Visit enhances language learning

Mother Teresa Catholic Primary School

​Students learnt about traditional Indonesian song and dance from visiting Indonesian teacher, Yudis

STUDENTS studying Indonesia's language and culture had a rare opportunity to engage with a native speaker when Komang Yudistira Adi Nugraha, or Yudis as he likes to be known, visited 10 of the 14 schools in BCE who teach Indonesian.

Yudis, a teacher at the Indonesia Australia Language Foundation (IALF) in Bali, captured the interest of students with a range of activities that included music, songs, dances and the associated Indonesian language.

BCE Education Officer for Languages Rhiannon Shaw said the initiative was a wonderful opportunity for BCE students to have access to first-hand knowledge and understanding of Indonesian language and culture.

“Our primary and secondary students thoroughly enjoyed applying their previously learnt skills in an authentic, real-world context," she said.

“They also participated in a range of engaging activities to further develop and practise pronunciation, conversation and thinking skills."

Rhiannon said their teachers also benefited from Yudis' skills and knowledge through authentically engaging with a native-speaker.

“Our teachers took the opportunity to reinforce their conversational skills thereby maintaining and building on their own language proficiency.

“They have also been inspired to add new and up-to-date cultural elements to their lessons."

St Patrick's School, Nanango, Primary Learning Leader Justin McCarthy said Yudis showed his gentle Balinese self during his time at the school.   

“His calm teaching style and deep knowledge of the language engaged our learners and provided a first person authentic cultural experience. 

“A not-to-miss experience for our rural community," he said.

Teacher Linda Sobey said it was such a privilege having Yudis visit St Thomas More Primary School, Sunshine Beach. 

She said he shared many ideas with her that she could implement into her classroom in the future.

“The children loved the resources and activities he brought into the classroom - games, music, dance, stories and craft activities.

“They were absolutely enthused by his visit. 

She said she also gained professionally from his time at the school. 

“It was wonderful for my own language proficiency," she said. 

“Every day I spoke to him in Indonesian and he supported, encouraged and challenged me in my language use.

 “This is such a wonderful program and a wonderful opportunity to highlight Indonesian language and culture in our school."

Mother Teresa Catholic Primary School, Ormeau, Principal Peter Kerrins said Yudis's lessons were creative and well planned out.

“Yudis built great rapport with our staff and students," Peter said.

“When he presented some traditional dance to the whole school our parents, teachers and students were keen to join in.

“We would happily have him back at any time."

Rhiannon said BCE was fortunate to have a strong relationship with the IALF in Bali.

“It allows us to offer unique experiences such as this to our students and teachers," she said.

She said there were many benefits of learning a second language for students including connecting them to the global community.

“Research tells us that 'children who have an early start and continue to learn a second language maintain advantages in all areas of language, literacy and learning'," she said. 

Rhiannon said Yudis was also seeking collaboration with BCE Indonesian teachers in a series of graded Indonesian readers (children's books) he was planning to publish through the IALF.​

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