To the Student
Ayo Membaca is a set of online, interactive lessons that offer Indonesian reading lessons from the novice through the advanced levels on the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) proficiency scale. The primary objective of these lessons is to teach reading strategies, allowing you, the learner, to become an independent and proficient reader of Indonesian. Authentic texts from the Indonesian mass media are used as the basis for the development of these lessons, presenting you with the opportunity to learn about Indonesian culture from a rich set of reading samples. The set of readings begin with novice-level texts that are formulaic and thus strongly supported by format and illustrations such as advertisements, schedules, menus, and bills. Later lessons contain intermediate and advanced level texts, presenting narratives and descriptions about family, society, and the environment such as letters, biographical data, recipes, invitations, and short articles about concrete events.
Ayo Membaca can be used by independent learners through self-study or in a classroom setting where the teacher introduces the topic of the reading, reviews the assignments, and later recycles the key vocabulary into other components of the curriculum.
The lessons have been developed based on schema theory which uses a top-down approach to reading. This approach emphasizes the importance of first activating the reader's knowledge of the topic of the reading before beginning to read the new text. This process of schema activation allows you to become an active and engaged participant in the creation of meaning from the text without relying on a dictionary. The Ayo Membaca lessons teach reading strategies that give you confidence to approach new texts, tolerate ambiguity, and remain engaged in the reading process.
Finally, do not be overwhelmed by what you do not know; but rather mobilize your general knowledge in order to extract meaning from the text, using the format and other clues from the text just as you do when reading in your first language. Do not hesitate to make educated guesses or inferences; these are skills that will improve your reading skills. The more active and engaged you are, the more progress you will make in improving your reading proficiency. Please note that you are not required to understand every word. Reading a text word-for-word is not the goal of these reading lessons, as it will hinder you in developing strategies to reach global and sufficient understanding of the text.
Each lesson is divided into three major parts, the Before-Reading (Sebelum Membaca), During-Reading (Waktu Membaca), and After-Reading (Setelah Membaca) sections, and closes with a final page that offers links to the reading texts, Vocabulary List, and Language and Culture Notes. Below you will find a description of the purpose of each section and your role in each of these sections.
In the Before-Reading (Sebelum Membaca) section, you are introduced to the topic of the reading via pictures, video, questions, and occasionally an exercise that pre-teaches important vocabulary. This stage helps you to become familiar with the ideas in the text and raises your curiosity about what is contained in the new text. The pre-reading segment ends with a request for you to make a prediction about what topics are likely to appear in the reading. In this section there are no wrong answers; the intention is for you to begin to think about the topics that may appear in the reading so that you can read with the appropriate framework in mind.
The During-Reading (Waktu Membaca) section consists of three different sets of exercises: Finding the Main Points of the reading (Mencari Informasi Umum), Finding the Details of the reading (Mencari Informasi Khusus), and Understanding the Language Structure (Pemahaman Bahasa). The ordering of these activities follows the schema theory principle which stresses the importance of a top-down approach to finding meaning in a text. Having understood the main ideas of the reading in the Mencari Informasi Umum section, you are now ready to read the text for more details in the Mencari Informasi Khusus section. You will read in detail one or two segments of the text, not the complete text, because authentic texts present numerous words and constructions that you have not been exposed to. In addition, reading some segments of a text in more detail is natural because readers generally read for a purpose; they are looking for specific information that is pertinent to their needs. Thus, it is expected that you will not understand every word in the reading. The objective of these lessons is for you to learn how to find both general and specific meanings in a text by using clues from the text and context (e.g., format and illustrations) even when you do not understand all of the words. As you proceed through the three major sections of the lessons, you will access feedback on your answers and will be able to keep working to find the correct answers by using the help features in the lessons. Take your time and proceed at your own pace learning from authentic Indonesian readings. The last part of the reading section focuses on a number of important vocabulary items and/or one or two language structures.
The After-Reading (Setelah Membaca) section concludes each lesson, offering you opportunities for skill integration as you apply what you have learned. If you have read a letter in the lesson, in the post-reading section you may read another letter and write your own letter to a friend. You thus apply and integrate what you have learned in the lesson using a variety of skills.
For your convenience and easy reference, the last page of each lesson, the Selamat page, presents links to the complete list of Vocabulary Items (Kosakata), Language and Culture Notes (Catatan), and Reading Text(s) (Lihat Teks) buttons.