Early Lexical and Grammatical Development of English in Indonesian Kindergarten Children
This paper is an investigation of how children in Indonesian kindergarten develop their English as a foreign language (EFL) through classroom interaction. It examines the acquisition of early English lexicon and grammatical development focusing on plural expressions. Processability Theory (Pienemann) and Interactionist Approaches (Long and Robinson; Doughty and Williams) were used as the theoretical frameworks. The data were collected at a kindergarten which offers a bilingual programme in Bandung, West Java, where Sundanese is the major language and Indonesian is the national language.
The participants comprised of Group A (ab initio, children aged 4 to 5 years) and Group B (2nd year, children aged 5 to 6 years) as well as their teacher. This study focused on the analysis of data gained from five children, each in Group A and Group B. In Group A, the Developmentally Moderated Focus on Form (DMFonF) instruction (Di Biase, "Focus-on-Form and Development in L2 Learning") was introduced as part of the syllabus in the classroom experimentally while in Group B, the teacher continued the same regular teaching instruction which was not DMFonF. The DMFonF instruction in this study focused on the acquisition of plural marking on noun.
Data were collected before and after the DMFonF instruction (i.e., pre- and post-test) and distributed over one semester. Classroom interaction was audio and video-recorded. To elicit the lexical and grammatical structures from the children, they were audio recorded individually in pre- and post-test through communicative tasks.
The data were processed using ELAN annotation tool for video and audio resources and KWIC concordance software. Group A children’s lexical and grammatical development were assessed based on their pre- and post-test results. Also, Group A children’s data were compared against the results provided by Group B children, who were three semesters ahead of Group A but had not received DMFonF instruction in their kindergarten English programme. The results from this study contribute to understanding early English education in Indonesia and other Asian countries which promote learning English from an early age.
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