I started working as an English teacher soon after applying. It was on the 15th of February 2017 as my first time teaching English at the foundation named Eka Chita Pradnyan. In my first month of teaching there were 2 volunteers from the Netherlands. They taught creativity and Chi Neng Qi Gong. After that there were no volunteers from March to May, so I taught English on my own. I actually don’t have any formal background in teaching, that was my first experience in teaching English to children. There were different groups for different English levels of the children and I handled all the groups as the new teacher.
My last education was hospitality in the Surabaya Hotel School. Talking about my education, my father was the one who introduced me to English and computers at young age. He taught me about colors in English and I wrote it wrong in Indonesian at first, spelling “red” like “ret”. Later on I started taking English courses when I was in elementary school and kept joining until in Senior High School.
I had taken two different english courses when I was in elementary school but not at the same time. Then I studied English at EF English First school when I was in junior high school. At that school I was taught English not only by the local teachers but also by the native teachers whose mother tongue is English. It was kind of my first experience having intense interaction with foreign people as my teachers. Making contacts with foreign people is still really fun and enjoyable. I like it very much.
I didn’t only learn English from my regular school and courses but I also learned it by myself from the websites such as joining an online forum where people from all over the world could learn English together; reading magazines and books in English; chatting with foreign friends online, keeping in touch with some overseas friends through e-mails; listening to the English songs and looking for the lyrics to sing; watching American movies; and writing diaries in English.
In my senior high school I joined the English Debate Club. I had the chance to join the News Reading Competition held by the English literature faculty of Universitas Negeri Surabaya. As a team, we also joined an English Debate Quiz held by the local TV station in Surabaya. We got the first place so the US Embassy in Surabaya who sponsored the quiz as a TV show invited us to their house just to congratulate the winners and to have lunch together.
I really love learning English, but I also enjoy learning other foreign languages. In high school I learned Japanese and German. After I graduated from high school, I joined the Centre Culturel et de Cooperation Linguistique in Surabaya to learn French. At the learning center I had the opportunity to watch French movies together with the other students during cinematic week. This also enabled me to meet some French artists and musicians because they did an exhibition and cultural exchange besides the French course. For example, the comic workshop that I attended gave me the opportunity to meet Clement Baloup, a comic artist. I was delighted to learn how to draw comics from him.
I think it is similar to the cultural experience that I get here at the foundation. I have the opportunity to meet the international volunteers and become their friends. I can keep developing my English communication skills, either spoken or written. The volunteers come from many different countries in Europe, America and Asia, so it is a great chance to learn about their languages and cultures.