Webinar Bincang Karya or BIANKA 16

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Aware of the Importance of TESOL, the Educational and Cultural Attaché in Washington, D.C., Continues to Encourage the Young Generation to Study in the US.

Washington, D.C. (10/26/2021). The 16th Bianka or Bincang Karya, a webinar series initiated by the Indonesian Embassy in Washington, D.C. through the Educational and Cultural Attaché (Atdikbud) which led by Eri Kurniawan, Head of the English Literature and Education Study Program, Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia, presented two representatives from leading universities in the United States, namely Boston University and the University of Rochester. There were also two Indonesian students, the Indonesian Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP) awardees, who are currently completing their master’s programs at the two universities.

Popy Rufaidah, the Educational and Cultural Attaché, said that the purpose of this webinar was to discuss research on various themes, to offer alternative solutions, and to encourage collaboration in research and education between Indonesia and the United States.

“TESOL is a very important field, especially in expanding the quality of the education sector like in the US. So, we are looking forward to the potential collaboration between Indonesia and the US in this field,” Popy said in her remarks at the beginning of the event.

The Director of LPDP Scholarships, Dwi Larso, was also present and gave his support for the 16th series of Bianka. He hoped that the number of qualified human resources in the field of TESOL could increase along with the importance of mastering foreign languages ​​as a means of socialization and sharing information at the global level.

“Language has the power to build society and is also useful, including to build the spirit of nationalism. Considering the importance of language skills, especially English, human resources in the field of language need to be improved,” Dwi added. 

Meanwhile, Kathy MinHye Kim, a Clinical Assistant Professor of Language Education, Boston University presented information related to compulsory and elective courses in the TESOL program at Boston University. Furthermore, she also shared information about research in the Language Education program at Boston University such as research on individual differences in Second Language Acquisition (SLA), Immigrant English students’ access to post-secondary education, and research on second language acquisition or implicit SLA.

“For those who are interested in any of these topics, this is a great opportunity for us to talk about collaboration opportunities that might be created if you come to Boston University,” she said.

On the other hand, Evelyn J. Kirst, the representative of the University of Rochester and an Assistant Director International Advisor, Warner School of Education, University of Rochester shared interesting information about the programs that the university offers. 

She also shared information regarding the possibility of establishing a program development collaboration for the TESOL program in Indonesia.

“Cooperation can be started by sharing research, then the TESOL department will be able to learn about existing programs in Indonesia,” answered Evelyn.

One of the presenters, Herawati Teapon who is a candidate for Master of TESOL at Wheelock College of Education & Human Development, Boston University, explained her research on the importance of TESOL in Indonesia. Her research focused on improving English language learning in the Eastern part of Indonesia. The existence of educational inequality in Ternate, North Maluku and English phobia underlies this topic. 

There were at least four solutions that Hera offered related to the problems of English education in the Eastern Indonesia. “First, the teachers have to make the children not afraid of English. Second, teachers/lecturers must also be able to master the various ways and backgrounds of the students. Third, teachers must also convince students of the importance of English in the future, and fourth, the need for guidance for teachers in the regions so that they are able to master existing technology and developments,” Hera said.

The webinar continued by hearing a presentation from Kristianus Erwin Gael, candidate for Master of Science in TESOL, Warner School of Education, University of Rochester. Through his presentation entitled Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL) in learning English as a Foreign Language (EFL), he tried to discuss the use of mobile applications in learning English.

According to Kristianus, the Covid 19 pandemic that has hit the whole world, including Indonesia, has forced schools to stop the face-to-face teaching and learning process. Consequently, students did not have enough input. In fact, according to experts, students must continue to be exposed to the target language if they want to be successful in learning it.

“Data shows that around 133% of Indonesians use the internet. I am thinking about how to make Indonesian people use their cell phones not only to surf the virtual world but also to learn English,” said Kristianus.

The results of his research showed that mobile applications such as short messages, WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, and others could improve students’ receptive, productive, grammar, and vocabulary skills.

The 16th Bianka succeeded in getting a positive response from audiences from various backgrounds, both students and lecturers in Indonesia. Evidently, more than 400 participants took part in this two-hour webinar.

For information, the live broadcast recording of the 16th Bincang Karya (BIANKA) webinar can be accessed on the official Facebook page of Atdikbud USA with the link https://bit.ly/fb-watch-bianka16

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