Learning English Through Hobbies

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I’ve always interested in learning languages since I was a kid. Back when I was in Primary School, there was only 1 (one) language subject and that was only Bahasa Indonesia. That was before English become the one of the main subject in Primary School. I was influenced by my elder sister who is 5 years older than me. She listened to many foreign songs and I liked singing them at school. Oh, how I remember my friends liked to say this behind me, “Indrie always loves to show off and sings English songs”. I didn’t mind, I knew I was learning (and a little boasting too :-D). As my mother realised my interest in English, she started to enroll me to an English courses when I was in grade 5. Eversince then, my English skill started to develop. 

I bet most of you have heard about this pen pal association. I joined IYS (International Youth Service) and paid for pen pals. I kept requesting for more friends not only to practice my English but also expand my knowledge about world.

I did not go to a popular Junior High School, the English subject there was kind of below the level. This might gave a benefit for me, I was always been the top of the class in grades and English. My English teachers always favorited me whilst I continued learning at the English Course.

My interest in English started to develop even more when I was in Senior High School. I got the privilege to go to bookstores by myself, bought many English story books, joined the British Council Library to read and borrow more English books, I started watching movies with no subtitles and paying attention on the conversations and I began to play games, any games and not only playing games, I copied the words and found out the meanings. At this period of time, I love listening to Britpop songs: Oasis, Blur, Pulp and more. Listening and singing to their songs helped to enhance my vocabulary, speaking skills and accent.

As the Britpop era had gone, I began to like The Gilmore Girls series. I admit Britpop and The Gilmore Girls have different accents, but I don’t care, my aim was learning English. I love the duet of crazy mom and daughter, I learned more from them.

The development of games do contribute well in my learning. The Hidden Object Games which was popularized in later 2006’s helped me to learn more and expand my vocabulary.

There are actually many ways to learn English. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just find things that you enjoy doing and from there you will learn effectively. You can even use your hobbies to learn at the same time. I like listening music, singing, playing games, making lots of friends, writing etc. These hobbies have contributed a lot in my language learning journey. Hobbies don’t always waste your time, they can also be useful. These are some my ways to learn, you might have better ideas for this. So why waiting? Why don’t you try yours?

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Eleven

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There is a one interesting blog game going on around this bloggers media where bloggers tag one another and challenge them with 11 sets of questions. I was tagged by Ika Chieka Wibowo to answer 11 questions from her. Hey, what could be more fun than sharing facts about us and letting everyone knows one another? 🙂

So, how does it work?

1. Acknowledge the blogger who has nominated you.

2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.

3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger asked you.

4. Nominate 11 more bloggers of your choice.

5. Post 11 questions for the nominated bloggers and let them know they have been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you!

Here are 11 facts about me:

    1. I love all kinds of music, you can name it from pop, jazz, swing, rock, alternative, hip hop, R & B, techno even party music, but not K-pop. But my favorite one is rock music. This kind of music helps me to get through my mood swings and my favorite band is Muse.

2. I cannot sing, I sing out of tune, however I love going to karaoke places just to have fun and release the stress away. The only songs I can sing without going out of tune are rock songs. I wish I had learned to sing when I was younger.

3. I cannot play musical instruments, I can only play piano a little bit. This is also part of my regret why I did not learn to play musical instruments when I was younger.

4. I don’t like princess characters or dolls like any other girls do. Instead, I always like superheroes, even until now. They inspire me more to be a strong and fearless single lady, unlike princesses do.

5. I like playing games. I learned English vocabularies from there. I even once dreamed to be a game-maker

6. I am not fond of big cities and big buildings. When I travel, I love going to places with their own unique traditions, tourist attractions and views. I prefer trying the traditional food instead of eating fast food during my travel.

7. I don’t like furry animals, especially CATS. Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT afraid of them, there is just a disgusting kind of feeling when I see them around. This has been some kind of phobia and I have been trying to get through it, but I still can’t.

8. I don’t drink sodas and iced water. Lately, I don’t even eat rice. I have not consumed them again for years and that makes me healthy.

9. When I was a kid, I was a tomboy and liked to play a lot with boys. Until I was in Junior High School, I could not accept myself dressing up like a girl. I loved having a short haircut and telling everyone, “this makes me look handsome!” x-p

10. I can’t stand eating cold and hot food and drinks, they give me headache. I prefer to let them warm or melt them in room temperature and consume them.

11. When at first you meet me, I might be silent, calm and I don’t talk too much. I am not a good storyteller, I’m a good listener instead. However, behind this silent wall, lies a crazy and whimsical kind of person. I may not talk a lot but I love teasing others. I love dancing, I love having fun, I love laughing out loud and I love making weird jokes. Maybe this makes me fit to be a preschool teacher. Some people were surprised to find this fact.

Ika Wibowo asked me these questions:

1.   What’s your first word to describe LIFE ?

For me, LIFE is challenge. If we dare to take the challenge, whether we succeed or not, it teaches us a lesson and we won’t be the same anymore.

2.   What’s your hobby that really makes you ‘crazy’ doing it?

I looooove travelling, although I cannot do it often, due to time and money. But if I had the chance, I would have gone anywhere, and done it many many many times.

3.   Where did you go for your last holiday?

I had a short and sudden getaway trip to Bali last year, to meet Magi, my twinnie who was travelling to Indonesia.

4.   Have you ever done ‘something funny’ in public? What’s that?

When I was in Senior High School, I saw a girl with long wavy hair who looked like my friend from the back. I pulled her hair and when she turned around, I thought, “Oh no! She is not my friend, I don’t know her. I got the wrong person!” She and her friends were puzzled and I just smiled, made myself disappear among the crowd and ran away.

5.   Are you allergic from some foods or other things? What’s that?

I don’t have any allergies to food, however, I realized I’m allergic to cold weather. I tend to feel itchy and scratch my skin a lot.

6.   What makes you afraid of?

I am afraid of being alone or abandoned. I always imagine myself stranded alone in the middle of big wide ocean and see a big giant whale passing or jumping in front of me.

7.   What’s the best movie you’ve ever watched? Why?

I like watching “Step Up” from the first one to the last one. I never get bored of watching it, especially by turning on the sound system while watching it.

8.   Who’s your ‘idol’? Why do you like him/her?

I like Audrey Hepburn as she is the fashion icon of  the 50’s. Her signature of the Little Black Dress, is truly inspiring.

9.   What colors do you like and why?

I like all colors, but my favorite ones are orange (the happy and cheerful color), white, royal blue, lime green and shocking pink.

10.  When did you start your life as a teacher? Why do you want to be a teacher?

I started teaching since 2006, although I was graduated from a non-Teaching or Education background. I love teaching, because I can learn and share my knowledge at the same time I teach. I love acquiring more knowledge and sourcing information to help improving myself and my teaching.

11.  What things you haven’t done in 2013 and you will do in 2014?

My priority is pursuing a scholarship to obtain a Master degree in Early Childhood Education, in order to get me more focus in my profession. Then when it is done, I want to save more to continue my postponed small school. I hope they’ll come true.

And here are the 11 questions for my friends:

  1. What place do you really want to be at this moment? Why?
  2. If you were reborn, what do you want to be?
  3.  Where did you travel the furthest?
  4. If you have the chance to meet your favorite actor/actress/singer, who would that be and what will the first thing you say to him/her?
  5. What is the craziest thing you like to do?6. What fruit do you like most and hate most? Why?7. What is your favorite movie of all time?8. What is the best book you read and recommend?

    9. What was your favorite childhood experience?

    10. Appetizer, main course or dessert?

    11. What is your typical Sunday morning?

11 people I would love to see the answers are:

  1. @rosemebard
  2. @JosetteLB
  3. @Ratnavathy
  4. @barbarabujtas
  5. @jaluribe
  6. @barbsaka
  7. @FLCasella
  8. @yitzha_sarwono
  9. @malusciamarelli
  10. @kathleenkampa
  11.  Theodora Papanagiotou

    P.S: this game reminds me of one of my favorite singers album. Allow me to acknowledge them too here 🙂 ee-o eleven

How To Raise Yourself After Rains Of Critics and Bad Comments

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Have you ever experienced people saying that to you? People judging you after all your effort and hard work? People think that you are not worthy and all your efforts are not good enough?

Once in a while these things might be good for coaching or motivating. But how if it leads to negative comments or judgements?

I have experienced many of these things before. At first it might be good as a wake up call and push you to move up. However, the more or even worse you get these, they are no longer be motivational words for you, especially when it turns to be negative. You could end up being bullied, and this is unacceptable. These things might make you feel discouraged, feeling burnout or even feeling down and not good enough.

Do not let these effects happen to you, especially when it makes you down and unworthy. Look at the bright side, learn more in order to make you better. If these efforts are still not good enough for your superior, it might be the perfect time for you to think of something else. The things that will help to boost your confidence back.

I am the kind of person that love to work and show effort sincerely and wholeheartedly. I accept people’s opinions, advice and critics in order to make me be a good person and/or perform my job well.  However when things are not working well and judgements started to raise and even get worse, I tend to hold myself up. Yup, I admit, I started to feel that I’m not good enough, I’m unworthy, it lowers my self-esteem etc. In the other hand, I do not want to let people judge me that way although sometimes it might be too late for me to show them that I am actually good enough. However I am sure that somewhere out there, I’m still good and can be good enough to do something else for someone else.

So, I started to find better things, developing myself, even finding another place that might need me more. This was the time when I found iTDi, I could not believe how they appreciated me and my first work there. The people who hardly recognize me, could say that I’m great. How do they know? Whatever it is, this really did motivated me, to move up, to learn more and to be more than I could be. In short, I can say that I finally regain my confidence, my self-esteem and my value back.

For you, if all these things happened, don’t ever lose yourself. Find yourself, find your value. You are actually worthy for who you are. Don’t let other people judge you, show them that they are wrong. If you failed to show them, show and prove it to yourself that they might be the ones that are not good for you.

“Don’t judge a book by its cover.” – George Elliot.

“Judgement prevents us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearances.” – Wayne Dyer.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt.

Was WOW-ed and (greatly) Inspired by #RSCON4

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2013 Reform Symposium E-Conference (RSCON)

Friday, October 11 2013 – Monday October 14 2013. The best weekend ever!!

That was the time when I joined 2013 Reform Symposium E-Conference (RSCON 4). In just 3 days, I met, connected, and shared knowledge with great educators all over the world. The world seemed to shrink and I could get in touch with friends in Brazil, Japan, Korea, France, Nepal and more. Most of all, just like its slogan “Are You Ready to be Inspired?”, this conference really DID inspired me! I was inspired and WOW-ed by those awesome presentations, keynotes, and performances. From Barbara Hoskins Sakamoto’s keynote about The Iceberg and The Whale: WOW Moments in Teacher Growth, Chuck Sandy’s keynote about Working Miracles, the 13 years old Mallory Fundora’s Project Yesu, Salome Thomas-EL (Principal EL)’s keynote about The Immortality of Influence: Believing Every Child Can Achieve Their Dreams, Vicky Loras who won the EduInspire Award, all presenters sessions that I cannot mention one by one and oh! Jason R. Levine the FluencyMC’s fantastic rap performance which stunned me.

How do I know RSCON? Well, actually I was there to replace Yitzha Sheilla Sarwono, my fellow iTDi associate who couldn’t make it to RSCON, she offered me if I want to join and present there, and I said, “Yes, I want to try!” that was before I know how great and different RSCON is, different than another workshop I attended before. Then I got the invitation from Chiew Pang and confirmed that I want to try joining. But then I got confuse as I checked the Future of Education website and found out that most presenters submitted topics related to technology in education, meanwhile I am totally still “green” in this area. I have just started my PLN and network, I am still in the beginning of learning all these things. However, I didn’t give up, my friends in iTDi supported me to move on.

Until a week before the D-Day, doubts, stage fever, fright surrounded me. But as the conference started, I got addicted and enjoyed it a lot. Although my presentation was messed up due to the sound problem, but I feel relieved, proud and grateful as I got so many people on my back: Chuck Sandy, Barbara Hoskins Sakamoto, Ika Chieka Wibowo, Trika Simanjuntak, Malu Sciamarelli, Chiew Pang, Lisa Durff and more. I even became curious and joined more sessions than I planned before.  In addition that I met lots of new friends, got more connections and amazingly, we became closer one another. It felt like I was really there meeting this people for real, while the fact was that we were just sitting in front of our computer in different countries with different timezones.

This event really gave a tremendous contribution in my personal development. Lots of inspirations, life-lessons, practical-lessons and impressions I got from this event. As Rose Bard shared a motivational word to me this morning, “Every accomplishment starts with a decision to try.” And yes, I truly and 100 % agree with this. I tried and I accomplished it!

Anyway, should you (still) unable to listen to my recording, you can still find my presentation slides on SlideShare : http://www.slideshare.net/pravitaindriati/developing-creative-thinking-in-eyl?fb_action_ids=10201783032438157&fb_action_types=slideshare%3Aupload&fb_source=og_snowlift_photo_robotext

So, see you on next year’s #RSCON, everyone!

My Journey As a Teacher: Part 2

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As I wrote in my previous post, I love learning and seeking for more knowledge. I attended many seminars and workshops. I did them in order to satisfy my thirst in knowledge. One day, back in February 4 2013, I attended one iTDi Workshop in UHAMKA, Jakarta. I actually have known iTDi since 2009, when I read Chuck Sandy and Curtis Kelly’s page in facebook. How surprised I was after I “liked” the page, Chuck Sandy sent me a message. Chuck kept inviting me to the events and communities he created but at that time, I was still shy to join and be active. I thought, I am just a preschool teacher, I could never be compared with clever people like them (no offense, that was what I thought :-D)

Back to February, when I got the invitation to iTDi workshop from Chuck, I finally thought, “This is it. This is the time. Find more friends, do networking and learn more.” And so I decided to join the workshop, that’s when I met Yitzha Sheilla Sarwono who gave such an inspiring presentation, as she is actually a kindergarten teacher, like me and of course, I met Chuck Sandy, Barbara Hoskins Sakamoto, and Eric Kane. When the workshop finished, I approached to Icha and Chuck asking whether I can join, involve and contribute in the community. After that, I felt like, wow I had such a gut approaching these great people asking for that.

Since then, my life has changed. I joined the iTDi and met more inspiring people from different backgrounds. I feel so blessed to be a part of the community. This is what I wrote in my Facebook wall right after I joined the community:

“The act to believe and inspire people don’t come only from your mouth, but you also need to show them, in your action. Thank you for believing me and inspiring me to be a better teacher and a better person. Your acknowledgement and appreciation mean so much to me. This is the place I have dreamed for so long…”

Yup, these people do inspire me. Thank you, guys!

My Journey As a Teacher: Part 1

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Don’t get surprised, I was graduated from a non-teaching background. Yup, I took Law degree back in the university. Been applying for jobs in law firms, but my heart said it was not for me. So then, I started teaching in one of English Course in Jakarta. That’s when I found my passion in teaching, I love meeting people, I love sharing my knowledge and I love learning while I’m teaching. I taught all levels of General English program, from kids to adults.

However, something told me that I want to concentrate more to young learners. So I moved and started working in an international preschool. Since then, for more than 5 years I have been dealing in Early Childhood Education. I love teaching children, because I am not only teaching but I can also have fun with them, singing with them, acting silly with them which they like most.

At the first time I taught in a preschool, I remember one of my student’s parents asked me to give reading and writing tutorial to their daughter. I was surprised. I don’t even have any knowledge in teaching reading and writing, I don’t know Phonics… I don’t know how to teach them. In addition, I didn’t get any satisfying answers from my colleagues at that time. But I didn’t stop and turned down the offer. I became independent and found out all by myself. Thanks to Internet technology, I browsed (well this embarrassing to say, but I did) about what phonics is from many different sources. I went to bookstores and spent my money to buy as many book to satisfy my hunger. And since then I started to get in love in teaching resources and children storybooks, I can’t stop myself when I get to bookstores. Then I even made my own teaching aids. All by myself. And I did it! After learning for a few months, the parents satisfied and after their daughter achieved the reading target, they wanted to extend the tutorial. From there I got many offers for tutorials.

This experience inspired me to start my own English Course for Children at home in 2009. I hired an assistant, bought the furnitures and resources, designed the class and developed the curriculum by myself. Wow, how did I get the knowledge of writing the curriculum? Of course from my teaching experience in the English Course, my tutorial, related books I bought, and of course, internet. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long, due to the economy problem, I had to close it.

Yup, it was very hard for me. But I didn’t stop, I kept moving. Start from the beginning, applied and worked at schools again.

I love being a preschool teacher, I love teaching children in their golden years. However some people still consider this not as a profession, just an activity to fill the time. Some even think preschool teacher is no different than a babysitter. Working as a preschool teacher is not only taking care children, but we also responsible for their development and academic skill, the skills which babysitters or nannies don’t have. I honestly feel offended with they way people treat preschool teacher as babysitters.

That is why I try to learn a lot, I am trying to develop myself more by attending workshops, searching for scholarship for my Master Degree, joining iTDi (International Teacher Development Institute), networking and learning from other teachers and more things that can make me to be more than a preschool teacher, to be a better teacher.

All these things: these failures, ups and downs have given me lots of experiences and lessons. I am not and never gonna stop, I have to move on and move forward and build more foundations to continue my dream: my own school.