Website bermanfaat untuk belajar bahasa Inggris

Mengingat banyak pembelajar bahasa Inggris yang berkunjung ke blog ini, saya berpikir akan sangat berguna jika daftar website yang bermanfaat di bawah ini bisa dibagi juga di sini. Beberapa website yang disebut merupakan saduran dari blogpost @EnglishTips4U#EngTalk #EngTips: list of useful English learning websites.

General English






Kamus bahasa Inggris




Soal-soal latihan


Social media belajar bahasa Inggris








Daftar ini akan terus disunting dan ditambah. Punya daftar yang lain? Silakan bagi di kolom komentar ya. Jangan lupa juga, like dan share. 🙂

Practicing making questions with Past, Present, Future Simple using biographies of famous people

This is a simple activity if you want your students to practice making questions (or other activities that use the same tenses) in Past, Present, and Future tenses. There are 2 notions behind this activity:

  1. Tenses are usually taught separately and in isolation from each other. Inspired by Bloom’s Taxonomy, I was trying to apply an activity where students could make comparison between tenses. In this case because they have learned Present Simple, Past Simple, and Future Simple, thus this activity was created.
  2. After reading about Whole Language approach in language teaching and the importance of using authentic instead of artificial (read: textbook like) materials, I was intrigued to use more authentic materials in my class. The biography used here is an example.

Few notes before you do this activity:

  1. Make sure students have already learned about the 3 tenses and done some other necessary activities to practice them.
  2. Choose biography of a famous person who is still alive, because you need your students to also make predictions about the biographee’s life in the future to practice Future Simple Tense.
  3. You can choose to use biography in form of text, video, or the combination of the 2 where different types of skills are in practice.

Here’s how I did it:

  1. I used Bill Gates’ (mini) biography from’s YouTube channel.
  2. Before viewing the video, students were divided into pairs.
  3. Students watched the biography, twice (more if you like).
  4. Each pair was instructed to make 3 questions using Past Simple, basically making questions about Bill Gates’ past.
  5. Before the next task, members of the group were swapped.
  6. Each pair was then instructed to make another 3 questions, this time using Present Simple, asking about Bill Gates’ current life.
  7. Members of the group were again swapped.
  8. Each pair for the last time was instructed to make 3 questions using Future Simple, making predictions about Bill Gates’ future.

At the end of the question making, you can ask students to either correct other groups’ questions or answer them. Here are some questions my students made, with few additions from me:

Past Simple Tense:

  1. Where was Bill Gates born?
  2. When did he found Microsoft?
  3. Did he drop out of school?

Present Simple Tense

  1. What does he do now?
  2. What is the name of his foundation?
  3. Is he a creative person?

Future Simple Tense

  1. What will Bill Gates do in 2014?
  2. Who will replace his position?
  3. Will he go bankrupt?

I hope this is useful for you. Don’t forget: like, share, comment. 🙂

Practicing Past Simple Tense with Ladder Race (Game) and Story Writing

Just like my other blogposts under the tag teaching ideas, in this blogpost I am sharing activities that I used in my class for other English teachers to use and be inspired from. If you are reading this and interested in applying the activities described here, you are free to do so with customization and other changes based on your own needs.

There are two activities that I did described in this blogpost to practice Past Simple Tense. Please note that material presentation for Past Simple Tense had already been done before conducting these activities.

1. Ladder Race (game)

Perhaps you’ve heard about this game before, perhaps you haven’t. I tried to find a blog or website that gives description about the game but there was none. So let me explain it in case you don’t know.

Illustration of Ladder Race (game)

Illustration of Ladder Race (game)

  1. What you need: a board (white or black).
  2. Divide the class into 2 groups, let’s say Group A and Group B.
  3. Draw a ladder-like table like shown in the image above, together with numbers, 1 to 10, from bottom to top. The numbers represent the words each group has to race to write on the board.
  4. Start the game by writing the first word based on the category you play. In this case our focus was practicing Past Simple Tense, so the category was Verb 2 or Past Simple of the verb.
  5. Members from each group have to continue writing the second, third, fourth, etc. word by using the last letter from the previous word. For example, the first word is MET, so the next team member has to write a word that begins with the letter “T”. In the image, Group A wrote TOOK, Group B wrote TOLD.
  6. Both groups can’t use the same words. Group discussion is allowed. The first group to finish completing the ladder (1-10) wins.

2. Story Writing

The story writing is still done in groups. Each group, within a limited time frame, has to create a short story with all the 10 words that they have gathered in the first activity, the Ladder Race game. The story has to make sense and each group can decide the theme and topic to whatever they feel suitable with the vocabulary they have.

However, words that have been written by the groups are swapped before they begin the story writing. For example, words that are written by Group A will be given to Group B, vice versa. So each group must use words from the opponent team. Here’s a short story made by my students (Group B) using words from Group A. I found the story quite interesting and funny. They have surely done a good job.

Students' work in story writing using the Past Simple

Students’ work in story writing using the Past Simple

I hope this blogpost is useful. Leave your comment, like, or share. 🙂

Teaching “Will vs. Going to” with YouTube videos

It was only recently that I started making ‘contact’ with YouTube in terms of English Language Teaching (ELT). You can read my first experience in using YouTube here. Drawn by the successful attempt, I decided to give YouTube another try. This time with other grammar points: Will vs. Going to (Future Simple Tense). The activity consisted of 2 parts and used 4 videos: the first 3 videos were used as the explanatory videos for “Will vs. Going to” and the last video for writing (productive skill) practice using the 2 grammar points.

The steps are as below:

1. Students watch the first video about the use of ‘will’. The video contains some funny scenes so my students were quite entertained. You can choose to pause and play as the video contains several conversations and scenes. The video can also be used for other types of activities (listening, fill in the gaps, summary writing, etc.).

2. Worksheet is given to students and teacher explains a little bit about the use of ‘will’. Students are given time to do the worksheet while teacher guides, but only the ‘will’ part (the left-hand side). Download the worksheet that I made and used here Will vs. Going to Worksheet.

3. Students continue watching the second video about the use of ‘going to’. The form of this video is almost the same with the first one: it contains several conversations and scenes. It’s funny too.

4. After watching the second video, teacher explains about the use of ‘going to’ a little bit and students are asked to continue doing the second part of the worksheet (the ‘going to’ part). Again, teacher’s guide and assistance in students’ completing the worksheet is essential.

5. After finishing with ‘will’ and ‘going to’ in the worksheet, teacher prompts the question: “So what’s the difference between will and going to?” Students try to answer the question and teacher confirms it (explanation can be found in the worksheet). Third video is played.

6. After gaining understanding about the difference of ‘will’ and ‘going to’, students are asked to practice using the grammar units — again, with a YouTube video. I was trying to find a short video or movie about how the future will look like, but ended up with this video “What Will Clothes Look Like in the Future?” about the future of clothes. It is quite interesting and my students also found it quite amusing (so did I!).

7. So what’s the instruction for the practice? Students watch the very short documentary twice (or as many as you like depending on students’ level), then in pairs they have to write a summary about the documentary using ‘will’ and going to’. The aim of this practice is so students can make predictions about the future using ‘will’ and ‘going to’. Sentences should start with ‘will’ and ‘going to’ like these:

  1. There will …
  2. There is going to …
  3. The clothes will …
  4. The clothes are going to …

Here’s an example made by a group.

Students' work: Will vs. Going to

Students’ work: Will vs. Going to

Well, that’s all. I hope you find this blogpost useful. If you have comments or suggestions, or perhaps other brilliant ideas to teach grammar, feel free to drop me a comment. Thank you. 🙂

Practicing the imperative and modal auxiliaries with The White Stripes’ We’re Going to be Friends

Do you know this song?

I didn’t know this song until after I desperately asked for some suggestions on songs I could use to teach on my Twitter and a friend suggested me this. At the same time I was teaching the imperative and modal auxiliaries to my business English students. After watching the suggested video (the real music video from the band looks far more depressing than this one here) and reading the lyrics, I found the two grammar points were used a number of times.

Since the activity uses song as its media, the practice eventually incorporates listening as part of the grammar practice. Listening, just like reading, is considered to be an important input in the process of second language learning. Besides that, my other aim of using the song is to also show my students that grammar is not a separable unit or entity in a language. We can find it in speech and utterance, even songs. Hopefully this can motivate them to pay more attention to grammar.

The procedure of the practice involves listening, fill in the gaps activity, and followed by grammar and short writing practice. All of these activities are done individually but at the end of the listening activity they are allowed to discuss their findings. Because the topic of this song is about school, I believe school teachers can definitely use this song too. Here’s how I did the practice and other aspects about it.

Steps I applied during the practice

  1. Students watch the music video. This is done to entice students and let them grasp the context of the song.
  2. Worksheets are given to students. You can download the worksheet I made and used here We’re Going to be Friends Lyrics Worksheet.
  3. The music video is played 3 times while students are listening to the song and filling the gaps in the worksheet.
  4. Time to check students’ work! Students discuss and read (or sing) the lyrics aloud. There are many ways we can do to check students’ work. We can ask different students to read or sing the lyrics aloud one verse at a time, they read aloud or sing together, etc.
  5. By the fourth time they listened to the song, they could sing it. So we decided to sing together as the closing activity before we went to the next tasks: grammar and writing.
  6. Students do the grammar task in group or individually, then complete the activity by doing the writing task individually.

Why this activity is good

  1. According to Dr. Krashen, lowering stress means achieving more learning. Listening to songs can certainly make students feel more relaxed in classroom and help them enjoy the learning process.
  2. Choosing songs with the right tempo is also important. As their first listening activity, this song really suited my students well.
  3. Students can practice grammar from things that are familiar to them and their world — songs. It is hoped that they will be able to apply the practice on their own time.

Tips on using songs for grammar practice

  1. Choose songs that are appropriate to your students’ level, the tempo and difficulty level of the lyrics.
  2. Find songs in which the lyrics contain grammar points you are going to practice. It takes time but it’s worth it.
  3. Beware of lyrics and music videos that contain explicit content. Same concern I mentioned some time ago in my previous post.

So, what do you think about using songs to practice grammar? Are you interested in applying the same or similar activity in your class? Or do you have other ideas? Let me know by leaving your comments. 🙂

Pages you can use as additional handouts for pre-activity:

The imperative

Modal Verbs

Belajar bahasa Inggris gratis lewat e-newsletter

Jika saat ini Anda sedang dalam proses belajar bahasa Inggris, maka Anda harus mencari segala kemungkinan cara belajar bahasa Inggris yang dapat dilakukan di mana saja dan kapan saja. Dan jika Anda memiliki dana yang terbatas, belajar bahasa Inggris melalui internet bisa menjadi solusi yang jitu. Saat ini ada banyak website dan akun social media yang menyediakan pelayanan ini.

Misalnya, laman Facebook Active English, penyedia pelatihan dan les privat bahasa Inggris yang saya jalankan sejak 2010 lalu, yang tiap hari menyediakan tips seputar grammar, vocabulary (perbendaharaan kata), business English, dan idiom melalui gambar dan tautan artikel yang bermanfaat. Atau akun Twitter @ActiveEnglish_ dan @EnglishTips4U yang juga selalu memberikan tips bermanfaat.

Tapi ada kalanya Anda terlalu sibuk dan hanya memiliki sedikit waktu untuk membuka akun social media Anda, terutama jika Anda seorang profesional dengan jadwal yang ketat dan daftar pekerjaan yang panjang. Anda tidak perlu khawatir, karena saya melalui Active English baru-baru ini menerbitkan sebuah e-newsletter gratis yang bisa Anda dapatkan langsung di email Anda: Active English: Learners’ Guide.

belajar bahasa Inggris gratis lewat e-newsletter

Active English: Learners’ Guide, Volume 2, July 2013

Apa itu Active English: Learners’ Guide?

Semua konten yang ada di e-newsletter didisain sedemikian rupa agar bermanfaat bagi pembacanya. E-newsletter ini terdiri dari tips, cerita, inspirasi, tautan bermanfaat, serta tentu penawaran menarik tentang bagaimana kami bisa membantu proses belajar bahasa Inggris Anda. Menariknya, bagi Anda yang tiap hari berurusan dengan email, dengan berlangganan e-newsletter ini Anda tidak perlu lagi membuka browser atau laman lain. E-newsletter akan langsung hadir di inbox email Anda.

belajar bahasa Inggris gratis lewat e-newsletter b

Active English: Learners’ Guide, Volume 2, July 2013

4 cara memaksimalkan Active English: Learners’ Guide

Setelah berlangganan dan menerima e-newsletter, jangan hanya berhenti di situ. Lakukan hal-hal di bawah ini agar e-newsletter Anda memberikan lebih banyak lagi manfaat bagi Anda:

  1. Baca lebih banyak tulisan dan artikel di tautan-tautan yang diberikan.
  2. Like laman Facebook Active English dan ikuti Twitter @ActiveEnglish_ untuk mulai memanfaatkan social media sebagai tempat berkonsultasi online dengan guru bahasa Inggris dan admin kami.
  3. Manfaatkan penawaran-penawaran yang kami berikan.
  4. Hubungi kami melalui telpon, email, Facebook, Twitter, maupun WhatsApp untuk berkonsultasi lebih lanjut tentang bagaimana kami dapat membantu Anda atau perusahaan Anda dalam pembelajaran bahasa Inggris.

Bagaimana saya bisa berlangganan?

Jika Anda tidak ingin ketinggalan edisi terbaru Active English: Learners’ Guide tiap bulannya, ada baiknya Anda berlangganan mulai sekarang. Caranya sangat mudah. Klik laman Berlangganan ini dan isi formulir berlangganan dengan informasi yang diminta, seperti yang terlihat di bawah ini.

belajar bahasa Inggris gratis lewat e-newsletter c

Formulir berlangganan Active English: Learners’ Guide

Belum berlangganan dan telah melewatkan edisi-edisi sebelumnya? Jangan khawatir, Anda dapat membaca dua edisi sebelumnya (Juni dan Juli 2013) di tautan-tautan di bawah ini.

Active English: Learners’ Guide Volume 1 June 2013

Active English: Learners’ Guide Volume 2 July 2013

Semoga tulisan ini bermanfaat. Jangan lupa: ambil kendali terhadap proses belajar Anda (take control of your own learning) dan berlangganan e-newsletter mulai sekarang. 🙂

7 reasons why you and your students will love LyricsTraining

Have you tried LyricsTraining? I have and I loved it. And so my students.


A small group of students played LyricsTraining (we used TV as the screen)

I bet many of us (English teachers) have tried this method (and your students once in a while would ask you to do that too): teach English through (English) songs by asking them to listen to a song and fill in the gaps of the song’s lyrics. Most of the time we prepared the song, lyrics, and worksheet by ourselves (yep, browsed, copy-pasted, edited, and printed it). With LyricsTraining, you do not need to do all that. Just prepare your computer and internet, and you’re ready to go.

Here’s 7 reasons why you and your students will love LyricsTraining:

  1. The website provides the latest songs and lyrics, things your students (or maybe yourself if you love (pop) music!) would love. You can search for your (or your students’) favorite songs, singers, bands, or lyrics in the Search box on top of the site.
  2. Songs and lyrics are categorized into 3 levels of difficulty: Easy, Medium, Hard. It makes it easier for students to choose what level they want to play. I guess lyrics levels are made based on the song tempo and vocabulary in the lyrics. The faster the tempo and the more advanced the vocabulary, the higher the level is.
  3. Aside from point 2, there are also 3 game modes you can choose for each song: Beginner, Intermediate, Expert. In Beginner mode, players only need to fill in 10% of the blanks, while in Intermediate they have to fill in 25% of the blanks. Expert mode means players have to fill in all the lyrics by themselves (no clues given).
  4. Just like karaoke, scores are provided at the end of the game. How do we get high scores? Type as fast as you can and choose the highest level and mode! This feature is great if you want to make students compete against each other.
  5. Here’s another interesting feature of this site. If you stop and can’t listen to the lyrics, the lyrics bar (the green highlight with arrows pointing down) will also stop and wait for you!
  6. Also, if you’re stuck and want to give up, you can choose to skip a word by pressing the Tab button on your keyboard. For more shortcuts you can click ‘Help’ at the bottom right of the video.
  7. Don’t feel like typing the lyrics? Go for a karaoke instead! Choose ‘Karaoke’ when you open a video and you can watch it with its full lyrics. You and your students can sing the song together.

Skills practiced and tips for maximizing LyricsTraining:

  1. Students can practice listening in a more challenging way.
  2. They can also practice (or test?) their vocabulary.
  3. Besides listening and vocabulary, we can also use LyricsTraining to teach grammar, idiomatic expressions, and slang. Before we play a song, it’s much better to prepare points students are about to practice in the song, choose the right song to do that, and prepare a follow-up activity afterwards. It gives them a sense of purpose and the practice will be more efficient and systematic.

P!nk’s Raise Your Glass – as innocent as the song might be, it does contain some ‘bad’ words you don’t want your students to pick up

Some cautions!

However, though, I have some concerns and teachers need to be cautious before using LyricsTraining in their class, especially because of these reasons:

  1. Be very careful in choosing songs. Many of them use inappropriate language that might not be suitable for younger learners (or in fact, all learners). Other issue is although the lyrics might not be blatantly inappropriate, some (or many?) contain sexual implication.
  2. Even if the lyrics are fine, you still need to check the music videos, especially if they contain sexual imagery and nudity.

Well, I hope this post is useful. Ready to sing along? Happy playing!

Like this blogpost? If yes, please consider sharing it with your friends and colleagues by using the sharing buttons below. Thank you!

“Bu, Anda lebih pintar dari bos Anda. Karena Anda menguasai 3 bahasa dan dia tidak.”

Refleksi kali ini…

Jumat pagi. Murid saya yang satu ini memang super sibuk. Setelah sekian lama akhirnya ia bisa meluangkan waktu untuk bertemu lagi dan belajar bersama. Ini adalah pertemuan kami yang ke dua. Ia adalah seorang manajer di salah satu perusahaan retail yang cukup besar di Badung, Bali. Dengan bahasa Inggris yang lancar, walaupun dengan aksen Bali yang kental (tentu karena dia orang Bali), ia menceritakan salah satu alasan utama mengapa ia mengambil les privat yang kami lakukan. Tentu setelah saya bertanya (dalam bahasa Inggris), “Ibu bahasa Inggrisnya lancar sekali. Kenapa ibu merasa perlu kursus?”

Alkisah saat ini ia dipimpin oleh seorang bos baru. Seorang perfeksionis berkebangsaan Inggris. Selain perfeksionis, ia dikenal kerap kali mengoreksi bahasa Inggris karyawan atau bawahannya di depan karyawan lain. Hal ini yang membuat banyak karyawan takut berbicara di depannya. Bukan karena mereka tidak bisa. Tapi karena mereka takut salah dan takut dipermalukan di depan umum. Ini lah alasan mengapa ia (yang sebenarnya sudah memiliki ketrampilan berbicara dalam bahasa Inggris yang cukup baik) tiba-tiba kehilangan kepercayaan diri. Belum lagi ditambah ia baru saja kehilangan anak-anak kesayangannya karena sakit.

Dengan kritis saya langsung berpikir, “Saya yakin pasti bos murid saya ini frustasi kalau memang benar bawahannya tidak memiliki ketrampilan bahasa Inggris yang cukup untuk memungkinkan komunikasi terjadi dengan lancar. Tapi sebagai seorang penutur asli, apa iya ia sekejam itu dan tidak memaklumi kalau bahasa Inggris bukan bahasa utama (bahkan ke dua) kita?” Pada kenyataannya memang banyak orang (atau turis di Bali) yang memaklumi keadaan ini. Dengan lemah lesu dan tidak bertenaga murid saya menyelesaikan ceritanya. Otak saya langsung berkata, “Saya tidak bisa membiarkan dia pulang dari sini merasa rendah diri.”

Lalu saya pun berkata pada ibu ini (tentu – lagi – dalam bahasa Inggris):

“Bu, Anda lebih pintar daripada bos Anda. Kenapa? Coba bayangkan. Ibu menguasai setidaknya 3 bahasa, bahkan termasuk bahasa yang sama sekali bukan milik (kebudayaan dan asal muasal) ibu, bahasa Inggris. Ibu bisa bahasa Bali, bahasa Indonesia, dan bahasa Inggris. Ibu sudah mengalami banyak proses (pemerolehan bahasa) yang tidak dialami bos ibu. Sejak ibu kecil hingga sekarang (ibu ini sudah separuh baya). Coba bayangkan lagi. Bos ibu mungkin lahir dan besar di Inggris. Menikah, tinggal, dan berinteraksi dengan sesama penutur asli bahasa Inggris. Sementara ibu? Ibu belajar, berusaha sampai akhirnya bisa 3 bahasa. Sementara dia tidak. Lihatlah prestasi yang telah ibu capai. Lain kali jika ia mengoreksi ibu, katakan terima kasih padanya. Tapi ingat, proses yang telah ibu lalui membuat ibu jauh lebih unggul daripada dia. Katakan dalam hati, ‘I’m much better than you.’ Dengan begitu ibu akan selalu merasa tenang.”

Saya mengakhiri kalimat terakhir dan murid saya terlihat sedikit berkaca-kaca sambil mengangguk-angguk pasti. “Iya, ya… You are right,” ujarnya. Ada secercah harapan dalam pandangan matanya yang tadinya sempat layu. Di akhir pertemuan kami ia pun melangkah pulang dengan lebih semangat.

Sering kali kita menganggap remeh kekuatan yang kita miliki sendiri. Saya tidak tahu apakah ini hasil penjajahan selama lebih dari 300 tahun atau lebih hingga saat ini, tapi kita seharusnya tidak menempatkan diri sebagai warga dunia kelas 2, 3, dan seterusnya. Apalagi ketika berhubungan dengan penguasaan bahasa. Bayangkan orang-orang asing datang ke Indonesia melihat orang Indonesia berbahasa Inggris. Tidakkah itu sesuatu yang menakjubkan? Sementara kita ke negara mereka, tidak ada sedikit pun yang berbahasa Indonesia (kalaupun ada jumlahnya tidak sebanyak penutur bahasa Inggris di Indonesia).

Jadi, tolong, kalau sekarang Anda sedang belajar bahasa Inggris, jangan dulu merasa down atau rendah diri. Hargai dan rayakanlah usaha dan kerja keras Anda. Tidak banyak dari penutur asli bahasa Inggris yang tertarik belajar atau menguasai bahasa lain selain bahasa ibu mereka. Percayalah, bahkan yang berprofesi sebagai guru bahasa Inggris (di Indonesia khususnya). Atau bahkan yang telah lama tinggal di Indonesia pun masih banyak yang ogah-ogahan untuk bisa menguasai bahasa tempat ia berpijak. Jadi jika Anda tertarik mempelajari bahasa yang bukan bahasa ‘asli’ Anda, bukankah ini hal yang menakjubkan? 🙂

Suka dengan tulisan ini? Silakan bagi ke teman dan kolega Anda melalui tombol social media di bawah ini. Terima kasih.

Mengapa grammar itu menyebalkan?

Ketika saya mengajar, saya kerap mendapatkan respon yang berbeda dari tiap siswa jika berhubungan dengan grammar. Ada yang suka, ada yang tidak suka, ada yang suka karena terbiasa dengan kegiatan akademik (belajar) dan penasaran, dan ada yang suka karena merasa perlu, walaupun masih merasa grammar itu merepotkan. Tapi kebanyakan memang menyimpulkan satu hal yang serupa: grammar itu menyebalkan dan merepotkan… walaupun perlu.

Kebanyakan kelas yang saya ajar adalah kelas untuk orang dewasa, di mana rata-rata belajar bahasa Inggris untuk membantu karir atau pekerjaan mereka, sementara yang lainnya untuk meneruskan kuliah. Masalah yang paling utama yang sering saya hadapi adalah bagaimana kebanyakan dari siswa-siswa ini selama bertahun-tahun menggunakan pola kalimat atau grammar yang tidak tepat, atau bahkan cara penulisan atau pengejaan kata yang salah.

Berikut beberapa contoh kesalahan gramatikal yang paling sering saya temui:

“I am work at…”

“Where do you from?” | “I am come from…”

“You can to come with me…”

“Please advice.”

“We are very interesting to your profile.”

Apakah benar grammar itu menyebalkan?

Para siswa juga sering berbagi tentang pengalaman mereka belajar bahasa Inggris sewaktu sekolah, tidak jarang dengan tujuan ingin menjustifikasi keberadaannya di kelas saya. Bagi guru bahasa Inggris lain mungkin cerita ini terdengar begitu klasik, tapi inilah yang sering saya temui. Pengalaman belajar bahasa Inggris mereka di sekolah tidaklah manis. Guru yang tidak menyenangkan biasanya jadi alasan utama, selain cara mengajar yang juga kurang menyenangkan.

Jika para orang dewasa ini harus kembali menjadi anak-anak sekarang dan sekolah di tempat yang tepat, bisa jadi mereka punya kemampuan bahasa Inggris yang berbeda. Biasanya anak-anak yang disekolahkan di sekolah swasta memiliki kemampuan bahasa Inggris yang rata-rata tinggi. Hal ini dapat dimaklumi dengan melihat kenyataan bagaimana bahasa Inggris digunakan dan diajarkan di sana. Rata-rata dengan cara yang tidak konvensional, dengan cara yang menyenangkan.

Metode mengajar bahasa Inggris dengan permainan, alat bantu, lembar kerja, dan teknologi memang tidaklah baru. Hanya saja penggunaannya belum diterapkan secara merata di sekolah-sekolah di Indonesia (terutama sekolah negeri). Apalagi bayangkan jika kita kembali ke masa ketika siswa-siswa saya yang telah dewasa ini masih menempuh pendidikan dasar atau lanjutan? Pada masa saya saja metode ini masih jarang sekali digunakan.

Anak-anak yang walaupun masih kecil telah mahir berbahasa Inggris tidaklah belajar dengan cara menguasai grammar terlebih dahulu (saya akui saya juga baru mendalami grammar sejak kuliah). Jadi sangat disayangkan sekali jika kurikulum pendidikan bahasa Inggris untuk sekolah dasar terlalu menitikberatkan pada grammar dan tenses karena saya pikir metode ini tidak akan efektif. Sama halnya ketika saya melulu harus mengoreksi kesalahan gramatikal yang siswa saya buat.

Yang perlu mula-mula dikuasai adalah bagaimana seseorang yang belajar bahasa Inggris dapat mengenali pola kalimat yang benar. Bagaimana caranya? Cukup sederhana. Kembali lah lagi ke masa-masa awal Anda belajar bahasa Indonesia. Pasti dengan sering mendengar, membaca, lalu belajar berbicara dan menulis bukan? Banyak mendengar dan membaca bahasa Inggris yang benar (dari penutur asli adalah yang terbaik) adalah langkah pertama yang tepat.

Daripada menghafalkan kata per kata tiap harinya, banyak-banyaklah mendengarkan dan membaca frasa dan kalimat. Hal ini memudahkan kita untuk melihat penggunaan kata-kata baru dalam konteks. Banyak hal yang tidak dapat dipelajari di grammar seperti idiomphrasal verbcollocation, dan compound bisa kita pelajari dengan banyak-banyak memperhatikan “bongkahan-bongkahan” (chunks) frasa atau kalimat tadi. Contoh sederhana, “interested” selalu diikuti dengan “in”, bukan “to” (lihat contoh di atas).

Metode pengajaran yang menitikberatkan pada interaksi antara siswa dan penutur asli, kegiatan-kegiatan yang menyenangkan dengan permainan, penggunaan alat bantu dan teknologi, serta memberi ruang yang banyak untuk kesalahan, ditambah bagaimana metode ini diterapkan bertahun-tahun kepada orang yang sama terbukti lebih efektif menghasilkan pengguna bahasa Inggris yang percaya diri dan dengan mudah menguasai bahasa Inggris hanya dengan mengenali pola kalimat yang benar.

Jika sekarang Anda baru mulai mempelajari atau sedang memperdalam kemampuan bahasa Inggris Anda, jangan minder atau putus asa. Anda bisa menerapkan semua metode menyenangkan tadi di rumah. Berteman dengan teman dari mancanegara, dengarkan musik kesukaan, baca artikel yang sesuai dengan minat Anda, unduh dan gunakan aplikasi belajar yang Anda suka, jelajahi internet. Tapi tentu saja, Anda harus juga meluangkan waktu, tenaga, serta dana untuk mewujudkannya.

Tulisan ini saya ambil dari tulisan saya di Kompasiana: Mengapa Grammar Itu Menyebalkan?.