DESA Lapeng is a remote village located in Pulo Aceh. Reach access to education, road access only is still not effective. The villagers of Lapeng were many who did not school because elementary school was newly completed in 2013. People who want to continue their education should go to the village next to dozens of kilometers using ground transportation or water transportation.
Despite the minimal access to education, the residents of Lapeng village, especially among children, are keen to learn new things, such as English. My initial perception as a volunteer in charge of teaching English was a massive rejection to learning both from children and their parents. That rejection is sure to happen because they will assume that learning English is something sinful. The perception was formed when I introduced English to the population of my own village, whereas my village was not an isolated village. My initial perception turned out to be betraying the fact I found there. The village of Lapeng itself which is an isolated village has a more open thinking on this topic.
Learning English is one of the library of Kampung Impian 2019-2020 program. English is studied by children from grade 4 to Grade 8 in the village of Lapeng.
The 3R volunteers designed a one-of-a-kind curriculum so that what was first learned from the English class was the easiest things such as alphabets, numbers, animals, fruits and parts of the body. According to the British Council, the above materials are material that is suitable for children who are new to English.
Initially, we thought that the introduction of parts of the body in English would be difficult. However, the 28 letters can be memorized in a very short duration of time by the children of the village. Some of them even have pre-existing knowledge of the English alphabet.
The English curriculum facilitates the children of the village to remember numbers from 1-10 in English. However, the number 1-10 turns out to be memorized by them. So, me and other dream teachers had to teach them the remaining numbers to a hundred.
In addition to these materials, the village children are also taught to use the English dictionary in a good and correct language. At first we thought that the village children who are still elementary school is sure to be bored because I just have a very lazy to hold a dictionary. However, they are enthusiastic in learning how to use it because they assume that the dictionary is looking for treasure.
English mastery is always measured through 4 abilities, i.e. reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The ability to read and write in English, of course, is not a barometer of the right ability to measure the level of ability of the English Lapeng children because they have just known English. Therefore, the children of Lapeng only know English in pronunciation and hearing only, but do not know how to write or read it.
The discovery that again is a first-class child of elementary school that indirectly learns English is able to master English material, ranging from numbers to everyday phrases. He was excited to hear the explanation or correction from me regarding the wrong pronunciation of the word. The child was even excited to listen to an explanation about foreign figures that he had accidentally found in the books and shirts he used. Seeing this enthusiastic, I introduce the term scholarship to him and how his English skills are at stake in obtaining a scholarship. He understands that even though he comes from the far reaches of a low-education access and comes from a family with minimal economy, he can go to the capital city even out of the country for free.
At the conclusion of the meeting, I delivered to them that one day would come strangers to the Lapeng. Well, that helps them communicate is you are not someone else. As time goes on, if English classes continue to be preserved, perhaps the children of Lapeng village can speak English as a child of the capital who take private tutoring at a costly cost.
Written by Rizka Malda Phonna