26 October 2010

Teaching Indonesian...

I am on my final practicum and I am enjoying it a great deal. I am working in a great little country town. The school is well run, the staff are accommodating and helpful, and the students for the most part are engaged in the learning process. I am learning, and learning lots. Hopefully, I will be a better teacher for the opportunity and the experience.

I am teaching three classes; Modern History, Advanced English, and a LOTE class (Indonesian). I enjoy them all. However, the LOTE class raises some interesting issues for me. Most significant among these is the syllabus and the expectations of proper and correct Indonesian. The materials / content that I have been teaching is most definitely Bahasa Indonesia yang baik dan benar. Yet, herein lies part of the problem, which might be best noted as a question..."how often do Indonesians use Indonesian that is proper and correct in their daily lives?"

To be honest, this is not really a dilemma for me anywhere but of my own making and in my own head. The reality is that I have to teach these youngsters the material and content that will allow them to successfully negotiate their half-yearly and yearly exams.

Today was fun because we were doing sentence drills. It was fun because I quite often find myself trying to remember what it was like for me as a beginner, particularly in trying to pronounce the foreign words. Today reminded me a lot of that MTV advertisement that played in Indonesia for a while, "gue banget". This was almost always pronounced "gooey bang get".

What is interesting to me is that a small country town like the one I am in chooses Indonesian. What is even more enlightening is that there are students who are really keen to learn. So, hopefully, I can help them gain an appreciation for Indonesian and the opportunities that being an Indonesian speaker will open for them in the future.


Aprianti said...

Hi Rob,
My appreciation for you teaching them Bahasa Indonesia. What purpose do these students learn Bahasa Indonesia for? Business, education, jounalistic, tourism, or merely out of curiousity? Because that will also decide what kind of Bahasa Indonesia they have to learn more : bahasa resmi or bahasa gaul.

Rob Baiton said...

@ Aprianti...

They are a Year 7 class. They are offered Indonesian as a LOTE subject.

Maybe they do it because that is what the school offers them ;)