Implementation of the Independent Curriculum to Improve the Quality of Learning English


  • Syahfitri Purnama Universitas Indraprasta PGRI Jakarta
  • Muhammad Ali Pawiro Universitas Islam Sumatera Utara, Medan, Indonesia



Independent curriculum, Implementation, English teachers, Learning quality


This independent curriculum introduces a new framework for students centered on Merdeka learning models, with the goal of fostering their self-assurance and ingenuity. School educators design English teaching plans while guiding students through project-based learning initiatives until they achieve proficiency and commendable performance by the end of the semester. Considering that English stands as a global language, students must attain mastery to prevent lagging behind other nations in the era of globalization. This research aims to analyze the application of the Merdeka Curriculum in improving the quality of learning, especially English, and whether this approach can strengthen creativity and English language proficiency among educators and students. By employing a qualitative methodology utilizing content analysis, the study relies on data derived from questionnaires distributed to 158 English teachers and interviews conducted with educators situated. The examination of the findings reveals that 77.2% of English teachers acknowledge the presence of an independent curriculum, and 76.6% of students have experienced improvements in skills and creativity. For the continuous implementation of the Merdeka curriculum, educators should further enhance their knowledge, take a proactive role in encouraging and assisting students both within and beyond the classroom settings, and design English learning projects that foster the development of students aligned with the Pancasila principles, capable of thriving in the future competitive landscape.


Afzal, N. (2019). A Study on Vocabulary-Learning Problems Encountered by BA English Majors at the University Level of Education. Arab World English Journal, 10(3), 81–98.

Aizawa, I., Rose, H., Thompson, G., & Curle, S. (2023). Beyond the threshold: Exploring English language proficiency, linguistic challenges, and academic language skills of Japanese students in an English medium instruction programme. Language Teaching Research, 27(4), 837–861.

Aliyyah, R. R., Rasmitadila, Gunadi, G., Sutisnawati, A., & Febriantina, S. (2023). Perceptions of elementary school teachers towards the implementation of the independent curriculum during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Education and E-Learning Research, 10(2), 154–164.

Amalia, H., Abdullah, F., & Fatimah, A. S. (2021). Teaching writing to junior high school students: A focus on challenges and solutions. Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies, 17(2), 794–810.

Bjorklund, D. F. (2022). Children’s Evolved Learning Abilities and Their Implications for Education. In Educational Psychology Review (Vol. 34, Issue 4). Springer US.

Campbel, S. (2020). Education and Curriculum Reform: The Impact They Have On Learning. Budapest International Research and Critics in Linguistics and Education (BirLE) Journal, 3(2), 1074–1082.

Chi, X., Chen, S., Chen, Y., Chen, D., Yu, Q., Guo, T., Cao, Q., Zheng, X., Huang, S., Hossain, M. M., Stubbs, B., Yeung, A., & Zou, L. (2022). Psychometric Evaluation of the Fear of COVID-19 Scale Among Chinese Population. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 20(2), 1273–1288.

Chuey, A., McCarthy, A., Lockhart, K., Trouche, E., Sheskin, M., & Keil, F. (2021). No guts, no glory: underestimating the benefits of providing children with mechanistic details. Npj Science of Learning, 6(1), 1–7.

Domitrovich, C. E., Li, Y., Mathis, E. T., & Greenberg, M. T. (2019). Individual and organizational factors associated with teacher self-reported implementation of the PATHS curriculum. Journal of School Psychology, 76(August 2018), 168–185.

El-Sabagh, H. A. (2021). Adaptive e-learning environment based on learning styles and its impact on development students’ engagement. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 18(1).

Elas, N. I. B., Majid, F. B. A., & Narasuman, S. Al. (2019). Development of Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) for English teachers: The validity and reliability. International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning, 14(20), 18–33.

Franklin, H., & Harrington, I. (2019). A Review into Effective Classroom Management and Strategies for Student Engagement: Teacher and Student Roles in Today’s Classrooms. Journal of Education and Training Studies, 7(12), 1.

Fransiska, J., Dumiyati, D., Mariam, P., Hikmah, N., & Haris, M. (2023). Education Management in the Independent Curriculum in Elementary Schools. Al-Fikrah: Jurnal Manajemen Pendidikan, 11(1), 78.

García-Morales, V. J., Garrido-Moreno, A., & Martín-Rojas, R. (2021). The Transformation of Higher Education After the COVID Disruption: Emerging Challenges in an Online Learning Scenario. Frontiers in Psychology, 12(February), 1–6.

Hadi, A., Ngindana, R., Sulaiman Kurdi, M., & Sulaiman Kurdi, M. (2023). New Paradigm of Merdeka Belajar Curriculum in Schools. Jurnal Pendidikan, 15(2), 1497–1510.

He, S., Zhu, D., Chen, Y., Liu, X., Chen, Y., & Wang, X. (2020). Application and problems of emergy evaluation: A systemic review based on bibliometric and content analysis methods. Ecological Indicators, 114(January), 106304.

Johnson, J. L., Adkins, D., & Chauvin, S. (2020). A review of the quality indicators of rigor in qualitative research. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 84(1), 138–146.

Koh, J. H. L. (2020). Three approaches for supporting faculty technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) creation through instructional consultation. British Journal of Educational Technology, 51(6), 2529–2543.

Kotera, Y., Taylor, E., Fido, D., Williams, D., & Tsuda-McCaie, F. (2023). Motivation of UK graduate students in education: self-compassion moderates pathway from extrinsic motivation to intrinsic motivation. Current Psychology, 42(12), 10163–10176.

Krishnapatria, K. (2021). Merdeka Belajar-Kampus Merdeka (MBKM) curriculum in English studies program: Challenges and opportunities. ELT in Focus, 4(1), 12–19.

Leung, C. (2022). Language proficiency: from description to prescription and back? Educational Linguistics, 1(1), 56–81.

Lindgren, B. M., Lundman, B., & Graneheim, U. H. (2020). Abstraction and interpretation during the qualitative content analysis process. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 108, 103632.

Mohmmed, A. O., Khidhir, B. A., Nazeer, A., & Vijayan, V. J. (2020). Emergency remote teaching during Coronavirus pandemic: the current trend and future directive at Middle East College Oman. Innovative Infrastructure Solutions, 5(3), 1–11.

Moser, K. M., Wei, T., & Brenner, D. (2021). Remote teaching during COVID-19: Implications from a national survey of language educators. System, 97.

Oksana, P., Galstyan-Sargsyan, R., Amparo López-Jiménez, P., & Pérez-Sánchez, M. (2020). Transversal competences in engineering degrees: Integrating content and foreign language teaching. Education Sciences, 10(11), 1–13.

Rose, H., Curle, S., Aizawa, I., & Thompson, G. (2019). What drives success in English medium taught courses? The interplay between language proficiency, academic skills, and motivation. Studies in Higher Education, 45(11), 2149–2161.

Rouffet, C., van Beuningen, C., & de Graaff, R. (2023). Constructive alignment in foreign language curricula: an exploration of teaching and assessment practices in Dutch secondary education. Language Learning Journal, 51(3), 344–358.

Rustamov, I. T., & Mamaziyayev, Z. X. (2022). Development of speaking comprehension in teaching foreign language for professional purposes. Asian Journal of Research in Social Sciences and Humanities, 12(2), 227–233.

Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2020). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation from a self-determination theory perspective: Definitions, theory, practices, and future directions. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 61, 101860.

Star, J. R. (2023). Revisiting the origin of, and reflections on the future of, pedagogical content knowledge. Asian Journal for Mathematics Education, 2(2), 275272632311758.

Stevani, M., & Karisma Erikson Tarigan. (2022). Need Analysis of Dyslexia Students in English Reading Comprehension Instructions. JEELS (Journal of English Education and Linguistics Studies), 9(2), 327–352.

Su, B., Zhang, T., Yan, L., Huang, C., Cheng, X., Cai, C., & Cui, D. (2021). Online Medical Teaching in China During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Tools, Modalities, and Challenges. Frontiers in Public Health, 9(December), 1–6.

Subekti, A. S. (2021). Covid-19-Triggered Online Learning Implementation: Pre-Service English Teachers’ Beliefs. Metathesis: Journal of English Language, Literature, and Teaching, 4(3), 232.

Sultan, Rapi, M., Mayong, & Suardi. (2020). Textbook discourse readability: Gender, reading interest, and socio-economic status of students with poor reading ability. Cakrawala Pendidikan, 39(3), 583–596.

Supriati, R., Royani Dewi, E., Triyono, Supriyanti, D., & Azizah, N. (2022). Implementation Framework for Merdeka Belajar Kampus Merdeka (MBKM) in Higher Education Academic Activities. IAIC Transactions on Sustainable Digital Innovation (ITSDI), 3(2), 150–161.

Surul, R. (2023). Analysis of The Implementation of Independent Curriculum Assessment Assessment in English Courses at Elementary School. CREW Journal, 1(2), 57–68.

Suyanto, S. (2017). A reflection on the implementation of a new curriculum in Indonesia: A crucial problem on school readiness. AIP Conference Proceedings, 1868(1), 39–57.

Syakur, A., & Azis, R. (2020). Developing reading learning model to increase reading skill for animal husbandry students in higher education. Britain International of Linguistics Arts and Education (BIoLAE) Journal, 2(1).

Twining, P., Butler, D., Fisser, P., Leahy, M., Shelton, C., Forget-Dubois, N., & Lacasse, M. (2021). Developing a quality curriculum in a technological era. Educational Technology Research and Development, 69(4), 2285–2308.

Utami, I. G. A. L. P. (2015). Teacher Certification Program in Indonesia: Problems and Recommendation for the Betterment of the Program. International Journal of English and Education, 4(2), 471–481.

Vaismoradi, M., & Snelgrove, S. (2019). Theme in qualitative content analysis and thematic analysis. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung, 20(3), 1–14.

Vasconcellos, D., Parker, P. D., Hilland, T., Cinelli, R., Owen, K. B., Kapsal, N., Lee, J., Antczak, D., Ntoumanis, N., Ryan, R. M., & Lonsdale, C. (2020). Supplemental Material for Self-Determination Theory Applied to Physical Education: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of Educational Psychology, 112(7), 1444–1469.

Xie, X., Huo, J., & Zou, H. (2019). Green process innovation, green product innovation, and corporate financial performance: A content analysis method. Journal of Business Research, 101(June 2018), 697–706.

Yunaini, N., Rukiyati, R., Prabowo, M., Hassan, N. M., & Hermansyah, A. K. (2022). The Concept of the Independent Learning Curriculum (Merdeka Belajar) in Elementary Schools in View Progressivism Educational Philosophy. JIP Jurnal Ilmiah PGMI, 8(2), 95–105.

Zein, S., Sukyadi, D., Hamied, F. A., & Lengkanawati, N. S. (2020). English language education in Indonesia: A review of research (2011-2019). Language Teaching, 53(4), 491–523.