English English as a foreign language in Indonesia.
English as an International language gives different impressions from the other status, as L1 or L2. The materials were collected through reading that is comprehending a number of references related to teaching. But, as stated by Phan Le Ha (2008, p. 2) while globalization heavily relies on English, and English language teaching (ELT) solely relies on English teachers and English teaching, so what happens to English teachers and their teaching is an important question that needs to be explored, particularly in the context of mobility and transnationality. Moreover, understanding what teachers want, how they perceive themselves and how they are often represented is crucial to the success of ELT teacher training courses and EIL pedagogy in global and local contexts. For example in Indonesia, the teaching of English as an International language seems to be on the crossroads due to two different curricula implementation. Furthermore, the following section will explain the existence of teaching English as an International Language especially in Indonesia that due to those different curricula implementation.
To improve the outcomes of education in Indonesia, the Ministry of National Education has decided to bring in several new curriculum in EFL. First is the newly modified curriculum that known as Kurikulum Tingkat Satuan Pendidikan (a School-Based Curriculum, SBC). SBC is a modification of the genre-based curriculum which was initially introduced in the 2004 Curriculum. SBC development is an intended goal in educational reform in Indonesia. It has brought many challenges to pedagogical practices in the teaching English as a foreign language in Indonesia. SBC emphasized on the standard competency, basic competency and their indicators. But, SBC has been scrutinized for its shortcomings. It has not explicitly included character education in its design. Also, it has not achieved the intended learning outcomes stipulated in the National Education Standard. Besides that, the learning programs tend to be overloaded and the learning materials are assumed to be relatively shallow in the depth. Then, the learning interaction tends to be teacher-centered and the learning evaluation is more focused on the cognitive domain than the affective and psychomotor domains (Depdiknas, 2004).
Second is the newly advocated curriculum that known as ‘K-2013’ or the 2013 Curriculum. K-2013 is designed in anticipation to modern learning in the twentieth century. The learning paradigm has shifted from ‘peserta didik diberi tahu’ (students have knowledge because they are taught by a teacher) to ‘peserta didik mencari tahu’ (students have curiosity to get knowledge by themselves). It reflects that the students are actively engaged in learning from different sources exceeding the teachers and the educational units or institutions (Kemdikbud, 2013). K-2013 focuses its learning on the attainment of Kompetensi Inti (core competence) and Kompetensi Dasar (basic competence). The core competence pivots around (1) religious belief and its application, (2) upholding good characters, (3) gaining factual, conceptual and procedural knowledge. (4) Trying, processing and presenting in concrete and abstract domains. While the basic competence transforms the core competence into observable cognition, affection and action (Kemdikbud, 2013).
K-2013 characterizes its learning through modeling or exemplar flavored with scientific processes, namely: (1) observing, (2) questioning, (3) exploring and experimenting, (4) associating and analyzing, and (5) communicating. A theme is chosen and presented in the perspective of texts. The texts include spoken and written forms presented in social contexts. Learning a language in a social context will enable learners to understand meanings of speech acts appropriately. The central and basic skill are increased through social interactions, which allow language students to develop a source for making sense, a tool for understanding and organizing authenticity, information about language.
Furthermore, K-13 is in fact the extension of SBC in several components. The main purpose of this curriculum is to shape the individuals who are faithful in God, good in characters, confident, successful in learning, responsible citizens and positive contributors to the civilization (Ministry of Education and Cultures, 2012). This framework has been supported by Government Regulations Number 32 Year 2013 (The revision of Government Regulations Number 19 Year 2005 about the National Standards of Education). This regulation is elaborated by Education and Culture Ministerial Regulations Number 67, 68, 69, and 70 on Fundamental Framework and Curriculum Structure from Elementary to Senior Secondary and Vocational Secondary School.
In the implementation of 2013 Curriculum, the process of assessment is conducted by considering some principles, approaches and characteristics which are stated in Permendikbud No. 81 A Tahun 2013. The principles are reliable, objective, equality, integrated and comprehensive, systematic, criteria-based, accountable, educative. The characteristics of the assessments are mastery learning, authentic, continuous, criteria-based, uses various assessment techniques. As a newly implemented curriculum, the intended policy or regulation behind the implementation is often results in discrepancy due to the process of perceiving and receiving. For the newly implemented curriculum, K-13 is perceived by the teachers in six broad perspectives, namely: (a) the view of practicality; (b) the students? acceptance; (c) learning activities; (d) learning materials; (e) scientific approach; and (f) authentic assessment. From these six areas of the policy, the major idea with regard to the teachers’ perception of the K-13 in relation to ELT practice was found.
Then, the curriculum change from SBC to K-13 in English language teaching leads into two main trends of teachers’ perception. The first trend mainly looks at the change from SBC to K-13 as a positive, innovative, and creative change in the English teaching practice for the future of Indonesia. The change also gives impact to the change in the way teachers and students viewed the English learning from traditional view of learning to modern pedagogic dimension.
The second trend viewed that the curriculum changes from SBC to K-13 as something superficial and conceptual, and would likely to have the same effects with the previous curriculum changes. Both the trends in teachers’ perception seem to be in line with the knowledge and the teachers’ belief system towards the change. The knowledge and belief system that the teachers have will be linked to their experiences on the implementation of the previous curriculum. The English teachers’ interpretation to some main concepts of the curriculum change from SBC to K-13 with regards to English teaching in senior secondary schools leads to two types of interpretation: comprehensive and partial interpretation in viewing the change.
Therefore, to the general concepts in K-13 with regards to English teaching, the teachers had a tendency to interpret them correctly and comprehensively. However, to the applicative concepts, the teachers tended to interpret the concepts partially according to the teachers’ level of understanding and procedural knowledge and the convenience of the application offered by the changing elements. Thus, the second frame of theoretical constructs underlying the curriculum change in Indonesia based on the teachers’ perception and interpretation is that the teachers’ perception and interpretation on K-13 in relation to ELT is in line with their knowledge and belief, mindset in teaching practice, government policy demands in teacher administrative tasks and disregards their individual capacity to better create new learning atmospheres for students as highlighted by K-13.
Furthermore, all the teachers’ perception and interpretations were considered to be subjective. The teachers seemed to positively perceive and accept the curriculum change only if their knowledge and their practical skills are in line with the change. Moreover, the teachers’ workload in administrative matters of the teaching and learning preparation should be reduced to the lowest level. To support this, the government should provide a detailed curriculum guideline that allows teachers to implement the curriculum in their daily teaching practice that significantly shows impact on learners’ behavioral change. Also, the teachers have a tendency to show their lack of the subject matter knowledge and pedagogical knowledge. As stated by Richardson (1996) that mention about the teacher as they showed a holistic understanding of general concepts but remain partial in procedural knowledge and on some new complex procedures grounded in teaching.
Some teachers have a tendency to stay in their old belief viewing that learning materials are above all and lead them direct the teaching and learning process. They also tended to stay in their comfort zone and hold a belief that administrative works for physical evidence are more important than genuinely planning the lesson for the sake of students’ learning experience as the authoritative gives more attentions and appreciations on what were written on paper than what were practiced in class. Thus, in-service training on curriculum implementation did not play a significant role to influence the teachers’ knowledge on the targeted areas of the curriculum.
In conclusion, there are two concerting curricula that namely K-2006 (SBC) and K-2013 are implemented in Indonesia. This is one of the Ministry of National Education’s efforts to increase learner’s success in EFL. And curriculum 2013 has been the answer of policy maker to overcome problems in education. Along with its implementation, however, these changes will not meet the expected results unless accompanied by the role of teachers who apply this curriculum. How teacher perceives these changes and the government initiative has direct effect to the on-going process of curriculum 2013 implementation. Moreover, this new curriculum divides English into core and elective class. Students must study a core class for two periods of English subject and three to four periods if they are interested in English as an elective class.
Therefore, this implementation of curriculum 2013 sets the teacher’s perception especially for teaching English as International language in Indonesia. Because, in implementing the K-13, the teachers were found to be entangled in some old practices and traditional view of learning and seemed to implement the curriculum incomprehensively with a number of deviations in the three levels of implementation: the teaching plans, the teaching process and the assessment process. On the other words, teacher faced many difficulties in implementing this new curriculum that the government apply as one the efforts to increase learner’s success in EFL. Furthermore, in the teaching process, the teachers also seemed to be dominant and controlling and even in many parts, the teachers used Bahasa Indonesia at most and very few efforts to make the students understand in English lesson. The class situation was commonly quiet and no enrichment indicators were developed that aimed to help the fast learners achieve more in the target competence.
It is postulated that the ultimate goal of designing and changing curriculum is not to design the best and ideal curriculum, but to put it into practice successfully. In order to enable the curriculum to take effects, teachers as the implementers should show their readiness, willingness and absolute capability to implement the curriculum by changing their mindset from old and traditional views of learning to modern pedagogic dimensions. Through these changes, the constraints would become a new challenge rather than hindrances to the implementation. The implementation of K-13 in ELT practices at the schools is considered to be partial, biased and tends to be traditional in all levels.
The English teaching process is inconsistent as it is classroom decision that the teachers execute it based on their own decision or ignore what have been described in their lesson plan. The assessment is also partially implemented as they found it problematical to deal with the common large class size. Therefore, the teachers’ implementation from the planning to the assessing process indicate a strong point that in some part of the K-13, the teachers tend to change the policy based on their classroom realities. And then, the information regarding the teacher’s knowledge might be useful for policy maker while this curriculum is being piloted. Gaining the information from the teacher will also be beneficial to see whether or not the 2013 has been implemented appropriately.
To sum up of this, the situation of the two concerting curricula that namely K-2006 (SBC) and K-2013 that are implemented in Indonesia brings little bit a chaotic atmosphere, especially in the teaching of English as an International language in Indonesia. But, those curriculum as a good decision nonetheless since the government has yet to provide the teacher a training regarding the implementation of the curriculum, even the teacher finds that it is difficult to apply the new curriculum in the classroom practice. Moreover, theoretically, learners’ success in EFL do not always depend on the curricula. And empirically, many factors play significant roles in determining learners’ success in EFL too, such as verbal, motivation, attitude, interest, etc.