It was three years ago I decided to look for school again, a master degree. As a Bachelor of English Education, I think I have been destined to be a teacher and it is so true that in the last few years I have been teaching English. It spontaneously came to my mind that I need a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) degree. So I searched for some schools and got a few offer letters.
I guess I was not serious enough to study at that time. My IELTS was bad and I had no luck for scholarship. Then, I skipped school and never thought of studying.
I continued teaching and observed the problems students face in learning English. I can say, I am interested in seeing people, watching their behaviour, their language and their social life.
I have taught in several schools, bilingually and communicatively. I found that students had different outcome. In bilingual schools, where students learned English using their mother language, English was barely used. They were reluctant to speak, shy and discouraged by their own community.
In Indonesia, if Indonesians speak English in public, it will be considered arrogant, and taboo.
Meanwhile, in an English-speaking school where students were obliged to use English communicatively and fully spoken in class and around school, students were more confident to speak and cheerfully learned the language. The methods of teaching itself used the communicative one, which encourage students and teachers to be more engaged in activity.
In the last few months, I had a chance to teach in a diploma college, where students were promised to have a job before the graduation. They focused on learning English for office or business use. The curriculum and the books which were used were good enough to make the studends qualified graduates. However, I found out that most of the students could not even spell their name or introduce themselves.
The students mostly came from middle-class society, some of them were even having problems to pay tuition. Moreover, their previous education was also lack of English environment. This made me curious if society and education can also affect someone to learn a language.
Last year, I changed my mind from taking TESOL to Applied Linguistics because of what I have already seen. It does not mean I don’t like teaching English, but I guess Applied Linguistics can make me understand English in a broader knowledge.
Learning a language is not easy, it needs interest, passion and courage.
Teaching a language is way much harder. It needs commitment and creativity to make the learners enjoy the lessons. Being a teacher is being a learner as well.
Learning by doing is definitely true, and I can say, now I am a better English user because I am teaching it. Even though sometimes I overlap the use of English and my first language.
I am not a native-like English teacher, sometimes I forget the words, I don’t know how to pronounce the words correcly, but I take them as a lesson to learn, to delve more.
Finally, I would say, I have loved being a teacher, and it would be beneficial if I can be a linguist as well, to conduct some research how Indonesians are supposed to learn the English language even better.