ENGLISH HELPS STUDENTS BE INDEPENDENT | Written by : Nurasiah

I write this article because I am encouraged to give a good example to my students that by mastering English they can rule the world. How did it happen? Based on data about mastery of the English language has proven that 81% of companies need competent English speaking people, 75% use assessments to evaluate proficiency in recruiting, 63% increased productivity, 60% attract new clients and build better trust and relationships with clients, there are many more benefits if you can speak English well. This reason has not known by the students so that they seem not enthusiastic about learning English. Probably in other countries that have a policy of English as a second language is not a problem.

What about the condition of students, especially in Indonesia,  who are not ready to learn more about English? This is a challenge for English teachers who face this kind of problem. Generally, many students who attend vocational schools face difficulties in learning English, and if they take TOEIC test, the results are not satisfactory. Based on observations, students who do not like English have had bad experiences with their teachers in previous classes or have never used the language during learning so they are not interested in mastering the language. Therefore, teachers who have a central role in direct learning are required to know the characteristics or circumstances that actually occur to students. Thus, the teacher can anticipate and overcome any bad influences that may arise and have negative consequences for learning. Then how do teachers respond to this challenge? Of course there are various approaches that can be taken to get students interested in English and willing to learn it with pleasure so that their perception that English is difficult will disappear. It’s not easy indeed, but patience and constant practice will pay off.

First, let them talk without fear of making mistakes. If they did mispronouncing or structurally wrong, please don’t interrupt. Let the students talk in their own way to grow their confidence. The process of learning is acquiring knowledge through study, experience or being taught. This definition leaves out  that learning is, at the most basic level, an exercise of trial and error. So give students a chance to speak freely and write without worrying about whether they’ve gotten it right the first time around, or whether it will take a further 40 attempts. It’s better if the teacher can correct students' sentences when they stop speaking and provide suggestions to follow with the correct speech or listen to the correct pronunciation from the audio dictionary.

Second, tell the students to get the grips with the basics.  Many students hate grammar but give them motivations to get started on key words and begin learning core grammar rules, such as Possessive Nouns, Pronouns, ‘Be’ Verbs, Action Verbs and Adjectives. Do not expect students to immediately understand with once explanation. They will ask the teacher a lot about it but the more teachers respond well, the more enthusiastic they will be to learn.

Third, train students to have curiosity. Give time to them to question everything or the teacher asks them questions. The English language is full of exceptions and often spoken English bucks the stringent rules that define the language. Make it a habit for your students to look at the dictionary whenever they get difficulty words. The students will be inquisitive if the teacher stimulate them with questions.

Next, learning the language means learning the culture too. Many students already feel hot and cold first when they are dealing with foreigners. They often flinch or shy away when asked to speak. this attitude occurs because they are not directly involved with the habit of reading English literature or learning the culture first. So immerse yourself within theatre, literature, films and tourist attractions and surround yourself with those who speak English as their mother tongue is good solution. Now there are some virtual ways to meet foreigners in person so you don't have to go to their country but you have to be careful not to be fooled by them.

Then practice makes perfect. Always speak English with your students and ask them to reply you the same language. So continually recap all that you’ve learnt and put it into practice within the real world. This way can retrain your brain to think in English. Students can place post-it notes upon the key items within their homes with the item described in English. The other effective away of learning a language is repeating written tasks and spoken words over and over and over again. Teacher and students can play listen and repeat game sometimes.

In addition to help students be independent with English, teacher should introduce to them common business expression. English is the global language of business. And, when it comes to actively participating in workplace conversations in English, understanding and being able to use common business expressions, known as idioms, is key. However, idioms are sometimes one of the last things non-native speakers become comfortable with and able to use.

The last one is to give TOEIC questions regularly. The teacher can make schedule learning about TOEIC for students so that they have a different experience of learning English each year. At the end of learning, teacher give them TOEIC test so  they become motivated to get better scores than before.

All teachers want to see their students succeed after graduating. not only successful in financial terms but also in terms of good attitude and communication. As the language of business, English is critical to communication, which is key to globalization. Many  companies are now using English as their common language, and making English proficiency a priority in hiring and promotion. If we, teachers, follow  the above tips seriously, then slowly but surely our students will become more confident and independent. Students will have TOEIC certification with good score and can apply for the desired job without having to be afraid of job interviews in English. In addition, students can also learn about businesses that are currently trending which require cooperation with foreigners so that they can open their own business. They won’t be allergic to English anymore.

 

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