The Contexts of English Language Teaching at Primary Level in Indonesia

Subhan Zein

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    In Indonesia the considerable investment on primary English instruction is confronted with acute shortage of qualified teaching professionals, necessitating the training of a large pool of primary school English teachers (Chodidjah, 2008b; Zein, 2009). This paper examines the educational and sociopolitical contexts in which English education at primary level is situated. It launches by briefly discussing the conflict for space in linguistic ecosystem between English on the one hand and Indonesian and local languages on the other hand. It further continues with the place of English in the curriculum and a discussion on the on-going debate on its status in primary schooling timetable. The paper argues that the extent to which teachers perform their occupational roles is affected in one way or the other by the interplay of these factors. Understanding of the contexts is essential to adequately frame a policy proposal on teacher education for English teachers in primary schools In Indonesia. As Ferguson (1977, p. 9) states "all language planning activities take place in particular sociolinguistic settings, and the nature and scope of the planning can only be fully understood in relation to the settings".
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)85-90
    JournalJournal of Teaching and Education
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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