acquire foreign language through language exposure. The language exposure it self can be given through learning experiences and learning materials. Moreover, it also stated by Cahyono (2004) that various learning activities, teachers’ encouragement can support one’s basic literncy development. Therefore, this has given more support to conduct a study that portrays the learning experiences that might happen in the IndonesIan educational context particularly in primary-school level.
This study is beneficial to be conducted in tenns of gaining the factual information about the English class in the primary school level especially, to portray the English learning experiences that the students are involved. The records on primary school English teaching and learning showed that there has not been a significant support yet to the basic literacy development as the prime goal of teaching English in this level. It is assumed that most of piiniaxy-schools students were improperly exposed with English learning experience.
B. Problem identification and research questions
Previous studies have shown that learning experiences has an important role in supporting students’ basic literacy development (Raban and Essex, 2002:221 as cited by Cahyono, 2003:223, Onukaogu 1999 as cited by Singh, 2003-4). Since experience has an important role in supporting students’ basic literacy, it is necessary to be examined whether the students are engaged sufficiently with the respective learning experience or not.
The problem identified in this study is the role of English learning
experiences in supporting students’ basic literacy development. The research questions of this study are:
â€¢ How much the students are exposed with the learning experiences during English teaching-learning process?
â€¢ What kinds of learning experiences that students are engaged in?
â€¢ To what extend do the experiences support the basic literacy development?
C. Definition of terms
Basic literacy in this study is the students’ ability to read and write and also to have self-awareness in using English to flulfill their needs as primaiy schools students such as to perfonn the school assigmnents, to expand their general knowledge and to entertain themselves. Basic literacy here is in the context of school-based literacy.
Supporting the development in this case means giving more portions to students to be engaged with language activities during the English teaching- learning process in order to make them have more experiences with English. Having more experiences with English means that the students are getting more and more involved with English in daily class activities in order to develop their basic literacy – ability to read and write and have self awareness – in relation to the life skills development as stated on CBC 2002. It can be facilitated through activities in which they interact with teacher such as: greeting, answering
questions, asking questions, suggesting and doing class assignment and interact with peers such as; conducting class assignments, making joke, having a chat, and also for other purposes such as; selecting class activities, finding extra learning materials, and entertaining them selves such as: singing English songs, read English magazines, commercials, and so forth.
English learning exoeriences in this study is defined as the students’ experiences with English as the result of learning activities carried out. Among of the experiences are responding to the English teacher’s classroom language, using verbal expression to interact with their peers, and entertaining themselves with English.
ft. Scope of the study
The study focuses on the learning experiences which are employed to
support students’ basic literacy development in the respective case.