The student’s interest in using computer will encourage and motivate them to learn English in a new way. It will also help them to get improved in understanding English. This is happened because the computer-based language instruction is assumed to be better than any other non computer mediated language instruction method (Hartoyo 2008, 21). At least four reasons that support this argument: up date methods, interactive computer system, flexible program, and massive learning process.
The first reason about the important of using computer in language learning is the up date methods of utilizing computer’s program during teaching and learning process. To prepare and adjust Indonesian students with the globalization atmosphere and situation, every student requires English language skills as a tool of communication among the global community. Possessing English language skills also become an obligation for students in order to provide a precondition for his development and improvement in the future. Seen from the international relationship, the ability of Indonesian students to communicate and interact with other community by using English will stimulate every student to adapt with new technology, life styles, and information.
Not to mention, the ability also can direct and guide them into the scientific and systematic situations which will bring them to be well-prepared students in facing the life. Moreover, there are three major roles are played by possessing English language skill: as a means of communication with other nations, as an aid to develop Indonesian into a modern language , and as an instrument in utilizing science and technology for national development (Hartoyo 2008, 1).
The tidal wave of modernization and globalization influence all parts of the world through the utilizing of computerized-equipment in many kinds of life aspects which includes the use of computer in language learning. In the last decades, computer technology has created a remarkable and fantastic progress and contribution of human civilization in the field of communication, medicine, and network as well. Computer has been assisting human kind in doing and helping their activities. For instance, computer technology has connected people all around the world quickly by using internet connection, E mail, and web sites to buy and sell.
Astonishingly, the advance of information technology has saturated the application of computers in language learning process. This device can facilitate and ease people in the process of learning English. In short, computer can be used as an instrument to stimulate and improve the student’s ability in language learning especially English language.
In fact, the situation also happens in Indonesia. The students in Indonesia have been influenced by so-called a new life style of using computer as their daily need. Therefore, the suitable technique and methodology relating to the use of computer as a new way in language learning is required. For that reason, the most significant technique and methodology to improve the student’s English language skills is in the aspect of exploring the computer technology to support the students learning process.
Actually, there are some techniques and methodologies to teach English for the second language learner such as: Grammar Translation Method which focuses on grammar and vocabulary mastery, The Direct Method which focuses on speaking communicatively, Audio Lingual Method which focuses on using target language in repetitive situations, The Silent Way which focuses on expressing thoughts, intentions, feelings, and perceptions, Suggestopedia which focuses on every day communication, Community Language Learning which focuses on proposing the learning cooperation between teacher and student, Total Physical Response which focuses on practicing to use verbal communication accompanied by physical actions (Richards and Rodgers 2001, 5-99), and Contextual Teaching and Learning which focuses on relating subject matter content to real world situations and motivating students to make connections between knowledge and its applications (Newmann 2004).
Meanwhile, according to Larsen, there are some up date “methodological innovations” which reflect the dynamics of methodological changes in language teaching such as Communicative Language Teaching (CLT), Content-based instruction, Task-based instruction, Participatory Approaches, Learning Strategy Training, Cooperative Learning, and Multiple Intelligences (Larsen 2000, 11-172). All of these methods are being practiced in day to day English language teaching.
The above techniques and methodologies are also being practiced in Indonesia. Most of English teachers from elementary school until senior high school as well as lecturer from one university to another carry out those various techniques and methodologies to assist their students in developing their English skill. Consequently, many teachers and lecturers have to pursue and find the best methodology to implement in the class where students also want to possess the ability in understanding English.
However, to improve and develop such kind of ability is not as easy as to open eyes. On the course of designing the systemic and conducive English learning environment as well as obtaining the purpose of the English language study, the teachers and lecturers still have difficulty to realize it. Although, Indonesian English teachers and lecturers have been implementing, practicing, and conducting variety of techniques and methodologies, the result of English teaching in Indonesia have not been suitable with the demand (Hartoyo 2008).
Furthermore, It is obviously stated that those techniques and methodologies in English learning and teaching above make the teachers and lecturers as a major centre in the language learning process. On the other hand, the students in Indonesia do not have opportunity to choose the suitable techniques and methodologies. It seems that they always accept all of the teachers and the lecturers have been given without having the chance to choose a method, technique, and approach they preferred.
This condition proposes that the problem of teaching and learning of English may arise when the students do not relate and cooperate with alternative techniques and methodologies presented by their teachers and lecturers. The students also have no opportunity to learn the English language except in the classroom.
Without denying that the techniques and methodologies is powerful addition to enrich the English teaching and learning methodology, of course we still need to ask whether it fits into the student’s interest especially in Indonesia. By asking the question, perhaps there will be so many fascinating results which will be very useful for the teachers, lecturers, and students as well.
The need of alternative technique and methodology in teaching English in Indonesia is crucial because based on a consideration that even though several communication approaches, techniques, and methodologies have been implemented for several decades, the effects of teaching English using “conventional” methodologies have been considered unsatisfactory. Hence, paying a serious attention and consideration to new way in language learning methodology is really necessary.
The citizens of the world have been influenced and in come cases controlled by the significance and impact of computer, the language learning methodology and technique should hand in hand with the phenomena. Consequently, the changes of teaching English language methodology from human-based approach into machine based is needed as fast as possible to accelerate the student’s ability.
Using computer during the process of language learning is a new thing for students in Indonesia. Even though they already familiar with such kind of modern equipment, the use of computer in language learning process is still something unusual for them. It happens because their teachers have been teaching them with a conventional and usual methodology for several years. Therefore, using computer will attract, catch the intention of students, and increase their motivation in learning English.
Therefore, the adoption of computer program that can assist the improvement of student’s language learning all around Indonesia is very necessary. In the last decade, there is a program called CAL which stands for Computer Assisted Learning.
On its course, the CAL is really helpful in language learning so it became CALL which stand for Computer Assisted Language Learning. This program refers to the learning language involving the utilization of the computer which students and the computer can interact each other, and in which the students are given freedom to choose any topic of information and even, to become a trouble-shooter of their own problems (Hartoyo 2008, 21).
The second argumentation is the interactivity of computer. Newmann (2004) argues that “computers have the ability to be patience by treating each student in the same way without having any preference…” In this perspective, computers are considered as the tool which can interact and communicate with the students. Computers also act as a teacher as well as tutor to guide and conduct the learning process. Therefore, it can detect and evaluate the student’s strength and weaknesses.
In delivering English language materials, computers can be equipped with another device such as video which present the real situation of using English, gesture, and culture. The computer also can be equipped with the audio which present the way to say, act, and respond the expression of the native’s speaking.
The information technology of computer also be possible the students to have a conversation with their friends as well as experts all around the world. This is very useful to increase their motivation in learning English since they have to use English as a tool in the global community. The more they relate to the connectivity with their pals from different countries the more knowledge, information, and understanding they will get. In the testing process after studying, computer can act as a adjudicator. It judges the student’s test result by giving scores and responses.
Moreover, there are some programs which can be implemented during the process of language learning in the class such as building vocabulary program, speaking program, and grammar program as well. The program itself can be modified based on the student’s interest. Obviously, these programs will make all students pay more attention and learn a new perspective in understanding English.
The situation is happened in one of suburb private senior high school in Banten province. When the students were presented the video-audio of English by their English teacher, they became very impressed. Without blinking, they keep watching the whole process of English language learning. This is one example of how computer can attract the students to learn more serious. The situation perhaps will be similar since most of students in Indonesia have lack of using computer as a medium in English learning. They only utilize computer only for typing, drawing and so on.
By having interactive connection with different programs through computer, the students will realize that English study is really easy. It also reflects that English can be delivered in a fun and simple way. Researchers have also revealed that computer presents so many advantages for students to develop and increase their English competencies. Furthermore, by using computer in language learning programs, students all around Indonesia will be promoted to have active participation during the delivering of English materials.
The third is the computer’s program flexibility. The students have opportunity to select their own need. Let’s say when the students of Senior High School in Carita beach, (Banten province) want to practice their speaking skill by having a conversation with the foreign tourists. They can possess the conversation skill by watching some conversation models. They also can learn the right pronunciation of some words and phrases that commonly used during the dialogue in the beach.
If they have difficulty in finding the right words or phrases, they still can learn to enrich their vocabulary by using vocabulary programs in the computer. Moreover, when they have difficulty in adjusting their grammar, they can learn by playing the grammar materials in CD programs. So, the students do not have to learn and watch the whole materials that presented by the teachers or tutors.
However, if the students want to learn the whole materials consisted in the computer’s programs which since the time availability during the presentation in the class, they may copy or burn it into another CD or flash disk so they can learn it in their spare time. It will make the process of language learning is not only depend on the teachers in the class but also depend on themselves as a users of language. So, learning process will influence all parts of their life.
The last argument is massive learning process of using computer. The language learning process can involve more than the member of class itself. It means that by using additional devices such as laptop, screen, sound system, and in focus, the language learning can absorb so many students in one occasion to acquire the materials.
Since the form and model of computer have been changing from time to time, it is also possible to have a wider range of class. The process of language learning can be put into practice not only in small class but also in the wide building as well. Therefore, the member of the presentation of the materials will be more than the member of class itself.
To conclude, It goes without saying that the language learning process thorough the using of computer is very constructive and effective way to increase and improve the student’s skills and competencies. The overall explanation above support the assumption by including up date methods, interactivity, flexibility, and massive learning process of using computer in language learning process.
There are some recomencation based on the analysis shown above:
1. The Indonesian government must provide the computer laboratory for student to learn English language by using computer program.
2. The teachers must follow some of workshops, courses, as well as seminars to increase their competencies.
3. The students should be aware that they live in the global age which supports the language learning through computer.
4. The society should support the new methodology of language learning by helping the school to provide computer.
Hartoyo. 2008. Individual Differences in Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL). Semarang: Pelita Insani Semarang.
Hartoyo. 2008. Enhancing Foreign language Learning Via Self-Access Computer Assisted Language Learning. Journal Pendidikan Bahasa of Edu Lingua I, No.1 (Juni):1-31.
Newmann, 2004. A Course of Teaching Methodology. Journal of Education and Teacher 78, no. 5 (June). http://www. Journals.ultrech.edu/JET/journal/discourse/v78n5/230798.html (accessed on January 23, 2009).
Larsen, Diane. 2000. Technique and Principles in Language Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Richards, Jack, and Theodore S. Rodgers. 2001. Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.