Descriptive Text

Hallo guys, this is the material of Descriptive Text. It is important for you to read this posting because you will get the some details information about Descriptive Text. Please read this carefully and enjoy it.” 

Descriptive text is a text that related to the sense of the writer who describe something loks, smells, tastes, and/or sounds. When the reader can understand and imagine the object which describe by the writer, it means that is a good descriptive text.

The generic structure of Descriptive has two principal components namely Identification and Description.

Text element

(Generic structure)



–    A statement that describe about the object that will describe.-    Statement should be interesting that can provoke the reader to become interest to read full of description text.-    The use of adjective or degree comparison will be very supported.


–    Give a description about the object condition that can presents from each aspects (sides): location, people, weather, size, etc.-    Grammar Patterns:

  1. Present tense, present perfect tense.
  2. The verb; be (is , are), have, linking verbs (seems, looks, sounds, like).
  3. The use of adjective that have function to describe or illustrate the object condition

Language feature of Descriptive:

  • Language feature of Descriptive:
    • Using attributive and identifying process
    • Using Simple Present Tense (example: she is beautiful women, he has brown eyes, he studies in the school, etc)
    • Using linking verbs/relating verbs (examples:  The temple is so magnificent, The temple consists of five terraces)
    • Using positive degree of adjectives (examples: The rhinoceros is as big as the hippopotamus, he has tall but he is not as tall as basketball players, a crocodile has the same shape as an alligator, an eagle is different from a condor, etc)
    • Using comparative degree of adjectives (examples:  The weather in Jakarta is hotter than Bandung, he is bigger than elephant, he is taller than you, etc)
    • Using adjectives rule:
    • Opinion (adjective yang menunjukkan pendapat tentang sesuatu/seseorang) : Beautiful, Ugly, Clever, Expensive, Funny, Pretty, etc.
    • Size/Dimension (adjective yang menunjukkan ukuran besar kecilnyasesuatu/seseorang) : Small, Big, Large, Fat, Thin, etc.
    • Age (adjective yang menunjukkan umur sesuatu/seseorang) : Old, Young, New, etc.
    • Shape (adjective yang menunjukkan bentuk sesuatu/ seseorang) : Round, Square, Circle, Oval, Square, Flat, Rectangular, etc.
    • Color (adjective yang menunjukkan warna sesuatu/ seseorang) : red, blue, green, yellow, brown, etc.
    • Origin (adjective yang menunjukkan asal sesuatu/seseorang atau kenegaraan seseorang) : Spanish, Dutch, American, Indonesian, Chinese, Javanese, Italian, etc.
    • Material (adjective yang menunjukkan materi yang membentuk suatu benda) : glass, paper, letter, wooden, metal, cotton, etc.
    •  Purpose (adjective yang menunjukkan tujuan/kegunaan benda, sering berupa gerund (V-ing)) : sleeping bag, baking pan, water can, etc.

    To describe something, you have to use spatial order. Spatial order is arrangement of items in order by space. As follows:

    For example, when describe  a place, the writer could first describe things on the left side and then move clockwise around to the right side or otherwise. if the writer jumped back and forth, it would be very difficult for the reader to try the writer’s mind.

    While, when describe a person, the writer could begin with an overall impression and then focus on the person’s head, then the face, and then on one part of the face such as the eyes.

To describe something, you have to use spatial order. Spatial order is arrangement of items in order by space. As follows:

For example, when describe  a place, the writer could first describe things on the left side and then move clockwise around to the right side or otherwise. if the writer jumped back and forth, it would be very difficult for the reader to try the writer’s mind.

While, when describe a person, the writer could begin with an overall impression and then focus on the person’s head, then the face, and then on one part of the face such as the eyes.

Example of Describing place:

Dieng Plateau

Dieng Plateau is the most interesting places. It is one of the most beautiful natural wonders in Indonesia.

It is located in the border of Banjarnegara and Wonosobo, Central Java about 30 km from Wonosobo city. Dieng is a giant volcano mountain that still active until now. It is about 2000 m on surface of the sea. 

It has cool weather most of the time. Its temperature is about 15-20°C  in the noon and 10°C  in the night. As it is far from industries of any kinds, the air is always fresh and there is no pollution. There are several of kettles in Dieng plateau area, consist of Sikidang kettle, Sileri kettle, Sinila kettle, and Candradimuka kettle.

It is the one of the big plateaus in the world. It has many beautiful temples that separated into the several complex. The temples are Arjuna temple, Gatotkaca temple, Bima temple, Sembadra temple, Srikandi temple, Setyaki temple, Gangsiran Aswatama, and Dwarawati temple. Beside that, there are several lakes in Dieng plateau area, consist of Telaga Warna, Telaga Pengilon, and Telaga Merdada. These lakes are the favourite place in Dieng plateau area. In the near of lakes, there are also several caves that usually used as the meditation places. They are Semar cave, Jaran cave, and Sumur cave. In Dieng plateau area, it also has a theater of Dieng plateu. This theater showed all about Dieng, historically, Geographically, Sociality, and Economically. 

Dieng is the beautiful place that very interesting. 




There is a professional football player who is very famous. Everyone around the world know to him. As a football player, he is as famous as an actor or actress in Hollywood. His name is Cristiano Ronaldo. But, most people usually call him as Ronaldo or CR7.

Ronaldo is come from Portugal, the country in Europe. He has black eyes, black hair and brown face. He is tall but he is not tall as tall as basketball players. He has proportional body as an athlete and he is very handsome guy. He is very kind person. He cares about children and to every tragedy events in the world.

Now, he plays for Real Madrid and he is the best football player in the world.   

Source: Oshima and Hogue and Pardiyono.


Recount Text

A recount is the unfolding of a sequence of events over time (Derewianka, 1990: 14). It is about recreating past experience in using language to keep the past alive and to interpret the experience. Based on the definition of recount about retelling events for the purpose of informing or entertaining, a recount has text organizations that consist of three parts. They are classified into orientation that provides the setting and introduces participant about the background information answering who, when, where and why; events which are about what happened and in what sequence; and re-orientation which is optional-closure of events (Gregot & Wignell 1994: 194).

Derewinaka (1990: 15) claim that a recount text is classified into several types:

Personal Recount: retelling of an activity that the writer/ speaker has been personally involved in.

Factual Recount: recording the particulars of an incident.

Imaginative Recount: taking on an imaginary role and giving details of events.

To get more explanations about Recount Text, you can got it from here. Recount Text PPT

Passive Voice

“Hallo guys, this is the material of Passive Voice. It is important for you to read this posting because you will get the some details information about Passive Voice. Please read this carefully and enjoy it because I explained by using Bahasa.” 

Passive Voice

Membentuk Kalimat Passive

Dalam kalimat pasifobjek dari kalimat aktif menjadi subjek di kalimat pasifContoh:

Active: The children helped the old man.

Passive: The old man was helped by the children.

Dari contoh di atas, terlihat bahwa objek (the old man) di kalimat aktif menjadi subjek di kalimat passive. Hanya kalimat transitif (kalimat yang membutuhkan objek) yang digunakan dalam kalimat passif. Contoh:

Active: An accident happened.

Passive: (tidak ada)

Pembentukan kalimat passive

Simple present The boy recites the holy Qurân. The holy Qurân is recited

by the boy.

Present continuous The boy is reciting the holy Qurân. The holy Qurân is being recited

by the boy.

Present perfect The boy has recited the holy Qurân. The holy Qurân has been recited

by the boy.

Simple past The boy recited the holy Qurân. The holy Qurân was recited

by the boy.

Past continuous The boy was reciting the holy Qurân. The holy Qurân was being recited

by the boy.

Past perfect The boy had recited the holy Qurân. The holy Qurân had been recited

by the boy.

(Simple) future The boy will recite the holy Qurân. The holy Qurân will be recited

by the boy.

Future perfect The boy would have recitedthe holy Qurân. The holy Qurân would have been

recited by the boy.

To be going to The boy is going to recite the holy Qurân. The holy Qurân is going to berecited by the boy.
Infinitive “to” The boy has to recite the holy Qurân. The holy Qurân has to be recited

by the boy.

Present participle/


I like inviting friends to my home I like being invited to your home.


  1. Present perfect continuous, past perfect continuous, future continuous, dan future perfect continuous tidak dipakai dalam kalimat passive.
  2. Biasanya kalimat pasif digunakan tanpa kata byKalimat pasif umumnya digunakan ketika pelaku (subjek) tidak dikenal atau tidak penting untuk diketahui. Kata-kata by people, by me, by you, by the, by someone, by a man, by a boy, by the servant, dan seterusnya tidak perlu dipakai. Contoh: (a)  Rice is grown in India by someone.   (b) English is spoken all over the world by people.
  3.  “will dan would” di atas mewakili bentuk kata modal dan frasamodal lainnya: should, can, must, may, shall, had better, ought to, have to, is supposed to dan lainnya.

Pembentukan kalimat passive dalam bentuk pertanyaan

Simple present Do you paint the room beautifully? Is the room beautifully painted

 by you?

Present continuous Are you painting the room beautifully? Is the room being beautifullypainted?
Present perfect Have you painted the room beautifully? Has the room been beautifullypainted?
Simple past Did you paint the room beautifully? Was the room beautifullypainted?
Past continuous Were you painting the room beautifully? Was the room being beautifully


Past perfect Had you painted the room beautifully? Had the room been beautifully


(Simple) future Will you paint the room beautifully? Will the roombe beautifully painted?
Future perfect Will you have painted the room
beautifully before I come home?
Will the room have beenbeautifully
painted before I come home?
Infinitive “to” Do you have to paint the room


Does the room have to bebeautifully painted?

Di dalam kalimat passive kata keterangan cara seperti beautifullywell, dan sebagainya biasanya diletakkan sebelum kata kerja ke III nya atau past participle. Contoh: The room was beautifully painted.

Rumus Passive Voice

Am, is, are, was, were


+ Verb III/Kata kerja ke III


(Will, shall, can, may, must, should, dll)

+ Be
Have, has, had + Been
Am, is are, was, were, preposition,

Kata kerja diikuti oleh gerund (enjoy,

Appreciate, mind, finish, delay, dll)


+ Being


  • Mastering Modern English Structure (1987) oleh Drs. Azhar Arsyad, MA
  • Understanding and Using English Grammar, Third Edition oleh Betty Schrampfer Azar

Procedure Text

“Hallo guys, this is the material of procedure text. It is important for you to read this posting because you will get the some details information about procedure text. Please read this carefully and enjoy it.” 

Procedure is the set of steps which should be completed in the right sequence to get the goal. In our daily life, we often have to perform some steps to make or get something done. For example, early in the morning, you help your mother prepare cups of tea for all members of your family. In making cups of tea, you have to follow certain procedure in order to get a nice drink. Most of our daily activities are related with procedures. That is why, you should understand what a procedure text is, how to make and use it. The generic structure of procedure has three principal components namely (1) the goal, (2) materials and (3) steps.

A. Generic Structure of procedure

1. Goal : Title of the text (especially for a recipe)
2. Materials : Optional, not for all procedural texts
3. Steps : a series steps oriented to achieving the Goal

B. Generic Features
1. The use of Simple Present Tense, often in an imperative form e.g. Add some sugar, prepare it,.
2. The use mainly of temporal conjunction (or numbering to indicate sequence especially in written text)

a. As the sentence introducers (sequencers) especially in spoken text:
First … Firstly …
Second … Secondly …
Then … Thirdly …
After that … Afterwards …
Finally … Lastly …
e.g. Firstly, prepare some water!

b. As time introducers, especially in written text
… before …
After …
When …
While …
… until …
During …
e.g. While you are boiling the water, grind the chilies, onions and salt
Now read this text!

How to boil an egg
Do you know how to boil an egg? Well, this is the way!




  • First, heat a saucepan of water on the stove.
  • Then put the egg in the boiling water.
  • After that, heat it until it boils.
  • Next, cook it for three minutes.
  • Don’t leave the eggs until it gets burnt.
  •  Now, the egg is ready to serve.
  • Finally, serve it with pepper powder and salt.


In here, I want to share the other article which discuss about some problems of learning langauge skills. My opinion will support by some experts states. So, please read carefully, because it is very important for you all.

Some problems of learning in 4 language skills especially in speaking have become problems in EFL countries. The difficulties in learning speaking skills may because lack of native speakers in learning process, the emphasis on formal exam driven language courses in EFL countries, and the students anxiety that impacts speaking skills. As foreign language, English is not use in daily life communication and the students is lack of exposure tao native speakers indeed English has different pronunciation in different words. So, it can make students have reluctance to express their ideas orally in English. Another reasons why speaking skill in learning English become problems is because students’ low motivation, shyness, anxiety of students to speak English, low social or cultural support for students’ speaking skill.

The literature review

Speaking is so much part of daily life that we take it for granted Thorndike (2001). For most people, the ability to speak a language is synonymous with knowing that language since speech is the most basic means of human communication (Lazaraton in Celce-Murcia, 2001). The basic assumption in any oral interaction is that the speaker wants to communicate ideas, feelings, attitudes, and information to hear or wants to employ speech that relates to the situation (Celce-Murcia, 2000). It is active of language to express meanings. Therefore, the other people can make sense of them (Cameron, 2003). In addition, Pinter (2006) states that speaking practice can also mean communicate with others in situations where spontaneous contributions are required.

In order to support speaking skill of the students, Brown and Nation ( say that in speaking class there must be some attention to formal aspects of speaking such as pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, and the appropriate use of the spoken language. Beside that, opportunity and encouragement for learners to produce meaningful spoken messages where the messages have real communicative goals is one of formal aspects that must be occur at the class. The last aspect is opportunity for the learners to gain truly fluent use of what is already known.

Students’ problems in speaking class

The biggest problem in learning speaking class is lack of motivation. Based on Nunan (1993) in Celce-Murcia (2001) on the survey of EFL teachers is students have lack motivation to speak (a cultural issue for some where speaking in class is prohibited except when called on) and the use of the first language. The reluctant to speak is also one of the reasons why students shy to speaking English.

Cultural factors, linguistics factors, and psychological/affective factors are some factors that make students reluctant to speak English (Joyce in Nunan, 1999). Beside that, learners’ cultural and linguistic background is some factors that also cause students reluctant to speak (Schawrtz , 2005). There are five principles that make students reluctant to speak in front of the class. First is students’ perceived low proficiency in English. It can may because the lack motivation to study English and their environment that does not support their learning process. Second is students’ fear of mistakes and derision. Most of students feel scary when they are wrong in pronounced some words. They feel embrace when they are wrong in pronounced some words they will get derision from others friends. The last is teachers’ intolerance of silence. Some teachers’ believe that the good process in learning is silence in the class but teachers’ are also have to appreciate students in discussing the materials. I think teachers’ have to give little times for students’ in discuss and share their ideas with their friends. The next reason is uneven allocation of turns.  Some teachers’ more like to give return to speak in front of class to the clever student. Whereas, a good teacher is give same allocation of turns to give them more change in speaking. The last reason principal is incomprehensible input. It may because they are lack in vocabulary. So, when teacher give them new material they have trouble to comprehend it.

There are also problems that lead learners’ oral of students’ failure. First is speech anxiety or fear of oral presentation. Anxiety is associated with feelings uneasiness, self-doubt, apprehension or worry (Brown in Gebhard, 1996). Spolsky (1989) says that anxiety is most often focused on listening and speaking with difficulty in speaking in class being the most common complaint of anxious students. Mitchell (2004) said that students’ anxious is less willing to speak in class.

According to Gebhard (1996), it can be caused by several factors such as inability to pronounce strange sounds and words, not knowing the meaning of words or sentences, inability to understand and answer questions, reputation of the language class as a place for failure, peer criticism, not knowing or understanding course goals or requirements, testing (especially oral testing), previous unsuccessful language learning attempts and encountering different cultural values and behaviors.

The foreign language anxiety that occur to students may occur by communication apprehension, test anxiety, and fear of negative evaluation. The communication apprehension is an individual’s level of fear or anxiety associated with either real or anticipated communication with other persons.  For example, students’ anxiety in situations like speaking in front of the language class, taking exams in language course, and perceiving other students’ evaluation of them. Foreign language learners usually have difficulty understanding others. Because of the lack of control of oral communication, communication apprehension emerges.

When students are unsure of what they are saying, fear of negative evaluation occurs and they may doubt about their ability to make a proper impression. In a foreign language context, negative evaluation derives mainly from both teachers and their peers because foreign languages require continual evaluation by the teacher and anxious students may also be intensely susceptible to the evaluations of their peers. Students with fear of negative evaluation might adopt the action of avoidance. Students with fear of negative evaluation might “sit passively in the classroom, withdrawing from classroom activities that could otherwise increase their improvement of the language skills. In extreme cases, students may think of cutting class to avoid anxiety situations, causing them to be left behind.” These components are considered to have a deleterious effect on second language acquisition. Besides, they overlap and are closely related to each other.

The problems in learning speaking skills can reduce if students increase their motivation by desire to being success person. The teachers also have to authentic human relationships or personal qualities with their students. Teachers also have to stimulate engagement and enhance students learning. Encourage peer support in the classroom. This method can be conduct by offering them to speak up. So, students have time to discuss with their peers before talking and it give them confidence in speaking English. Change students’ negative beliefs and attitudes towards mistakes. Meaning-focused oral activities (Nation, 2007) can also be used frequently with the goal clearly stated. When students are rewarded for successfully conveying a message, they will gradually change their perceptions about mistakes and language use. The teachers’ tolerance of mistakes also needs to be made clear because there is no point in trying to change students’ attitudes when the teacher still keeps them. The last is teachers have to reflect and solve students’ problems. So, attitude and facilitate are very require on it.


“Again, this is my article that discusse about teaching. please read, so you can improve your knowledges.”

English is continuously developing as the most widely spoken language in the world, totaling about 1.7 billion speakers, including those who speak it as their first, second, and foreign language, native or non native English speakers. It is estimated that over 1, 5 billion people are currently learning English worldwide. A computer model developed by The English Company (UK) Ltd predicts that as of the year 2030 there will be over 2 billion people across the globe learn English for many reasons.

         This figure is not a surprise as everyone knows that English has evolved to be a lingua franca bringing multiple privelages for its speakers. As Held (1999) declares ‘It is English that stands at the very centre of the global language system. It has become the lingua franca par excellence and continues to entrench this dominance in a selfreinforcing process. It has become the central language of communication in business, politics, administration, science and academia, as well as being the dominant language of globalised advertising and popular culture.’

         Education policies and curricula provide the context and specific expectations that drive student learning and achievement towards a sustainable future. The underlying policies and practices in the EFL classrooms do not always match consistently. There is an emerging need to counterbalance the power of policymakers in ensuring that balanced, pedagogically sound education policies and EFL curriculum are produced, carried out, and monitored. As one of civil society organizations, TEFLIN is well positioned to serve that mission. TEFLIN may take the initiative to engage in the EFL curriculum review project, EFL curriculum design, and reform in EFL teacher education and certification.           

         English is taught and used as a foreign language in Indonesia. In spite of the many years of English instruction in formal schooling, the outcome has not been satisfying. Very few high school graduates are able to communicate intelligibly in English. This sense of failure in the teaching of English as a foreign language may not be exclusively Indonesian and is associated with prevailing constraints shared by several other countries where English is taught as a foreign language.

         In Indonesia, independence saw the declining use of Dutch and the ready acceptance of Indonesian as the national language of the new republic. The willing acceptance of Indonesian was itself due to the fact that it was identified with a strong nationalist movement; it was not a significant ethnic language; it already had wide roots as a lingua franca; and it emerged as a national language at a time of violent social upheaval.

There are four kinds of languages used in Indonesia. The first one is the regional languages.1 The second one is the national language, Indonesian which was established as the unifying language in 1928, even before the Indonesian independence. Currently, Indonesian is used for communication among people from different language backgrounds and as a medium of instruction in schools and in formal occasions. The third one is variants of Indonesian (a mixture of the standard Indonesian and the regional language). Thus, most Indonesians, with the exception of some young people who live in big cities, are bilingual, speaking Indonesian as the national language during formal occasions, variants of the Indonesian language and the regional language as the mother tongue. The last category is foreign languages.

After the independence, Dutch was not chosen to be one of the foreign languages taught in schools because it was the language of the colonialist and it didnot have international stature. English was chosen to be the first foreign language. High schools may also opt to teach an additional foreign language such as French, German, or Arabic. Recently, after the downfall of Soeharto regime, Chinese has gained popularity and is taught in several schools.

Despite the fact that Indonesian has succeeded in maintaining its position as the national language and the lingua franca, the maintenance of English as a foreign language has been steady as it is officially taught throughout the secondary schools (six years divided into three years of junior high school and three years of senior high school). There has also been a growing tendency in many big cities to teach English beginning from the lower grades of primary schools and even from kindergarten.

Learning English in primary and secondary (Grades 1 through 12) schools serves two purposes. First, students need to be prepared to read English texts in their college years. Second, competence in the English language is still used as a determining factor in securing a favorable position and remuneration in the job market. Many job advertisements list a good command of English as one of the top requirements, hence the popularity of private English courses or schools. The academic year is divided into two semesters. Starting from Grade 4, English is officially taught for two to four hours a week. At the high school level (Grades 10 through 12), students are streamed into three divisions: the Natural Sciences Stream, the Social Studies Stream, and the Language Stream. For all three streams, English is compulsory and allotted at least four class hours per week. For the Language Stream, the time allotment for English is 11 hours per week. At the university level, many non-English departments require that students take one or two semesters of English for two hours per week.

Even though English is officially taught throughout secondary schools and at the university level in Indonesia, competence in this foreign language among high school and university graduates is generally low. Only students coming from the middle and upper socio-economic classes have the easy access and opportunity to enhance their English proficiency beyond that of their peer level through other means such as private courses, computer-aided language instruction, and exposure through Western-influenced TV channels, foreign movies, and networks with expatriate communities.

In Indonesia educational system, English instruction begins in secondary (high) schools. The role of English in high schools was “to speed up national development in addition to establishing relationship with other nations and to carrying out its national foreign policy” (Nur, 2004 cited in Imperiani 2012). Therefore, English is compulsory subject for these two levels. It is also one of the subjects

With the emergence of today’s role of English as an International language (EIL) and as a global lingua franca (ELF), it is hardly surprising that English language education has become important in many countries. Indonesia, for example, has growing number of schools range from kindergarten to university level which use English as the medium of instruction (Dardjowidjojo, 2002, cited in Imperiani, 2012).

Also, the number of English courses rapidly increases as a result of high interest of people in learning English. English is viewed by many people in Indonesia, for instance, as a requirement imposed by globalization (Zacharias, 2003; Yuwono, 2005 cited in Imperiani 2012). In fact, according to Diah (1982) cited in Imperiani 2012, English in Indonesia is also used as an international medium of communication, science and technology and is used as “sources for lexical development of Bahasa Indonesia as a modern language (Lowenberg, 1991 sited in Imperiani 2012).

As many people are aware that there can be more than one language and culture within one island of Indonesia because Indonesia consists of multi ethnic groups with hundred different local languages spread over different parts of Indonesia. Hence, generally each individual speaks two languages, a local language (Bahasa Daerah such as Javanese, Ambonese, etc) and national language (Bahasa Indonesia).

Both Nababan (1982, cited in Imperiani, 2012) and Dardjowidjojo (2000) cited in Imperiani (2012) classify languages used in Indonesia into three categories. They are vernacular/local languages (Bahasa Daerah), national languages (Bahasa Indonesia) and foreign languages. The first category is usually used as family languages for social communication in their regions.

According to Dardjowidjojo (2000) cited in Imperiani (2012) states, most Indonesian children at individual level in regional areas learn their vernaculars as their mother tongue before they learn ‘Bahasa Indonesia’ (the national language) at school. The national language is used in formal and business communication and is also used to communicate with other Indonesians of different language backgrounds. For international communication, people use a foreign language.

Dardjowidjojo (2000) and Nur (2004) cited in imperiani (2012) recognize that since independence, Indonesia has experienced several changes in curriculum with different teaching approaches or methods from grammar-translation method and audio-lingual method to communicative approach (which is regarded as the most popular teaching approach).

Language teaching involves many methods. All the available methods may be appropriate to different contexts. There is no one single method strongly recommended in the teaching of English since the level of the learners differ from one anothers. So, it becomes inevitable for a teacher to know the different methods of teaching & learning Awareness of variety of methods help him to apply the relevant method in his classroom successfully.

In the beginning, the government used the grammar-translation method left by the Dutch. Textbooks such as Abdurachman s English Grammar, Tobing s Practical Exercises, and de Maar and Pino s English Passages for Translation were widely used at the senior high school level (Dardjowidjojo, 2000 cited in Lie, 2009). In general, people preferred the British English and looked down on the American variety. Political economic shift, however, has changed this attitude.

In 1953 the Ford Foundation provided a grant to reform the teaching of English and helped set up two-year English teachers training institutes known as B1 Course to meet the growing demand for more teachers of English within a relatively short time. Acceptance into the training institutes was highly selective with only about 50 new students every year.

The training institutes then launched the Oral Approach and sent their best students to study for the MA and Ph.D. degrees in the U.S.A. English for SLTP (written between 1958 and 1962) was the name of the three series of course books written for junior high schools while English for SLTA (written between 1968 and 1972) for the senior high schools (Nababan 1982; Nababan, 1988 as cited in Lie, 2009). These two series of course books can be considered as the embryo for what was then known as the 1975 Curriculum. The four targeted skills were in the order of priority–listening, speaking, reading, and writing (Dardjowidjojo, 2000 as cited in Lie, 2009). Apparently, the English curriculum at that time was heavily influenced by the audio-lingual method and behaviorism.

Then the shift of philosophical paradigm from empiricism to nativism in the late 1950s and the sociological trends in the 1960s brought about changes in the English curriculum. As language acquisition was viewed as an individual s interaction in his/her environment, language teaching focused more on language use than language usage (Widdowson, 1978 cited in Lie, 2009).

Hyme’s concept of competence replaced Chomsky s LAD theory and the Communicative Approach (CA) began to affect the English curriculum. Thus the 1975 Curriculum was changed to the 1984 Communicative Curriculum. It is interesting to note, though, that the 1984 Curriculum contained a number of ambiguities.

The first ambiguity is the mismatch between the claim of the curriculum and the type of syllabi. Although the curriculum was labeled communicative, the syllabi in the guidelines were still very structural. Textbooks developed from this curriculum reflected this structural orientation. Many of the textbooks were misguided and treated pragmatics as a separate topic in the form of chapters rather than incorporated them in the four skills (Purwo, 1990 cited in Lie, 2009). The argument that the curriculum relied on the teachers to deliver the communicative approach was simply an unrealistic expectation. Many teachers of English in Indonesia have not themselves mastered the language they are teaching. Research indicates that many teachers of English are poor users of the language (Ridwan, Renandya, and Lie, 1996; Hamied, 1997 cited in Lie, 2009). Thus, it is very hard to expect them to facilitate the transfer of learning in their English classrooms. Another study (Supriadi, 2000 cited in Lie, 2009) reveals that the majority of teachers use the textbooks heavily and thus the teaching and learning process is very much textbookdriven. As the textbooks were still structurally-oriented, the communicative approach remained a slogan.

The second ambiguity is the mismatch between the claim of the curriculum and the organization of the skills. The order of the priority for the four skills was changed to reading, listening, speaking and writing. Apparently, the curriculum developers realized that for the majority of Indonesians, English was not a language for active communication. This, of course, contradicted the claim that the 1984 Curriculum used the Communicative Approach. In terms of the classroom methodology, there was not any significant change from that used in the two previous curricula–the grammar-translation and audio-lingual approaches. Teachers taught students discreet skills of the language and geared them toward the test.

By 1984, the revised curriculum for English in secondary schools had adopted the communicative approach with an emphasis on the development of speaking skills. However, the practice did not reflect the communicative learning (Dardjowidjojo, 2000; Musthafa, 2001; Nur, 2004 cited in Imperiani, 2012). Therefore, although the four skills remained as the targets for learning, the order of priority was changed to reading as the most important, then listening, writing and speaking.

Ten years later, in 1994, the Ministry of Education produced new curriculum to revise 1984. It is still communicatively oriented, but the official term was the meaning-based curriculum (meaningful approach) (Dardjowidjojo, 2000; Musthafa, 2001; Nur, 2004 cited in Imperiani 2012).

Nur (2004) cited in Imperiani (2012) explains that this 1994 curriculum for high schools have three types of English syllabuses. They are national content which is required to be implemented nationally and which the purpose is to develop a basic reading skill, enrichment content which provides more exercises in reading comprehension, vocabulary building, control of structures in English and so on, and local content which have materials to meet the needs of students in specific regions in Indonesia such as English for industry, tourism and business/commerce.

The curriculum is not only national, it is also compulsory. Therefore, when a textbook writer or a publisher wants to have his book used by the schools in the country, she or he has to include all the materials stated in the curriculum, including the themes, the grammar, the functions, and the vocabulary items to be learned (Dardjowidjojo, 2000 cited in Imperiani, 2012).

Furthermore, the release of Regional Autonomy Laws in 1999 made Indonesia to start its decentralization reform. The laws give autonomy to local governments and schools to have their own policy to manage their educational service provision, including English language education. This decentralization reform at school level is believed to lead to better school performance, greater school autonomy, better match between the services delivered and the students’ needs, greater parental and community involvement and greater participants in decision making (Depdiknas, 2003, cited in Imperiani, 2012).


Spielvogle, Keri.  2011. Teaching Basic Concepts for Early School Success!.  Available at: Accessed on 9 November 2012.

Jufry. 2012. Teachers’ Share: Definition of English Teaching as Foreign Language. Available at  Accessed on November 17, 2012.


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