PEPS’ First Ever Bilingual Assembly

Last Friday,  year 5/6 Roberts ran the school assembly. It was amazing!

However before I explain in more detail why it was amazing, I have to explain a few things….

Their teacher, Margaret, has incorporated Indonesian wherever possible into her classroom routines. Displayed in her room are the classroom phrases students use and know well, including

  • Boleh saya ke w.c.
  • Boleh saya cari minuman
  • Jangan lupa, cuci tangan
  • Jangan lama lama
  • Sudah!
  • Sampai jumpa
  • Terima kasih
  • Apa kabar?
  • Boleh saya pinjam…

These phrases used to be the cornerstone of my language program before I discovered TPRS. These phrases were thus the limit of my student’s fluency because these were they only phrases that were repeated from lesson to lesson, term to term. (Other vocabulary was limited to ‘themes’ and once the theme was finished, the vocabulary was rarely used or covered again.) Margaret has always supported the Indonesian program where possible in her classroom yet lately she has taken it one huge step further. During her release time, she can often been found joining her students in their Indonesian lesson!! I am so touched and impressed for many reasons that she gives up her non face to face time to join us. I really appreciate her feedback on the many aspects of the lesson and love it when we run through the target structures that she has acquired later in the classroom.

So I really shouldn’t have been surprised when Margaret announced that she wanted to run a bilingual assembly!! She gave me a copy of the script and together with Ibu Mia, we were able to easily translate the dialogue using the target structures students have covered to date. This exercise in itself demonstrated just how powerful TPRS is when the initial structures are high frequency ones. Using the following target structures, the year 5/6 class were able to conduct PEPS’S first bilingual assembly:

  • berkata – to say
  • nama saya – my name is
  • mau – want
  • berdiri – stand
  • diam – quiet
  • duduk – sit
  • kasih – give
  • lihat – see
  • dengar- listen
  • sudah – already
  • sampai jumpa – goodbye

The assembly went so smoothly and I was immensely proud of the fact that students could conduct an assembly in two languages and that it was 100% comprehensible for all students in the audience. The very first sentence was “Murid-murid, berdiri dan diam untuk Advance Australia Fair.” Immediately the entire assembly of students stood quietly! Wow!! The class teachers, who had no idea of what had been said, were puzzled when the entire student body stood up.  Not realising why, class teachers immediately insisted that their students sit down! The students were confused! They had just been asked in Indonesian to stand and now they were being told to sit down!! The sight of the entire school getting to their feet en masse was very moving for me. The students who  had spoken the words had used no hand signals, yet the students fully understood it and immediately followed instructions!

jessica & flick

I also spoke at the assembly to formally welcome Ibu Mia to our school. Once again I was blown away by their comprehension and was so incredibly proud. I spoke in Indonesian and when I asked them all, “Paham?” they answered en masse, “Paham!” Ibu MIa then presented a trophy to our principal that her students had made especially for our school. When I held it up to show the students they all agreed: “Astaga!” It blew Ibu Mia away!

astaga

recieving presentation

What an amazing assembly! To think that our students now know enough Indonesian to conduct an entire assembly is pretty cool! Congratulations to the year 5/6 class. You have certainly set the standard now and I really hope that the next class who runs the assembly is also keen to conduct it bilingually!

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5 thoughts on “PEPS’ First Ever Bilingual Assembly

    • I was so so impressed. They just treated it so casually. Had it been done In any other year it would have been very stressful for all of us, but with TCI, it was so doable.

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  1. That is so awesome. Great job both of you ( and the kids ) and real evidence that the methodology is working. I hope the rest of the staff who witnessed it appreciated just how significant it was. Also that any parents present understood the significance of the presenters using Indo in a real context and that they were communicating, not just reading a script AND that the audience were understanding. Can just hear those neurons sparking!! Fantastic that this opportunity is available to ALL students and as research shows, understanding and using a second language will extend and stretch those brains, benefitting all learning!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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