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Mengenai Saya

Foto Saya
Currently I am an English teacher in an Islamic Secondary School. I have been teaching English since 1997. Besides teaching I am also assisting my principal to manage everything related to the school curriculum and attempt to improve the quality of teachers to be professional teachers at school.

Kamis, 19 September 2013

For my students the Excellent Class IX-A,H,I, please read the materials about Posters. Then, do the Worksheet 1 with your group from the link 

Sabtu, 14 September 2013

SOME REFLECTIONS ON LANGUAGE LEARNING MATTERS

 Abstrak

                 Bahasa merupakan sesuatu yang sangat penting bagi kehidupan manusia. Manusia membutuhkannya untuk berkomunikasi satu sama lain. Penulis berkeyakinan bahwa terdapat perbedaan antara pembelajaran bahasa pertama dengan pembelajaran bahasa kedua. Bahasa pertama dipelajari sejak usia kanak-kanak dan mereka belajar dari kedua orangtuanya secara alamiah. Tata bahasa dari bahasa pertama dipelajari tanpa sadar sehingga tidak ada kesulitan ketika mereka memakainya untuk menyampaikan makna. Dalam konteks pembelajaran bahasa Inggris di Indonesia, terdapat persepsi bahwa bahasa Inggris itu sulit karena banyak hal yang harus dikuasai sebelum benar-benar bisa menggunakannya untuk berkomunikasi. Diantara kompetensi linguistik yang harus dikuasai adalah structure, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics dan contexts. Dalam kenyataannya, seorang siswa Indonesia mengalami kesulitan dalam menggunakan struktur bahasa Inggris karena tidak memahami tujuan fungsionalnya. Hal seperti ini umum terjadi pada pembelajar bahasa kedua usia dewasa. Lain dengan pembelajar usia dini, mereka bisa mempelajari bahasa asing dengan cepat melalui proses immersion jika mereka ditempatkan pada lingkungan yang berbahasa inggris. Akan tetapi, secara umum, untuk benar-benar bisa menguasai bahasa kedua, dalam hal ini bahasa Inggris, pertama yang perlu dipelajari adalah mengenai bunyi atau suara yang dihasilkan oleh organ-organ pengucapan. Hal ini menjadi penting karena berhubungan dengan pengucapan yang tepat dan berterima. Dalam tulisan ini, penulis menyampaikan hal-hal yang berhubungan dengan pembelajaran bahasa Inggris di Indonesia secara menyeluruh. Diantaranya adalah mengenai bahasa, tata bahasa, bahasa baku, pengajaran tata bahasa, dan yang terakhir adalah pragmatis dalam konteks pembelajaran bahasa Inggris di Indonesia. Semuanya dianalisa dan diberi refleksi berdasarkan pengalaman empiris dari penulis yang adalah praktisi dalam pengajaran bahasa Inggris. 

What is language?
            When someone asks us about what language is, perhaps each person will have a different answer to it. Formerly, I saw language as only a means of communication. How people try to get some information from others and conversely, how others try to give information to us. That is language. People use language in their daily life and it is right that the position of language is at the center of human life (Cook, 1996), because people cannot live without language. This view is really a simple definition of language. I believe that L1 (first language) learning is different from the L2 (second language) learning. In the L1 learning, people have learned the language since they were children. In this case, the most important thing is how they convey meaning. Children learn language from their parents naturally. We speak our first language comfortably. We do not need to think about grammar or structures because we have learned it subconsciously. It seems that we do not spend a lot of energy to communicate in the L1.
On the other hand, in L2 learning or foreign language learning it is completely different, especially, for adult learners. Children can immerse themselves in the second language when they are put in the target language environment. In Indonesia, it is rare to find people who speak English fluently. One of the reasons for this is the perception that English is a very difficult language. We only know, when we learn English, that we have to know the structures or patterns of sentences. So structure is very important. However, in reality, we can never use structures learned in school without knowing about their functional use. Even when we meet a native speaker we feel anxious greeting them. From this evidence, I assume that learning English does not only mean knowing the structures, but also understanding the linguistics, which are phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics, and contexts, in which the language is used. In this respect, I do not intend to reject Finegan (1997) and Fromkin’s (1999) idea that language is a rule-governed system.
            As noted above, we cannot see the language simply from how sentences are formed. Language is a very broad world. Not just the structures, but deeper understanding of the language. To know a language, firstly, means to know how human beings produce speech sounds from their speech organs. Different language has different sound systems. For example, in English, some words ended by ’k’ letter always sound /k/ ‘voiced’ as in ‘kick’, ‘cook’, so when a native speaker learns Indonesian, it is difficult for her/him to pronounce /k/ ‘voiceless’ at the end of words such as: ‘tidak’ or ‘gemuk’. From the example, therefore, knowing the sound system of a language will show the way to the correct pronunciation.
Secondly, knowing a language also comprises how to relate sounds and meaning (concept). When we heard the word ‘chair’, our mind will directly think of certain object, which is used to sit and made of wood, metal, or plastic. This knowledge of words and concepts are also used by the deaf people in using the signs, gestures or body language to convey meaning.
As well, knowing a language involves how to combine words into phrases and phrases into sentences. The capability of people to understand and create new sentences is unlimited. By reading, people can write and talk many things about human life with their own creativity of words. Finally, to know a language people have to know how to use the sentences in appropriate situations and contexts. This is the ability to utilise the language in different situations, to different interlocutors and for different purposes.
Those aspects of language above lead to a discrepancy between what people know about language (linguistic competence) and how people can use the language in real life situation (linguistic performance). Linguistic competence is the knowledge of sound system, words, word formation, sentences and meaning, while linguistic competence is how people perform the language based on the context and situation. Both competences support each other, so in mastering a language we cannot leave out one of them.
In addition, I agree also with what Finegan (1997) has proposed. To know a language, people need to consider three sides of language: expression, this is about words, phrases and sentences produced, content, about the meaning of expression and context or the social situation, where the expression is spoken. Therefore, when we know a language we should know the grammar, which are the expression and the meaning, and the context, so that we understand language and its functions.
             As language teachers, the responsibility we have is that we have to take into account the role of the language ‘rules’. Since language is a rule-governed system, a sentence basically consists of words or phrases, which are highly patterned. If we misarrange a sentence, this will lead to misinterpretation and confusion. However, in reality it is difficult to control the rules because language is changing constantly, developing and becoming more flexible.
From the description above it is obvious that learning a language is not just learning its grammar, but how people understand the meaning based on the context. As language grammar change slowly, today people begin to start a sentence with ‘and’ and ‘but’ or using a preposition at the end of a sentence. Indeed, these are acceptable since the most important thing is to understand the message given.
Furthermore, God creates human beings with brains to think and to create something new with our cognitive potentials. So, people are creative to construct sentences, expressions, jargons, slangs, etc. As long as the expressions are understandable, some people will accept them. I believe that language rules play an important role in communication. Without grammar communication does not occur. However, language teachers should consider the best ways to teach language rules linguistically and contextually so that learners can use the language naturally. It is important too, to clarify to students, that in real life language is more complex than they have learned. Language is dynamic and sometimes unpredictable, so they have to be aware of that.

What is grammar?
            Grammar sounds very familiar to Indonesian English classrooms because whenever and wherever students study English, they will learn grammar. Not only students but also some English teachers assume that the meaning of grammar refers to the structures or patterns of sentences. Some students may feel that grammar is easy, but most of them find difficulty in studying it. Grammar still becomes the focus of English language teaching in Indonesia, although the 1994 curriculum has emphasized students’ learning written and spoken language. Even in the university ‘structure’ becomes one of the required subjects.
Also in the national final exam, this demands the students’ language knowledge in doing the test, which is always a ‘gruelling computer-scorable standardized multiple-choice examination’ (Brown’s term). So, if we talk about grammar students directly think about tenses. However, grammar is much more than just tenses. It involves morphology, phonology, semantics, syntax and lexicon (Fromkin, 1999). Actually I am still anxious if grammar only includes the five major aspects above. I consider that discourse and pragmatics should be included since they are important too, in learning English. Those aspects of grammar look at the sound system, the meaning system, the word formation rules, the sentence formation rules, how sentences are used in conversation and how contexts influence meaning. All of these are very important in learning a language.
            Then, some linguists divide the grammar in the terms of ‘descriptive’, ‘prescriptive’ and teaching grammar. Beforehand, those terms of the division are actually unfamiliar for me. In fact, ‘descriptive’ grammar is only the model of the speakers’ grammar, while ‘prescriptive’ grammar prescribes the ‘rules’ of language we should use. Teaching grammar is the grammar we use to teach English at school, including teaching the rules explicitly. I think all of them belong to the traditional grammar, especially both ‘prescriptive’ and teaching grammar, because they do not reflect the actual language spoken by language users of that language. If we relate it to the second language learning, ‘prescriptive’ grammar is hardly applied in reality because people speak a language cannot follow the other people dictation. This is to say, ‘prescriptive’ grammarians cannot force people to speak in monotonous rules as language is changing steadily.
            However, it is sometimes inevitable for language teachers to teach grammar or explain the rules of language explicitly in the classroom. In this case, teachers should use communicative approaches and provide natural situations and contexts so that the grammar they are learning brings about meaningful language use. That is why, studying discourse and pragmatics is important because when students go outside the classroom, they will face a very different world of English. Although they do not have the opportunity to live in an English speaking country, at least, they know the functions of language.
            Finally, in teaching grammar, taking the students’ errors into account is best considered. We should be careful in judging students’ sentences as grammatically right or wrong. For example, in sentence ‘John uses to get up early’ (McKnight, 1998), is grammatically correct, but this provides at least three interpretation. This can be meant ‘John usually get up early’, ‘John used to get up early’ or ‘John uses the alarm clock to get up early’. From this evidence it is clear enough that the teacher should know what is the intended meaning a student wants to refer to, and also understand the context of the student’s sentences. If we know the context, then, we can correct them.

What is standard language?
            Talking about ‘standard’ language, my first impression is a language, which is used in formal situations, such as in a meeting, court, education, government and media. There must be certain rules of language so that it can be accepted as ‘standard’ language. In Indonesia, there is Standard Indonesian, which people have to speak. Different countries have their own standard languages. In studying English most students do not realise and know that they study and speak Standard English since they learn English as what their teacher has taught to them. From set readings I begin to understand that standard language is when a language is acknowledged and accepted by a certain community, which uses the language (Fromkin, 1999). So, whatever the language if it is used widely and accepted this becomes the ‘standard’ language.
Then, the appearance of idiolects, dialects, pidgin and creoles is an obvious proof that actually there is no special ‘standard’ language. By using their idiolects, people speak to others in different styles of speaking. We can say that idiolect is a specific, individual characteristics of speaking influenced by age, sex, personality, etc. But in conversation both speakers still understand each other. Australians, for instance, speak different English idiolects, which sometimes seems to be difficult and confusing to understand for non-native speakers.
As well, dialect, which is used by certain group of people, is an example of language variety and mutually intelligible. To illustrate this, as English has become an international language and is the second most widely used language after Chinese, English has different dialects, such as Australian English, British English and American English. Other non-English speaking countries, which use English as the second or foreign language, tend to follow one of those English dialects. For example, most schools in Indonesia are likely to adopt the Standard British English. However, in my opinion, sometimes it is difficult to determine whether a sentence is ‘standard’ or not. In a sentence ‘I didn’t say nothing’ (McKnight, 1998) is grammatically incorrect since there are two negators. However, it can be ‘standard’ because the speaker and the addressee accept and understand it, though Fromkin, et.al. may classify this sentence as non ‘standard’ one. In fact, this sentence is very common in English.
Subsequently, as English has been widespread to other non speaking countries by traders, refugees or missionaries, sometimes it became mixed with the other language, which is called ‘pidgin’. For example, the old pidgin English in Australia, by the Aborigines and the whites was called ‘barbarous mixture’ (Baker, 1981). Pidgin usually has more simple sentences, less prepositions and fewer words. The main purpose of both parties is to convey the meaning. This leads to the creation of a new language. When this new language is spoken natively by children, this is called ‘creoles’. Examining from Fromkin, et.al., Baker (1981) and Holm (1988) it seems that wherever people are, they need language to communicate, even it is a simple language such as pidgin and creoles. These emerge because of people’s needs to create them and they become ‘standard’ languages if people speak, accept and understand the language. Thus, again it can be inferred that ‘standard’ language varies in different places in the world or there is no ‘standard’ language.
            Historically, language is changing according to the passing of time as the knowledge is developing too. Language is changing because the community is also changing. In line with the increasing needs of people to communicate and to express different purposes, then, it is impossible to hinder the language change. This happens in most languages in the world. Noting Fromkin and Finegan’s description I think people sometimes do not realize the language transformation from generation to generation. When we read a book from ancient time in our native language, we may feel funny about the spelling or the structures of sentences, since we do not use it anymore. Language changes can be investigated from newspapers, magazines, books, TV, radios, movies, etc. and those vary from phonology, morphology, semantics, syntax and lexical changes. Some creative people generate new terms or formulated expressions, which were never used beforehand. Some words may be taboo at some time and now not anymore, or even some words disappear now.
At last, relating to the above description, it seems that there is a conflict between the modern views and the ‘prescriptive’ grammarians. In one hand, the modern views see the language change as a development and this is natural. On the other hand, the ‘prescriptive’ grammarians try to defend certain ‘rules’ of language from changing either in phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics since language change is considered as corruption. I think people cannot rely on the prescriptive grammar, which gives certain regulations in using language. I agree with what Cook (1996) has said that grammarians only teach people the language, not dictate what to say. In short, it would be safe for us to speak language in acceptable and understandable ways.

 The teaching of grammar

            Perhaps, most English teachers have similar experiences in teaching grammar. Basically, the 1994 English curriculum in Indonesia has tended to adopt the communicative approach. However, this curriculum only gives teachers a set of topics and goals and does not provide the strategies in teaching grammar to achieve the goals of being able to communicate in both written and spoken English. That is why, teachers tend to teach grammar traditionally by giving students small parts of language. This is called ‘traditional grammar’ (Cook, 1996).
However, it might be true that traditional grammar is one of a number of approaches available to Indonesian teachers, so they use it (Bernard, 1993). In this way, the teacher gives explanation first about the patterns of sentences based on parts of speech, then examples are followed by some exercises. Also the teacher teaches verbs, adjectives, adverbs, etc. discretely. This kind of method seems not to work. Students are not able to use English as communication since language is taught separately, not in context. When the teacher explains the grammar, students seem to understand, but after that they forget it.
            From the readings, I am beginning to understand that teaching grammar deductively instead of inductively, by giving students the rules first is giving them too much in a hurry for students to learn. Students are forced to follow the rules in making sentences, which are abstract. How can they apply the rules in reality if they only have the experience in cultivating the sentences based on the rules? Actually I do not mean to blame people who agree that language teachers might be the worst people to teach language as Lewis (1986) said. Perhaps the way the teacher used in the class is not interesting and challenging so that learning process has not been successful. What the teacher has taught seems to be useless when they face the outside world of English. Some students may feel satisfied with the teacher’s explanation, but most of them fail even on the exam. It is difficult to judge whose fault this is, may be the teacher, who cannot teach well or the students who do not study well.
Relating to teaching grammar, since learning language is a process, the teacher should not hope that students will be able to master English quickly. Teaching grammar can be through integrating all macro skills: reading, listening, speaking and writing. The teacher should give exposure to English. Certainly, the teacher should be creative and adaptable in designing students’ tasks in such a way so that the materials and tasks can be interesting and attract students’ attention. I agree with Harmer’s suggestion to use the real objects, tape recorders, newspapers, and brochures to teach grammar since the grammar is used in context. This is what Kettle (1990) refers to as ‘from text to grammar’.
            As noted above, teaching grammar needs teacher’s creativity to use interesting approaches. However, I still feel apprehensive about what Lewis has suggested ‘stop explaining, start exploring’. In Indonesia, the term ‘exploring’ is considered as new and this will be hard to start, as students are used to being spoonfed by the teacher. As a compromise, I agree with Garner and Harmer’s (1991) idea, it would be better if the teacher remains introducing how to explore and discover the grammar to students, but, if necessary, when students get into difficulties the teacher should explain it. Exploring should be familiarized gradually because it is being implemented in a setting, where English is not used outside the class. Misunderstandings of teacher’s instruction may happen, so explaining is unavoidable.
            From McKnight’s (2000) class activity, I would like to take an example of students’ exploring the grammar, that is ‘decompression’ activity, which is done in pairs. Basically, this is a dictation activity, but the text is arranged in such a way, without small letters, punctuations and spaces. So, when one student dictates to the other, he/she has to contemplate not only the linguistic components of grammar, but also the discourse and the pragmatics. From the linguistic value students can learn the phonology (pronunciation), morphology (word formation), syntax (sentence formation), semantics (word and sentence meanings), discourse and pragmatics in which students concieve the context of the discourse occurs. Besides, the communicative interaction between student and student also can be enhanced.
            From the example above, it is apparent that most of the activity is done by students. During the activity students are exploring the grammar by themselves. They also employ their functional language to make agreement, negotiate the meaning and finally construct their sentences. This activity is really a challenging one for students to do better than the others. It is also interesting and enjoyable so that students can engage in the materials and analyse the grammar.
Finally, to make students are able to use the target language formal knowledge of grammar is not always helpful. It seems to be less useful for the teacher to teach grammar explicitly since students would only know the language knowledge, but they do not know how to perform the language. Thus, exploring grammar while students involve in the class activity and experience the communication is more valuable than explicit grammatical explanation.

 Pragmatics

            Pragmatics is the study of how people interpret the meaning of utterances based on the situation and context (Fromkin, 1999; Finegan, 1997). Yule (1998) gives a more specific term that pragmatics is the study of ‘invisible meaning’. It means the way people try to guess the underlying meaning behind the utterances spoken or written, including assumptions, aims, types of actions, context and interpretations. Personally, the study of pragmatics is relatively new for me because in the last five years pragmatics has not been studied in the university. Perhaps only a few people study pragmatics in Indonesia. Today pragmatics has been more popular in campuses, but still has made little impression in language teaching and learning. I think, then, when we study pragmatics in the first language it is easier than the second language. The reason is we have been familiar with the language, the context and the terms, but this is not necessarily true. In fact, studying pragmatics is very challenging.
            Pragmatics is important for language teaching and learning for some reasons. Firstly, this is to give the idea to students that language is not just in the classroom. Students will face a lot of different utterances, discourses and conversations, which they have to interpret. We can find many different expressions either written or spoken in any public places. In interpreting the intended meaning of an utterance, we should take into account both the linguistic and situational context (Fromkin, 1999). For example, when we see a sign ‘Thank you for not smoking’ in a hospital. Literally, this is the expression of thanking to smokers who do not smoke. But when we think deeply about the situational context of this speech act, this is a kind of request, which should be done.
Secondly, pragmatics is important to avoid misinterpretations. A locution sometimes serves more than one meaning, the literal and connotation meaning. So we have to know the exact meanings of a discourse because in pragmatics language is used in context, not abstract. Finally, pragmatics can be used to deliver requests, opinions, etc. in appropriate ways, hopefully the listeners will also give responses, answers, suggestions appropriately as we wish.
Subsequently, to understand the nature of language we should understand the pragmatics (Leech, 1983). Pragmatics involves the study of presuppositions and speech acts. Presupposition is used to apply the utterances in appropriate ways. In the sentence ‘Have some more tea?’, presupposes the listener has had some tea beforehand. Presupposition also can be used to get information indirectly (Yule, 1998). For instance, in sentence ‘My son is very clever’. The listener will know that the speaker has a son.
Then, speech acts can be used to express different categories of conversation, such as: representatives, commisives, directives, declarations, expressives and verdictives (Finegan, 1997). In ‘commisive’ speech acts, people can practise them to bet, promise, warn, command, etc. Fromkin, et.al call the verbs used in ‘commisive’ speech acts as ‘performative verbs’ and the context, which underlie the purposes of a promise, a threat, a warning, etc. are called ‘illocutionary force’ of speech acts.
Indeed, to interpret the underlying meaning, people need to know not only the background knowledge of the context, but also the linguistic knowledge of the discourse. However, one thing, which seems to be ‘powerful’ is the ‘cultural’ knowledge. When we are wrong to say or ask something to someone, who has different culture with us, it will cause a serious offence. For instance, in Indonesia asking about the age or marital status is considered as ‘common’, but in Australia it can be considered as interfering other people’s privacy, so it should be avoided.
Then, the use of authentic data in studying pragmatics is very beneficial. As authentic data is taken from outside the classroom, this provides original communication of native speakers. As a result, these materials are more challenging, but interesting so that students are stimulated to guess the messages or meanings of the authentic extracts. Also authentic materials will give chance for the teacher to select the materials based on the students’ needs and interests. Conversely, the students will feel more motivated in learning the language and they will get more knowledge about the culture of different countries.
In relation to the use of authentic language data, finally, it will be empowering both teachers and students. For students, the authentic language data will provide them valuable input because the original materials are certainly spoken by native speakers. Students would feel independent and doubtless in speaking English since they are sure that native speakers also use the utterances or expressions they learned in the real life. On the other hand, for teachers, who are the native speakers, giving students the authentic language data will make them confident. The language data exposed was taken from the real life conversation. It seems that the teacher gives students a ‘power’ to be ready to encounter the English environment in different situations and contexts.

Conclusion
            As a teacher of English as a foreign language in Indonesia, we should not only know the methodology but also the terms used in the language. Initially, the English teachers should understand the specific features of how to learn the L1 and L2 so that they could create some particular ways to teach English for their learners. Then, grammar knowledge is also very important as long as the grammar teaching is in accordance with the use of the language in the learners daily life. The grammar teaching should also be taught in communicative ways to avoid students’ boredom and to maximize the usage of the language meaningfully. Next, the standard language knowledge is useful for the learners to communicate in standardized language use in certain countries. Finally, understanding the pragmatics of certain expressions in English is also crucial as this insight can be beneficial to learn the different cultures between the L1 and L2.

References

Baker, S. J. 1981, The Australian Language, Sun Books, Australia.
Bernard, B. 1993, A Short Guide to Traditional Grammar, second edition, Oxford University
Press, Oxford.
Cook, V. 1996, Second Language Learning and Language Teaching, Second edition, Arnold,
Great Britian.
Finegan, E., Blair, D. & Collins, P. 1997, Language: Its Structure and Use, Second edition,
Harcourt Brace & Company, Australia.
Fromkin, V., Blair, D. & Collins, P. 1999, An Introduction to Language, Fourth edition, Harcourt
Australia Pty Limited.
Harmer, J. 1991, The practice of English Language Teaching, Longman Group Limited,
Longman.
Harmer, J. 1998, How to teach English, Addison Wesley Longman Limited, Longman.
Holm, J. 1988, Pidgins and Creoles: Volume I: Theory and Structure, Cambridge University
Press, Cambridge.
Kettle, M. 1996, ‘Teaching grammar: Rethinking the approach’, TESOL in Context, vol. 6, no. 1,
pp. 13-19.
Leech, G. N. 1983, ‘Introduction’, Principles of Pragmatics, Longman Group Limited, America.
Lewis, M. 1986, ‘ Grammar in the classroom’, The English Verb: An Exploration of Structure
and Meaning, Language Teaching Publications, Hove, UK, pp. 15-19.
McKnight, A. 1998, Language and Language Teaching A: Study guide, Deakin University,
Geelong.
Yule, G. 1998, The Study of Language, Second edition, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.





What are the advantages and disadvantages of using authentic materials in the classroom?
           
With the emergence of communicative language teaching approaches, the campaign of ‘authentic’ language data use has been established for second language learners in the classrooms in most countries. However, in the field of second language acquisition research, language-teaching practitioners have different viewpoints in relation to the use of authentic materials in language classrooms either concerning its importance or its effect on the students.
In teaching and learning English as a foreign and second language, the use of authentic materials has been debated. Although they have communicative value (Yuk-chun Lee, 1995), they bring about a hindrance in using them. This essay, first of all, will examine the viewpoints of written or spoken authentic and non-authentic materials from different language teaching experts. Secondly, it will highlight the importance or advantages of utilizing authentic materials in second language classrooms in general. Then, I will look at the disadvantages of authentic texts used in an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) context from the discourse and pragmatic aspects. Next, I will attempt to discuss the applicability of authentic material use in the Indonesian setting and provide an alternative activity to stimulate learner authenticity in the classroom. Finally, I will present a brief summary of the issues examined in the previous sections.
First of all, the term ‘authentic’ itself is defined as ‘known to be true or genuine’ (Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, 1995). In line with the term ‘authentic materials’ in second language teaching, David Forman (1986, cited in Underwood, 1989) says:
Any text is ‘authentic’ if it was produced in response to real life communicative needs rather than as an imitation of real life communicative needs. The term can be applied to any sort of text, written or spoken, and in relation to any kind of situation of language use.

Similarly, Little, Devitt & Singleson (1989, cited in Peacock, 1997) define authentic materials as those generated to ‘fulfill some social purpose in the language community’, while Yuk-chun Lee (1995) proposes the terms ‘text authenticity’ and ‘learner authenticity’, in which the learner can give appropriate and positive responses towards authentic materials. Meanwhile, Nunan (1998) characterizes authentic materials as ‘genuine inter-actions and authentic texts’, which are not planned for ‘pedagogical purposes’. These materials are written for real-life communicative needs, in which the writers intend to transfer some messages to the readers.
From these definitions, it can be inferred that any material, which is not for the intention of teaching language, is authentic regardless of who the writers are, either native speakers or non-native speakers. It can be English newspapers, magazines, songs, poems, brochures, or natural conversation of native speakers in the street, at home, on some radio programs, at meetings, and in schools (Underwood, 1989). So, any material, which is modified for the aim of teaching language, though this is done by native speakers, is considered not authentic. Forman (1986, cited in Underwood, 1989) also gives an example that the script of a play is an authentic play script, but not authentic conversation.
Unlike authentic materials, which always refer to real speech or original written text, non-authentic materials lack ‘naturalness and spontaneity’ (Underwood, 1989). Burns (1993) asserts that the typical features of non-authentic or scripted spoken text, are ‘standard’ pronunciation, unnatural frequency, complete sentences, apparent role shift and the same amount of talking among speakers, a slow and conscious pace, no backchannelling, formal, finite vocabulary, too much information and lack of outside noise. He further claims that scripted samples will de-authenticate speech if they are used in the classroom.
Many language classrooms, especially in EFL contexts use scripted materials in the form of textboooks as the only resources. The reason is they are easy to find and understand since they are mostly established by the local curriculum developers and non-native English teachers. Dialogues or conversations in the scripted samples are often stilted, strange and funny due to the grammar demands. Even they sometimes lose the important elements and strategies, in which the real spoken discourse is built together (Burns, 1993). Being exposed to artificial samples, students will not learn about the language used in real life conversation (Underwood, 1989). It will cause difficulty when students attempt to understand authentic written and spoken language. As a result, the outcomes of the language learners are still questionable.
Secondly, the use of authentic language data has been considerably widespread and promoted in language teaching and learning for some beneficial purposes for students in the classroom. Some essential features of real speech, which underpin the importance of it are natural rhythm, intonation and pronunciation; speakers overlapping; normal rate of delivery; unstructured and incomplete sentences; background noises; and natural starts and stops (Underwood, 1989). On the other hand, written authentic materials have more lexical density or linguistic complexity so that their cohesive devices are more apparent. The sentences are much more formal, although they still have a sense of naturalness with consideration for ‘rhetorical structuring of different text types (Paltridge, 1996).
Savignon (1991) stresses the importance of authentic language data use in context in presenting either written or spoken materials. This will provide students with various kinds of language experiences from different language functions so that they will be stimulated to create their own modification of expressions. In other words, they will be creative in exploring the language from the exposure they attain.
Then, in authentic materials students will deal with real actions and real written language in different situations and for different purposes. In real speech students will listen to genuine communication with ‘interactional features’ (Underwood, 1989), which scripted dialogues do not have. Doubts, false openings and errors often happen in real, spontaneous speech, and these are very useful for students to learn when they face the outside-classroom English, which is more practical and ordinary.
Next, in terms of linguistic complexity, Morrison (1989) acknowledges that authentic materials generally go beyond the students’ linguistic level. But this, in fact, will challenge them to reach an understanding of either written or spoken text, in which the cohesion and coherence of a discourse always comes up.  McCarthy (1991) states that generally most texts show unity in terms of grammatical features or cohesive devices.
In addition, authentic language data may be empowering for teachers and learners (McKnight, 1998). It is one thing that genuine language data will offer students with valuable input, in which the language is ordinarily utilized by native speakers, thus, they will feel independent and confident in speaking English. It is another thing that the teacher will give students ‘power’ to be ready to encounter the English environment in different situations and contexts. In other words, authentic materials can decrease students’ degree of anxiety to face the new environment in the target language (Moya, 1998)
Finally, authentic materials will improve students’ motivation in learning English since they are more interesting. Based on Peacock’s (1997) classroom research with two beginner-level EFL classes, there was a significant increase of students’ motivation in terms of ‘interest, persistence, attention, action and enjoyment’ when they were given authentic materials in their learning.
The following article, which was taken from ‘The Herald Sun’ on 20 May 2000, could probably be used for a reading activity in the classroom:

E-mail jobs option

Many recruiters now prefer to receive resumes via e-mail and some are using technology to scan, store and screen them, an American study has found. One-third of the human resource professionals surveyed by the Society for Human Resource Management preferred electronic job data, but only 17 percent of job seekers actually sent resumes via e-mail.

Of course, the use of this authentic written text will challenge students in their learning process. From the pragmatic aspect, they have to activate their cognitive processes and employ their schemata or background knowledge to interpret the intended meaning of the text. Looking at the title of the article, the readers will immediately recognize that the topic will be about computer or the internet, whereas today we know that the internet, especially e-mail has been popular among computer users in the world.
This is relevant to what Nunan (1988) has mentioned that ‘the materials should reflect the outside world’. This means that in selecting the materials the teacher should consider the topic, which might be useful for students when they encounter the society. This will stimulate students’ interests to know more about the text since the article is an up to date issue. As well, the authentic text lets the students deal with the culture and the technology from another country. For example, in the text it is stated ‘an American study’, students will immediately guess that this situation occurs in America, which has an advanced computer technology.
            Subsequently, from the discourse aspect, the article above will allow students to know about ‘report’ genre and ‘description’ text type (Hammond, et.al. 1992, cited in Paltridge, 1996). As in a written text the sentences are usually well formed (McCarthy, 1991), it is more obvious for the students to learn about cohesion and coherence of the text from different genres and text types. As a matter of fact, this article only consists of two sentences, but indeed between one sentence to another there is coherence or links, which make those sentences hang together. Hasan and Halliday (1976, cited in McKnight, 1998) have categorized the cohesive devices in written text, which encompass reference, substitution, ellipsis, conjunction and lexical. In the article, for instance, students can recognize the reference, such as some and them; conjunction, such as and and but; and lexical cohesion, such as the collocation of the word ‘e-mail’ will suggest words like ‘technology’, ‘scan’, ‘store’, ‘screen’ and ‘electronic job data’. Thus, students will learn how the sentences connect together.
            In contrast to those advantages above, the use of authentic materials in the language classrooms generates constraints as well. Widdowson (1998) has argued against the use of authentic language in the classroom since it is impossible to do so. He explains that the classroom cannot provide the kind of contextual conditions needed for normal pragmatic functions, which usually happen in the specific discourse community. He further asserts that language, which is authentic for native speakers, does not mean authentic for the learners.
             Besides, some authors, such as William (1983 & 1984); Freeman and Holden, (1986); and Morrison (1989, cited in Peacock, 1997) have acknowledged that authentic materials might discourage students since they are too difficult. This is absolutely reasonable, especially in terms of pragmatics and culture aspects. Authentic materials generally go too far beyond the students’ level or prior knowledge. In addition, Underwood (1989) asserts that authentic materials cannot be arranged before they are produced, thus careful selection by the teacher to match the material with the course books topics is needed.
In EFL contexts, as in Indonesian classrooms, the notion of authentic materials might be considered new for some English language teachers because they are used to teaching using scripted materials. Obviously, authentic language data use would bring about some problems for them. First of all, taking into account the limited teaching and learning resources for English lessons, it is very difficult for the teacher to find authentic materials either from printed or electronic media. This would occur mostly in schools, which are located in remote areas. Then, even if the teacher has found authentic materials, he/she still has difficulty in using them in terms of the limited time because the teacher has to use the textbook required for the English teaching in the school concerned. Lastly, using authentic materials reveals a difficulty in predicting the underlying meaning of the written or spoken text. This is because with finite ‘experience and shared-cultural knowledge’ (Turner, 1988), it is very challenging for students to decode authentic written text and with finite ‘contextual knowledge’ (Fromkin, et.al. 1999) they will have difficulty understanding either written text or real speech since they do not know the actual context or the pragmatics in text.  
In interpreting a poem, for instance, entitled ‘The last of snow’ by Douglas Stewart (Parker, 1960), students would deal with the collocation of the word ‘snow’. In Indonesia, students with limited background knowledge do not know what snow is, what snow looks like, when and why it happens. They might know the linguistic context or the discourse (Fromkin, et.al. 1999) of the poem, but they do not have any idea of the situational context of the countries, which have four different seasons. On the other hand, in comprehending real speech, such as in ‘Two old friends meet up again’ (Carter and McCarthy, 1997:42), the process of learning is similar to the written text, but spoken discourse needs more student effort to predict the situational context backing up the conversation.
Finally, considering these advantages and disadvantages of using authentic materials in the Indonesian classroom, there should be a compromise in using materials for language learning in the classroom. Firstly, the teacher should still take into account the degree of authenticity in selecting the materials (Nunan, 1988). This means that there is authenticity between the materials and the student activities and tasks in the classroom. Nunan further explains that the materials should assist the students in increasing independent learning so that they will be aware of their learning process.
Then, authenticity is not only a matter of the authentic text itself, but authenticity can mean the relationship between the passage and the reader’s response (Widdowson, 1978, cited in Taylor, 1994). Authenticity emerges in that response being appropriate. In this respect, a genuine text does not always generate student authenticity, conversely, inauthentic text might create authentic student response (Yuk-chun Lee, 1995). How difficult the authentic text is not significant since its ease or difficulty can arise from the tasks designed (Field, 1997).  All of them depend on how the teacher presents the materials and how s/he exploits it in communicative activities, which activate students’ cognitive processes to explore the language. 
The following activity is one of the communicative activities, which makes use of authentic materials. It has been demonstrated in McKnight’s (2000) and Reuter’s (2000) classes. The list of words below was taken from ‘The Age’ articles, they are ‘Gold Coast beyond the theme parks’, which was published on 28 May 2000 and ‘Australian ballet gets an extra $1m’, which was on 29 May 2000.
holiday   touring program   Queensland   dancers   off spring   parks   hotel Australian ballet   ferry   performing arts   sheltered beaches   increase   trip   offer   funding   lovely   announcement   application   guests   

In this activity the teacher could adjust the texts to any ways, in which they can be utilized to maximize the students’ involvement in the class activity. For example, in the first procedure, instead of providing students with lists of words on the board, the teacher could dictate them for the purpose of activating their listening skill. Then, with their peers in groups, they can check spelling and pronunciation together. After that, the teacher asks students to divide those words into two categories according to its collocations. Lastly, they have to create a short text type based on their interests of the chosen category and perform them in front of the class.

Although those words are actually from two articles, which I consider difficult for my students’ level, the teacher can elicit vocabulary, which is a little bit above students’ level. So, in this case, the teacher does modify the communicative activities in such a way that the difficult authentic texts still can contribute valuable input for the students. From the activity, it can be seen that all the steps of the procedure require students to employ all their linguistic competence to create new sentences.

Initially, in listening to the teacher’s dictation, the students recall or activate their background language knowledge about words and spelling they already know, then practise how to articulate them in appropriate pronunciation. Additionally, the nature of authenticity of the actual social interaction of the language classroom (Breen, 1985, cited in Taylor, 1994) appears when students collaboratively interact in producing sentences. Finally, while constructing a paragraph students have to determine what sort of text type they like to create: a description, an exposition or others and what kind of mass media their texts are supposed to be: television news, radio news or newspapers. In this case, students will learn different kinds of language functions in the social community. This process of learning has generated ‘learner authenticity’, in which the students appreciate and acknowledge the text, task, set of materials or learning activity (Nunan, 1988). In other words, the students can respond to the materials appropriately and positively.

I agree with Underwood (1989) that the terms ‘authentic’, non-authentic’ or ‘semi-authentic’ are, in fact, not crucial. The most important thing is that the students can authenticate the materials they deal with (Nunan, 1988). This means that the students can engage with the materials given and the materials can accommodate students’ interests and trigger their background knowledge and experience because these can expedite the students learning process. Thus, students will be encouraged to create genuine communication in the language classroom.

            More importantly, the teacher should not always rely much on authentic written or spoken discourse, which might be a waste of time and energy. This is also significant considering the limited authentic learning resources in EFL contexts, especially in Indonesia. The teacher still can utilize ‘realia’ or a real object to stimulate students’ creativity in exploring the language.
For example, in a ‘genre exploration’ activity, which has been demonstrated in Reuter’s (2000) class, the teacher makes use of a shoe, to arouse students’ curiosity. From only one object, the teacher can stimulate students to construct short texts in different genres and text types according to the students’ proficiency level. They can learn how to make a report, an advertisement, a storybook and a procedural text. Of course, beforehand the students need to be exposed to examples of different genres and text types so that they can employ both their communicative and linguistic competence in the negotiation of meaning and make decisions.
Indeed, referring to the activity above, the teacher can bring into play anything, which is beneficial for students in the learning process. The final product is not really the crucial thing in this respect, but the students’ process of learning. In other words, the students have the opportunity to use the target language in context, thus in a meaningful way. So, it seems that it is a matter of the teacher’s creativity in modifying either authentic, semi-authentic texts or realia to activate student authenticity in the classroom with regard to the target goals in the curriculum.
In conclusion, the emergence of authentic materials use in the language classroom has brought about controversial points of view among language teaching practitioners. Some of them believe that the use of authentic materials is very important for students because it will improve their motivation in the learning process. On the other hand, a few of them assume that authentic language data use will also generate more problems apart from their difficulty, when it is implemented in EFL contexts, as in Indonesia. However, there are still some ways to adapt pure authentic materials into communicative activities, which stimulate and activate students’ cognitive processes in the classroom. As a result, a kind of genuine communication, which occurs in the simulated real context, will be established.

            

 References

‘Queensland winter breaks: Gold Coast beyond the theme parks’, 2000, An advertising
feature, The Age, 28 May, p. 11.
Burns, A. 1993, ‘Spoken discourse in the TESOL classroom’, TESOL in Context, vol. 3,
no. 1, pp. 5-8.
Carter, R. & M. McCarthy, 1997, Exploring Spoken English, Cambridge University
Press, Cambridge.
Collier, K. 2000, ‘E-mail jobs option’, Herald Sun, 20 May, p. 63.
Field, J. 1997, ‘Notes on listening: Authenticity’, Modern English Teacher, vol. 6, no. 3,
pp. 49-51.
Fromkin, V., D. Blair & P. Collins, 1999, An Introduction to Language, Fourth edition,
Harcourt Australia PTY Limited, Australia.
Hornby, A.S. 1995, Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, Oxford University Press,
Oxford.
Lawson, V. 2000, ‘Australian ballet gets an extra $1m’, The Age, 29 May, p. 5.
McCarthy, M. 1991, Discourse Analysis for Language Teachers, Cambridge University
Press, Cambridge.
McKnight, A. 1989, Language and Language Teaching: Study Guide, Deakin University,
Geelong, Victoria, Australia.
Morrison, B. 1989, ‘Using news broadcasts for authentic listening comprehension’, ELT
Journal, vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 14-23.
Moya,  M. L. 1998, Using Authentic Materials in the Foreign Language Classroom to
Meet the Needs of Sojourners, A thesis,
Nunan, D. 1988, The Learner-Centred Curriculum, Cambridge University Press,
Cambridge.
Nunan, D. 1998, Language Teaching Methodology: A Textbook for Teachers,
International Book Distributors Limited, Great Britain.
Paltridge, B. 1996, ‘Genre, text type, and the language learning classroom’, ELT Journal,
vol. 50, no. 3, pp. 237-43.
Parker, E. W. 1960, ‘The last of snow’ in Fresh Field, Longman Inc., Australia.
Peacock, M. 1997, ‘The effect of authentic materials on the motivation of EFL learners’,
ELT Journal, vol. 51, no. 2, pp. 144-49.
Savignon, S. J. 1991, ‘Communicative language teaching: State of the art’, TESOL
Quarterly, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 261-77.
Taylor, D. 1994, ‘Inauthentic authenticity or authentic inauthenticity?’, TESL-EJ,
Turner, L. 1988, ‘Why Chinese ducks say ‘Gar Gar’ and Australian ducks say ‘Quack
Quack?’, in Plummer, Planning for Thinkers and Learners: The Early Years,
Australian Reading Association Inc., Victoria, Auatralia.
Underwood, M. 1989, Teaching Listening, Longman Group UK Limited, New York.
Widdowson, H. G. 1998, ‘Context, community, and authentic language’, TESOL
Quarterly, vol. 32, no. 4, pp. 705-15.
Yuk-chun Lee, W. 1995, ‘Authenticity revisited: Text authenticity and learner
authenticity’, ELT Journal, vol. 49, no. 4, pp. 323-28.

Selasa, 10 September 2013

MY PROJECT REPORT



KARYA TULIS
(Project Report)

Being A District Trainer and A Master Trainer of Teacher Training Projects in Improving the Teachers' Quality as an Implementation of Society Development Program


 Diajukan untuk memenuhi persyaratan Lomba Guru MTs Berprestasi 2013 di Lingkungan Kementerian Agama
Tingkat Provinsi Jawa Timur


  
Oleh:
UMI MAHMUDAH, SPd., M.Ed.
MTsN TAMBAKBERAS JOMBANG


 
KEMENTERIAN AGAMA KABUPATEN JOMBANG
TAHUN 2013



KATA PENGANTAR

Alhamdulillahhirrabil alamin,  penulis telah berhasil menyelesaikan karya tulis tentang kegiatan-kegiatan selama menjadi District Trainer (Pelatih Wilayah) pada Program IAPBE (Kemitraan Indonesia-Australia) di Kabupaten Jombang periode 2005-2007 dan sebagai Master Trainer pada program ELTIS (Pelatihan Guru Bahasa Inggris di Sekolah-sekolah Islam)  periode 2007 – 2010 di Propinsi Jawa Timur (Pamekasan, Sumenep, Probolimggo, dan Situbondo.  Program ini didanai dan disponsori oleh Pemerintah Australia ( Ausaid)
Karya tulis ini khusus ditujukan sebagai persyaratan dalam mengikuti  Lomba guru MTs Berprestasi 2013 dilingkungan Kementrian Agama Tingkat Propinsi Jawa Timur. Semoga bisa bermanfaat bagi pembaca dan khususnya penulis.


Jombang, Agustus 2013

                 Penulis

BAB I
PENDAHALUAN
            Seiring dengan berkembangnya dan pesatnya pertumbuhan teknologi, kebutuhan akan tingginya ilmu  pendidikan di Indonesia mutlak harus terus ditingkatkan. Jika melihat Human Development Index (Indeks Pembangunan Manusia) tahun 2012 dari www.undp.org. peringkat Indonesia di nomor 121 dari 187 negara, dibandingkan dengan negara Malaysia yang berada di urutan 64, sangat jauh selisihnya. Pada jaman dulu berbondong-bondong pelajar justru warga Malaysia yang belajar di Indonesia. Akan tetapi beberapa tahun terakhir justru banyak pelajar dan mahasiswa yang dikirim belajar ke Malaysia. Sungguh kita perlu mengevaluasi diri dengan keadaan Indonesia saat ini.
            Menukil dari perkataan salah satu Presiden Afrika Selatan, Nelson Mandela, yang mengatakan bahwa “Pendidikan adalah senjata paling mematikan, karena dengan itu Anda dapat mengubah dunia”. Begitu dahsyatnya peran pendidikan di dunia ini sampai bisa mengubah dunia ternyata sudah banyak terbukti. Semakin tinggi tingkat pendidikan sebuah negara, semakin maju pula negara tersebut. Untuk itu Indonesia juga harus ikut berpacu meningkatkan diri di bidang pendidikan jika tidak mau kalah dengan negara lain.
            Sehubungan dengan peningkatan mutu pendidikan di Indonesia, dalam Undang-Undang Dasar 1945 bangsa Indonesia telah mempunyai cita-cita yang luhur yaitu ikut serta dalam ‘mencerdaskan kehidupan bangsa’ (UUD 1945). Artinya bahwa bangsa kita telah bertekad untuk selalu meningkatkan mutu pendidikan di Indonesia. Sementara itu, pemerintah telah berupaya untuk terus menerus membenahi Kurikulum pendidikan di sekolah-sekolah di seluruh penjuru Indonesia. Mulai dari Kurikulum 1974, Kurikulum 1984, Kurikulum 1994, Kurikulum 2004 (Kurikulum Berbasis Kompetensi), Kurikulum 2006 (Kurikulum Satuan Tingkat Pendidikan) dan yang terakhir adalah Kurikulum 2013 yang sekarang sedang diterapkan pada beberapa sekolah yang terpilih sebagai Pilot Project untuk menerapkan Kurikulum 2013 ini, semua pada dasarnya bertujuan sama yaitu untuk meningkatkan mutu pendidikan di Indonesia.
Akan tetapi, pembenahan mutu pendidikan secara global harus dibarengi dengan peningkatan mutu guru secara menyeluruh. Beberapa tahun silam, penyebaran kebijakan dan pendekatan-pendekatan pembelajaran baru dirasa belum menyentuh hingga ke seluruh praktisi pendidikan, terutama di daerah-daerah pinggiran dan pelosok. Memang tidaklah mudah untuk bisa menyebarluaskan pengetahuan dan pendekatan baru kepada semua guru dan komponen pendidikan lainnya. Hal ini disebabkan oleh banyak faktor antara lain adalah kurang lancarnya  jaringan komunikasi baik melalui fasilitas fisik maupun kontak antar personil di daerah pedesaan dan terpencil. Seandainyapun ada itu hanya dimiliki oleh kalangan tertentu saja dan belum populer di kalangan guru dan tenaga pendidik lainnya. Faktor penyebab lain adalah sebagian besar masyarakat di Indonesia masih gagap teknologi tingkat tinggi. Bahkan para guru juga masih banyak yang awam dengan teknologi modern, misalnya dalam pengoperasian komputer, yang sebenarnya sangat penting untuk kebutuhan pembelajaran saat ini, yaitu Pengolah Kata (Ms Word), Pengolah Angka (Ms Excel), Data Base, dan program-program lainnya. Dalam hal pencarian pengetahuan yang lebih luas, sebenarnya guru dan komponen pendidik lainnya bisa juga memanfaatkan Internet. Dengan ketrampilan mengeksplorasi Internet, penulis yakin dunia seakan berada dalam genggaman kita sebagai praktisi pendidikan. Yang terakhir adalah faktor yang paling vital, yaitu belum adanya tindakan penyebaran yang bisa menjangkau daerah-daerah pelosok sehingga terjadi ketidakseimbangan tingkat sumber daya manusia antara daerah satu dengan lainnya.
            Sebagai tenaga pendidik masa kini, sangatlah penting untuk selalu meningkatkan kompetensi dan potensi diri, baik pengembangan secara administrasi maupun pengembangan potensi diri untuk menjadi tenaga pendidik yang profesional. Desakan dan tuntutan jaman untuk mengimbangi budaya dan teknologi dunia barat mutlak harus dilakukan, terutama dengan peningkatan mutu sumber daya tenaga guru di Indonesia. Dengan mutu pendidikan yang baiklah bangsa Indonesia akan mampu bersaing di dunia internasional.
Oleh karena itu, penulis sangat berkeinginan untuk selalu berpartisipasi dalam penyebarluasan pengetahuan dan pendekatan-pendekatan mutakhir dalam dunia pembelajaran di sekolah dasar dan menengah. Dalam karya tulis ini, penulis akan memaparkan tentang keterlibatannya dalam program peningkatan mutu pendidikan berupa Pelatihan Guru dan Tenaga Kependidikan lainnya. Yang pertama yaitu pada tahun 2005-2007 menjadi District Trainer di sebuah program pelatihan yang didanai oleh Pemerintah Australia yang disebut dengan IAPBE (Indonesia Australia Partnership in Basic Education) atau Program Kemitraan Indonesia Ausralia untuk Pendidikan Dasar. Yang kedua yaitu pada tahun 2007-2010 menjadi Master Trainer dalam sebuah proyek yang juga didanai oleh Pemerintah Australia, LAPIS-ELTIS (Learning Assistance Program for Islamic Schools-English Language Training for Islamic Schools) atau Program Bantuan Belajar bagi Sekolah Islam/Madrasah dalam hal ini program untuk Pelatihan Bahasa Inggris bagi Sekolah Islam/Madrasah. Yang terakhir, penulis akan memaparkan pengembangan dan penyebaran yang bisa dilakukan di madrasah sendiri maupun tempat lainnya.


BAB II
MENJADI DISTRICT TRAINER DI IAPBE
(Indonesia Australia Partnership in Basic Education)
           
            Sejak bertugas pertama di MTsN Model Trenggalek, penulis sudah terlibat dalam peningkatan mutu guru, yaitu sebagai fasilitator dalam In Service Training se Wilker Kediri III. Di samping itu, juga aktif sebagai Guru Inti untuk membantu di MGMP dan menulis LKS. Kemudian pindah tugas ke MTsN Tambakberas Jombang pada tahun 2005, penulis langsung bergabung di sebuah program kemitraan dengan Pemerintah Australia yaitu IAPBE (Indonesia Australia Partnership in Basic Education) setelah melalui seleksi administrasi, wawancara dan praktek mengajar.
            Indonesia Australia Partnership in Basic Education (IAPBE) adalah program kemitraan antara pemerintah Indonesia dan Australia di bidang pendidikan dasar yang bertujuan untuk meningkatkan kualitas pendidikan dasar di Jawa Timur, khususnya di tiga Kabupaten sasaran yaitu Jombang, Gresik dan Jember (IAPBE, 2007). IAPBE lahir pada tahun 2004 dan telah berhasil meningkatkan kualitas 180 sekolah sasaran dari tiga kabupaten sasaran tersebut. Program ini melatih hampir semua komponen yang ada di sekolah, yaitu guru, kepala sekolah, pengawas, komite sekolah dan Tim sekolah yang meliputi guru, orang tua peserta didik, komite dan kepala sekolah. Tm sekolah juga dari unsur Kepala UPTD, Camat, Komisi D DPRD dan Dewan Pendidikan.
Penulis adalah salah satu District Trainer (Pelatih Kabupaten) di Jombang pada tahun kedua usia IAPBE tahun 2005 dan menjadi Pelatih Tahap 2 dengan sasaran kecamatan Jombang dan Perak. Di awal perekrutan Pelatih, diberikan pelatihan pelatih atau Training of Trainers (TOT) di Malang yang bertujuan untuk mempersiapkan guru-guru terbaik yang sudah terpilih menjadi Pelatih agar mampu dan siap untuk melaksanakan berbagai pelatihan untuk guru, komite dan tim sekolah dari sekolah-sekolah sasaran IAPBE.
TOT dilaksanakan dalam 4 seri A, B, C, D yang masing-masing dilaksanakan selama 4 hari atau equivalen dengan 31,5 jam. Materi disiapkan berbeda untuk setiap seri, akan tetapi ada materi yang sengaja diulang untuk penguatan. Materi TOT meliputi Sekolah Efektif, Peningkatan Peran Serta Masyarakat, Outbound Activities, Pembelajaran PAKEM dan Kontekstual, Kurikulum, Strategi Pembelajaran, Penciptaan Lingkungan Belajar yang Kondusif, Penilaian Berbasis Kelas, Rencana Pelaksanaan Pembelajaran, Micro Teaching, Rencana Pengembangan Sekolah, Visi Misi Tujuan Sasaran Sekolah, Analisis SWOT, Program Sekolah, RAPBS, Monitoring dan Evaluasi Sekolah, Silabus, Pembelajaran Inklusif Gender, Tujuan Peran dan Fungsi Komite Sekolah, AD ART Komite sekolah, Program Kerja Komite Sekolah, Monev Komite, Ketrampilan berkomunikasi dan Mengelola Konflik, Pembelajaran Orang Dewasa, Real Teaching, Tim Building, Mengelola KKG dan MGMP, Ketrampilan Negosiasi, Penelitian Tindakan Kelas, Gender dan PSM, Penggalian dan Pendalaman Materi Ajar.
Setelah TOT seri A, B dan C, penulis harus sudah berperan aktif di kabupaten dalam pelatihan Komite Sekolah, Tim Sekolah dan Guru SD/MI dan SMP/MTs. Meskipun seiring dengan berjalannya Pelatihan yang ada di kabupaten, penulis juga tetap harus menjalani Pelatihan Pelatih untuk Tahap berikutnya untuk materi lanjut, antara lain KTSP, Gender, Pelaporan hasil kegiatan, Ketrampilan menggunakan pohon masalah, Standar Pelayanan Minimal, Penciptaan Lingkungan Sekolah yang Sehat dan Aman, Penciptaan Sistem Administrasi sekolah yang Efektif, juga Ketrampilan memberdayakan warga sekolah.
Pelatihan yang pertama yaitu Pelatihan Komite Sekolah. Pelatihan ini diadakan karena Komite Sekolah mempunyai peranan penting dalam mewujudkan sekolah yang efektif atau sekolah yang berMBS (Manajemen Berbasis Sekolah). Dalam menjalankan fungsi dan perannya, Komite Sekolah harus memiliki kompetensi yaitu sebagai Pemberi Pertimbangan, Pendukung, Pengontrol dan Mediator bagi sekolah. Dengan kompetensi yang dimiliki dan dianggap memadai diharapkan dapat meningkatkan kualitas sekolah yang dibinanya.
Sasaran peserta Pelatihan Komite Sekolah SD/MI, SMP/MTs ini adalah ketua, wakil ketua, sekretaris dan bendahara.
Pelatihan selanjutnya yaitu Pelatihan Tim Sekolah. Tim Sekolah memegang peranan yang sangat penting dalam pengembangan sekolah efektif. Komponen Tim Sekolah yang menjadi sasaran adalah kepala sekolah, guru senior, ketua komite sekolah, dan wakil orang tua siswa. Sedangkan kompetensi yang harus dicapai oleh peserta adalah Tim Sekolah mampu bersama-sama mewujudkan sekolah yang berMBS, mampu memberikan dukungan untuk mewujudkan sekolah yang menerapkan pembelajaran PAKEM/CTL dan mampu memberikan dukungan terhadap manajemen yang responsif gender.
Jenis pelatihan yang ketiga adalah Pelatihan Guru SD/MI dan SMP/MTs. Guru adalah kunci keberhasilan pembelajaran di kelas. Untuk itu guru harus memahami dan terampil secara menyeluruh dalam perencanaan pembelajaran, pelaksanaan pembelajaran dan evaluasi pembelajaran. Penulis dan seluruh tim IAPBE sangat memperhatikan kebutuhan guru dalam meningkatkan kualitasnya dalam pembelajaran berupa pelatihan-pelatihan guru yang berjenjang ini, mulai dari materi-materi dasar sampai materi tingkat pengayaan. Para guru tersebut terdiri dari guru Mata Pelajaran Bahasa Indonesia, Matematika, IPA, Kelas awal dan Bahasa Inggris
Sedangkan kompetensi yang harus dicapai oleh peserta dalam pelatihan guru adalah mampu menerapkan PAKEM/CTL pada mata pelajaran Matematika, Sains, Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Inggris atau Kelas Awal, mampu menerapkan prinsip sekolah berMBS/sekolah efektif dan cara mewujudkannya dan mampu menerapkan pembelajaran yang responsif gender.
Dalam pelaksanaannya, baik para peserta Komite Sekolah, Tim Sekolah dan para guru SD/MI dan SMP/MTs sangat antusias dan bersemangat dalam mengikuti pelatihan-pelatihan yang diadakan oleh IAPBE. Mereka merasa benar-benar membutuhkan materi-materi yang sudah ditawarkan oleh IAPBE karena jarang sekali bahkan belum ada lembaga atau organisasi yang mengadakan pelatihan dengan materi-materi seperti tersebut di atas. Pada akhir program ini selesai, hampir semua peserta berharap bahwa program pelatihan akan tetap dilanjutkan, meskipun oleh pengelola dan pelaksana yang lain.

 
BAB III
MENJADI MASTER TRAINER DI ELTIS
(English Language Training for Islamic Schools)

            Setelah program di IAPBE selesai pada tahun 2007, penulis mengajukan permohonan untuk bisa bisa terlibat dalam program English Language Training for Islamic Schools (ELTIS).  Setelah melalui beberapa tahap seleksi, yaitu tes IELTS, wawancara dan praktek mengajar, penulis resmi menjadi Master Trainer ELTIS untuk Provinsi Jawa Timur. ELTIS adalah program pendidikan yang didanai oleh Pemerintah Australia di bidang pelatihan Bahasa Inggris bagi sekolah-sekolah Islam atau Madrasah. ELTIS bertujuan untuk mengembangkan keahlian berbahasa Inggris dan kemampuan mengajar lebih dari 750 guru Madrasah Tsanawiyah (MTs) dari Jawa Timur, Madura, NTB dan Sulawesi Selatan, juga untuk memperkuat kapasitas lembaga-lembaga perguruan tinggi mitra untuk merencanakan, mengelola dan mengadakan pelatihan Bahasa Inggris dan guru di tempat kerja, dan menguatkan jaringan dukungan daerah. ELTIS bekerja sama dengan tiga perguruan tinggi Islam, yaitu IAIN Sunan Ampel Surabaya, IAIN Mataram dan STAIN Watampone, Bone. Sementara di dalam sekolah-sekolah target sendiri, tujuan ELTIS adalah untuk meningkatkan kemampuan berbahasa Inggris baik peserta didik putri maupun putra di Madrasah Tsanawiyah melalui pengembangan kemampuan bahasa dan mengajar guru-guru Bahasa Inggris.
            Sebelum melatih peserta, penulis harus menjalani Short Course terlebih dahulu, yaitu Cambridge ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages)-ICELT (In-service Certificate of English Language Teaching) selama 20 minggu. Short Course ini dilaksanakan di IALF Bali dan para Master Trainers harus menyelesaikan tiga Modul ICELT, antara tentang Bahasa untuk Guru (Language for Teachers), Praktek Mengajar (Teaching Practice) dan Metode Mengajar (Methodology). Dengan ketiga modul tersebut, penulis digembleng dengan berbagai ilmu pembelajaran, mulai dari mengamati bahasa guru dan peserta didik, penggunaan bahasa Inggris di kelas, merencakan pembelajaran, melaksanakan pembelajaran, serta metode-metode dan teknik pembelajaran Bahasa Inggris yang menyenangkan di kelas. Selain materi tersebut, penulis juga menjalani beberapa workshop tambahan, antara lain workshop Training of Trainers, Guru sebagai Agen Perubahan (Agent of Change), workshop HIV dan AIDS, Gender  dan workshop motivasi lainnya.
Program pelatihan yang diadakan ELTIS adalah pelatihan untuk peningkatan kemampuan Bahasa Inggris guru (ELU=English Language Upgrading) dan kemampuan mengajar Bahasa Inggris dengan pendekatan yang Communicative (CELTT= Communicative English Language Teacher Training). Dalam hal ini, penulis terpilih untuk menjadi Pelatih di CELTT. Sehingga dalam TOT penulis bersama Master Trainers lainnya juga mendesain Modul CELTT, mempresentasikan dan mempraktekkannya untuk melihat sejauh mana respon peserta. Penulis benar-benar merasakan banyak sekali ilmu yang diperoleh dalam ICELT course ini.
            Pada awal tahun 2008, mulailah penulis memberi training pada guru-guru Bahasa Inggris MTs dari sekolah sasaran kabupaten Bondowoso, Situbondo, Probolinggo. Pada tahap-tahap terakhir program ini, ditambah kabupaten Sumenep dan Pamekasan, Madura. Peserta dari daerah sebelumnya sudah diseleksi dan dikelompokkan sesuai dengan hasil Placement Test. Peserta tidak akan memasuki Tahap Pelatihan CELTT sebelum lolos dalam Pelatihan ELU sampai Modul 4. Sedangkan pelatihan CELTT terdiri dari lima Modul. Modul 1 tentang Prinsip-prinsip Pembelajaran Bahasa Inggris yang Komunikatif (CLT) bagian 1. Modul 2 masih melanjutkan materi CLT bagian 2. Modul 3 tentang Pengajaran ketrampilan Listening dan Reading. Modul 4 tentang Pengajaran ketrampilan Speaking dan Writing. Sedangkan yang terakhir Modul 5 tentang Pengajaran Grammar dan Vocabulary.
            Dalam setiap pelatihan para Trainee diharapkan mampu mengambil manfaat yang sebesar-besarnya sebagai bekal untuk proses pembelajaran di madrasah masing-masing. Dalam hal ini, berbagai materi dan metode yang disajikan haruslah menjadi inspirasi pembelajaran yang lebih baik untuk peserta didiknya. Para trainee benar-benar tampak antusias di setiap pelatihan meskipun tampak sekali perbedaan kemampuan dasar mereka.
Sebagai bentuk monitoring ELTIS, para Master Trainers dijadwal juga untuk melaksanakan Kunjungan Sekolah (School Visits) setelah trainee menjalani CELTT 3 dan 5. Hal ini bertujuan untuk memberikan dukungan kepada para trainee di sekolah masing-masing, menyediakan feedback atau umpan balik bagi guru/trainee dalam pembelajaran mereka di kelas, dan untuk memantau sejauh mana para trainee mampu menyerap dan menerapkan Pembelajaran Bahasa Inggris yang Komunikatif di kelas mereka sendiri dengan segala keterbatasan mereka.
Diantara para trainee, ada beberapa yang dipilih untuk menjadi District Trainers untuk daerah masing-masing. Mereka juga diberi workshop Cambridge ESOL Teaching Knowledge Test (TKT) Preparation Course dan TOT di IALF Bali. Ka dipersiapkan untuk menjadi penerus Master Trainers setelah Program ELTIS berakhir untuk tetap menghidupkan kegiatan MGMP mereka. Ada 5 MGMP Groups di Jawa Timur yang dibentuk ELTIS untuk menyediakan sebuah forum bagi guru untuk bertemu dan mendiskusikan isu-isu dalam proses belajar mengajar dan mengembangkan ketrampilan yang relevan, serta kesempatan pengembangan guru yang terus menerus melalui komunitas berbahasa Inggris tingkat kabupaten.
Selain kegiatan di atas, penulis juga termasuk salah satu Master Trainers yang terpilih dalam penulisan Paket Materi ELT ELTIS (Resource Packs) yang sebelumnya juga dibekali dengan Workshop Pembuatan Materi dari IQRA’ Singapore. Setelah itu penulis dan tim Resource Packs terus menerus bekerja untuk menghasilkan sebuah Paket Buku Suplemen sebagai pendukung Buku Paket di madrasah. Materi dalam Resource Pack didesain bernuasa Islam, jadi semua konteks dalam semua materi harus memperhatikan kaidah-kaidah pembelajaran Islam.
Selama tiga tahun menjadi Master Trainer dan berpartisipasi aktif di setiap kegiatan ELTIS merupakan pengetahuan dan pengalaman yang sangat bermanfaat bagi pengembangan diri dan karir penulis. Dan ini merupakan bekal yang sangat berharga dalam membantu rekan guru yang lainnya baik di tempat kerja sendiri dan tempat lain yang membutuhkan.
BAB IV
PENGEMBANGAN KEGIATAN PASCA IAPBE DAN ELTIS

            Pada bab ini penulis mencoba mendeskripsikan kegiatan pengembangan pasca IAPBE dan ELTIS. Ada dua bagian dalam bagian ini, yaitu Kegiatan di dalam madrasah dan di luar madrasah.
Pada tahun 2008, tepatnya pada bulan Maret, penulis untuk pertama kalinya diminta oleh Kepala Madrasah, Bapak Drs. H. Ach. Hasan, M.Pd.I, untuk memberikan pelatihan di madrasah sendiri, MTsN Tambakberas dengan materi yang sekiranya bermanfaat bagi para guru. Untuk itu, penulis memilih materi ‘Multi Metode Pembelajaran’ yang secara praktis akan diterapkan langsung di kelas oleh para guru tersebut. Memang pada saat itu, para guru di madrasah penulis sangat membutuhkan sekali materi semacam itu.
Pada tahun 2009, penulis diberi tambahan tugas di MTsN Tambakberas Jombang sebagai Wakil Kepala Bidang Kurikulum oleh Kepala Madrasah yang baru, yaitu Bpk. Drs. H. Anshori. Hal ini sangat memberikan kesempatan bagi penulis untuk lebih dekat dengan para guru dan membantu mereka dengan cara merencanakan kegiatan-kegiatan yang bersifat meningkatkan profesionalisme atau kualitas dalam pembelajaran mereka di dalam Program Kurikulum setiap tahunnya. Paling sedikit setahun satu kali harus ada pelatihan bagi guru maupun pegawai. Nara sumber tidak hanya penulis sendiri, tetapi lebih sering juga Outsourcing dari lembaga relevan lainnya.
Program pelatihan yang sudah penulis laksanakan sebagai Wakil Kepala Kurikulum antara lain adalah Workshop I Action Research sebagai Upaya meningkatkan Profesionalisme Guru. Penulis mengundang seorang Dosen dari UIN Malang Sebagai Nara sumber. Dalam pelatihan ini para guru belajar bagaimana menulis sebuah laporan Penelitian Tindakan Kelas (PTK) sendiri dimana sebelumnya merasa bahwa menulis itu sangat sulit. Workshop ini dilanjutkan dengan Action Research tahap II dimana para guru menyerahkan tugas membuat Proposal PTK yang selanjutnya diperiksa dan diberi feedback oleh nara sumber.
Tim Kurikulum juga mengadakan Workshop Sosialisasi Administrasi Kurikulum pada bulan Juli 2009, dimana saat itu Kurikulum mengenalkan beberapa format administrasi baru untuk Agenda Guru, Jurnal Kelas, dan lain-lain. Pada bulan yang sama Tim Kurikulum juga mengadakan Kunjungan Belajar ke Universitas Brawijaya Malang, untuk mengikuti Workshop Pengembangan Metode Pembinaan Siswa Peserta Olimpiade Sains Nasional. Hal dilakukan karena MTsN Tambakberas berencana untuk mengadakan Pembinaan Kelas Olimpiade secara Rutin pada tahun berikutnya. Selanjutnya pada bulan Desember 2009 kami mengadakan pelatihan Bahasa Inggris bagi guru non Bahasa Inggris. Pelatihan ini bertujuan untuk mempersiapkan para guru untuk bisa berkomunikasi dua bahasa di dalam kelas.
Pada bulan April 2010 penulis dan Tim Kurikulum baru mempunyai kesempatan untuk mengadakan Pelatihan Guru Pembina Kelas Olimpiade untuk Mata Pelajaran IPA, IPS, Bahasa Inggris dan Matematika. Dalam pelatihan ini para pembina kelas Olimpiade diberikan materi dan soal-soal olimpiade dan diharapkan setelah pelatihan para pembina sudah siap untuk membina peserta didik di setiap ada kompetisi baik tingkat kabupaten maupun yang lebih tinggi.
Pada awal tahun ajaran 2010-2011, penulis juga mengadakan workshop tentang Manajemen Sekolah dimana penulis juga menyajikan materi tentang Classroom Management untuk membekali para guru dengan berbagai teknik pembentukan kelompok di kelas, dilanjutkan semester berikutkan pada bulan Januari 2011 dengan workshop Pembuatan Analisis Ulangan dan Implementasi Team Teaching oleh Pengawas Kemenag Jombang.
Selanjutnya di awal tahun pelajaran 2011-2012, penulis mengadakan workshop Penulisan Silabus dan RPP berkarakter. Dan pada tahun berikutnya bulan Oktober 2012, diadakan Pelatihan Lesson Study serta implementasinya pada bulan berikutnya dimana setiap kelompok MGMP melakukan Open Class dan mengadakan Refleksi setelahnya untuk memperbaiki pelaksanaan pembelajaran yang telah dilaksanakan.
Materi pelatihan yang tidak kalah pentingnya bagi guru adalah pelatihan Komputer Program Pengolah Angka bagi guru, khususnya Wali Kelas. Ketrampilan mengolah angka ini sangat dibutuhkan sekali oleh guru, terutama dalam mengolah nilai, membuat grafik untuk proses kemajuan prestasi siswa, juga untuk membuat grafik dalam berbagai bentuk. Pelatihan ini sudah beberapa kali penulis adakan dan nara sumber juga dari tenaga ahli ICT Center MTsN Tambakberas Jombang. Pembekalan komputer ini juga untuk mempersiapkan wali kelas dengan Aplikasi Nilai baru yang diciptakan sendiri oleh ICT Center untuk mempermudah kerja para wali kelas dalam pembuatan Laporan Hasil Belajar Peserta Didik kepada Wali Murid. Pelatihan Komputer yang terakhir dilaksanakan dengan Tema ‘Workshop TI Sebagai Media Pembelajaran’. 
Selain untuk Mata Pelajaran Umum, sebagai Waka Kurikulum, penulis juga menyeimbangkan kebutuhan akan pelatihan bagi guru Keagamaan dan Kepesantrenan. Misalnya dengan mengadakan Kursus Bahasa Arab dengan mendatangkan Nara Sumber berpengalaman, juga pendalaman Fiqih Wanita untuk semua guru. Yang akan segera diadakan juga workshop Amtsilati bagi guru Nahwu dan Shorof.
Semua kegiatan di atas adalah kegiatan yang penulis lakukan di dalam madrasah sendiri. Sementara itu, sekali waktu penulis juga tetap aktif berpartisipasi dalam pelatihan di luar madrasah.
Beberapa kegiatan yang sudah penulis lakukan yaitu pada bulan Maret 2008, membantu memberikan bimbingan dalam pelatihan PTK bagi guru-guru anggota MGMP MTs se-Kabupaten Jombang. Disini penulis berbagi pengetahuan tentang bagaimana menulis PTK dengan benar. Yang paling berat saat menulis adalah pada waktu akan memulai, tetapi sekali kita memulai, selanjutkan akan lancar dengan sendirinya.
Pada bulan Mei 2012, sebagai Master Trainer ELTIS, penulis diundang untuk menjadi Nara Sumber dalam Pelatihan Peningkatan Mutu Pembelajaran Bahasa Inggris di Madrasah se-Indonesia di Yogyakarta. Pelatihan ini diadakan oleh Direktorat Pendidikan Madrasah, Dirjend Pendais Kemenag RI. Penulis benar-benar merasa senang dengan kesempatan yang sudah diberikan karena bisa bertemu dengan guru-guru dari seluruh propinsi di Indonesia. Selain itu, penulis juga pernah diminta untuk menjadi Nara Sumber di Balai Diklat Kegamaan Surabaya pada bulan Juni 2012.

  BAB V
PENUTUP

            Demikian sedikit paparan tentang Kegiatan Penulis dalam berpartisipasi aktif di berbagai pelatihan guru dan pengembangannya baik di madrasah sendiri maupun di luar madrasah.
            Menjadi District Trainer dalam Program IAPBE Jombang merupakan tambahan pengalaman yang sangat bermanfaat untuk membantu mengembangan pengetahuan baik di bidang Bahasa Inggris maupun pengetahuan manajemen dan penerapannya.
            Menjadi Master Trainer dalam Program ELTIS Jawa Timur juga telah menjadikan penulis semakin matang dalam pemahaman konsep pembelajaran Bahasa Inggris. Dengan bekal yang cukup dan memadai penulis selalu siap dalam berpartisipasi dalam berbagai event pelatihan yang diadakan oleh Kementerian Agama.
            Pasca IAPBE dan ELTIS, penulis merasa harus bisa mengembangkan potensi yang, terutama untuk para guru di sekitarnya, khususnya di MTsN Tambakberas Jombang. Akan tetapi, juga tidak menutup kemungkinan juga untuk membantu memberikan training di tempat lain. Dimanapun tempatnya, yang penting dengan tujuan yang sama yaitu ikut meningkatkan kualitas dan kapasitas guru akan tetap bermanfaat bagi sesama. Amiin..