Oleh Abd. Rasyid*)
Students in learning English need English teacher creativity in choosing approaches, models, methods, media etc. in order to make students excited and motivated. If they are not creative to choose, students will get bored even sleepy in learning English. Getting bored or boredom?
According to Weinerman, Jason, and Cari Kenner (2016), boredom is a trait or state emotional condition. Based on the definition, boredom can be viewed as a negative emotional condition. Furthermore, Kruk and Zawodniak (2020) found the main causes of that students’ boredom covered insufficient teacher involvement, monotonous use of the teaching tools, etc.
Based on what they found in their study, the problem came from the English teacher who might ignore her/his involvement that was basically important in the learning process, and who was probably unwilling to apply another or different teaching tools from the previous meetings of the class. In this essay, the writer presents Thesis Statement, Background of The Problems, Found Challenges, Actions/Solutions, and Reflections on Results and Impacts. Each of them is elaborated per paragraph below.
Backround of Problems
The writer starts explaining Background of The Problems faced by as follows:
• Students felt bored and sleepy in learning English;
• Students felt shy to ask English questions in the learning activity;
• They also felt shy to present their report in English in front of the class;
• They were passive in their group discussion.
What are stated above were caused by the lack of teachers engagement and monotonous approaches, models, methods, and media. In other words, those were caused by the low teachers mastery in pedagogy. Besides that, TPACK (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge) was rarely applied by the English teachers.
According to Omodara and Adu (2014), Educational media and technology can be defined as all means of communication like prints, graphics, animations, audios and audiovisuals. It is clear today teaching or educational tools or media and technology should be well collaborated to make students more motivated and excited in learning. Moreover, why is it important to share this best practice for others?
Because many teachers probably have the same experiences; so that this practice is expected to encourage myself; and will hopefully be a reference for other English teachers. Furthermore, my role and responsibility in this practice are to conduct the learning activity effectively by applying innovative approaches, model, method, media, ect; so that instructional objectives and students learning outcomes can be successfully gained.
After identifying those problems above with self-reflection, interview with Headmaster, Expert, and Peer-English Teachers, I eventually found two challenges below:
• Students still felt bored and sleepy in learning English.
• Students still felt shy to ask questions in English and to present their report in English, in which they were afraid of making mistakes.They did not look self-confident.
Besides that, who were involved in that case? They were students, English Teachers, and Headmaster. They have role and responsibility to solve the problems above.
By seeing the challenges stated, how to alleviate students’ boredom in learning English? Here are the actions I did with STEM Approach that in Akoz, Celiker, Genc (2022), Countries are trying to ensure that students develop their cognitive, affective, and scientific process skills by integrating the STEM learning approach into their education systems. Based on the statement, How important STEM Approach in this 21th century at schools, especially in learning English is!
1. To eliminate the students boredom in learning English:
• In Pre-Activity, I put a Motivation and Song which were written in Power Point, then show them on monitor; then we sang the song together without instrument merrily; and the other Song was a video with lyrics in the end of Phase 2 Research of Main Activity before Phase 3 Discovery; we sang the song together excitedly. What I did has really aroused my students happiness and enthusiasm;
• I played Downloaded YouTube Videos (TPACK touch) for students to be observed in Phase 1 Reflection of Main Activity; so students felt more enthusiastic in learning by watching those selected videos because they actually love watching videos in their daily life with their gadgets or smartphones. According to Cihangir and Coklar (2021), in education and lifelong learning, it has been seen in some studies that YouTube as a video learning tool has benefits and potential benefits with its popularity and easy access. As we know, one of the benefits of playing YouTube Videos for students in English class, as the fact, YouTube Videos can arouse students’ excitement and enthusiasm in their English learning activity.
• In Phase 3 Discovery of Main Activity I engaged myself especially in students discussion by which I came up them and asked if they had questions, difficulties, problems; even ecouraged or motivated them. Amazing! They looked more lively and happier with their teacher engagement. In accordance to Cardwell and Michelle (2011), there are two kinds of engagement, namely, Behavioral engagement—Participation and involvement in academic activities, and Cognitive engagement—Draws on the idea of investment; it incorporates. Thus, it is obvious that there must be a good involvement of teachers in the process of teaching and learning, even outside the class, to create a good relationship between teachers and students in which it will help eliminate students’ boredom; so that the teaching-learning process runs well.
• By discussing (collaborating) in Group Discussion, students looked more enthusiastic and pleased in learning English; it is known that students discussion (collaboration) is the soul of STEM Approach with Problem or Project Based Learning.
• By designing, creating, and publishing videos containing procedure text (recipe) in Main Activity, students looked so excited and so motivated in doing those ativities (Creating a project in STEM Approach) because they indeed love designing, creating their own videos in their daily life as the life style of their real life. In accordance to Capraro and Morgan (2013) STEM-PBL requires higher order thinking skill, problem-solving, and increased content learning. However, students finally create a product. As the fact, by applying them, students get more motivated, enthusiastic, lively, and excited but it still needs teacher engagement.
2. To make students more self-confident in learning English:
• I involved myself especially in students discussion in Main Activity by motivating them and asking if they had questions or problems in learning. Even, I told students “Just speak up, don’t care whether that is true or false, and Just make a lot of mistakes in speaking English”. However, teacher engagement is very important to make students well empowered.
Reflection on Results and Impacts
The impact of Motivations, Songs, TPACK, teacher engagement for students really makes students more excited and enthusiastic in learning English, by which finally the English learning will be interesting, joyful, effective, and successful. Furthermore, applying STEM Approach with Project Based Learning makes students more motivated to learn English because those approaches and models fully involved students in learning.
Moreover, by using the Motivations, Songs, TPACK, engagement that were wrapped in STEM Approach with Project Based Learning; Headmaster, Expert, Teachers etc. have responded it positively and have supported it very well. The last, the success of learning depends on the teacher mastery in pedagogy.