PERCEPTION

A.

Background       There is intense pressure amongnon-English speaking countries to develop their English ability to competenceamong people all over the world to get better position in politics, business,education, etc. In some Asian countries, an institution with students who havehigh English language proficiency is highly regarded (Cho, 2012; Wa-Mbaleka,2014).  Over the past years, Indonesiancitizen had been taught English since elementary school to senior high schoolas it is a compulsory subject among those years.        However, recently some of schools inIndonesia (elementary to senior high school) have been implemented the 2013curriculum which removes English as compulsory subject in elementary schoollevel. In the 2013 curriculum, at elementary school, English is only forextra-curricular subject.

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“Elementary schools won’thave English lessons because students haven’t even learned to understand theIndonesian language yet,” Kasim (Ministry of Education, Indonesia) said, ascited by the Jakarta Post (2012). The removal of English will be omittedperiodically, In 2013 only grades one and two that did not have Englishclasses. In 2014-2015, it was no longer taught in grades one, two, three andfour. In 2015-2016, grades one, two, three, four and five. Eventually, in2016-2017, no grade will receive English classes according to Desyani,Tempo.co.

This removal is also supported by Indonesian President, Joko Widodo,he said, “It would be better to teachEnglish to Junior High School students, so that elementary students have moresense of nationalism.”       Member of Commission X of House ofRepresentatives (DPR) stated, “This policy is a proper thing to implement formaking students able to focus on cultural of Bahasa Indonesia started fromelementary school.” He also alleged that by removing English in elementaryschool, there is a space for young learners to be able to understand andappreciate national language and cultures deeper. Because young learners needto be more focus on culture than on foreign language because our own languageis one of the country’s identities to conserve. (cited inBanjarmasinPost.co.

id:2012)       On the other hand, elementary schoolyears is a golden age of childhood to learn. Brain function will reach 80%capacity started when children are 8 years old, and with stimulating it willincrease to 100%, according to Buzan (1960). Zaman (2013) said, “Elementaryyears is a golden age for children to learn, it is years when their capabilityof learning stronger, they need to learn another language and culture, makefriend with people who have different language and culture to develop and easetheir career in the future.”        In fact, the learning of English inIndonesia, especially Banjarmasin has given better progress in its education,children who have been taught English since elementary school are having biggeropportunity to join international student exchange because they have beenprepared since then. Children need to recognize the contributions of eachculture and to explore its value system. Acquisition of concepts about languageand ethnic groups is complex, but early, planned, and structured activities canresult in positive attitudes in children (Katz 1976, 234).

       Therefore, theresearcher would like to find out teacher’s perceptions and perspectives. Teachers’ perceptions play a crucial role in educationalperspectives. Educators have underlined a position which teachers’ perceptionshold in education and agreed that teachers’ perceptions influence teachers’ practice, judgment and decision making(Barcelos, 2000; Pederson, 2003; Yu, 1986). Thiscurrent issue encourages the researcher to have a research entitled Teachers’ Perceptions Toward ELT Policy atSixth Grade Elementary School in Banjarmasin School Year 2016/2017.B. Research Question       Thefollowing are the research questions:1.     Whatare teachers’ perceptions toward ELT Policy changing?2.     Whatare the factors influencing ELT policy applied on elementary schools based onteachers’ perspective?3.

     Howdo the teachers use perception toward ELT Policy?  C. Objective of the Research        The objectives of theresearch specifically are:1.    To explore teachers’ perception toward ELT Policy changing.2.    To find out the factors influencing ELT policy applied on elementaryschools based on teachers’ perspective.3.    To know how the teachers use perceptiontoward ELT Policy. D.

Scope of the Research       The main pointsinvestigated in this research are to explore teachers’ perception toward ELTPolicy about English removal among elementary schools especially inBanjarmasin. Besides, to find out teachers’ views about the impact of ELTPolicy toward young learners and teachers themselves. The researcher also wouldlike to know the factors influencing ELT Policy applied on elementary schoolbased on teachers’ perspective.

 E. Assumptions       Theassumptions according to the researcher about discovering the perception of theteachers toward ELT policy about English removal is the teachers will notsupport the government’s policy since English has become essential to learn. Asa matter of fact, English is a global language and people’ needs in this modernera. Besides, in the golden age, elementary years might support the young learners’possibility to learn easily and effectively.  F. Significances of the Research       The findingsof the research are expected to be able to give the following advantages:       1.

For theGovernment                  The findings can be a recommendation in making future policy.       2. For the Teacher                 The findings can be a way for the teachers to express their perspectivesand opinions toward ELT Policy.       3. For the Other Researchers                 The findings might give new information about teachers’ perspectives andopinions toward the issues in education field. G.

Research Methodology1.    ResearchDesign             “It is generally accepted in action research circles thatresearchers should not rely on any single source of data, interview,observation, or instrument” Mills (2003:52) – Noga (2007:10-11). In this research, theresearcher will use both quantitative and qualitative methods. According to Formosa, mixed methods research is the utilization of two or more differentmethods to meet the aims of a research project as best as one can. The researchproject may be conducted from either one or two paradigmatic stand- points(mixed methodology study). Quantitative data isneeded to determine the extent and degree of teachers’ attitude and perceptiontoward ELT policy. Qualitative data, on the other hand, is needed to digteachers’ attitudeand perception deeper. According to Creswell (2003) mix method research hasgreatly evolved and has become accepted as a valid  approach to research in the last decade.

Theyencouraged other researchers to use this approach because it helped to triangulatethe data.        The researcher will use a survey and asemi-structured interview. Thesedesigns are preferred because the researcher focuses on the teachers’ opinionand perception in detail.2.

     Setting of the Research       This research will take place inBanjarmasin. It will begin from December 2016 to January 2017. 3.

    Subject of theResearch a.    Population         Population is the whole subject ofresearch (Suharsimi, 2002: 108). The total population will be 10 elementary schools and 200teachers of sixth grade elementary schools in Banjarmasin school year 2016/2017.b.   Sample       In order to decidethe size of sample, the researcher takes Suharsimi’sperspective that explains if the population is 100 respondents or less, it isbetter to take the whole population as sample. If the population is more than100 respondents, the researcher can take 10-15% or more than 25% of thepopulation based on the capability of the researcher. In addition, stated byTashakkori & Teddlie “Selecting a relatively large number of unitsfrom a population, or in a random manner where the probability of inclusion forevery member of the population is determinable” (2003:713). Due to thepopulation will be 200 teachers, the researcher prefers doing simple randomsampling by selecting 30 teachers of sixth grade among elementary schoolsaround Banjarmasin to fulfil the questionnaire and will take 6 teachers toanswer the interview.

 4.    Techniques ofCollecting Data and Instruments       The researcher will use bothquestionnaire and interview as instrument to collect data from participants. ”Questionnaires andinterviews are often used together in mixed method studies investigatingeducational assessment” (Brookhart & Durkin, 2003; Lai & Waltman,2008). While questionnaires can provide evidence of patterns amongst largepopulations, qualitative interview data often gather more in-depth insights onparticipant attitudes, thoughts, and actions according to Kendall (2008).

       “Rather than simplyadministering questionnaire questions, as done in Baseline Study 2, this studyincorporated both questionnaires and interviews to achieve a richer picture ofperceptions” as cited in EIA (2011:3). Data will be collected through both a surveyand teacher interviews. “Investigatorsadminister a survey to a sample or to the entire population of people todescribe the attitudes, opinions, behaviors, or characteristics of the population”(Creswell, 2012:376). Firstly, the teachers will be given a questionnaire tofulfil. The questionnaire will be designed according to Five Point LikertScale. According to Muspafi (2004) scale is a useful tool to ascertain thedegree of agreement and disagreement with each item.

Secondly, the teacherswill be given semi-structured interviews, The researcher conductingsemi-structured interviews is freer one than conducting a structured interview(Kajornboon, 2004:75) which is the interviewer does not have to follow adetailed interview guide. In addition, Patton (2002:343) recommends to “ …

explore, probe, and ask questionsthat will elucidate and illuminate that particular subject …

to build aconversation within a particular subject area, to word questions spontaneously,and to establish a conversational style but with the focus on a particularsubject that gas been predetermined.” The interview will be conducted by giving10 open-ended questions. The interview will probablytake 15-20 minutes for each participant and will be photographed.

The instruments of collecting data will be:a.    Questionnaire        The firstinstrument for collecting data in this research will be questionnaire. The questionnairewill be given to 30 out of 200 teachers. It will contain 20 items ofquestionnaire about teachers’ perceptions, beliefs, attitudes and opinionstoward ELT Policy at sixth grade elementary school in school year 2016/2017 .“Questionnaire is essentially a structured technique for collecting primarydata.

It is generally a series of written questions for which the respondents hasto provide the answers (Bell:1999). The questionnaire will be on Five PointLikert Scale, ranged from Strongly Agreed (SA), Agree (A), Undecided (U),Disagreed (DA) and Strongly Disagreed (SDA). “Likert-typeor frequency scales use fixed choice response formats and are designed tomeasure attitudes or opinions.” (Bowling, 1997; Burns, & Grove, 1997). b.   InterviewInterviewsare particularly useful for getting the story behind a participant’sexperiences.

The interviewer can pursue in-depth information around the topic.Interviews may be useful as follow-up to certain respondents to questionnaires,e.g. to further investigate their responses (McNamara, 1999). The researcherwill be give to 6 out of 30 teachers randomly. The interview will usesemi-structured interview or better known as open-ended questions to collectmore information from the participants. “The semi-structured interviewwas employed to seek further information. The data obtained from interviewsprovided deeper answers and crossed check accuracy of the observational data.

All open-ended questions were derived from aforementioned literature review andthe purposes of the study. The developed questions aimed at gaining greaterdepth data about teachers’ perceptions toward ELT policy” – Srakang and Jansem(2013), in their journal. 5.    DataAnalysis       Data will be collected from 30 out of 200 teachers amongelementary schools in Banjarmasin in order to seek overall perceptions by usingquestionnaire and open-ended interview which will be personally administered toeach participant, all of them will be given back to the researcher and theresponse rate will be 100%.       The questionnaireand interview data will be analyzed separately. The questionnaire data will beanalyzed by using descriptive statistics. Descriptivestatistics consist of methods for organizing and summarizing information(Weiss, 1999). Furthermore, analytic process at interview session will be doneafter data collected from all of respondents.

Tointerpret the mean score, the researcher adapted the interpreting data designedby Chaihiranwattana & Nookua (2010) as shown in Table 1 below. Table 1: Interpretationof mean score of students’ attitudes   Mean levels Score Range Very positive 4.21 – 5.00 Positive 3.41 – 4.20 Neutral 2.61 – 3.

40 Negative 1.81 – 2.60 Very negative 1.00 – 1.80     H.

Working Theories1.    Perception       The act, process, or product of perceiving, theability or capacity to perceive, or a particular way of perceiving (Colman,2001, p. 543). An awareness of the truth of something. This sense is largely nontechnicaland connotes a kind of implicit, intuitive insight (Reber & Reber, 2001:519).Moreover, “Teachers’perceptions play a crucial role in educational perspectives.

Educators haveunderlined a position which teachers’ perceptions hold in education and agreedthat teachers’ perceptions influence teachers’ practice, judgment and decisionmaking” (Barcelos, 2000; Pederson, 2003; Yu, 1986). Additionally, teachers’attitudes received much attention in the literature during the early 1950’s andearly 1970’s and, more recently, they have resurfaced as key to understandingwhat motivates teachers’ actions (Richardson, 1996). Among other terms,Richardson (1996:102) groups attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions as a set ofmental constructs that “name, define, and describe the structure and content ofmental states thought to drive a person’s actions.”2.    ELT        EnglishLanguage Teaching is the teaching of English specifically to students whosenative language is not English (Collins English Dictionary, 2012).3.

    ELT Policy        Corson’s explanationof what a language policy at national level “tries to do” offers someclarification: It identifies thenation’s language needs across the range?of communities and cultural groups that itcontains;?it surveys and examines the resources available; it?identifies the role of language in general and individuallanguages in particular in the life of the nation; it establishes strategiesfor managing and developing language resources as it relates all of these tothe best interests of the nation through the operation of some suitableplanning agency. (1990:141)         He later summarizes a national languagepolicy as “a set of nationally agreed principles which enables decision makersto make choices about language issues in a rational, comprehensive and balancedway” (1990:151).       Specifically, ELT Policy in this research is about removing English as compulsory subject from primary schools on the 2013 curriculum.

Mulyasa (2013) wrote some changes in 2013 curriculumfor elementary level that distinguish it from previous curriculum. They are: 1.)Thematic-integrative: Thelearning teaching process will be done based on theme.

It means some subjectsare combined into one based on the theme. 2.) Eight subjects: There are ten subjects in the previous curriculum,but in the 2013 curriculum, the ten subjects become eight subjects. NamelyReligion, Math, Indonesian, , social, science, civics education, arts andskills (local content), and physical education (local content). 3.) Boy scouts as compulsory extra-curricular subject.

4.) The learningtime will be longer. 5.) Englishis only as extracurricular subject.                      REFERENCESBarcelos, A. M.

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133-149). New York: Lawrence ErlbaumAssociates.Lai, E. R., & Waltman, K. (2008). Test preparation: Examiningteacher perceptions and practices. Educational Measurement: Issues andPractice, 27(2), 28-45.

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New York: Macmillan Library Reference. Srakang, L., Jansem, A. 2013, AStudy of Teachers’ Perceptions toward Using English Textbooks: A Case Study of10th GradeEnglish Teachers in Maha SarakhamProvince.Tashakkori, A., & Teddlie, C.

(Eds.). (2003a). Handbook of mixed methods in social & behavioral research.Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.R. Burke Johnson, Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie and Lisa A.

Turner Journal of Mixed Methods Research 2007; 1; 112Yu, G. (2004). Perception, Practiceand Progress-Significance of scaffolding and zone of proximal development forsecond or foreign language teachers. Asian EFL Journal, 6(4).

  

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