Another Way of English Learning

You may feel that you have been facing many troubles since you decided to learn English as a second language. This experience does not only happen to you. I think most of learners are facing the same problem. If you have decided not to escape from the learning, just because having experienced many difficulties, we tend to learn more linguistic rules but to put the language into day-to-day activities. Because of the lack of practice, we often find it difficult to express our idea in both written and spoken language.
There have been some sorts of ways of learning from which you may pick one out that best fits you. There are also some tips and hints of learning. A friend of mine who lives in Argentina (Latin America) has another way of learning, which you may take any advantage from. Here is the tip after necessary editing from me.

(1) Spend the time!

So far, the most important factor is how much time you are immersed in the language. The more time you spend with the language, the faster you will learn it. Learning here means all the kinds of efforts to obtain skills of listening, reading, writing, speaking, and studying words and phrases. This does not mean sitting in class looking out the window, nor listening to other students who do not speak well, nor getting explanations in your own language about how the language works. This means spending time enjoyably connected to the language you are learning.

(2) Listen and read every day

Listen to whatsoever you are able to learn from; it might be a radio, television, VCD or MP3 player, or other audio devices. No other way of acquiring listening skills but to listen to anything of your preference. In class reading is mainly to learn what the text is about or find particular information, reading here is more than just what you do at class. It must be extensive reading, which, by steps, will lead you to a habit. It is more than just reading at class. If you keep more and more listening and reading, you will get used to the language. One hour of listening or reading outside is more effective than many hours of class time.

(3) Focus on words and phrases

Build up your vocabulary, you’ll need a lot of them. Start to notice words and how they come together as phrases. Learn these words and phrases through your listening and reading. Read online, using online dictionaries, and make your own vocabulary lists for review. Soon you will run into your new words and phrases elsewhere. Gradually, you will be able to use them. Do not worry about how perfect you speak, until you have accumulated plenty of words through listening and reading.

(4) Take responsibility for your own learning

If you are not in good mood to learn the language, you need not to force yourself. If you do want to learn the language or have good mood, take control. Choose content of interest that you want to listen to and read. Seek out the words and phrases that you need to understand when you are listening and reading. Do not wait for someone else to show you the language, nor to tell you what to do. Discover the language by yourself, like a child who is growing up. Talk when you feel like it. Write when you feel like it. A teacher cannot teach you to be fluent, but you can learn to be fluent if you want to.

(5) Relax and enjoy yourself

Do not worry about what you cannot remember, or cannot yet understand, or cannot yet say. It does not matter. You are learning and improving. The language will gradually become clearer in your brain, but this will happen on a schedule that you cannot control. So, sit down and enjoy. Just make sure you spend enough time with the language. That is the greatest guarantee of success.

I have been studying English for many years now, English is not my mother tongue, but I know English is very important. I have accumulated some experience, including this writing where I learn English and share it with you, I hope it is useful for you. We should work as hard as a farmer; and there will be a success, post-harvest fruits. After all, no pains, no gains.
English is a language; learning is not just to remember the words, phrases, sentences and grammar rules. It is a matter of making use of the language into the daily life. So, we must be sure to sharpen our skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. English language learning is, at the first step, a process of memorizing, which at the next step it is a process making practice. Where there is a will, there is a way. Believe yourself, and do the best work!

Rosa Morello
Edited by the site keeper

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I want to write!

I used to dream of being a famous writer or journalist when I was in Junior High School. What encouraged me for the dream was the thought of having my name printed under the tittle of every my works. It would have been such a pride if readers recognized me as the author of what they were reading at hands. Years have passed since that dream, and now I am neither a writer, nor a journalist at all. Now, with limitation of nearly all aspects, I would be still having a dream of being a writer. Not because I would like to gain popularity and still have a dream of a famous writer, but it is just because I still love writing. Yes, I want to write!

People said that writing is easy. Arswendo Atmowiloto even writes a book, entitled ‘Mengarang Itu Gampang’. Writing is easy. Is that saying really true? To my personal opinion, at least there are three steps of requirements that someone should acquire before he decides to start writing. The three of them are the knowledge of the contents or topic of writing, the competency of the language in which we are willing to write in, and the writing techniques.

Before I start writing, I have to know what the topic is about. How can I write something that I do not know much? Thus, it is a must to collect necessary data about the topic. It might not be an excessive statement if reading is an activity that is not separable from writing. Even, if I may say, reading is a preliminary step that a candidate of a writer should have been their habit first, prior to deciding to start writing as by reading we collect what we would like to write. A little observation may also be necessary to support the data, so that we can present reliable writing to readers.

A language competency is also an absolute preliminary step of writing activities. The language is like the frame into which we should place the topics in, in the forms of subsequent sentences. From words to sentences, from sentences to paragraphs, and paragraphs subsequently build the whole integral text. No fixed rules of how to express ideas by means of a language, but in transferring the ideas into the sentences certain grammatical and structural rules must be followed. Not following the rules will not only fail in revealing the idea, but also lead readers to misunderstanding and confusion.

To make it easier for readers to catch what is the text about, we should certainly adopt writing techniques or strategy. Writing is not just a matter of supplying readers with information or particular data. It is more like an art of entertaining them while they are searching for the information through words. Thus, they will gain what they are looking for in the form of enjoyable activity of reading. As writing is the art of offering information in the form of entertaining people with enjoyable activity, guidance of how to write effectively must be taken into account.

As a matter of fact, it is not easy to write down our ideas to paper. If people said that writing is easy, it is just to motivate people to like writing. It is far more like motivational saying to boost the interest of writing. I do feel how hard it is to write. As the beginner, I have to struggle hard in both how I should make use of grammatically correct words choice, powerful phrases, and interest-provoking-sentences and how express my ideas from head to the language smoothly, like water flows.

I have been often making some mistakes as I arrange words into phrases, phrases into sentences and compile sentences into paragraphs, before finally it is coming to a text or article. From so many factors, this may have happened since English is not my mother tongue and, as elementary learner of the language, I still don’t have adequate competency in it. At one side, I still have to sharpen the competency of the respective language itself, and at the other hand, as a new-born learner I often find it difficult to ‘flow’ the ideas in the mind into the sentences. I often feel every thing is like stuck at the head and nothing comes out. Sometimes, I feel blank and don’t see anything to write. It looks like just sitting on desk with blood stop running to the brain and hands caught in chain.

To be a writer, it is still a long road ahead, through which I have to pace with full of efforts, struggles and pains. But, despite the limitation of competency, skills, and time, I am trying not to escape from this uneven path, a long road of dreaming as a writer. Indeed, I still want to write. No matter how hard the road and the long distance that I will have to cope with, it seems that no other way than just pacing it through. Yes, I still want to write, at least here, in this web log.

the site keeper,
a man who is dreaming of a writer

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Our Teachers: Encourage Better Teaching

The government has allocated 20% from the national expenditure in order to improve the quality our education. It has been taken upon considering that education is taking so important role in the future of the nation. It is expected that all efforts to enhance the quality of the national education will be no longer facing a classic reason: a limitation of budget. Will this increase of budgeting guarantee the improvement of the quality of our education?

Funding is the barrier that has caused the quality of our education left behind if it is compared with those from other countries. Due to this reason, since 2008 the government has claimed a budget for education 20% of the national expenditure. Considering the significance of the national education, most people agree to this policy. The question is now whether with this increased budget the government can improve the quality of the national education.

Now, let’s have a closer look to the fact. Soon after the government increased the budget, the first thing considered as the most crucial is to increase the salary. Since then, salary has been the largest component of the budget, and the education development program only has the rest amount that is certain to be inadequate. With this shortage of the amount, the measures of improvement that we can immediately see is the expansion of the classrooms, laboratories, textbooks, libraries and other education equipment. All of these facilities are of course important to encourage intelligent students, but it is not the most prominent factor.

The more important things are actually the presence of qualified teachers, learning-teaching method development and scientific research. Anyhow, these factors have been so far placed to be at the second priority. Here, we are trying to discuss one of the three factors: encourage better teaching.

To perform a good teaching, teachers should have a good knowledge of the contents and skill in teaching methodology. Skillful teacher will be able to apply the most appropriate teaching method, which leads the instructional most effective. A number of techniques that can empower teachers have been developed, among others, by Thomas L. Good of Arizona University and Jere E. Brophy of Michigan State University. Two methods considered to be effective in improving teacher’s knowledge of pedagogy are appreciation and power sharing.

Appreciation is the teachers’ ability to appreciate the students’ works, whilst, power sharing means their willingness of not to dominate the classroom. The appreciation approach to students will have different nature for different level of education. In Elementary and secondary students, certification or prize may be suitable for students who excel. The approach will be different for high education. In university, a professor may express his appreciation by giving his personal supervision and guidance to prominent students. An appreciation is like a small reward given to students for their success or achievement. Appreciation will boost self-confidence and self-esteem of students, which finally improve their academic performance.

Power sharing means the willingness of the teachers to reduce their domination of the classroom. Teachers should be acted as the facilitator for their students and do not center ‘the truth’ to them selves. It must be shared with their students. Teachers should hear and give a chance to students to have their own ideas about certain issues. Teachers should acknowledge their students’ own perception. Teaching should not be longer as teacher-centered approach, but it should have been altered to student-centered approach.

It is also necessary for teachers to encourage themselves for a self-development that can be acquired by reflective teaching. Self-development has gained popularity recently in teaching education due to its effectiveness in boosting the teachers’ abilities. Reflective teaching may be practiced through self-video recording, peer conference or journal keeping.

Self-video recording is a method where teachers record their teaching and play it later for their self analyzing, observation and self-critique. Peer conference is where a teacher invites her colleague while teaching so that his peer can give feedback for improvement of teaching. Another way of self-development is by reflective journal. By keeping his journal for this teaching, teachers can focus and determine their teaching goals. Another advantage of this journal is that they can review and evaluate their teaching experiences, make necessary revision and improvement for the future.

The problem is that, at least up to the time being, for most of teachers are still reluctant to self-criticism. It is still hard to criticize themselves for their self-improvement. Anyhow, it should be socialized to them that it is one of easy ways of self-improvement. They should be encouraged that they bear difficult tasks, as with their hand they shape the nation.

Bravo Indonesian teachers!

Mojokerto, 19 June 2009

the site keeper

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Reading: It Is a Culture!

It is said that reading is a window of knowledge. To my opinion, it is not just a window, but it is more like a door. What is the reason to say so? Because reading is an absolute way for people to learn, study, explore, and to acquire knowledge, by which they improve the overall quality of their life. That is why in developed countries reading has been the culture of the nation. It is the part of their life. When shall reading be such a culture in Indonesia?

To establish the interest of reading, the National Education Curriculum has strongly encouraged students’ attitude towards reading. Reading is a skill that can only be acquired by leaning and practice. Further than just as a language skill, reading requires exercising to sharpen it. In school, students learn to find out what the text is about or locate particular information. This type of reading is called as intensive reading.

Lany Kristono, a lecturer of Faculty of Language and Literature of Satya Wacana Chritian Untiversity Salatiga, quoted an epigraph in Jo Ann Aebersold and Mary Lee Field’s book From Reader to Reading Teacher (1997) says, “Reading is like an infectious disease: it is caught not taught (And you can’t get it from someone who hasn’t got it). Since reading is infectious, it is mostly acquired from the life environment: family, school and society. The aim of reading here is not limited to catching particular information and understanding the content of the text, but most to allowing knowledge flowing into the mind. This type of reading is an extensive reading.

In developed countries, children have habit of reading from the reading environment, both from their family and school, as in these countries reading has been the part of the life. Realizing the importance of reading, parents provide books to their children. Even, they read books for their baby. Reading is not just a subject in schools in which students learn to understand the contents of the text, but it has been the culture of their life.

The habit of reading may be a little bit better in the middle and upper class society, as parents usually have better perception of reading and books are affordable. But for lower class, reading is still far from daily activities and books are still expensive items. In this case, National Education Curriculum should assertively encourage extensive reading as an integral part of the language teaching (English and Indonesian) and it should be done outside school.

Unlike intensive reading in which students learn text comprehension, extensive reading offer students to pick up materials of their preference. Extensive reading is mainly aimed at establishing the reading atmosphere in which they would experience reading as an enjoyment. Extensive reading will give a chance to learners to express what they think about the text, connect the text with their life and also share experience with the text. This will certainly be a valuable opportunity to them to learn reasoning skills. When learners have been accustomed to express their ideas with reasonable arguments, they will automatically improve their writing and speaking skill. In writing and speaking, not only do learners arrange words in grammatically correct rules, but also how they can express arguments with logical supports in the form of sentences.

Realizing the significance of reading, now it is the time for us to change our perception of reading. Reading is more like a door to us, through which we can appreciate text, relate it to our life, as well as share experience with the text. We can learn from the text and let knowledge flow in. How we perceive reading will influence the public view of reading. Once, people have perceived that reading is the part of our life and it is not just a subject in schools, then we come to a stage where reading is getting the culture of life. Since then, we will see far more people in public means of transportation or public waiting places, silently read something in hands but to chat that will just add the noise in the places.

the site keeper

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Learn from Mistakes in Learning

English learners, especially beginners, usually think that they still have not got much progress after their certain years of learning. Again, they take a closer look at themselves to know if they have adequate ability to understand English. They would like to judge themselves if they were ‘eligible enough’ to learn English. In fact, it is the crucial stage of their learning, as their experience here will determine whether they continue the learning or just escape from it. Once they think that English is still affordable, they will continue the learning. But, if they judge that English is beyond them, they will end the learning with their long life perception that English is difficult. In this case, the role of the teacher to encourage them from being pessimistic is absolutely needed.

Some learners often worship a standardized of perfection of learning. They think that they must not make any mistakes in leaning. They are afraid of making any mistakes during their learning. This perception, of course, will result in psychological barrier to learners, as they would prefer to keep silent rather than be actively involved in the process of learning. They tend to do nothing to avoid of making mistakes. As a matter of fact, no learner can speak English without making any mistakes.

One of the teacher’s tasks is how they develop technique to encourage learners from the phobia of making mistakes. As making mistakes in learning is a natural phenomena, then the most important thing is now how to encourage these mistakes into ‘good mistakes’ when they learn to speak, experiment with new sentence structures and expand their vocabulary and writing. Being free from the phobia of making mistake will encourage learners to make much use of English in their daily lives.
A good mistake is logical error that makes sense that happens to be wrong. A child may think that 1+1 = 11. The answer is logical, but it is incorrect. He should know that 1+1 = 2. Anyway, his concept that 1+1= 11 is a good mistake. If learners end a letter with: I am looking forward to hear your reply, it is a logical mistake but they should have understanding that it should have been written as I am looking forward to hearing your replay. The role of the teacher is to confront this behavior. Making mistakes should not discourage them, but it should encourage them to learn from these good mistakes to correct language.

No matter how many good mistakes a learner may be facing, teacher should encourage English learners, in both conversation and writing classes, to make good mistakes. Learners should take as many as chances to put the language into practice. They should try something new, stretch their learning muscles, and have no more afraid of making good mistakes. A good mistake is also a mistake that we acknowledge and learn from to avoid repeating. A good mistake is not a good mistake if they have made it ten times before. One think that should be kept in mind is that we have to learn from a good mistake to be the right one and not repeat it. Repeated good mistakes will not be tolerated as good mistake any longer, as they now real mistakes.
So, learn from the mistakes but not to repeat the mistakes.

the site keeper

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English for Young Learners (2)

Kali ini kita akan membahas bagaimana mengungkapkan kegiatan kita yang sedang kita lakukan. Misalnya saja saat ini kamu yang sedang membaca tulisan ini ingin mengatakan: ‘Sekarang aku sedang membaca artikel Bahasa Inggris di sebuah website’. Maka, dalam Bahasa Inggris-nya kamu bisa bilang: ‘Now, I am reading an English article in a website’. Kalau kita perhatikan kata kerja (verb) ‘membaca’ yang dalam kamus itu ‘write’, bentuknya kemudian menjadi am + reading. Dalam tata bahasa bentuk kata kerja yang demikian disebut Present Continuous Tense. Mari kita pelajari lebih lanjut tentang bentuk kata kerja dan penggunaan tense ini.

Present Continuous Tense

Bentuk kata kerja dengan present continuous tense ini mempunyai pola seperti ini

to be + kata kerja bentuk ing.

To be terdiri dari: am, is, are, was, were.
Penggunaanya dalam kalimat seperti berikut ini:

I am singing.
You are working.
He is sleeping.
She is crying.
It is raining.
You are all kidding.
We are swimming.
They are talking.

Contoh lain:

Saya sedang menulis surat untuk adikku perempuan – I am writing a letter to my younger sister.

Martina sedang membaca puisi di depan kelas – Martina is reading poetry in front of the class.

Pak Raden sedang mencuci mobilnya dengan air – Mr. Raden is washing his car with water.

Kami sedang memanjat gunung Merbabu – We are climbing Mount Merbabu.

Penggunaan present continuous tense:

1. Untuk melukiskan peristiwa yang sedang terjadi pada saat pelaku berbicara

I am reading an English article. ( saat ini sedang membaca)

2. Untuk melukiskan peristiwa yang masih berlangung, tetapi tidak harus terjadi saat ada pembicaraan.

I am writing a short story. (pada saat pembicaraa belum tentu sedang menulis, tapi proyek menulisnya memang belum selesai, masih berlangsung)

3. Untuk melukiskan peristiwa yang sedang berlangsung ketika suatu peristiwa terjadi

When I come in to the class, she is crying in the corner. (ketika saya masuk kelas, ia sedang menangis di sudut ruangan, menangisnya terjadi duluan)

Past Continuous Tense

Sekalian saja, ayo kita pelajari bagaimana kalau kita ingin mengungkapkan peristiwa yang sedang terjadi tapi waktunya sudah lewat, bukan saat ini. Misalnya: ‘Jam 7.00 kemarin, aku sedang menyanyi’. Itu gampang saja. Gantilah to be am dengan bentuk lampaunya, yaitu was, sehingga kalimatnya menjadi:
At 7.00 o’clock,  I was singing yesterday.

Untuk kalimat yang subject-nya I, you, we, they, tidak menggunakan was, tetapi menggunakan were. Were ini adalah bentuk lampau dari are.

I was singing.
You were working.
He was sleeping.
She was crying.
It was raining.
You were all kidding.
We were swimming.
were talking.

Penggunaan Past Continuous Tense:

Kapan tenses ini digunakan? Kita bisa menggunakan past continuous tense untuk hal-hal berikut:

1. untuk melukiskan peristiwa yang sedang terjadi pada waktu yang sudah lewat, jadi bukan saat pembicaraan terjadi.

I was listening to the radio all day long. (mungkin mendengarkannya seharian itu kemarin, bukan hari ini)

2. Untuk melukiskan peristiwa yang sedang terjadi diwaktu lampu, ketika peristiwa yang lain terjadi

Ina was finishing the exercises when he suddenly knocked the door. (sedang menyelesaikan latihan- mungkin kemarin- ketika ia mengetuk pintu.

Coba kita ambil cerita dari pelajaran yang kemarin, dan kita kembangkan dengan menambahkan beberapa kalimat yang menggunakan present continuous tense dan past continuous tense biar lebih menarik.

I get up at 5.30 o’clock every day, but I wake up early this morning. It is 5.00 o’clock in the morning now. I open the window and the stars are still shinning. Not like the stars, the moon is getting fade. As usual, I clean the bedroom and then I take a bath. I don’t forget to brush the teeth. While I am taking a bath, my mother is preparing my breakfast. It takes around 10 minutes to get dressed. I usually have breakfast at 06.00. If I am in hurry, just take a slice of bread and drink a glass of water.

I go to school at 06.30. I often take the same route to go to school. There was an accident in this street yesterday. When I passed this location, people were crowding here. But there are no more people now.

There are many things to do in school. I learn to read, write, draw and sing. I listen to the teacher when she explains the lessons. Sometimes, she does not allow us to write anything while she is explaining the difficult subject. I go home at 12.00 and arrive at home at 13.00. After I take a rest for a few minutes, I have lunch. In the evening, I help my mother, study and watch the television. I go to bed at 21.00. When I went to bed yesterday, my mother was still watching the television and my father was reading a news paper. Tonight, they went to bed earlier.

Dari cerita yang semula pendek dan sederhana karena hanya menggunakan simple present tense, kini kita telah menambahkan beberapa kalimat dengan menggunakan present continuous tense dan past continuous tense. Ceritanya menjadi lebih menarik bukan? Itu artinya dengan mempelajari bagian ini kamu lebih pinter dari pada saat kamu mempelajari pelajaran pertama. Kamu bisa lihat sendiri kan kalau semakin banyak latihan kamu semakin pinter?

Tugas kamu sekarang adalah mempelajari dan berlatih membuat kalimat, bicara, atau membuat cerita dengan acuan apa yang kita pelajari dalam pelajaran 1 dan ke-2.
Untuk sementara pelajaran kita sampai di sini dulu biar tidak terlalu banyak. Kita akan menyambungnya dengan pelajaran yang lain lagi, supaya kamu makin pinter.


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Is it true that English is easy?

Personally, I dare to say ‘yes’. This statement may be agreeable to certain people, but it is not always so to the others. Even, for those who are concerned in this language, it is not one hundred percent acceptable. As a matter of fact, we still find many comments on some blogs or else, complaining that learning English is not as easy as saying it. Thus, there must be a thorough study why people say that learning English is easy and - at the other hand, some still adhere to the belief of the fact that learning English is not easy.

The experience of learning English, which will then render to a judgement that English is easy or difficult, will much depend on our initial perception of English itself. If, at the first step to commence learning we judge that English is easy, this perception will then come true. In learning process, we would find everything smooth in the line of our first perception. Everything looks like running on its own track. It is reasonable as usually ones with good perception of English will have greater motivation and almost do anything to understand the language. In the contrary, if at the first step we judge English as difficult subject to learn, it is most likely that we will be facing difficulties everywhere. The reason is that how comes ones with no interest of the subject will enjoy learning. Our first perception of English learning is so important as it will outline you to the easy side or the difficult side of learning.

Although it is true that our good perception is so important, as it will then render us to which side we will be, but it is not enough. Language skills do not derive from a dream. Nor, do they come form a hope. It is not enough to only have a good initial perception of English leaning and revealing a hope. To have adequate capability, we have to struggle to ‘conquer’ this foreign language. From this fact, we should be wise enough in seeing the term of ‘easy’ itself. ‘Easy’ means not difficult to learn with subsequent enforcement to achieve the utmost result. It does not have the same meaning with just saying it’s easy. It is the wide opportunity to reach the best thing with willingness, efforts, and struggle.

So, is there any spectacular method to grab the instant result of learning? Linguists have proposed many methods of learning. In fact, all of them are good ways of learning. The most important thing is that how we can pick out one that most suits our style of learning. A method that is fairly good to some one is not always suitable for others. A good method will not impact us with good result unless we apply it to our learning. A method just supports the learning and our motivation will be taking the greatest part of the success. To my personal opinion, there is no instant method to grab the instant success of learning, as proficiency of English is coming from the process of successive learning. Anyhow, we should not be pessimistic with such a long process of learning, as the proficiency will be automatically coming in the line with the process. For example, today we are more proficient since we are learning more and, thus, we get more than we what did yesterday.

There should be no longer reasons to think that learning English is difficult and now it is time to get started. Here are some hints as a summary of the above discussion that may be valuable to encourage learning:
• Learning is just a matter of our willingness to do so with our high motivation and concern.

• Say that English is easy when you have decided to start learning, and unbelievably, you will find everything is easy.

• The most difficult thing is how to get it started, so do not blame that English is difficult any longer.

• Starting to learn means starting to gain the result, so do not wait the result until the end of the learning. You have got it when you start. In fact, learning will never end up.

• Language skills are coming from a process, the more practice you have, the better language skills you get.

To end the writing, let me again burn your spirit with the belief that learning English is easy. Of course, it is not like Aladin with his magic lamp that can change anything coming in few minutes. This will require our utmost concern, struggle and efforts. Anyhow, one thing is certain: you can! Then, why not from now?

Warm regards,

the site keeper.

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English for Young Learners (1) - Lanjutan

Pada pelajaran yang lalu kita sudah berlatih bagaimana mengungkapkan kegiatan kita sehari-hari dalam Bahasa Inggris. Kamu dapat mengembangkan sendiri dengan kegiatan-kegiatanmu yang lain. Umpamanya mau bilang : ‘setiap hari aku bermain badminton’, ya tinggal cari di kamus apa padanan kata ‘bermain’ itu. Bermain = to play, jadi kalimatnya kita buat : I play badminton every day.. Demikian seterusnya, semakin banyak kamu berlatih semakin mudah dan cepat untuk dapat berbicara. Ibaratnya orang membangun rumah, samakin banyak bahan atau materialnya semakin mudah pelaksanaanya.

Dalam pelajaran kali ini kita sedikit membahas mengenai tensis (tense) yang digunakan untuk mengungkapkan kegiatan kita sehari-hari. Tense adalah perubahan bentuk kata keja (verb) menurut waktunya. Tense yang dipakai untuk mengungkapkan kegiatan yang terjadi berualang-ulang adalahsimple present tense.

Simple Present Tense

Dalam pelajaran yang lalu juga sudah disinggung rumus / pola kalimat yang menggunakan simple present tense, yaitu:

subject + verb / kata kerja bentuk I (pertama)

Saya pergi sekolah berjalan kaki -> I go to school on foot.
Kami makan malam jam 19.00 -> We have dinner at 19.00.

Yang perlu diperhatikan adalah bila subyek itu berupa orang ketiga tunggal atau benda, maka kata kerja bentuk pertama / simple present tense itu harus ditambah ‘s’.

Ia mengcat rumah --> He paints the house.
Ia (perempuan) menulis surat --> She writes a letter.
Kucing itu makan ikan  --> The cat eats fish.

Ada catatan nih: untuk kata kerja /verb yang berakhiran : o, ch, x, tidak ditambah ‘s’ , tapi harus ditambah ‘es’, misalnya: go, catch, matches, fix, menjadi: goes, catches, matches, fixes.

Kapan simple present tense ini digunakan?

Jika kita ingin mengungkapkan kegiatan rutin yang terjadi setiap hari, kegiatan yang sudah menjadi kebiasaan (habitual actions). Juga kejadian-kejadian yang sudah menjadi kebenaran umum (general truth).

Setiap hari aku pergi ke sekolah - I go to school every day (dilakukan sehari-hari)
Ibuku memasak di dapur - My mother cooks at the kitchen (kebiasaan).

Matahari terbit dari timur – The sun arises at the east. (sudah menjadi kebenaran umum)
Bumi itu dundar – The earth is round (sudah diyakini demikian).

Kalau kita ingin mengatakan: ‘saya tidak pergi ke sekolah’ bagaimana? Tinggal menambahkan kata bantu do not atau disingkat don’t.

Aku tidak suka mancing – I do not like fishing.
Kita tidak membuang sampah di jalan – We do not throw any garbage at streets.

Yang perlu diperhatikan adalah kalau subyeknya: he , she, it, maka tidak ditambahkan do not tapi does not.

Ia tidak makan pisang itu karena ia tadak menykainya.
Christ does not eat the banana because he does not like it.

Tina tidak menemui adiknya karena ia tidak punya cukup waktu.
Tina does not meet her sister because she does not have enough time.

Kambing tidak suka mandi.
Goat does not like taking a bath.

Kalau kita mau membuat kalimat tanya dengan menggunakan simple present tense ini, caranya mudah saja, tunggal menambahkan kata do atau does (untuk he, she, it) di depan kalimat dan menaruh tanda tanya di belakang kalimat.

Apakah kamu makan tiga kali sehari?
Do you eat three times a day?

Apakah Tono setia pada janjinya?
Does Tono keep his promise?

Apakah jogging membuat kita sehat?
Does jogging make us healty?

Rangkuman tentang Simple Present Tense:

-Digunakan untuk mengungkapakna kegiatan sehar-hari atau sesuatu yang sudah menjadi kebenaran umum
-Rumus kalimatnya : subject + verb bentuk pertama
-Untuk membuat kalimat negatif : ditambahkan 'do not' atau 'does not' di depan verb
Untuk membuat kalimat tanya: Tambahkan 'Do' atau 'Does' di awal kalimat dan akhiri dengan tanda tanya.

(Bersambung ke tenses yang lain…..)

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English for Young Learners (1)

Belajar Bahasa Inggris itu gampang kok!

Mau bisa bicara menggunakan Bahasa Inggris ? Itu gampang! Setiap hari kita melakukan kegiatan. Kegiatan itu dilakukan ada yang sudah lampau, ada yang dilakukan setiap hari, atau pun baru akan dilakukan. Kita punya kegiatan, itu artinya untuk bicara bahasa Inggris kita sudah punya modal. Kan bicara itu hanya mengungkapkan pikiran kita dengan kata-kata agar bisa dipahami oleh orang lain. Tapi kenapa sampai sekarang saya belum juga bisa bicara ya, padahal saya sudah belajar Bahsa Inggris beberapa tahun di sekolah? Nah, itu dia masalahnya! Kemungkinannya bisa seperti ini: pertama) anda sendiri kurang punya keinginan untuk bisa bicara, kedua) kurang latihan bicara, atau ketiga) mungkin menggunakan cara belajar yang kurang pas. Padahal bicara bahasa Inggris itu gampang lho, belajar Bahasa Inggri itu seperti orang bikin kue saja. Mau tahu? Lihat di sisni!

Kembali ke soal bicara Bahasa Inggirs, mari kita lihat ilustrasi ini. Kita yang hidup di negeri Indonesia ini sudah biasa mengendarai mobil di jalur sebelah kiri. Kalau ada orang yang melawan arus, kita langsung teriak: ‘Kamu salah jalan!’ Di luar negeri sana, pengemudi ada di jalur sebelah kanan karena memang peraturannya begitu. Apa itu salah? Ya tidak. Nah, sekarang coba bayangkan seolah-olah kita lagi ada di luar negeri dan harus mengemudi di jalur kanan. Pasti tidak senyaman kalau kita mengemudi di jalur kiri, paling gak untuk tahap awalnya. Mungkin cara kita belajar Bahasa Inggris selama ini seperti itu juga, metodenya kurang pas. sehingga pada awalnya terasa sangat susah. Awal yang terasa susah ini lantas jadi alat vonis mati: ‘Bahasa Inggris itu susah!’ Wah, kasihan bahasa Inggrisnya. Lebih parahnya lagi kalau sudah divonis begini, kesempatan untuk bisa memang benar-benar mati. Sebaliknya, kalau kesan pertama anda ‘belajar Bahasa Inggris itu gampang’, maka selanjutnya memang gampang beneran. Bukankah kesan pertama itu begitu menggoda?

Ayo kita ke materi!

Kebanyakan cara belajar kita selama ini memakai pola Inggris – Indonesia. Materi yang ditulis dalam Bahasa Inggris itu dipelajari, diterjemahkankan ke dalam Bahasa Indonesia untuk menahaminya , lalu diekspresikan dalam out put tulis atau lesan. Akibatnya kalau kita mesti bicara Bahasa Inggris jadi kesulitan. Pola pikirnya jadi: Inggris – Indonesia – Inggris (3 langkah). Coba kita ubah cara belajar kita dengan menggunakan pola Indonesia – Inggris. Materi teks bahasa Indonesia kita pelajari dan diartikan ke Bahasa Inggris. Pola pikirnya jadi: Indonesia – Inggris ( 2 langkah). Materi dalam Bahasa Indonesia dipelajari – langsung diekspresikan dalam Bahasa Inggris, bisa lesan bisa tulis.

Yuk kita persiapkan prasarananya, kita mulai pelajarannya:

1. Siapkan kamus Indonesia – Inggris yang cukup lengkap, termasuk cara pengucapan katanya (pronunciation)
2. Alat-alat tulis: buku tulis, kertas dan ball point , pencil
3. Alat perekam surana: tape recorder , VCD player, DVD (kalau punya)

Sekarang kita mulai belajarnya. Setiap orang mempunyai kegiatan yang berdea-beda. Kita ambil contoh kegitan anak sekolah.

Langkah pertama:

Tulis kegiatan rutin kamu sehari-hari dan cari padanan katanya di kamus Indonesia – Inggris:

• bagun tidur - get up
• mandi - take a bath
• sikat gigi - brush the teeth
• berpakaian - get dressed
• makan pagi - have breakfast
• minum - drink
• pergi sekolah - go to school
• mulai - begin
• menulis - write
• membaca - read
• mendengarkan - listen to
• bercerita - tell
• menggambar - draw
• menyanyi - sing
• menghapus - erase
• pulang - go home
• tiba - arrive
• membantu (ibu) - help (mother)
• belajar - study
• menonton televisi - watch (television)
• selesai - finish
• tidur - go to bed

• dan seterusnya…….

Langkah kedua:

Kalau kita akan menggunakan kata-kata itu untuk mengungkapkan kegiatan yang kita lakukan sehari-hari, maka susunanlah kata-kata itu ke dalam kalimat seperti ini:

Subyek + kata kerja bentuk I (pertama), (subject + simple present tense)

Seperti yang kamu tahu, subyek dalam Bahasa Inggris itu adalah:

I - aku/saya orang pertama tunggal
You - kamu/kalian orang ke dua tunggal / jamak
He - ia (laki-laki) orang ketiga tunggal, laki-laki
She - ia (perempuan) orang ketiga tunggal,perempuan
It - ini / itu benda
We - kami / kita orang pertama jamak
They - mereka orang ketiga jamak

Saya bangun tidur - I get up.
Saya membersihkan
kamar tidur - I clean my bedroom.
Saya menyikat gigi - I brush the teeth
Saya berpakaian - I get dressed.
Saya makan pagi - I have breakfast.
Saya minum - I drink.
Saya pergi sekolah - I go to school
Saya menulis - I write.
Saya membaca - I read.
Saya mendengarkan
pelajaran - I listen to the lesson.
Saya bercerita - I tell
Saya menggambar - I draw
Saya menyanyi - I sing
Saya menghapus - I erase
Saya pulang - I go home
Saya tiba (di rumah) - I arrive at home
Saya membantu (ibu) - I help (my mother)
Saya belajar -I study
Saya menonton TV - I watch TV.
Saya tidur - I go to bed

Langkah ketiga:

Bacalah kegiatan kamu itu keras-keras dan berulang-ulang! Bisa?? Nah, kalau bisa artinya kamu sudah bisa Bahasa Inggris.

Tapi kok kelihatannya ceritanya kurang menarik ya? Gak usah kecil hati, Yuk kita kembangkan begini:

Kegiatanku Sehari-hari

Setiap hari aku bangun pagi jam 5.30. Aku langsung bersih-bersih kamar tidur. Selesai bersih-bersih kamar, aku mandi. Aku tidak lupa gosok gigi. Aku perlu waktu 10 menit untuk berpakaian. Aku makan pagi jam 06.00. Minumnya segelas air putih. Jam 07.00 aku berangkat ke sekolah. Di sekolah, aku belajar membaca, menulis, menggambar dan bernyanyi. Ketika guru menjelaskan pelajaran, aku mendengarkan dengan sungguh-sungguh. Aku juga mambatu bu guru membersihkan papan tulis. Jam 12.30, aku pulang. dan sampai di rumah jam 13.00. Setelah istirahat sebentar, aku makan siang. Sorenya aku membantu ibu, bel
ajar dan nonton TV. Aku tidur jam 21.00.

Wah, ternyata lebih menarik ya kalau dibuat cerita. Supaya lebih keren lagi, ayo kita cerita dalam Bahasa Inggris. Pakai kamus Indonesia-Inggris-mu untuk membuat cerita ini:

My Daily Activities

I get up at 5.30 o’clock every day. I directly clean the bedroom. After I finish cleaning the room, I take a bath. I don’ forget to brush the teeth. It takes me 10 minutes to get dressed. I usually have breakfast at 06.00. I drink a glass of water. At 70.00, I go to school. I learn to read, write, draw and sing. I listen to the teacher when she explains the lessons. I go home at 12.00 and arrive at home at 13.00. After I take a rest for a few minutes, I have lunch. In the evening, I help my mother, study and watch the television. I go to bed at 21.00.

Langkah keempat:

Mungkin untuk membuat cerita itu kamu mesti nulis dulu di kertas. It gak masalah. Sekarang hafalkan cerita itu dan coba ceritakan kembali di depan papa –mama. Atau kalau kamu punya alat perekam, rekamlah saat kamu menceritakannya. Putar kembali rekaman itu dan banggalah dengan dirimu.

(bersambung ke pelajaran mendatang……)

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The Importance Of Mastering English

Indonesia – as a member of the nations of the world - has realized the importance of this fact. The Ministry of Education has been unceasingly enhancing all of the efforts to widen scope and the quality of English teaching in schools. Not like ten years before, now English has been introduced in kinder garden schools to give children preliminary appreciation to this foreign language. English laboratory equipment, VCD player, full set of computers equipped with LCD projectors have been installed in many state schools in towns to support the language teaching. Studies, seminars, workshops, and up-grade of English teachers have been widely held to improve the quality of learning-teaching methods for the best quality of the outputs.

Let’s now try to find out the reasons why English is getting more and more important in life. Of course, there are unlimited benefits that may be taken from mastering English. Some are taken here just as an example.

1. Supporting higher education level

When English is introduced to students of elementary schools – or even of kinder garden schools – the main purpose should be giving a chance to them to appreciate English as a second language. The correct perception of English will lead the students to enjoy learning English. Learning the language with joy is the initial key in learning English, as the result of learning will much depend on whether students like of dislike the subject. This basic perception of learning the students get from the basic level of their education will support their higher education. When they continue their education to higher levels, English could not be separated from their daily activities. Bilingual teaching system is now applied as from Junior High Schools onwards and it is sure that adequate understanding of English is a must, rather than just an option.

2. Giving more chances in winning job opportunity

People said that vacancies are so limited and this situation has increased the number of jobless all over the country. This statement may be traditionally and popularly correct, but it is not totally true. Let us see the fact. Almost in any papers, both local and national, some vacancies are widely available. The problem is that the job hunters do not qualify the vacancies. Often, one of the requirements is proficient in both written and oral English. In fact, most of the job seekers do not qualify this requirement and only few applicants take the opportunity to fill the vacancy, and they are only those who have learned English as the most valuable investment for their future. Now, they catch it.

3. Giving more chances to career promotion

Like that of winning the job vacancy, mastering of English will still take an important role when we are working. Working is not only earning money for our daily livings. Working is the way to develop our knowledge, skills and personality and finally to reach the higher position of our career. Those who are proficient in English usually have a better chance for promotion. It is reasonably as career promotion should be for one who is above the average level. Candidates with proficiency of English usually have the better chance to catch the golden pin.

4. Giving a chance to help our children

Dr. Rose Mini AP Mpsi (Bunda Romi), after giving her speech in a seminar about children in Bandung recently, said that children could not learn any foreign language effectively if their parents do not have proficiency in the respective language. The children who learn English in school or any private English courses do not have any counterpart at home, as their parents are not capable in English. Thus, they do not have a chance to put into practice what they are learning at home. Children from English-speaking parents seem to be luckier as they have counterparts to whom they practice what they are learning outside.

In the demand of the era where capability of English is required in all fields, parents often ask more to their children, including the mastery of English. Unfortunately, they cannot help their children due to their lack of capability of the language.

5. Being a tool for self-actuating

Acquiring adequate knowledge of English will certainly make you more confidence with yourself. As a result of this, then you will not underestimate yourself when you are in the English-speaking community. You will be proud of yourself, be confident and always know what to do with the environment where you are standing. Thus, mastering English will help you for self-actuating. Not like those who just sit in the corner with their loneliness.

More advantages of learning English could be written; more chances may be found out. I just put here my personal opinion as example. The most important thing is not the how advantages written, but how far this writing motivate you to learn English as a foreign language. We should be proud of our national language, Bahasa Indonesia, but the more people with capability of English is also the pride of our country.


Mugito Guido
The site keeper of http://englishlearningcamp.blogspot.com,http://masgitocamp.wordpress.com

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About This Blog!

Welcome to The English Learning Camp – the site that makes you speak! We offer you free English forum - a solution to your English.

As an answer of the fact that English is getting more and more important in today’s world, I dare to establish this blog. The English Learning Camp – as you may have seen on the title – was designed as a camp where we can learn English together. More than just a place to write anything that may be valuable for others, I do hope that it will also offer a place where you can learn, share experiences or take something from others which may benefit you.

Although this blog is designed in English, the contents will be sometimes –in some cases- in bilingual: English and Indonesian. This is because of the fact that visitors may have various levels of knowledge and backgrounds. Those who are in the level of beginner may be facing difficulties in understanding some of the contents. I have been thinking of offering a certain category written in Indonesian to make more effective understanding to them. Visitors who have acquired adequate level of knowledge, are welcomed to see contents that are completely written in English.

I welcome any one who is willing to donate his/her ideas, suggestion, guidance, experiences, tricks and tips or help others in learning English. They may be English teachers, English Institutions, Linguists, or anyone who are concerned in this foreign languages and will share their knowledge to others who are in the need of the foreign language investment.
Please send SMS to 081330640011 for user name and password. Any writing posted will be temporarily hold at our desk for necessary preview before being published.

We do appreciate you all whether are as the most valued visitors or contributors, as without you we will never exist. Let’s improve our manpower and build the nation to catch the running world.

Warm regards,

Mugito Guito
The site keeper of http://englishlearningcamp.blogspot.com, http://masgito.camp.wordpress.com

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The Spirit Of Living

Life makes a sense. As we are alive, we are making a sense. In fact, standard life will not make any sense and only extraordinary one will make a sense. Extraordinary life means living with higher standard of quality of life. It is such kind of living that is beyond common life.

How to make better quality of living so that our life will make a sense, then? I think, we have to make added value to the life by learning the best things in the life. Learning to know more and learning to be better. Dynamic living, and not the static one, is one the clues to know whether our life is making a sense or not.

To make living that is beyond common life is by learning. Learning all the things that are the best in our life. Learning all the things that may improve our quality of life. This blog was designed with aims of being a place where I can learn to manage blog itself and at the same time as a place where I can learn to write.

You may laugh at this blog as it was born so simple. Yes, it is right. As a newbie blogger, I do realize this fact. To my opinion, it is better to create this simple blog rather than to dream a fantastic one but it was never born. Just go ahead, as anything will not grow up unless it starts. I do hope that by learning from any blog tutorials from many sources, I may be able to make this blog better and good looking.

Besides taking a part in the blog world itself, I wish to have a place where I can learn to write. When I was in school, I used to be interested in writing. It seems that this writing world tempts me to involve in again now. This is another thing that encouraged me to open account with blogger. In future, if any one may take advantages from its contents, it will be another satisfaction to me.

Realizing that we have only short time to live and it usually comes at the end side of our life, let’s make our life better by leaning all the best things. It is regrettable realizing that, in fact, we have not done anything at the end of our life. It is too late!

If we do not live something, we die nothing!

the site keeper

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