By Karolina Prasad, Co-director of IHF Jakarta
The third week of April at the Jakarta Center was quieter than usual, as the Indonesian national examination for junior and senior high school students was held across the country. It turns out that even the younger children in primary schools were affected by the national examination and their routine was disturbed as well, causing lower numbers of students in our classes. Not a good thing in general, but it worked out well for me, as I had just begun teaching at the center, and fewer students in my first days made it an easy start.
I mostly teach elementary students and I’m a big fan of Full Body Response type of activities, so we did a lot of these. One thing I did not take into account whilst planning these lessons was the Indonesian heat – both me and the kids were soaked in sweat after demonstrating new action vocabulary in class: “playing football”, “flying”, “swimming” or “jumping”. And yet, kids prefer this “exercise style” class to any activities involving copying vocabulary from the white board!
We also did a lot of singing and chanting. It definitely does wonders to our students’ pronunciation! I’m a terrible singer, but our Indonesian students are really good at it and do it happily. This gave me the idea of organizing a karaoke contest in our center for junior and high school students. For now it’s just an idea, but I think it can be a great motivator for our teenagers to focus more on English not only in order to be able to pass tests in school with better marks, but also to see it as a live language! What do you guys think?
One more great thing about the center is that kids come early for classes and stick around after them. It’s great to see our students interacting, relaxing and taking it easy. Many moms hang around as well, so IHF has become a place where people meet, talk and laugh.