The morning sun just rose a while ago. Some children of elementary school age were running to SDN 11 Muara Pawan elementary school. Strange. As it was a holiday. Not long after they gathered, a middle-aged woman invited them to enter a brightly colored room among the classrooms. The room had lots of pictures in its wall, and it was full of books with bookshelves lined up neatly in the room. The room was the Taman Baca Inovator (TBI) Al Battani library in Sukamaju Village, Muara Pawan District, Ketapang Regency, West Kalimantan, located in SDN 11 Muara Pawan.
That day, on October 28, 2018, in a bright Sunday morning, the children gathered to learn English. It was a fun opportunity for them as they haven’t learned English at school so far. They were very enthusiastic to finally learn English. The English lesson was delivered by Kak Norman and Kak Elisa from Ketapang English Community (KEC), a community that cares about English language utilization among Ketapang youth. The lesson was their first activity which we hope would continue in the future.
Learning from an early age would positively impact children’s cognitive development. Therefore, we hope that this English lesson could be a positive forum to develop the children’s potential. The children themselves received this initiative positively, as they enthusiastically came early for the lesson. The children had arrived at the school since 7 AM even though the lesson would only start at 8 AM.
The activity was attended by 53 students from grade 4 to grade 6. Since there were many students who came to attend the session, the lesson was divided into two big groups. Kak Elisa taught 26 children in a corner, while in another corner of the TBI library, Kak Norman taught the rest of the children. The lesson was interesting. The children mumbled, repeated the English words and spelled them letter by letter. They smiled widely with wide eyes, with their lips pouted to mimic the English sound. TBI Al Battani was filled with joyous expressions that morning.
Kak Elisa taught the children one by one attentively. Initially, the children were introduced to the letters and how to read them in English. After that, the children mimicked the pronunciation. Then every child said their name with English pronunciation. What an exciting activity!
Kak Norman did similar things with Kak Elisa, who taught the children about letters and how to read them. He was especially touched that a child named Fulanah was so enthusiastic to learn to spell her name. Even though it was not easy to spell her name, she persisted and continuously repeated her effort until she was able to spell her name perfectly. Learning English does require a process, there is no instant way to speak English.
Hopefully, the English language lesson provided at TBI Al Battani library can boost children’s reading interest and help the younger generation of Malay tribe who live around TBI to compete globally in this era. (Tri Sujarwo )