teachers still have poor command of English (as the target language), therefore, to expect them to properly teach the learners may cause disadvantages to the purposes of the curriculum (as cited in Marcellino (2008). The current school-based curriculum is intended to let the teachers as the ones who understand what their students and its teaching environment create an approach flexible to their students’ needs and styles. However, these teachers do not fully understand the curriculum and while they still try to figure out how their roles...
References: Brown, H. D. (2000). Principles of Language Learning and Teaching [Fourth edition]. NY: Pearson Education.
Dardjowidjojo, S. (2003). Rampai Bahasa, Pendidikan, dan Budaya (Anthology of Language, Education and Culture). Jakarta: Yayasan Obor Indonesia. In Marcellino, M. (2008). English language teaching in Indonesia: a continuous challenge in education and cultural diversity, TEFLIN Journal, 19(1), February 2008, pp. 57-69
Prabhu, N. S. (1990). There is no one best method – Why? TESOL Quarterly, 24 (2), pp. 161-176
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