What the grammar gurus don’t get about how we learn

Source: http://theconversation.com

Writer: Ben Ambridge

Sticklers beware. The British Library is hosting it’s English Grammar Day, a day to finely split hairs over split infinitives, apostrophe’s (sic, sic, sic), and Oxford commas (sick!). Yes, in the case of written language, the ability to follow a set of arbitrary, complex and often-contradictory rules is probably as good a marker as any of intelligence and educational attainment. (And, yes, those were deliberate mistakes to annoy the sticklers!).

But what some grammar gurus forget is that the vast majority of language is not written, but spoken. Talk to a researcher who studies grammar in its natural habitat, and they will tell you that by just two years of age, children already have a deep understanding of grammar, far exceeding anything that our most powerful supercomputers can currently achieve.

What is grammar, anyway?

There’s a saying in journalism that DOG BITES MAN isn’t a story, but MAN BITES DOG most certainly is. What’s interesting about these headlines is that while they consist of exactly the same words, their meanings are reversed. This difference in meaning is down to the grammar: the set of rules and procedures that puts words in whatever order is necessary to get across “who did what to whom”. This is grammar; the engine room of language. Commas and apostrophes are just deckchairs on the poop deck.

And children know how to steer this ship not only way, way before they can tie their own shoelaces, but – in some cases – before the point at which they are saying anything much beyond “Mama” and “Dada” (or my own first word: “Calpol” … allegedly).

Suppose you sit a young child down in front of two TV screens, one showing a duck doing something to a rabbit, the other showing a rabbit doing something to a duck. If you then play a sentence such as: “The bunny is glorping the duck”, even two-year-olds are able to look at or even point to the matching screen. Because “glorping” is a made-up word, we know that children weren’t simply using their knowledge of individual words, but must have formed some kind of abstract rule; the same rule that renders MAN BITES DOG, but not DOG BITES MAN, a plausible headline.

We all start young

A few years down the line, one of my own studies found that, when asked to rate the grammatical acceptability of made-up words and sentences (such as: “Every day the bunny splings. So yesterday he splinged/splang”) six-year-olds showed the same pattern of judgments as students at one of the world’s top ten universities.

Oxford Comma. The band Vampire Weekend have clearly expressed their dislike. Status Frustration, CC BY-NC-SA

But, when it comes to grammar-learning, six-year-olds are geriatrics, with even two-year-olds rapidly heading towards middle age. Children show knowledge of the rhythms of their native language – one of the cues that allows them to break into grammar – when they are just two days old. In fact, another study found that newborns prefer to listen to stories that had been read to them before birth.

So, yes, English Grammar Day serves a valuable function, but let’s not lose sight of the bigger picture. The real tragedy isn’t adults who confuse its and it’s, there and they’re or to and too, but infants who hear so little spoken language from their parents that they start school or nursery at a huge disadvantage compared to their peers. If we are serious about improving grammar at a national level, it is here that our efforts must be focused.

Activity_Persever for Fighting HIV-AIDS

Students are paying attention to the speakers.

Yesterday, I welcome and facilitated a group of people from Komisi Pemberantasan AIDS (KPA) (a goverment organization serving for HIV-AIDS issues). It is an initiative sub-department at health office in North Aceh district-Indonesia. There were 8 of officer involved in the team who visited my school yesterday.

They came to my school to socialize; problems, signs, challenges, numbers, and many more informations about HIV-AIDS to my students at school. there were 70 students consist of grade X, XI, and XII both boys and girls. they were totally enthusiastic and interested in paying attention to the single word came out the speaker in front of them.

Today, HIV-AIDS is a catastrophic “desaster”. Unfortunately, most of poor countries prones to be predominant victims and edversely affects their societies.  For me, shall we know the problems, effects, and hazards, we could acticipate it. at least, it’s the sole purpose that I hope gained by students in the socialization.

A speaker is presenting the materials while showing slides.

For your information, the school I am currently working with is an Islamic boarding school that combining national curriculums (formal school) and Islamic subjects with balanced-curriculum (Non-Formal Classes, but compulsory). In addition, they are also studying foreign languages both Arabic and English. Besides English teacher, I am currently serving as vice-principal for senior high school (SMA).

The school bases in remote areas of north Aceh, it takes about 10 hours driving from Banda Aceh,  and uneasily reached by government for certain things/programs, that’s why the such socialization is totally rare program for the students and teachers as well.

Mulyadi, one of our student is asking a question.

Big Smile and Hope from Aceh,

Indonesia English Language Study Program
Ohio University, USA
Spring 2010

English Vocabulary Bank

Kosakata (Vocabularies) dibawah ini adalah kosakata yang Saya posting di halaman face book saya mulai 2 Desember 2011.  Mengingat Face book sebagai jaringan sosial yang penggunanya begitu banyak. Di Indonesia pengguna Facebook mencapai 35 Juta orang, dan sebagian besar diantara mereka adalah anak muda yang berumur sekitar 23 tahun. Artinya mereka masih dalam tahap ACTIVE LEARNING. Dengan demikian facebbok adalah media yang sangat MEMBANTU untuk kita belajar bahasa Inggris. 
Kosakata tersebut, saya posting secara BERTAHAP, dimulai dari tahap Elementary secara perlahan kita akan melangkah ke INTERMEDIATE sampai ADVANCE nantinya. So, Buat kawan-kawan yang sudah sangat FAMILIAR dengan kosakata yang saya posting, mohon bersabar untuk kosakata yang baru bagi anda. Alangkah baiknya kawan-kawan juga ikut membantu learners yang lainnya untuk menguasai  kosakata tersebut dengan membuat contoh-contoh sederhana dan mudah dimengerti.
Sebagai bahan evaluasi, karenya Saya mencatat juga jumlah komentar dan orang yang “LIKE” setiap status yang Saya Update. 

  1. Smart : Hebat/Cerdik/Pandai
    e.g :
    • Teachers always appreciate SMART students
    • Is Aicha SMARTER than Toeleb?
    • Are you a SMART guy?

    Comment : 27
    Like : 7

  2. Friendly : Ramah/Sopan/Tidak Sombong
    e.g :

    • Andi Virmansyah is an Indonesian FRIENDLY football player
    • Am I FRIENDLY enough?
    Comment : 37
    Like : 4

  3. Helpful : Ringan Tangan/Suka Membantu/Sangat Membatu

    • I have a HELPFUL classmate in my school
    • Firman Utina is a HELPFUL TIMNAS Football Player

    Comment: 20
    Like : 9

  4. Nice: Enak/Lezat/Baik/Sehat/Cantik
    • Syahrini is a FRIENDLY and NICE actress
    • Thimphan, Keukharah, Bhoh Usyen, and Nyaab are Acehnese NICE food.

    Comment: 12
    Like: 3

  5. Glad = Senang/Bahagia/Gembira

    • I’m glad to help you
    • Are you feeling glad today?

      Comment : 21

  6. Cute : Manis/Cantik/Elok/Imut
    • Yuniza Icha is a CUTE actress
    • My baby is CUTE..

    Comment : 63
    Like: 2

  7. Brave : Berani
    • Krisdayanti married by a BRAVE guy
    • Is your boy friend BRAVE enough?

      Comment : 25
      Like : 1

  8. Easy: Mudah/Gampang/Tidak Susah
    • To speak English is EASY 
    • Take it EASY (gampang tu, jangan terlalu dibawa pusing)

      Comment: 27
      Like: 9

  9. Fast : Cepat

    • I love to eat FAST food 
    • Thimpan (Acehnese food) is not included as FAST FOOD

      Comment: 15
      Like: 6

  10. Beautiful: Cantik/Elok/Indah
    • My mother is BEAUTIFUL
    • Anang loves BEAUTIFUL girl

    Comment: 39
    Like: 6

  11. Busy: Sibuk
    • I was pretty busy yesterday 
    • My teacher is a busy worker
      Comment: 40
      Like: 4
  12. Big: Besar

    • What’s big 5 islands in Indonesia?
    • Give your mom a big smile
      Comment: 11
      Like: 4
  13. Honest : Jujur
    • Please be HONEST all time
    • People loves HONEST person
      Comment: 19
      Like: 1
  14. Crazy: Gila
    • He is Crazy in Studying
    • Are you CRAZY

      Comment: 59
      Like: 6

  15. Free: Libur/Bebas/Gratis
    • The books are not sold, but they are free
    • I love friday, because it’s my FREE day

      Comment: 39
      Like: 2

  16. Famous: Terkenal/Hebat
    e. g:
    • Oprah Winfrey is a very FAMOUS woman in the world
    • Every Indonesian knows Ayu Ting Ting, because She is a FAMOUS actress

      Comment: 48
      Like: 9

  17. Rich: Kaya
    • Aburiza Bakrie is one of RICH man in Indonesia 
    • My mom has a RICH heart

      Comment: 19
      Like: 13

  18. Long: Panjang/Lama
    • I have still LONG way to go
    • How long does the meeting last?

      Comment: 22
      Like: 6

  19. Shy: Malu
    • Don’t be SHY, just tell him the truth  
    • Don’t be SHY to speak English

    Comment: 23
    Like: 6

  20. Sleepy: Ngantuk
    • I was SLEEPY at the end of meeting
    • Don’t be SLEEPY in the Classroom

      Comment: 8
      Like: 5

  21. Hungry: Lapar
    •   Are you HUNGRY?
    •   I am not HUNGRY anymore = Saya tidak lapar lagi

      Comment: 29
      Like: 6

  22. Important:
    • Khenduri is an IMPORTANT event in Aceh 
    • It is IMPORTANT to say the truth

    Comment: 48
    Like: 10

  23. Wonderful:Hebat/Menyenangkan/Keren/Bagus
    • Have a WONDERFUL Christmas (Ini adalah Salah satu ungkapan yang dapat digunakan untuk menyampaikan ucapan selamat pada perayaan Natal)
    • Komodo will be one of 7 WONDERFUL place in the world

      Comment: 31
      Like: 3

  24. Funny: Lucu
    •  Sule is a FUNNY comedian
    •  Dave got a FUNNY parcel from his mom

      Comment: 25
      Like: 6

  25. Short: Pendek/Singkat/Sebentar/Tidak Lama
    • Please read the guide, it’s only a SHORT text
    • I slept very short last night

      Comment: 30
      Like: 3

  26. Late: Telat/Terlambat
    • Sorry! I was LATE today to post the word
    • Why did you come LATE to the meeting?

      Comment: 19
      Like: 3

  27. Slow: Lambat/Pelan
    • Slow but Sure : Lambat tapi pasti
    • Please Speak SLOWLY (bicaralah secara pelan-pelan)

      Comment: 16
      Like: 3

  28. Wrong: Salah
    • Your Answer is not Wrong
    • Is it wrong?

      Comment: 17
      Like: 5

  29. Tiny: Unik
    • I Need tiny stuff for my mother
    • Wow…What a tiny room (kamar yang indah banget)

      Comment: 24
      Like: 6

    Ten-year-old Schoolgirl Can Speak TEN Languages

    She might only be 10-years-old, but little Sonia Yang can already speak an incredible 10 languages.
    And the schoolgirl has been crowned the north west of England’s best young linguist after stunning teachers with her detailed knowledge.
    The youngster, from Cheadle Hulme, Stockport, was born in Taiwan but moved to England with her family to begin primary school.
    When she arrived here, Sonia was already fluent in Japanese, Chinese and English, as well as her native Taiwanese. But she can also now speak German, French, Spanish, Portuguese and has recently picked up Kazakh and the Ugandan language of Luganda.
    More than 5,000 students from across the region entered the language contest. They were tested on their knowledge of other tongues – as well as their ability to pick up entirely new ones.
    For the regional heat of the contest, Sonia, a student at private Greenbank Preparatory School in Stockport, was challenged to learn the Ugandan language known as Lugandan in just a few weeks.
    Sonia had previously picked up both Kazak and Portuguese for the qualifying rounds of the contest. And her German, French and Spanish is spoken with varying degrees of fluency.
    Describing her achievement, she said: “Lugandan was easier for me to learn than it might have been for an English person, because some of the words are very similar to Taiwanese and it does get a little easier to learn a new language with each one you try.
    “English is definitely my favourite language, everyone can understand you.”
    She will now go on to represent the region in the national finals in London later this year. Heather Burnett, the school’s deputy head, said: “Sonia is a very bright and hard-working girl – definitely a star.
    “Her family moved to England specifically to give her the best education possible and we are delighted they chose Greenbank.”
    Source: Kompas

    Top 10 Tips for TOEFL Test

    The TOEFL Test, is the most widely accepted English-language assessment used at more than 7,300 institutions in 130 countries including the U.K., U.S. and Canada. The test is divided into four sections – Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking.
    Here are some pointers and resources to help you get on your way to score well for the test.
    1.Find something interesting to read and listen to, then practice speaking and writing about it.

    Listen to Podcasts, recorded lectures – check the website of your favorite University. Go to news websites such as Ndtv.com, ibnlive.com, timesofindia.com. Read up on your favorite subjects on popular websites such as wikipedia.org. Tell a friend or family member about what you learned.
    2.Work with a speaking partner, preferably with a native speaker of English or try an online video chat! The more opportunity you have to speak the language, the more familiar you will become.
    3.Take on the role of a great journalist: Take good notes and use them to make summaries.
    4.Make vocabulary flash cards and pretend you are a contestant on a vocabulary quiz show. Carry the flash cards with you often. They are a great way to make a bus ride go by quickly.
    5.Visit TOEFL-TV on YouTube. www.youtube.com/TOEFLtv for great resources and tips from English language instructors and students that have taken the TOEFL test.
    6. Reading Tips
    Practice summarizing and paraphrasing texts. Use charts and outlines to organize the ideas in a text.  Practice speed reading techniques. Practice reading (and answering questions) on a computer screen. Expand your vocabulary with daily-use vocabulary cards.
    7. Listening Tips
    i. Listen for basic information – did you comprehend the main idea, major points and important details?
    ii. Listen for “pragmatic” understanding – Can you recognize a speaker’s attitude? What is the purpose of the speech? What is their role? Are they an authority or are they a passive part of the conversation?
    iii. Listen for connecting and synthesizing – Can you understand the relationship between ideas? Compare and contrast. Determine the cause and effect.
    8. Speaking Tips
    Read aloud a short article from a newspaper, campus newspaper, magazine, textbook, or the Internet. Write down 2 – 3 questions about the article.
    With a speaking partner – Answer the questions. Outline the main points of the article. Give a one-minute oral summary of the article. Express your opinion about it. If there is a problem discussed, give the solution.
    • Speaking Tips – Pronunciation
    • Speak in s-l-o-w motion. You could imitate American or British intonation and rhythm patterns. You could also work on problematic sounds, such as:
    [ t ] and [ d ] – uncurl your tongue
    [ p ], [ t ], and [ k ] – add some air!
    [ p ] and [ b] – close your lips
    [ f ] and [ v ] – lower lip to teeth
    • Find an accent reduction coach
    • Your pronunciation doesn’t have to be perfect, but native speakers should be able to understand you.
    iii. Listen for connecting and synthesizing – Can you understand the relationship between ideas? Compare and contrast. Determine the cause and effect.
    9. Writing Tips
    Find a writing buddy who can give you feedback. Read an article and find listening material on the same topic. Write a summary of each. Explain the ways they are similar and the ways they are different.
    10. Combine all your skills!
    Find listening and reading materials on the same topic from the library or Internet (e.g., news websites such as ndtv.com). Take notes or create outlines on each. Give a one-minute oral summary of each.
    Explain how the two relate in a short written response (150 – 225 words). Take notes or create outlines on each. Give a one-minute speech about the same.
    Use free resources: www.TOEFLGoAnywhere.org, download TOEFL iBT Tipswatch video clips highlighting study practices, download sample questions, join communities on SMS GupShup for free updates.
    (This TOEFL article was submitted by Archana Kori from the the-practice.net. )

    “You’re no good” atau “You’re not good”?

    Mana yang benar: “You’re no good” atau “You’re not good”?

    By: satrio_mangkunegoro 13
    Yang benar grammatically adalah:
    You’re not good.

    Memang sering kita dengar bule bilang :

    You’re NO good.

    tetapi pola seperti ini adalah grammatically incorrect.
    Penggunaan NO akan benar jika diikuti oleh noun, misalnya:

    1. You have no friends.
    2. You need no money.
    3. She has no food.

    Apa alasannya?
    Well, NOT adalah sebuah adverb. Adverbs menerangkan kata kerja, bukan? Di kalimat “You’re not good“, not menerangkan verb be “are“.
    Di lain pihak, NO adalah sebuah adjective dan adjectives menerangkan noun, bukan? Kalau ditulis “You’re no good“, no menerangkan adjective “good“, bukan noun, and that’s why it is considered grammatically incorrect. Sedangkan di ketiga kalimat berikutnya, penggunaan no  adalah benar karena berturut-turut menerangkan noun money, friends dan food.

    Source : http://swarabhaskara.com

    Penggunaan “BY”

    Pada umumnya, penggunaan kata depan BY adalah sebagai berikut:

    a. by + the/a/adjective pronoun + tempat

    Phrase ini memiliki dua arti, yaitu: ” melewati” dan ” di dekat”. Jika kalimatnya menggunakan verb yang mengandung makna “bergerak/berpindah tempat”, by = melewati (Lihat contoh 1-2). Sebaliknya, jika kalimatnya menggunakan verb yang bermakna “tidak berpindah tempat”, maka by = di dekat. (Lihat contoh 3-5).
    1. They walked by the library on the way home. (Mereka berjalan melewati perpustakaan itu dalam perjalanan pulang).
    2. We drove by your house last weekend but we completely forgot to stop by. (Kami naik mobil melewati rumahmu, tetapi kami benar-benar lupa untuk singgah).
    3. The young girl was crying by a telephone post when her parents picked her up. (Gadis kecil itu sedang menangis di dekat sebuah tiang telepon ketika orang tuanya menjemputnya).
    4. She stands by the window every night thinking of her long distance lover. (Dia berdiri di dekat jendela tiap malam memikirkan kekasihnya nun jauh di sana).
    5. I just parked my car by yours. (Aku baru saja memarkir mobilku di dekat mobilmu).

    b. by + object kalimat

    Phrase ini digunakan dalam kalimat pasif. Dalam hal ini, by = oleh.
    1. The company is being sued by its laborers. (Perusahaan itu sedang dituntut (di meja pengadilan) oleh buruh-buruhnya).
    2. My cellphone was stolen by someone this morning. (Hpku dicuri oleh seseorang tadi pagi).

    c. by + specific time

    Yang dimaksud dengan specific time di sini antara lain:  jam (7 o’clock, 8 a.m, 12 p.m, dst), atau  dawn (subuh), noon, midday (jam 12 siang), dusk (magrib), midnight (jam 12 malam). Jika diikuti oleh specific time, by = before (= sebelum).
    1. Meet me by noon tomorrow! (Temui aku sebelum jam 12 siang besok).
    2. They usually have dinner by 7 o’clock in the evening. (Mereka biasanya makan malam sebelum jam 7 malam).
    3. We will arrive there by midnight. (Kita akan tiba di sana sebelum jam 12 malam).

    d. by + bus/plane/train/ship/car/bike, dst

    Phrase ini  menyatakan alat tranportasi yang digunakan untuk pindah atau bepergian.
    1. It was very fascinating to travel by train during the fall. I could enjoy an unforgettable view of colorful leaves along the train tracks.
    2. It would be much nicer to go to the office by car than by bus.

    e. by then

    By then = sebelum waktu tertentu di masa lampau atau di masa mendatang.
    1. I will graduate from the university in 2011. By then, I hope I have found a job. (di kalimat ini, by then = sebelum tahun 2011).
    2. Soeharto died last year. By then, he had governed our country for more than 30 years. (di kalimat ini, by then = sebelum tahun lalu).

    f. by way of

    By way of = via (= melalui)
    1. We drove from Surabaya to Jakarta by way of Jalur Pantura.
    2. Many ships cruise from Europe to Asia by way of the Suez Canal.

    g. by the way

    By the way = incidentally = secara tak sengaja/secara kebetulan.
    1. By the way, I’ve got two tickets for the movie. Would you like to go with me?
    By the way juga berarti “omong-omong”, biasanya digunakan untuk membelokkan arah pembicaraan.


    1. By the way, are you married?

    h. by far

    By far = considerably
    1. This is by far the best cellphone I’ve ever had.
    2. By far, you’re the most beautiful, caring, loving person I have ever met.

    i. by accident/by mistake

    By accident/by mistake = not intentionally (= dengan tidak disengaja); dan merupakan antonim (kebalikan) dari on purpose.
    1. Even though the student broke the microscope by accident, he had to be responsible for the repairing expense.
    2. I didn’t do it on purpose. It happened by accident.

    Source : http://swarabhaskara.com

    “A to Z”, Tes Bahasa Hingga Akademik

    KOMPAS.com – Mereka yang tertarik menuntut ilmu di negeri lain setidaknya pernah mendengar istilah TOEFL, IELTS, SAT, GMAT, dan GRE. Yuk, kita simak satu per satu tes tersebut!
    Bidang perkuliahan yang diinginkan ikut menentukan. Jurusan seperti Sastra Inggris dan Sejarah, misalnya, mensyaratkan kompetensi berbahasa Inggris lebih tinggi.
    — Novi Kusumaningrum

    Pada zaman sekarang, menguasai bahasa Inggris yang merupakan bahasa internasional sudah wajib hukumnya. Wajib, terlebih bagi mereka yang ingin kuliah di luar negeri.
    Aplikasi ke perguruan tinggi umumnya mensyaratkan skor bahasa Inggris. Director Access Education Beyond, Brook W Ross, memaparkan, ada dua ujian kecakapan berbahasa Inggris berskala internasional, yakni international English language testing system (IELTS) dan test of English as a foreign language (TOEFL).
    Ribuan universitas di seluruh dunia menerima hasil kedua tes tersebut. Kedua tes itu pada dasarnya terbagi dalam empat komponen, yakni berbicara, menulis, mendengarkan, dan membaca.
    Namun, ada baiknya sebelum melamar, calon mahasiswa mencari informasi terlebih dahulu jenis-jenis tes yang diinginkan perguruan tinggi pilihannya. Kedua tersebut diselenggarakan dan dikembangkan oleh lembaga berbeda dan bentuk skor pun lain.
    Tidak ada istilah lulus atau tidak dalam tes TOEFL dan IELTS. Lembaga tes memberikan skor, sementara institusi pendidikan yang menentukan standar skor yang mereka inginkan dari pelamar.
    Format ujian TOEFL internasional terkini dioperasikan melalui internet TOEFL atau internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT). Berbagai informasi tentang TOEFL, dari biaya hingga jadwal ujian di Indonesia, bisa diunduh di situs www.ets.org/toefl.
    University Counselor Access Education Beyond, Novi Kusumaningrum, mengungkapkan, universitas-universitas di dunia umumnya mensyaratkan skor TOEFL iBT 79-80 atau sama dengan skor 550 paper based TOEFL. Adapun untuk program pascasarjana (S-2 dan S-3) skor yang dibutuhkan mencapai 100-115 atau setara 600-650 skor paper based TOEFL.
    Ujian Bahasa Inggris untuk keperluan akademik berskala internasional lainnya adalah IELTS. Ujian ini juga mengukur kemampuan seseorang berkomunikasi dalam bahasa Inggris, baik membaca, menulis, berbicara, maupun mendengarkan. Berbagai informasi tentang IELTS, termasuk pusat tes di berbagai kota di Indonesia, terdapat di situs www.ielts.org.
    Novi mengatakan, untuk mendaftar program sarjana, band scale setidaknya harus berada dalam rentang 6.0-6.5. Adapun bagi peminat program pascasarjana untuk amannya mencapai band scale 7.0-7.5.
    “Bidang perkuliahan yang diinginkan ikut menentukan. Jurusan seperti Sastra Inggris dan Sejarah, misalnya, mensyaratkan kompetensi berbahasa Inggris lebih tinggi,” ujar Novi.
    Kedua tes itu dapat diambil lebih dari satu kali dan hasilnya berlaku selama dua tahun.
    Persiapan menghadapi tes Bahasa Inggris tersebut dapat melalui berbagai cara. Ana (31), warga Jakarta Selatan, yang akan menempuh tes IELTS, memilih mengikuti kursus persiapan selama sepekan di sebuah lembaga konsultan pendidikan luar negeri di Kuningan, Jakarta.
    “Saya sudah kursus bahasa Inggris sebelumnya dan ikut kursus persiapan supaya dapat gambaran soal ujian dan berlatih. Saya belum pernah ujian IELTS sebelumnya,” ujar perempuan yang ingin melanjutkan pendidikan ke program pascasarjana itu.
    Kursus sejenis biasanya ditawarkan pula di berbagai tempat kursus bahasa Inggris besar. Calon peserta tes bisa pula belajar lewat buku persiapan TOEFL atau IELTS yang banyak tersedia di toko buku dan berlatih lewat berbagai situs di internet.
    Hanya standarisasi
    Brook W Ross mengatakan, untuk program sarjana, sejumlah perguruan tinggi di luar negeri juga menyediakan persiapan bahasa Inggris bagi mahasiswa asing di kampus. SAT, GMAT, dan GRE. Skor tes lain yang terkadang muncul di daftar persyaratan aplikasi perguruan tinggi di luar negeri adalah SAT, GMAT, dan GRE.
    Novi menjelaskan, ujian-ujian itu lebih merupakan tes standarisasi akademis yang pada dasarnya digunakan sebagai ujian saringan masuk calon mahasiswa di negara tertentu, dalam hal ini Amerika Serikat (AS). Tes akademis itu tersedia dalam bahasa Inggris.
    “Nilai SAT, misalnya, menjadi persyaratan bagi calon mahasiswa Amerika yang ingin mendaftar program sarjana, kecuali masuk ke community college. Tes itu dulu menjadi syarat pula bagi calon mahasiswa asing. Akan tetapi, ada juga yang tidak mensyaratkan SAT bag mahasiswa asing, cukup kemampuan bahasa Inggris dan nilai rapor,” ujarnya.
    Sejumlah perguruan tinggi di negara lain ada juga yang meminta skor SAT, seperti Singapore Management University. Komponen tes ini secara garis besar adalah kemampuan membaca kritis, Matematika, dan menulis.
    Begitu juga dengan General Management Aptitude Test (GMAT) dun General Record Examination (GRE). Kedua tes itu guna menguji kemampuan seseorang yang ingin mengikuti program pascasarjana (S-2 dun S-3).
    GMAT kerap disyaratkan untuk mereka yang ingin menempuh pendidikan di bidang manajemen. Adapun GRE adalah tes akademik bagi mereka yang ingin berkuliah di luar bidang manajemen.
    Ada dua macam tes GRE, yakni GRE General dun GRE Subject. Bentuk GRE General (kecerdasan umum) mirip Tes Potensi Akademik. Sementara itu, GRE Subject lebih mengukur kemampuan seseorang mengenai subyek tertentu. Adapun pusat tes di Indonesia untuk GRE dapat ditelusuri lewat www.ets.org, sedangkan informasi tentang GMAT dapat diperoleh pada situs resmi pengembang tes di www.mba.com.
    “Persiapan bahasa harus dipikirkan jauh-jauh hari. Tidak bisa yang namanya sistem kebut semalam,” ujar Novi. (INDIRA PERMANASARI)