Saturday, 21 June 2008

Teaching Teachers is Important!

picture: EfYLs Teachers' training in PPBUI

Teachers are the most important aspect in achieving the best result on teaching English to speakers of other languages. I've read the British Council website about their Primary Innovations Regional Seminar. I think it is important to be able to share stories from those English language specialists in order to grab each regional's need, and to solve similar problems back home.

Another very interesting and important activity is developing the cadre of teacher trainers(ToTs). It is important to have good teachers to teach the Young Learners (YLs). Young learners have fresh minds that can absorb information like sponges. Giving them the wrong input would not help them to face the future but instead it could also ruin their future.

I remember how Ibu Itje Chodidjah made a lively classroom in PPBUI. She taught us how to make a lesson interesting enough for young learners. Being bored in the classroom can also be a reason that kill the learning spirit. Lacking this spirit will not help the student to gain a better study.

Unfortunately, not all of the Indonesian classrooms are supported to the interactive way of learning language. As Indonesian classes usually are large classes, teachers do need more knowledge about classroom management. Then, having a good source of library will also help teachers. Perhaps learning through the online sources will also help teachers. Sites such as , or Pearson Longman English Language Teaching are good sources of information and games.

Another unfortunate fact is that students who study to teach English language are not always serious enough in learning. There is a person I knew who asked me to supply her with English articles and its translation. Then, in preparing her thesis, she asked me to find a novel that has two version, Indonesian and English. I think it is a task she should do herself to fit in the shoes of a graduate student!

Not all schools are serious enough in recruiting their English teachers. Some teachers are not really capable to teach this language. Now, with the term "international school" mushrooming in towns, the needs for English speaking teachers are even higher. Yet, schools capability to hire good teachers are sometimes limited. Then, teachers with good knowledge and skills in math, science, etc. sometimes are not fluent in English, while on the contrary those teachers who are capable to teach in English would probably not very good in Math or Science.

So, there is an urgent need to teach English language to the Indonesian teachers. That way we are not too dependent on imported teachers. It is important to improve the quality of Indonesian teachers. It's a way to serve the citizens who are facing the globalization.


Alex Case said...

If you like the Pearson Longman site, you'll probably find things of interest on, the Macmillan website, as well

Retty N. Hakim said...

Thank you for the information, it seems that your blog is also an interesting site.