Sunday, 18 October 2015

Pak Marcus (EF #29)

I am now 33 years old (owww that's a lot of numbers :P ) and there has been so many people I've known and met in my life and surely some of them took a part in changing me into what I am today. One of them is the one whose name I made the title of this post. 

He was my English teacher when I took an English course twice a week in YPIA Surabaya when I was in my first year of senior high. I still remember, during my years in junior high school I didn't have a good understanding of English and sometimes I even cried because I couldn't do my English lesson homework (I do still remember these moments!). So when I graduated from junior high school, my mom sent me to an English course, where Pak Marcus became my first teacher. 

Although my English competency was boosting fast after I was taught by him, at first I didn't think or realise that he was a very good teacher. Until he got promoted and was replaced by another teacher. That was when I was not happy with the new teacher, and then I started thinking what made him different with this new teacher, or my other English teachers at school. So these are some things that he did that I think really helped me boost my English:

1. He teached mostly in English (only used Bahasa Indonesia when it's really needed)
Yes, he rarely spoke in Bahasa Indonesia when he's teaching. If the students didn't understand, he tried to explain it using simpler words, but still in English. When we still didn't understand, then he would use Bahasa Indonesia, which didn't happen very often. I believe this is one key to successful foreign language learning: we have to be forced to think and speak in that language. 

This is how my book looked like.
2 years being taught by Pak Marcus, I always had notes filling the page like this. (Thanks to my mother who took this pic :D as I requested last week :D),

2. He explained the meaning of difficult / new words using English, not Bahasa Indonesia
As you can see in the picture of my English course book above, I made notes of some words meanings in English. For example, I made note "to sneak into = to go quietly / secretly into" or "to plop down = to fall with a plop = menjatuhkan diri". Like I wrote in no. 1, this habit of always trying to use English to explain something really help us learn faster and better. 

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Songs in English by Indonesian Singers [EF #28]

This week EF challenge is about song. And my idea is to write a post about songs in English which were originally sung by Indonesia singers. As I start writing this post I get to think that, whatever you want to be, nowadays, foreign language skill (especially English?) is very important skill you need to have. Say you want to be a singer. Well, I'm sure there are so many people who have good voice and singing ability. But if you are a singer with good English as well, then you have more chances to stand out and be more widely recognised. I remember when two friends of mine released their indie album, --most of the songs were in English--, I really liked it and I recommended it to some of my non Indonesian friends. And it's easy to get them listen to it and like it (and even buy it and share it more widely to their circles).

Regarding this, I kinda envy the Malaysians for their Yuna Zarai whom I consider being successful in building her career internationally (and in my personal opinion is more unique and better recognised than Indonesians' Agnezmo, sorry to say.. --but I still wish the best for her...). Anyway, here is the list of the songs in English by Indonesian singers, not in any order, I just write it randomly based on what comes to my mind. Feel free to add more! 

Let us change the world with love | We can make a better future | and if we stand together as one
We don't need those bitter hearts | It's just a waste of time | It's time to share the love we have | Cause that's the reason we all survive 
Those four are all my favourites. Glenn and Shandy in one song! And that couple. Also. I remember Endah n Rhesa wrote almost all of their songs (or all?) in English (with really good grammar!). Their songs are good too. 

Unlock your power reveal what you can really do
no more running away, today go fight your way
And sing your mind out, sing without doubt
let me hear your voice, I wanna hear what you say
sing your mind out 
I just knew about this song just now! In her youtube channel it's said to be her "official international single". I hope she'll make it. Another Sherina's song in English which is my favourite one is Better Than Love. Despite a small grammar error in the lyrics, it is a really nice song about "a feeling which is not love, maybe even better" ("Love's too strong and a bit cliché | for now this is enough, I've got a long way").