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THE USE OF MEANING, USE AND FORM (MUF) FRAMEWORK



Meaning-Use-Form
Children need an appropriate model of teaching to reach the goals. British Council offers a model that
consists of three steps: meaning, use and form.
1. Meaning
In the first step, teachers introduce a new language to children in meaningful contexts to help the children
understand the meaning of the language they are learning. Meaning can be created through situations that
are related to children’s life. There are some ways that help create meanings:
 Set situations or dialogues that are fun for children using dolls or other media
 Using stories
 Playing dramas

Using TPR (Totally Physical Response)
 Using pictures

 Using children’s experiences as learning materials
Regarding language use, children need clear objectives when learning so that they know thereasons of
using the language. In this step teachers have to help children mastering English vocabularies. Teachers
also have to assist children to learn how the words are pronounced through meaningful activities. In order
to get the expected output, repetition of activities is essential, though it has to be administered in
interesting ways, not boring ones. Such interesting activities are group or pair games, surveys, plays,
singing, etc.
2. Use
After they are exposed to English language through the situations manipulated by teachers, children also
need opportunities to use English to communicate with others (their classmates). They may use the
language to play or to act in plays. In order to facilitate children to use English, teachers can give
activities as follow:
 Games
 Information gap
 Quiz
 Plays
 Giving and following instructions to do or make something
 Creating funny rhythms or songs
3. Form
Children subconsciously notice forms of language (grammar). They tend to use language naturally in
accordance with their need. Therefore, teachers have responsibilities to attract children’s attention to
language forms during English lesson. This does not mean that children are taught grammar explicitly.
Instead, teachers make children aware of accurate language use both orally and written.
In accordance with building children’s awareness of accurate language use, children need certain
conditions to makethem understand meanings of English vocabularies and to use the language in natural
contexts. If teachers do not do as suggested—for instance, introducing children to language forms
without meaningful contexts; the output will not meet teachers’ expectation. In other words, children
notice the forms before they produce the language. To make it worse, they will not be motivated to use
English.
Some strategies are promoted to attract children’s attention to English language forms:
 Games—children raise their right hands if teacher says singular animals, and their left hands if
teacher says plural animals
 Writing—completing sentences, arranging words into good sentences, or completing dialogues
 Activities that increase students’ awareness on grammar—teacher asks “What is similar about these
sentences?
He is talking She is listening They are eating at the restaurant


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