This is a simple interview with the ‘unnoticed professor’ (founder of UNIROW ASIA) After I did the second classroom observation. Read more info about it in previous post. The professor answered all the questions and the results can be seen below. This interview is to compare the result from observation with the opinion from ‘professor’. In the last Observation, Teacher whose class had been observed was interviewed about why she thought the use of Bahasa Indonesia may be more effective than using English exclusively, about her occasional use of Bahasa Indonesia in the classroom and how she viewed the common criticism that using LI reduces the students’ exposure to English. The interview with an ‘Unnoticed professor’ was summarized as follow:
1. If you use Bahasa Indonesia in your classroom, why do you think it may be more effective than using English exclusively?
I think using pure English in EFL classroom, especially in my class is impossible. Using English exclusively may be able to in the class that the students are high proficiency in English. Whereas, in the class that low level students, it will make them confuse and always there is misunderstanding between the teacher and students. So, using Bahasa Indonesia in certain occasions will more effective than never.
2. When do you think it is appropriate to use Bahasa Indonesia in English classroom?
I used English and Indonesian were fifty-fifty. It is caused, my students are low proficiency in English. I used Indonesian to explain all of the items that need to be explained. For instance, I used Indonesian to explain difficult concepts and grammatical rules. Sometimes, when the students took puzzled after my English explanation of certain points, I will use some Indonesian to reinterpret them. Furthermore, if the students fail to follow me when I only use English to give instructions, using Indonesian helps the students to understand much.
3. How do you view common criticism that using LI reduces the students’ exposure to English?
I think the use of LI in English class will not reduce students’ exposure in English. On the other hand, it will help to improve English comprehension because the use of LI is ,limited in certain situations. During teaching learning process, the medium of communication is still English. The use of LI in English class actually provides more time for the students to practice their English and to get exposure to English. It will reduce misunderstanding in communication. So, the students motivated to increase their English proficiency.
From the answers above, I can conclude if local language plays greater role in teaching English. It is better to use combined language if students are unable to speak and write in English correctly. Using local language while teaching will not reduce the quality of teaching progress. In fact, it may have greater chance to improve student’s skills in learning English faster than any other methods.
Update: Correcting the title as there is a spelling error. Added two references for this research. Read more about it in Doing some RESEARCH FINDING AND DISCUSSION and Questionnaires on research finding and discussion in ESL/EFL Classroom.