Teaching English in primary schools is related to the readiness of the schools and the level of proficiency of the students. If schools have enough English teachers, media and textbooks, they will be ready to teach English. This is because primary schools deal with young learners in the age group of 6-12 years and this period is considered as the best moment to acquire knowledge.
This is in line with the core theory that young learners can learn English better . Teaching English in primary schools offers both benefits and challenges. Benefits have been reported by Moon , Singleton , and Reed , and problems are pointed out by Copeland, et al. , Khamari et al. , and Wei-Pei .
In relation to this issue, this article identifies the benefits and challenges based on theories and research findings and then proposes a number of solutions to difficulties that may be the context for high-quality English teaching and learning for schools.
English in Indonesia becomes one of the foreign languages taught in schools in addition to the local and national languages . However, it is only considered a local content subject , which means that schools have the right to teach English depending on their local needs and regional situation. In the past, English was not learned at the primary school level, but then English is considered essential for many purposes in science, technology, culture and so on. Therefore, the Indonesian government decides to include English in the primary school curriculum, known as Curriculum 1994, Curriculum 2004 and Curriculum 2006, or as a school-based curriculum .
In Indonesia, only many primary schools teach English to their students. For example, in Yogyakarta, there are only 67 out of 166 primary schools that teach English to students (Dinas Pendikan, Pemuda, Dan Olaharga Provinci DIY, 2017). This shows that the number of primary schools teaching English has not reached half the number of primary schools, so the readiness level of English language teaching in primary schools has not been encouraging enough.
Teaching English in primary schools means teaching students aged 6–12, who are considered young learners . Since they are still young, they will come to class with varying levels of English knowledge.
They can come up with excellent English; Others may not know anything about English. This situation creates a difference in the motivation of students to learn English. Some of them feel that English is easy and enjoyable, and others feel that English is difficult and tedious . In addition, students who are very interested in English need to be facilitated to experience a suitable English lesson, while those who are not interested in learning English are more motivated and supported by showing them English exciting and fun need to be.
Consequently, if schools have suitable facilities such as English books, media and competent teachers, they can help students learn English.
It can be concluded that there must be many challenges in teaching English in primary schools. English can be beneficial and destructive for young learners.
This can be beneficial if the activities are exciting and relate to the lives of young learners. It will also prepare them to learn English. Conversely, it can be disastrous if the activities are not fun and relate to the lives of young learners. Therefore, it will make them dislike learning English.
Along with that statement, many studies have been done in the area of teaching English in primary schools. They are in the case of textbooks, English Teachers, parents’ awareness, students’ social status, students’ interest, and so on [7,8]. From these phenomena, the statement is true that there are many problems and challenges in teaching English in primary schools [7,8,9]. Therefore, providing solutions can help schools address problems that may occur in the actual implementation of English teaching-learning processes in schools. Answers can be obtained by providing training for English teachers, educating parents that English is fundamental, motivating students with engaging learning materials, and so on.
Since there are many challenges in teaching English in primary schools, these issues need more attention. Therefore, several research questions are proposed; What are the benefits or uses of teaching English in elementary or primary schools? What are the challenges in teaching English in primary schools? and what are the solutions
Problems in teaching English in primary schools Therefore, the purpose of the research is to identify the benefits and challenges of teaching English in primary schools, and to find solutions related to it.
To be continiue ……..