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Title: Teaching English to Multilingual Young Learners : Whose and What Identities are We constructing?
Authors: Zacharias, Nugrahenny T.
Keywords: teaching english to young learners;multilingualism;early childhood education;second language acquisition;mother tongue;english as a foreign language;national identities
Issue Date: 19-Jul-2011
Publisher: English Education Department, Teacher Training and Education Faculty, Muria Kudus University
Abstract: In Indonesia the teaching English to young learners (TEYL) have gained tremendous attention in recent years. Preschools with English-only or bilingual approaches have increasingly established and gained popularity among parents and children. For those who favors TEYL, the teaching of English since early age is believed to be more effective as children's brains are believed to absorb language easily. The mastery of English is also perceived as valuable investment for a child's future. Other view TEYL in Indonesia with a more critical eye. This is especially because TEYL starts as early as two years old when the young learners' mother tongue, Indonesian, has not been acquired fully. As a result, many are worried if the acquisition of English would sacrifice the acquisition and quality of Indonesian, the nation lingua franca. The purpose of the paper is to explore recent research and theoretical considerations for the teaching of English to young learners. It aims to critically examines studies on early multilingualism in countries where English is the first language and compares them with Indonesia's condition where English remains the foreign language. The paper starts with the narrative of Ben, my 22 month-old son, and his unique linguistic repertoire to illustrate the uniqueness and individuality of the linguistic landscape each young learner brings into TEYL in Indonesia. After a brief introduction sharing the story of Ben, I look more closely at issues of teaching English since an early age. The paper concludes by suggesting reflective parenting approach to address the teaching English to young learners and posed a number of things to consider when immersing one's child in English
Description: Proceedings The 1st National Conference on ELT and Culture Revitalizing the Practice of Teaching English to Young Learners in Indonesia (TEYLIN), Muria Kudus University (UMK) Kudus, July 19, 2011; p. 107-115
Appears in Collections:Published Research Reports

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