Baby Shark

I’ve been looking at the Baby shark YouTube clips and wracking my brain how to adapt them to comprehensible Indonesian,  i.e. using minimal new vocabulary. There are a couple of Indonesian versions and my  favourite one is this one:

While I love most about this clip is that it is in Indonesian! However, the pace is little too fast for my junior primary students and it uses language that I would rarely use in a classroom context e.g. berburu (hunt), selasai (I prefer to use sudah), aman (selamat would be a better choice from a TCI perspective). I do like the use of ‘Ayah’ though, which is definitely more common than ‘Bapak’ these days.

Then this morning, I found this brilliant Spanish version and just love the simple language it uses.


Incorporating the simple language and the slow pace of the Spanish version, I have attempted to create a song video based on the following lyrics which I believe are more appropriate for my junior primary students:

Bayi hiu
Ibu hiu
Ayah hiu
Nenek hiu
Kakek hiu
Hiu lapar
Ikan kecil
Berenang cepat
Sampai jumpa!

If you would like to see the video, inbox me on Facebook and I’ll send you a link. As it is not 100% my own creation, I can not publicly list the video!! I also need to prewarn you about my not so wonderful singing ability!



Sharing Great Ideas – Membagi Ide Bagus

Due to a nasty virus, I’ve lately had plenty of ‘rest’ time enjoying interesting online articles. I’ve also discovered the ‘add to reading list’ button at the top right corner of my ipad which has been very handy for bookmarking and saves me having to go backwards and forwards between apps and safari. 

Here are a couple (tongue in cheek) that I would like to share with you all:

  • Have you heard of contextualised chanting? Read this blog post by Michel and learn about it. What a great way of having a brain break and getting some bonus repetitions in!
  • I got a lovely surprise yesterday when following a link to this google doc listing CI reading activities on the Tristate TCI – Teaching World Languages with Comprehensible Input facebook page, included  a link to this blog!! 
  • Also on that facebook page was this video demonstrating the airplane activity, another  ‘post story’ activity.
  • Have you discovered Senor Fernie’s blog? I love it because it has an elementary/primary school aged focus. He has just finished a series of posts dedicated to junior primary story telling.Here is the the first one: Enjoy
  • Have you watched any of the Musicuentos Black Box podcasts yet? I’ve seen a few and each one has been fascinating. They only go for about 5 or so minutes and give a good general overview of the topic being discussed. Here is videocast number 7 (Overcoming Resistance to 90% Target Language Use) and number 6 (The Inescapable Case For Extensive Reading).
  • Somewhere to share posted recently a fun story review game. I think the game has great potential but I wonder how to avoid students recognising each others handwriting? Could the story sentences be typed up by the teacher beforehand and distributed randomly or selectively? 
  • Here are a few videos I bookmarked. 1. Willy Winako & Dara singing Suara Perjuangan. 2. A fun video illustrating how some well known western words would sound if pronounced ‘properly’ (can only find the link on facebook, but hopefully soon it will be on youtube!) and is an edited version of the original. 3. Another video from facebook which thankfully has a youtube link – about a current topic – the Indonesian forest fires, and finally 4. Goodnews Indonesia
  • I am following Martina Bex on facebook which randomly promotes links to previous blogposts. This one came up last week and could be useful for term 4 if you are looking for ways in which to add some TPRS fun to the end of the year. It is all about the many ways we can use songs in the Languages classroom. 
  • Have a look at this amazing collection of brainbreaks. While not all are appropriate, there are enough great ones here to make it worthwhile. Some of the video links are hilarious and I am sure could easily be adapted to Indonesian. How about this one for example? Imagine the language repetition for a short target structure? 
  • Creative Language Class posted recently about how she teaches her school curriculum using TPRS pedagogy. I love the way she identifies the key skills and then lists ideas of how this could be achieved.
  • Saving the best till last –  the link to the most recent edition of the IJFLT (The International Journal of Foreign Language Teachers).  This contains many interesting articles by a selection of well known TCI/TPRS teachers. Past issues are also available.

Happy reading and hopefully I haven’t included too many links? Maybe add some of them to your ‘reading list’ for the upcoming holidays which will be here faster than we can imagine!

Senor wooly – Spanish Teacher Extraordinaire 

How cool is Senor Wooly? He has made lots of resources for students & spanish teachers  who for a fee, can access them all. The videos are fabulous and while designed for high school students, are so humorous, they would appeal to primary students equally.

Have you heard of anyone creating resources such as these for Indonesian students and teachers?  Materials which are engaging and compelling for students and provide the perfect medium for providing comprehensible input in the Indonesian classroom. If so, please add a comment below.

Jalanan ; A Movie About Busking in Jakarta

While traveling in Indonesia last year, I caught many buses. Throughout Java and Bali, I frequently had buskers jump on board and serenade us before handing out the lolly bag to collect donations. Read my post here. What a fascinating topic for a film and one I really hope to get a chance to see it one day!

Have a look at this Youtube promo:

Jalanan: Busking and dreaming in the city

AUTHOR – Eric Sasono

By telling the stories of Boni, Titi and Ho, Jalanan brings to the screen the hardships and precarious lives of marginalised people in one of the most economically promising Asian countries. Courtesy of Jalanan Movie Team
Daniel Ziv’s documentary feature Jalanan (Streetside), currently screening at the Melbourne International Film Festival, is a film that seeks to move its audience.

Documentaries sometimes invite viewers to social and political engagement. To do this, they might put viewers into uncomfortable situations. Jalanan, the story of three Jakarta buskers, Boni, Titi and Ho, is this kind of film.

Ziv, an Indonesia-based Canadian filmmaker, filmed the three street singers for six years. He pointed his camera at their reality and homed in on the social and political forces that shaped it.

By telling the stories of Boni, Titi and Ho, Jalanan brings to the screen the hardships and precarious lives of marginalised people in one of the most economically promising Asian countries. Jalanan presents the three as aspiring individuals with self-actualisation needs amid the hardship they encounter on a day-to-day basis.

Everyone is looking for something

Boni, an illiterate “singer-songwriter”, has been living in a canal tunnel with his wife, Rita for ten years. He dreams of a proper home yet all he can do is paint the word “Hyatt” on the tunnel wall.

Titi is a mother of three. Her children are scattered in three different cities. She sends money for her sickly father’s medication and for her child’s education in the village. Titi stresses how important it is that her children “not be a busker” as she is, signifying the importance of making the leap in social class.

The other busker, Ho, sings his political songs with a rugged voice, suggesting that his listeners “hang the corruptors”. He lives alone and tries to find true love.

Jalanan is screening at this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival.
With these aspirations, the documentary subjects qualify as protagonists in a neo-classic Hollywood story: an individual tries to achieve something and faces obstacles in the process. Jalanan benefits from this model of storytelling. It avoids didactic forms and, rather, asserts some kind of audience self-identification. Wanting a better place to live, improving social status and finding true love are universal aspirations.

Just like in Hollywood, Jalanan also brings closure to the protagonists’ venture, keeping the audience from seriously questioning what happens to them after the screening.

Beyond the film, the filmmakers have started a crowd-funding initiative to provide houses for the buskers.

Watching poverty in luxurious malls

Viewers in Indonesia won’t escape the irony when they go to cinemas in luxurious shopping malls to watch Jalanan. But filmmakers have no choice but to screen their work in this way if they want their films to reach a larger audience in Indonesia. Gentrification of Indonesian movie theatres since the 1990s has seen small cinemas fold and mega-cinemas thrive.

Jalanan provides enlightenment and entertainment, of some sort, for the middle and upper class of Jakartans who are willing to spend their money on a diverting spectacle. In Indonesia, it has a limited distribution in 21 Cinepelex, the cinema chain that dominates the country’s film distribution.

From the screen to public policy

Despite its limited distribution, Jalanan has benefited from its status as a documentary film. Audiences often perceive arguments presented in a documentary as undeniable truths. Sometimes, the documentary form can prompt viewers’ social and political engagement.

Jalanan managed to do this when acting Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama watched the film with his staff (the governor, Joko Widodo, now president-elect, was taking leave for his presidential election campaign). Ahok saw many things that fell under his responsibility go wrong in the documentary. Seeing the “jail”, which is actually a social rehabilitation institution where Ho was locked up, disturbed Ahok. In the film, Jakarta public order officers arrested Ho for busking and for not having his identification card.

According to Rolling Stone Indonesia, Ahok immediately discussed with his staff what he saw in the documentary. He instructed them to close down the “jail”, expedite the development of apartments for the poor and ease regulations for newcomers to get their Jakarta ID card. He also ordered his staff to eradicate corruption in public offices, especially the religious affairs agency responsible for providing marriage certificate.

Jalanan’s influence on public policy in Jakarta might be a one-off. It’s hardly a typical outcome for a documentary, after all. Documentary films work hard to promote social or political engagement – or at least an awareness – with their subject. For the next level of engagement, it helps to have “reformist” public officials in the audience.

The Melbourne International Film Festival 2014 runs until Sunday August 17.

Lupa, Lupa, Ingat

In 2011, year 6/7 students spent a term focusing on the song Lupa Lupa Ingat by Kuburan, . The aim of the term was to make our own song video. Students were divided into committees, each with their own area of expertise, eg., backup singers, filming, musicians, makeup/costumes, etc. The finale was a whole school performance.

The filming was done with flip cameras and then edited in Windows Movie Maker.