Role Of English As An International Language Education Essay

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1.1 Background of the Study

Understanding the significant role of English as an international language used in many aspects, Indonesian government has come to a decision to include English in elementary school curriculum. IndonesIan government through their policy, decree of Education and Culture (SK Mendiknas) No. 0487/4/1992, as quoted by Suyanto (2000), states that English is one of the local content subjects which may be taught electively in elementary school. Nevertheless, as a local

contentsubject, the National Curriculum Center does not provide a special English syllabus for elementary schools. The General Course Outline (GBPP) is

supposed to be de'eloped by the regional or even school level. To support this

decree, local or school syllabus designing has become the important issue of

current discussion in the area of education.

• According to Nunan (2001), syllabus is a specification of what is to be taught in a language program and the order in which it is to be taught'. Thus, in designing a syllabus, it is necessary to know about what learners need to learn and how they prefer to learn. This,is consistent with the purpose of designing syllabus that can suit students' needs.

:4 Furthermore, Bada & Okan (2000) state in their study that effective 1v I

language teaching and learning can be achieved when teachers are aware of their

learners needs, capabilities, potentials, and preferences in meeting the needs The


similar statement also comes from Brindley (1989), as cited in Bada & Okan (2000), that information has to be exchanged about roles and expectations, both teachers' and learners' awareness of each othe?s needs and resources has to be raised and compromises have to be reached between what learners expect and want and what the teacher feels he/she can and ought to provide. Moreover, Kavaliauskiene (2003) says teachersr decisions made during language instruction depend on various factors, among which the most imoortant are the goals of a language course and the needs of the individual learner as well as learner methodological preferences and attitudes to the importance of various language skills.

Having an experience being a PPL teacher, the researcher noticed that although some teachers know the need to understand the ways in which learners vary in terms of needs and preferences, the opportunity to choose the activity given to the learners is not quite high. Not all teachers can apply variation of learningactivities appropriate to students' needs and preferences. This condition is consistent with the result of Barkhuizen's study (1998). He reports that the perceptions of teachers and students differed greatly from each other.

From the discussion above, it can be concluded that learners' preferences of language learning is one of essential aspects in creating an effective language learning process. In addition, Spratt (2001) claims that finding out about learners' opinion on their preferences can be accommodated in designing a syllabus.


In line with the views mentioned above, this study also aims to find information related to students' preferences. This is expected can contribute in syllabus designing. Then, since learner's preferences in language learning has an essential role in influencing the effectiveness of language learning and designing syllabus, it is important to find out about the students' learning preferences in English teaching learning in elementary school. This is consistent with what Nunan (1988) say that:

One important outcome of involving learners in ongoing curriculum development is that not only does it increase the likelihood that the course will be perceived as relevant, but learners will be sensitized to their own preferences, strength and weaknesses. They will become more aware of what it is to be a learner, will develop skills in 'learning how to learn' and will be in a better position to negotiate the

curriculum in the future.

L2 Problem Statement

From the background explained above, this study focuses on: what are

elementary school students' preferences toward English learning?

L3 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to find factual information concerning the

elementary school students' preferences toward English learning in East Jakarta,

as the contribution in designing an English syllabus.

1.4 Scope of the Study

The scope of this study is to find out the students' preferences toward

English learning. In this study, the writer will discuss about elementary school

students' preferences toward English learning. It includes students' preferences in some components which can contribute in designing an English syllabus. The components are adapted from Nunan's components of syllabus (2000). They are:

Activities (the language activities which the learners will engage), Tasks/v1aterials (the language material which the learners will be able to use), Themes (the English learning themes that elementary level will master), and Functions (the language functions which the learners will fulfill).

1.5 Place and Time of the Study

The study was conducted at 15 public elementary schools in East Jakarta

from March until June 2006.

1.6 Research Methodology

As mentioned in the previous part that the purpose of this study is to find the information about East Jakarta elementary school student's preferences toward learning English. For such purpose, survey was chosen as the approach for this study. Survey according to Denscombe (1998) means an approach that view comprehensively and in detail of obtaining the data. Meanwhile, descriptive method was used to analyze the data This is because according to Burns (2000), descriptive method is the not commonly used in educational survey research. In this study, the data used were collected through a combination of questionnaire and interview.





competences, and cognitive skills. Hence, young learners have their own characteristics, different from those in other ages.

There are a number of writers who come with their ideas about characteristics owned by young learners (e.g. Scott and Ytreberg, 1990; Harmer, 2001:, Brewster, 2002; Suyanto, 2000). Scott and Ytreberg (1990) mentioned, as cited in Fachrurrazy (1998), the characteristics of young learners are:

Their basic concepts are formed, they have very decided views of the world; they can tell the difference between fact and fiction; they ask questions all the time; they rely on the spoken word a well as the physical world to convey and understanding meaning; they are able to make some decisions about their own learning; they have riefinite views about what they like and do not like; they have developed sense of fairness about what happens in the

IL 1 Theoretical Description

This chapter discusses about young learners and language learning, language learning preferences as a part of need analysis and its contribution in designing a syllabus.

ILLI Young Learners and Language Learning

According to Rixon (1999), the definition of a young learner is a child

hetween the ages of 3 and 12 years old. So, elementary students in Indonesia can be categorized as young learners because they are between 6 and 12 years old..

The age of students is a main factoc to decide about how and what to teach. Ffarmer (2001) states that people ofdItYerent ages have different needs,



classroom and begin to question the teacher's decisions; they are able to work with others and learn from others.


From their characteristics, we can conclude that as young learners, elementary school students have to be given a chance to decide about what and how they are going to learn so that learning and teaching process can go smoothly. In other words, it is significant to involve learners in deciding what and how the learning process will be conducted in order to gain an effective learning.

Furthermore, Bath & Okan (2000) state in their study that effective language teaching and learning only can be achieved when teachers are aware of their learners' needs, capabilities, potentials, and preferences in meeting these needs.

Hence, learners' preference on how the language learning supposed to be taught is one of essential part in creating an effective langaage learning proces& Beside that, Spratt (2001) claims that finding out about learners' preferences can be used in syllabus designing.

ILL2 Syllabus Design

Nunan (2001), in his book titled "Syllabus Design", have provided some idea of thescope of syllabus design. In the conflict between views on just what it is that distinguishes syllabus design from curriculum development He suggested that traditionally syl iabuc design has been noticed as a supplementary element of curriculum design. According to him, curriculum is focused on 'the planning, implementation, evaluation, management, and administration of education



programs'. in contrast, syllabus concerns more closely on 'the selection and grading content'.

J According to Nunan (2001), syllabus is 'a specification of what is to be taught in a language program and the order in which it is to be taught'. In making a language syllabus, there are necessaiy components which need to be considered, They are:

the situation in which the foreign language will be used.

including the topics which will be dealt with;

2. the language activities in which the learner will engage;

3. the language functions which the learner will fulfill;

4. what the learner will be able to do with the respect to each topic;

5. the general notions which the learner will be able to handle;

6. the specific (topic-related) notions which the learner will be able to handle;

7. the language forms which the learner will be able to use; and

8, the degree of skill with which the learnei will be able to perform.

(vanEk, 1975).

In shorter statements. Nunan argues that 'a syllabus will specify all or some of the following: grammatical structures, functions, notions, topics, themes, situations, activities, and task'. These components are important for teacher and syllabus designer in developing their own syllabus

As we know, in recent years, a major trend in language syllabus design has been the use of information from and about learners in curriculum decisiom making. So., it is needed to figure out the information from learners about their preferences toward learning English in order to, at least, contribute a good syllabus design. Techniques and procedures for collecting this information used in designing a syllabus are referred to as needs analysis (Nunan, 2001; Richards, 2001;Brown, 1995).

11.1.3 Need Analysis

Brindley (1984), in Richards (2001), states the term of need is often applied to refer to "wants, desIres, demands, expectations, motivations, lacks, constraints, and requirements." More specifically, Richards (2001) adds, needs are often described in terms of 'anguage needs, that is, as the language skills needed to survive in an English society.

As mentioned above that one of the basic assumptions of curriculum development is that all things related to English teaching-learning should be based on an analysis of learners needs. Richards (2001) says that procedures used to collect information about learners' needs are known as need analysis.

Nunan (2001) mentions that one type of need analyses is learner analysis. Learner analysis is based on information about the learner. This information can be used by the teacher to modify the syllabus and methodology so they are more acceptable to the learners. In learner analysis, there are two kinds of' possible information that can be obtained. They are objective information and subjective information. Objective information is that factual information which does not require the attitudes and views f the learners to be taken into account, e.g. age, nationality, home language, etc. While subjective information reflects the priorities and perceptions of the learners. It will include information on why the learner has received to leàni L2 and the classroom tasks and activities which the learner prefers. in other words, subjective information reflects the priorities and perception of the learner on what should be taught and how it should be taught. According to Niman (2001), such information often describes learning-style


preferences by the learner, 14e also adds that the purpose of subjective need analysis is to engage learners and teacher in taking and giving information so that the ideas of the teacher and the learners may be more strongly associated.

In brief, analysis on learners' learning preferences, which is the

information come from learners and about learners, is important since it is

required in modi1ring the syllabus in order to be more suitable to the learners,

II. 1.4 Learning Preferences

In order to gain effective language learning, both learners ability and learners' assumption should be involved in deciding what and how the learning process will be done. It is one of essential parts to accommodate a syllabus design. Therefore, learners should be provided with the chance to make clear and evaluate their preferences. Learner's preferences here meaii preferences for English learning activities, English learning materials, English learning topics, and English language functions.

IL 14.1 Preferences for English Learning Activities

Generally, learning activity is the way how it can be used to help pupils' language learning and the teaching1eaming goal can be achieved. This statement is in line with Brewster, Ct al (2002) mentioned activities, like traditional exercise, concentrate on the guided teaching and learning of precise items of language, skills or knowledge. In other words, through



activity, learners can be helped in the process of' language learning and can achieve the goal of language learning.

In gaining a successful language learning, the activity during English lesson is expected to fulfill the criteria of a good language- learning activity. Moon (2000) gives some criteria of it. She states that a good language learning activity has a clear language-teaching goal, has a clear and meaningflul goal or purposes for learners, has a clear Outcome(s) for the learners, involves learners in work or activity which requires the use of L2, and facilitates language learning.

Cameron, as cited in Suyanto & Chodidjah (2003), also points out the key features of classroom activities for children rn learning a foreign language. These features are almost similar with the Moon's criteria. The features are: the activities have coherence and unity for learners, have meaning and purpose for learners, have clear language learning goals, have beginning and end, and involve the learners actively.

Thus, since an activity is the way to facilitate learners' language

learning, it is needed to obtain inf&mation about their preferences towards language learning activity so that learning activity can be more satisfactory

to the learners.

Creating a cOnducive learning atmosphere in the classroom is

important so that learners can acquire the Language well. This can be done

by providing options of enjoyable and meaningful activities for them. It

can be games, songs, storytelling, role-plays, or pUzzles.


According to Martin (1993:1) as cited in rewster, et a! (0O2), games is 'any fun activity which gives young learners the opportunity to

practice the foreign language in a relaxed and enjoyable way'. Games help

j learners to acquire language in natural way that native speakers do. It J makes the children motivated to learn because they are enjoying

themselves. Games also teach socIal skills such as cooperating and obeying the rules. It is stated by Brumfit (1991) that games are activities

that children naturally and universally engage in. Most of them like games because they can develop their fantasy, ritual, competition, and luck through games. Brunifit also mentions that the key characteristics of

games are activities governed by the rules, which set up clearly defined goals. The achievement of these goals is the end of the game. Games

j involve the contest either between players and the goai. and games should lead of having fun. Games are for playing, and the element of play is

crucial. These mean that games are not only for having fun but also for motivating learners to use the language through games.

Purthermorc, 3rewster et al (2002) also mention that children enjoy constructive play and games. Beside motivating and fun, games also can supply excellent practice for Improving pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar and the fOur language skills. To know the other advantages of games, Brewster, et a! (2002) mention some advantages of using games:

they add variety to the range of learning situations; they change the pace of a lesson and help to keep pupils' motivation; they 'lighten' more formal teaching and can help to renew pupils' angry; they provide 'hidden' practice of specific language

patterns, vocabulary and pronunciation; they can help to improve


attention span, concentration, memory, listening skills and

reading skills; pupils are encourages to participate, shy learners can be motivated to speak; they increase pupil to pupil

communication which provides fluency practice and reduces the domination of the class by the teacher; It helps create a fun

atmosphere and reduces the distance between teacher and pupils; they can help reveal areas of weaknesses and the end for further language; and they can help to motivate and improve writing

skills by providing a real audience context and purposes.

From those advantages, it can be concluded that games is one of language learning activities which can generate a jot of positive effects in using it. The value of games is also pointed out by Paul in his book (2003). He states that games offer a non-threatening situation for dealing with new learning. They are more likely to take possibility, do mistakes with no having feeling of failure, and tiy to solve their first feelings of confusion when they meet new words and patterns when children are having fun.

The other activity in language learning is singing English songs. Songs is one of activities that considered meaningful, since it can lead learners to straightly keep in touch with words occur in L2, moreover, with right pronunciations. As said by Brewster (2002) who stated about the lists of benefits of songs for language learning under the five main headings: a linguistic resource, a psychologicallaffective resource, a cognitive resource, a cultural resource, and a social resource. Song is a linguistic resource since it allOws new language to be introduced and structures and vocabulary to be reinforced and recycled, presents familiar language in new and exciting forms and in a rich, imaginative context, provides for lots of natural and enjoyable repetition, can be used to develop all skills in an integrated way, and helps improve all aspects of pronunciation


(individual sounds and sounds in connected speech, stress and rhythm, and ear training). It is also a psychological/affective resource since it is motivating, fun, and help develop positive attitudes towards the target language, is non-threatening and the more inhibited child will feel secure when singing as a class or in groups, and can encourage a feeling of achievement and builds children's confidence. Moreover, song is a cognitive resource since it helps to develop concentration, memory and coordination, enables children to predict what comes next and to solidate language items by repetition, helps to reinforce meaning when song accompanied by actions or gestures, changes the pace and atmosphere of a lesson and caters for different learning styles from the.variely it provide, and can be compiled into song books to help children good study habits. Song is a cultural resource too; since it is from authentic sources and can contribute to the cultural component of a language program. Children can be encouraged to compare with those in their own language. And the last, song is a social resource since it is a shared social experience and helps to develop a class and group identity, and it can be used as the basis for the performance or show.

Other activity jn language learning for young learners can be through stories. In line with Brewster et al (2002), stories are motivating, challenging and flin that can build up positive behavior; listening to stories is a social experience because storytelling raises a shared reaction of laughter, sadiies, excitement, and anticipation which is enjoyable, can


facilitate to increase confidence, and encourage social and emotional development. Moreover, through storybooks, children's learning strategies such as listening for general meaning, predicting, guessing meaning, and hypothesizing are increased In addition, Murdibjono (2000) writes a short summary about reasons in using stories in the classroom. They are.:

I) Stories, especially traditional ones, are authentic texts because the language used is natural and real, 2) Children listen to stories because they want to and not because they are told to do so. It shows the existence of motivation, which is very valued in learning., 3) Stories recommend a good available source for fluency in all four skills 4) Stories set up the learner to language items and sentence constructions which he or she doesn't need to use productively; although they are not taught language items and sentence constructions, students are being prepared for later awareness of the language components,

In other words, beside the cognitive beneficial, stories also give us the psychological beneficial. Stories can create a desire to continue learning activity involviug learners' imaginations in learning English. It entertains and educates the students. While teacher reading a story, learners can create theIr own perception about the story; whether what the princess looks like or setting in the story. Moreover through this activity, they can get the motal messages from the story which IS valuable for their life.


Dialogues and role-play are language learning activities that straightly involve learners into a natural situation where the conversation should takes place. In this activity, learners also learn how to pronounce and memorize English words well. According to Paul (2003), practicing situational dialogues can be loads of fun, and they can also be an excellent way to enlarge long-term communication skills. In addition, Brewster, et al (2002) states that role-play or dialogues is an important opportunity to practice spoken English; fluency practice, to extend language use, to develop social skills of interaction and turn-taking, to develop confidence, to memory skit is and to provide integrated skills practice.

In brief, learning activities must present and practice English in efficient and comprehensive system in order that new language substance can be absorbed. by the pupil. And of course. the activities should challenge learners and use their mind and senses so that they are take part In the process of learning more totally. The teacher is expected to provide suitable activities in order to arouse learners' motivation in learning English.

In addition, as stated by Paul (2003) that learners respond positively to a well-organized lesson, every teacher has to prepare everything related, to teaching-learning process well. If so, it is high

possblity that learners can fully engage during English teaching and

learning process. The need of learners' engagement in classroom is one of the essential parts in teaching and learning process.



With the purpose of involving all students during English activity,

they can be divided into individual, pairs, small group and whole class


It is essential for the learner to work individually since the work

that children create by themselves can be most easily assessed how well

they are understanding language targets. This is mainly significant for learners who are weaker at English. When they are working in pairs or

groups, they may count on other children to do the task for them, and

consequently, they may become even weaker at English. These learners need many opportunities to work by themselves in order to carry on.

It is also important to organize learner into pairs. Paul (2003)

argues that when learners work in pairs, they frequently speak English

much more than when they are in larger groups, It is because groups larger than two are often dominated by a few children, and some children are

excluded and hardly speak. In other words, in pairs, children have more chances to work and do the experiment with the language targets than

when they practicing as a whole class.

Eventhough organizing a large class into groups can sometimes be difficult, group activities promote cooperative learning, and show the way to social interaction to a much greater point than pair activities. Moreover, there are many games that are best played in groups rather than in pairs.

Durirg whole-class activities, the teacher can make sure all the

children have covered a particular language target and it can help build up


.1 .1


a positive class identilr and a feeling of belonging. Furthermore, it puts less pressure on individual children because each child does not need to speak out so much in the whole-class activity.

IL 1.4.2 Preferences for EigHsh Icarning Materials

Moon (2000) defines about learning material in learning English. She says that materials are essential source for teachers in supporting learner to learn English. The learning materials might include course books, workbooks, worksheets, storybooks, videos, cassettes, pictures, brochures, menus, or other real life artifacts. Besides, the taped materials can be used for listening tasks. They include stories, simple conversation/dialogue, description, and instructions for how to do something. It is important that the teaching materials used should take the learners forward as directly as possible towards the aims and objectives. Iii the clearer way, Richards & Renandya (2002) also discuss about learning materials. They divided the form of materials into four classes. They are printed materials (e.g. books, course books3 worksheets); non-printed materials (e.g. cassettes or audio materials, videos); materials that comprise both print and non-print sources (e.g. materials on the internet); and materials not desig1ed for instructional use (e.g. magazines, newspapers, and television materials).

It is also mentioned by Suyanto & Chodidjah (2003) that materials

used in Indonesian primary school should be developed in such a way that


will support the children in learning English and use it: the language is recycled and extended; the content and the sequence of the materials should he carefully and logically arranged from known to new and from the very simple and concrete to more abstract; the language points to learn are always put in clear and meaningful context; the younger the learners the bigger the size of the letters.

Most teachers of English apply a ceurse book. It is a valuable learning aid for learner. Based on Brewster et al (2002), it can classify what should be taught /learned, and the step in which to do it. It can specify what method should be used. It can give, attractively and efficiently, all or most of the materials needed. It lessens the teacher's workload. And it can provide a connection between the school and home. Moreover, Paul (2003) mentions that it is important to apply a course books, especially for regular classes in which learner are going to learn for any period of time. The course book should attract the learner towards English and illustrate the children into the course. Ideally, it should be enjoyable and rich of color so that learner enjoys looking at it just as if it was on of their favorite storybooks at home.

Worksheet is one of materials usually used by English teacher in their lesson. it can be used for practicing any of the four skills (Paul, 2003): listening (e.g., they can have song worksheets where they fill in the missing words), speaking (e.g., the worksheets can include picture prompts for learner to ask and answer questions about or play games



with), reading (e.g. these worksheets can contain words, phonic pattern, sentences, or short stories), and writing (e.g., these can contain crosswords, word searches, mixed up words or sentences, or other puzzles). According to Brewster, et al (2002) the worksheets should be

clear, simple and attractive, the instructions are clear in the

learners' own language, each worksheet provides an activity

which lasts a selected period of time, there are chances for the worksheets to be personalized in coloring, labeling, etc, and each worksheet practices one particular language item; involves pupils in differet skills and possibilitie for linking English with other subjects in the curriculum.

II. 1.43 Preferences for English Language Themes

Language has traditionally been segmented but it may be taught through larger meaningful segments based on whole portions of discussion. It seems logical to set such portions round a common term (Ur, 2001). In other words, there are a lot of things and words in English. So, in order to make it easier in learning all of them, it is presented in a general statement which is headlined them to each portion, called theme. As an example, "Colors" headlines blue, reed, purple, bright, dark, soft, white, etc.

Furthermore, it can be said that theme can help students and others who are involved in teaciing-leaming process to set their mind what are the things related to the theme. For instance, the topic is "Our Body", thus it can allow learners to think about what are the things or words related to human body. They can be eyes, nose, hands, head, hair, etc.




It is stated clearly that one of purposes of English teaching stated in Kurikulurn Muatan Lokal 1995 for elementary level in DKI Jakarta; students understand words in English that are often found and used in DKI Jakarta daily life. Consequently, the topics discussed for elementary level are about the surrounding of students themselves, such as: Introducing Myself, School, Family, Colors, Our Body, Time, Food and Drinks, Directions, Signs in Public Place, etc.

I. L44 Preferences for English Language Functions

Harmer (2001) says that 'a language function is a purpose you

wish to achieve when you say or write something. By performing the function you are performing an act of communication.' The termination of language function also stated before by van Ek (1975) in his book. He

specifies the language function as 'for what general purposes the learners

will have to use the foreign language.' Hence, in English subject context, it

can be said that language function in English is the goal of learning English itself or, in other words, the learner's abilities in English communication that they will have to fulfill.

In Kurikulum Muatan Lokal 1995 for elementary level in DKJ Jakarta, it is stated clearly that one of purposes of English teaching stated students understand words in English that are often found and used in DKI Jakarta daily life. So, it can be said the language function that elementary studenfs should accomplish is near the students' daily life or about

•' :



students themselves such as: greeting (e.g. "Hi!", "Good morning!"), expressions of farewell (e.g. "tiood bye!", "Bye!"), introducing self or others (e.g. "What's your name?", "My name is .."), expressions of telling time ("what time is it?", "it is 7 o'clock"), mentioning alphabets ("a, b, c,...", "my name is BudL B-UD-l.", colors ("green, blue, red, ...."), and numbers ("1, 2, 3,....").

H. 2 Theoretical Framework

As mentioned in the theoretical description, procedures in collecting information used in a syllabus design are called need analysis. One type of need analyses is learner analysis in which all inforimrtion obtained from and about learners. The information obtained can be the information that contains learners' priorities and learners' perception or learners' preferences.

Learners' preferences which can provide information for syllabus designing might be the whole or few components of syllabus. Due to the writer's limitation of time, the study will be focused on four components. They are activities, tasks/materials, topics, and functions. The choices of those four components are under the consideration that they can give the information which is relevant to the basic needs of syllabus designing for elementary schools in East Jakarta context.

The preferences of English learning materials are identified to find out about students' preferences toward source of learning material in learning English it includes printed materials (course books, story books, worksheets), non-printed materials (cassettes, Video Compact Disc), materials that comprise both print and

• V J•VI • V


V V jJ VV/.


non-print sources (materials on the Internet), and materials not designed for instructional use (magazines, newspapers, and television materials).

The preferences of English learning activities are elicited to investigate the preferred English activities by elementary students. It includes vary of activities which is commonly used in learning English tbr elementary level They are garLies, songs, role-play, dialogue, reading story books. The organization of the activities also included, whether individual activities, pair, group, or whole-class activities.

The preferences of English learning themes are identified to find what topics that are preferred by elementary students during they study English. It involves some themes stated in Kurikulum Muatan LokaI 1995 for elementary level in DKI Jakarta. The topics are about Time, Body, Family, Public Place, Introducing, Schools, Colours, Fooa and Drink, Directions.

The preferences of English language tünctions are assessed to figure out the information about preferred language functions if English in elementary level. It is also stated in Kurikulum Muatan Lokal 1995 for elementary level in DKI Jakarta. It includes introducing self, greeting, fare welling, telling time, mentioning alphabets, colors, and numbers.

ln brief, learners' preferences for learning activities, learning materials, language learning topics, and language functions will be the foundation for the writer in developing research instruments,data calculations, and data analysis.




This chapter discusses the purpose of the study, the methodology of study, the research procedures, the participants of the study, and the instruments used for

the study.

III. I The Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the survey is generally to obtain a snapshot of conditions, attitudes, aiidlor events at a single point in time (Nunan, 1993, p.140). The purpose of this study is to obtain the information about learning preferences of elementaiy students in East Jakarta toward learning English. To gather the information, this study used suryey approach.

In this study, the researcher tried to investigate elementary students' preferences in East Jakarta toward learning English, especially in learning activities, learning materials, learning themes, and language functions. The information of those components can be obtained through need analysis which is the procedures in collecting information to be used in a syllabus. In other words, those four components have, significant contribution in designing an English syllabus.



flL2 Method and Design

This study was designed to employ survey approach to answer the research question: what are elementary school students' preferences toward English learning ifl analyzing the data obtained, this study used descriptive method. The descriptive method is the most commonly used in educational survey research. It aims to estimate as precisely as possible the nature of existing conditions, or the attributes of a population (Burns, 2000). The data were collected through a combination of questionnaire and interview.

111.3 Research Procedure

Some procedures were conducted to cany out this study. First, the researcher detenriined the background of the study. From the background, the problem and the purpose of the study were identified. Then, the literatures, which underlie the topic being discussed in the identified problem, were reviewed. Next, the data were collected from questionnaire and interview. After that, the data were analyzed and interpreted. The interpretations were done by using descriptive method. Finally, the conclusion and recommendations were drawn based on the findings.

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111.4 Participants of the Study

111.4.1 Population.

The population of this study is Elementary school students in East Jakarta.

111.4.2 Sampling.

The samples of this study were 508 elementary school students from 15 different Elementary schools in East Jakarta. The students were from public elementary schools in East. The sampling procedure used in this study was Purposive Random Sampling Procedure.

The choosing of district sample used Purposive Sampling. Because of the limitation of time, power, and financial, the researcher took five districts from 10 districts in East Jakarta. Those districts are the most elementary schools in East Jakarta based Ott the information from http://timur. jakart .!home. They are Kecamatan Cakung, Kecamatan Duren Sawit, Kecamatan Jatinegara, Kecamatan Pub Gadung, and Kecamatan Kramat Jati.

Meanwhile, the choosing of schools in every district was random sampling. As stated in Donald Ary et,al, (1994), the basic characteristic of random sampling is not subject to the bias of the researcher. In this study, the researcher just tries to get the information about the pr'eferences of elementary school students toward learning English. Because of that, to avoid bias of the researcher, random sampling was used. The researcher only limits that every districts is represented by three elementary schools. They are: Kecamatan Cakung (represented by SDN Ujung Mnteng 03 Pagi, SDN Cakung Barat 13 Pagi, and SDN Ujung Menteng


06 Petang); Kecamatan Duren Sawit (represented by SDN Pondok Kopi 04 Pagi,

SDW Klender 03, and SDN Pondok Kopi 08 Pagi); Kecamatan .Fatinegara

(represented by SDN Cipinang Besar Utara ii Pagi, .SDN CBU 08 pagi, and SDN

Cipinang Besar Tjtara 05 Pagi); Kecamatan Pub Gadung (represented by SDN

Pisangan Timur 01, SDN 05 Pisanagan Timur, and SDN Pisangan Timur 03 Pagi)

and Kecamatan Kramat .[ati (represented by SDN Kramat Jati 13 Pagi, SDN

Cawang 03 Pagi, and SDN Kramat Jati 07 Pagi).

The choice of grade 4 to be investigated is under the assumption that needs analysis engages the collecting of information to discover how much the students already known and what they still need to learn (Brown, 1995). So, the researcher took the 4th (fourth) grade of elementary level with the consideration that they have already known about English learning and they still need to be figured out about what they till need to learn.

111.5 Methods of Data Collection

The data were collected through two steps; spreading questionnaires and interviewing.

ilLS. I Questionnaires

The distribution of questionnaires was conducted in 15 elementary schools that the researcher visited. Every SChOOl is represented by one class of the 4th grade. Most respondents needed between 15 and 30 minutes to answer the given questionnaires.




ffl.5.2 Interview

The interview was used to collect information to support the survey for the purpose of eliminating the limitation of the data obtained from the questionnaires. This wasa1so meant to enhance the confidence in the validity of the research data collected for this research. The topics of the interview were related to those on the questionnaire survey. The interview was conducted in schools where the students learn. The researcher asked eight questions and recorded it. Then the recording was transcribes into a written form, in order to make the researcher easier in describing the result. The researcher only interviewed 40 elementary students that were considered as a representing number of students with various backgrounds, and with different preferences toward English learning. The 40 students were chosen based on the result of the given questionnaires.

11L6 Instruments of the Study

In this study, the instruments used to collect the data are questionnaire and



[116.1 Questionnaire

The questionnire will be constructed by using Yes or No answer to shows a particular score of the students' preferences toward learning English, especially English learning activities, English learning material. English learning themes, and English language functions. The questionnaire will be translated into the students' national language,


Bahasa Indonesia, to ensure that the students will not face any language difficulties when responding the question.

The questionnaire comprises a total of 35 items categorized as


Each category has a different number of Items since not all materials, activities, themes, and functions are appropriate for elementary level, which is, students learn all things are related to student's life and suffoundings. .

Students' preferences of English learning materials were identified

to find out about students' preferences toward learning material in learning

English. The items include printed materials, non-printed materials,





Source of English Learning iviatenais

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9



English Learning Activities

10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 10

17, 18, 19

20, 21. 22. 23, 24. 25, 26. 9




English Learning Themes


4 English Language Functions 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 1 7

Total 1




materials that comprise both print and non-print sources, and materials not

designed for instructional use.

Students' preferences of English learning activities were elicited to investigate the preferred English activities by elementary students. The items include activities commonly used in learning English for elementary level and the organization of the activities - whether individual activities, pair, group, or whole-class activities.

Students' preferences English of learning themes were identified to find what themes preferred by elementary students during their study. it involved some themes stated in Kurikulum Muatan Lokal 1995 for elementary level in DKI Jakarta.

Students' preferences of English language functions were elicited to figure out the infonnation about preferred language functions if English in elementary level. ft is also stated in Kurikulum Muatan Lokal 1995 for elementary level in DKI Jakarta.

For all items in the questionnaire, the students will be asked to respond according to a pre-coded in Yes or No answers. For all categories, the students will be asked to respond the close-ended questions; to choose the appropriate answçr, provided.


I[L62 Interview

The interview was used to collect information to support the survey, to eliminate the limitation of the data obtained from the questionnaires and to erthance the confidence in the validity of the research data. The topics of the interview were related to those on the questionnaire survey

The interview is in the form of open-ended question. It consists of 10 questions which indicate each of the English learning preferences categories identified. Two first questions of the interview ask about students' preferences toward English learning materials. Four questions ask about students' preferences toward English learning activities. Two other questions ask about students preferences toward English language themes. Finally, two questions ask about students' preferences toward English language functions.

The interview comprises a total of 10 questions categorized as



Source of English aming Materials




English Learning Activities

3. 4. 5, 6



English Learning Themes

7, 8



English Language Functions

9, 10





111.6.3 Pilot Study

To test the validity and the reliability, the questionnaire was tried

out to 28 0f4th grade of elementary school students in East Jakarta.

A. Validity

Validity infonnation gives some more indication of how well test measures a given area, under certain circumstances and with a given group and content validity, as one types of validity, is the representativeness of the content of measuring instrument (Bums, 2000). He also added that content vatiditation is guided by the question: 'Ts the substance or content of this measure representative of the content or the universe of content of the property being measured?'

The questionnaire used in this study has beer arranged based on the concept of students preferences in learning English. Moreover, the spreading or the number of questionnaire items in each component is relatively balance in terms of representing components to be measured. This can be seen from the table on page 29.

B. Reliability

The concept ot reliability considers whether the obtained score is a stable indication of the students' pefformance on this particular test (Bums, 2000).. It means there is consistent result if the measurement is done to the same group of subject under different circumstances. The



instrument is considered reliable if it can give precise and stable


In order to test the reliability, this study used test-retest method, it is expressed as the correlations between the scores from two

administrations of the same instrument to the same students (Bums, 2000; Arikunto, 1995). The first administration was held on 12th June

2006, and two weeks later, 26th June 2006, the following

administration was conducted. To calculate data obtained, the researcher used the Pearson product-moment. The formula is:

- n'xy-Exy

(2 ()2Hv2 v)2)

The result of the calculation is 0.994. Comparing to the critical value of Pearson product-moment table, 0.994 is between 0.800 and

1.000 (see Appendix B.2). It can be concluded that the reliability of the questionnaire is high.

111.7 Data Analysis and Interpretation

The approach used in this study was survey. While in analyzing the data obtained, descriptive method was employed. In this study, the data were gathered through questionnaire and interview. The data from the interview were analyzed to enrich the data collected through questionnaire.