A. Introduction

I was surprised to know my IELT test result on 11th march 2006 since I made a spectacular achievement on my reading score. I got 9 on my reading score and it means I made no mistakes at all. What surprised me most was the fact that all the reading passages were in English, a foreign language for me. There were of course some of new words, which I had to grasp their meaning in the time limit provided in the test. Guessing the meaning of some unfamiliar words is one of clear and possible difficulties someone may face during their reading test in foreign language. I kept asking questions “how could I do that?” “If the reading passages were all in Indonesian, would I get the same result? “As I am a native Indonesian, will I find fewer difficulties doing the reading test in Indonesian compared to that in English?” These questions are my starting point to read lots of articles on reading in foreign language and I dream of being an expert in this topic. Below are some very important features of reading in foreign language that someone must know before s/he wants to become an expert in the field. Continue reading

Promoting Classroom Practices that are more students-centred; Proposed Classroom Action Research at the State Islamic Student-teachers College in Salatiga

Local Context:
I have been teaching various English subjects to all level of students at the State Islamic Student-teachers College in Salatiga (STAIN Salatiga) for more than 6 years. STAIN Salatiga is a unique educational institution in a sense that it offers an English Teacher Training program under the supervision of the Faculty of Islamic Education. I have experienced many difficulties in my classroom practices due to the complexities of situation in the faculty. Some of my students focus in developing their receptive skills of English since they use English mainly for understanding books on Islamic studies written in English and some others like to advance their productive skills of English because they want to be English teachers.
In my early years of teaching, I tended to introduce my students with ways for improving the receptive skills of English more than the productive skills. However, in my later years of teaching when I shifted my classroom activities to facilitate students to develop their productive skills, by providing more classroom activities where students were in greater control of themselves, such as classroom discussions, work groups, peer conversations, I felt my classroom became a strange place for most of my students.
In most activities planned to invoke students’ productive skills, such as expressing their opinions in the group discussions, role-play some dialogues, or raising arguments on some pros and cons topics in speaking classes, many students were reluctant to be more active. To sum up, my changing classroom practices are often blocked by students’ learning styles that have long been shaped by the sociocultural values in Indonesia where teachers are considered as the fountain of knowledge that pour into students’ mind all that students need to study and students deposit all without reserve (Lewis, 1997, p. 14). Continue reading

My graduate recognition at La Trobe

Hanung STAIN Salatiga


Graduate recognition (Issue 14, 2009)

Pia Larsson is congratulating Hanung
On 16 July a small group of sponsored students participated in a recognition of studies ceremony before heading back for their home countries in the following days.
The event started with an opening address by Mr Murli Thadani, Director International Business Development and Corporate Services, La Trobe University International College and Dr Wan Ng, the Associate Dean International for the Faculty of Education. Dr Ng congratulated the students for dealing so well with the new academic environment and challenged them to keep on learning.
The students sponsored by their governments to complete degrees in Australia were handed certificates to recognise their accomplishments by Dr Ng and by Professor John Delvin, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Science, Technology and Engineering.
The ceremony was followed by a speech from one of the students, Master of Educational Leadership and Management Indonesian student Hanung Triyoko. He spoke about the incredible experience of studying internationally and how it can contribute to one’s growth, not only academically, but also personally.
‘I would like to congratulate all my colleagues; this experience will open many doors in our futures. I am grateful for having had the opportunity to study here’ commented Hanung.
Pia Larsson, the Sponsored Programs Coordinator, concluded the event with a short speech congratulating the students for their perseverance and hard work.
Students and their friends and relatives were then invited for drinks and finger food, but the most popular activity was by far taking pictures in the graduation robe.
To find out more about how you can sponsor a student to come and study at La Trobe, visit our sponsored students page.