Indonesian Language Learning Methods in Australian Elementary Schools
Previous studies have largely focused on the importance, problems, and challenges of teaching second languages in Australian schools, but very few have investigated the teaching methods used in the classroom to do so. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to identify the methods applied by teachers who teach Indonesian as a second language in one of the public primary schools in South Australia to enable their Australian students to comprehend the instruction in the Indonesian class. The data were collected through observational field notes and video recordings of three class meetings from two teachers. Evidence gives validity to analysis, and thus the data were analysed using the transcription conventions as proposed by Burns, Joyce & Gollin (1996). The results showed that the most frequently used methods by the teachers in teaching Indonesian to the Early Year level students were TPR (total physical response) and GTM (grammar-translation method). TPR was useful as the act of moving around seemed to help the children remember the vocabulary. Furthermore, GTM helped the teachers clarify the meanings of words and sentences for the students by translating them into their first language, i.e. English. These methods were not taught in isolation but were integrated by the teachers with other methods such as the direct method and audio-lingual method. The reflection of this teaching practice is considered a worthwhile contribution for other teachers who are also teaching Indonesian in other countries and as additional insights to immerse themselves in their language teaching practice. Moreover, considering the benefits of becoming bilingual, such as in communication, culture, cognition, character, curriculum, and economy, schools should provide more training for teachers to help them be able to use the best techniques in teaching the second language to enable and empower them to integrate other languages into their classes.
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