The school context is the ordinary primary school in Indonesia. The target of teaching is the students in grade 3 with age 8 to 9. There are about thirty students in one classroom; their first language is Indonesian. Students are at the beginner level in Primary school In Indonesia. In Indonesian schools, learning English is started at level 3. In this class, the students have learnt simple numbers and mathematical concepts in Indonesian Language. Learning number in English language is new for them. Therefore, this lesson aims at helping students to recognise the numbers in English so that they can mention and use the number appropriately.
Teaching English as a second language to young learner at primary school level is not the same as teaching the other level, such as teenager or adult. Ramelan (1991) says that the rakishness of English teaching can be caused by several factors including the technique and method of teaching. “Young learners tend to change their mood every other minute” (Klein, 2005). Young learners prefer to learn language in enjoyable learning situation. In addition, children cannot be considered like teenager or adult in teaching learning process or they will loose their motivation. Therefore, the activity used should be interesting, and attractive.
Recently, the curriculum used to teach English in Indonesian schools is Communicative Language Teaching (CLT). This curriculum aims to make students to be able to use English functionally. This activity focuses on simple numbers. Students will be able to mention numbers from 1 to 10 in English language and develop their conversational skills by focusing on their listening and speaking. Since the students are children, the teaching process will as fun as possible. The first activity, the teacher will introduce number to the students with the representative of the colourful objects. The next activity is the student and teacher will count the object together. The teacher uses a very interesting counting backward in the New Year eve; the students will count backward like in the new year eve.
Establishing fun learning environment is the reason for choosing games as an instructional strategy in teaching English for young learner. Therefore, the activity is also including a game named “Simon Says”, the students are required to do based on what Simon says, the student will show card with numbers if the command is started with “Simon says”. However, if a command starting without the beginning "Simon says" means do not do this action. if the student show the wrong number or do the command without "Simon says" s/he has to count backward from 10 to 1. In the end of activity, the students are required to stick the cards on the object based on the number of the object. The teacher will repeat the first activity to ensure the students are able to reach the goal.
Briefly, these activities aim to create the fun learning environment for the students. The reason why the teacher use games in the teaching activity is to make students feel comfortable with the lesson. Children are often very enthusiastic about game, but for some older students, they may think that doing learning activity with game is too childish. For this case, teachers have to explain the objective of the activity to insure them that game can involve all the basic language skills, i.e., listening, speaking, reading, and a number of skills are often involved in the same game (Lee, 1979).
Klein, K (2005). Teaching young learners, English Teaching Forum, retrieved 20 April 2012 <http://exchanges.state.gov/englishteaching/forum/archives/1993/docs/93-31-2-e.pdf >
Lee, W. R. (1979). Language teaching games and contests. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Ramelan, R. (1991). Linguistics and Its Contribution to Language Teachers. Semarang: IKIP Semarang Press.