Bisa = Can/ be able to do……..

We are starting off this term with a focus on the target structures ‘bisa’ & ‘tidak bisa’. We asked our mentor, Catharina, for a story and she suggested:

Lucy tidak punya mulut. Kasihan Lucy. Lucy bisa makan? Tidak. Lucy tidak bisa makan. Lucy bisa minum? Tidak. Lucy tidak bisa minum. Lucy bisa berkata? Tidak. Lucy tidak bisa berkata. John punya dua mulut. John beruntung. John bisa makan? Ya John bisa makan. John bisa makan banyak! John bisa makan dua eskrim. John bisa berkata. John bisa menyanyi. John baik hati. John kasi Lucy satu mulut. Jadi, Lucy bisa berkata. Lucy bisa makan. Lucy bisa minum. Dan Lucy bisa mencium John!

I love this story because it not only revisits punya and kasi (useful for new students), there is also plenty of scope for the actors to ham it up and entertain the rest of the class!!

I began my lessons by revisiting the expectations in the Indonesian classroom. I decided upon this mainly as I felt I didn’t have the energy after 2 weeks of being unwell (great way to spend my holidays!), yet funnily enough, I discovered it required more energy to teach a non TCI lesson!! Still it was beneficial to revisit the expectations

1. Look

2. Listen

3. Respond to questions

4. Signal when unclear or too fast

5. Respect everyone and the process

because we have several new students who have started this term.

I then began preparing for the  story by introducing ‘bisa’. I did this by going through the student questionnaires. One of the questions on the questionnaire was

image image image image

I looked for answers that I could either explain with a picture (to make it comprehensible) or the word was a cognate (similar to the English word). I then made up a notebook file for each class. On each page was a picture of the acitivity and underneath it was the Indonesian word. For example, the drum page had an image I found on google images of Animal (from The Muppets) drumming furiously and underneath it I had the Indonesian ‘bermain drum’ written. I then used this file to PQA to get repetitions of bisa. I asked the class, “Siapa bisa bermain drum?” Several hands went up and knowing that it was Jack who had written he could drum, I left him till last. Harry had his hand up, so I asked him, “Harry bisa bermain drum?” Harry answered, “ya”. I responded with, “Murid murid, Harry bisa bermain drum. Harry bisa bermain drum?” The kelas then answered a mixture of ya/tidak. I then handed Harry 2 drum sticks and a practise pad while asking him again, Harry bisa bermain drum?” Harry answered, ‘ya’ and then beat the drum pad with no skill at all!! It cracked us all up. I repeated this with all the others who claimed they could drum and then finally handed the pad over to Jack who wowed us all with a fancy rhythm using rimshots. It was soo coool. Lovely to see him shine in class as he is such a quiet student who is generally happy to leave the limelight to Harry & the others. Other entertaining abilities included menyanyi (students actually got up and sang to us), terbang (the sight of a year 7 boy insisting he could fly and then standing in front of his friend imploring him to help with the demonstration was hilarious), berdansa & gimnastiks (had quite a few students demonstrate back bends and the splits).

Step 1 of TPRS = establish meaning – which incorporates introducing the target structure and selecting a gesture for it. As bisa is such an important and often used word in Indonesian conversation, I felt it vital that the gesture we ended up with was a practical and lasting one. So I left that part of step 1 till the 6/7 lesson. Initally some of the suggested gestures were ridiculous because there was no way they would help us to remember or even think of bisa/can. After a lot of discussion they chose the opening a can gesture, which really works! Thus for that lesson, when I did PQA with them, I gestured each time I said ‘bisa’. It felt so much better doing PQA with a gesture. Gesturing helped with student acquisition because it slowed me down considerably; it was like a visual point and pause.  It felt as though students in the lessons that included the gesture had a deeper level of acquisition than those who have yet to learn the gesture. Very interesting.

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3 thoughts on “Bisa = Can/ be able to do……..

  1. I have just started using gesturing with my kids too. Finding it difficult to remember to do them, but I feel they are effective.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great update Bu Cathy! I love the idea of a repetitious story being used to introduce language concepts. I’d love to see the gestures being used in the classroom, I know they are very popular and work well in Japanese and Chinese Language learning classrooms but I’ve never seen gestures being used in an Indonesian Language classroom. It would be so interesting. Thanks for an inspiring post Bu Cathy! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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