So, what did we do in this English training actually?
Some of my relatives told me to write more after I published this blog post. So, here we go.
Di pengumuman yang dikeluarkan oleh BPPK, disebutkan kalo calon penerima beasiswa akan dididik dan dilatih dalam tiga jenis diklat. Yang pertama fokusnya ke bonding antara satu peserta dengan yang lain. Kedua, menitikberatkan ke peningkatan kemampuan Bahasa Inggris, karena syarat lulus menjadi penerima beasiswa adalah dapet skor IELTS 6,5 atau TOEFL iBT 79. Dan yang terakhir, persiapan akademik sebelum berangkat ke kampus tujuan (kita belajar lagi tentang metodologi penelitian, statistik, dll)
Dari tiga diklat di atas, cuma diklat pertama yang pesertanya komplit (S3 LN, S2 LN, S2 Linkage, S2 DN). Untuk diklat kedua dan ketiga, temen-temen S2 DN nggak ikut dan bisa langsung daftar ke kampus yang diinginkan.
Tahun ini, diklat pertama dilaksanakan di daerah Sentul selama tiga hari. Lebih banyak team games seperti outbound, kuis, dll. Di sini kesempatan yang pas buat saling kenal satu sama lain. Selain itu, ada sharing session dari senior yang sudah menyelesaikan pendidikannya di luar negeri. Doi fokus ngasih info gimana caranya buat bertahan hidup, menyelesaikan studi, tanpa melupakan cara untuk tetap bersenang-senang dan cari pengalaman baru selama hidup di negeri orang. Dan terakhir, arahan dari Pak Rio (Kepala BPPK) yang menyempatkan hadir di tengah agenda-agendanya yang padat. Meminjam jargon Steve Jobs, Pak Rio menjelaskan “connecting the dots” dengan bahasa yang lebih sederhana dan mudah dicerna. Bagaimana semua momen yang kita lalui di masa lalu lah yang membentuk kita saat ini. Tak lupa beliau berpesan untuk selalu memberikan usaha yang terbaik, baik bagi diri sendiri maupun institusi.
Nah, porsi terbesar dari tiga diklat itu ada di diklat kedua. Ada beberapa perbedaan yang cukup mencolok dari diklat yang diselenggarakan PPSDM ini sekarang dibanding beberapa tahun yang lalu. Firstly, in the past, this training was done in 5 months but for this year it was only for 2,5 months. Secondly, it was a mandatory to take a TOEFL iBT (and the participants can take IELTS after they passed the minimum requirement for TOEFL iBT) but now we can choose which one suits us best from the very beginning.
So, what did we do in this English training actually? For the first two weeks, we were being separated to three groups for General English. In this classes, we were being reminded of any basics and general things of English, such as grammar, pronounciation, etc. Before that two weeks finished, we had to decide whether we will take TOEFL iBT or IELTS. So the commitee can divide us in the new groups based on our preferences for the rest of this English training.
Personally, I chose to take IELTS because I felt that it suited me better and it was proven by my diagnostic test score in the first day of this English training. You can look for “what is an IELTS test?” in other part of this world and you can easily find it, so I won’t talk about it here.
In this batch, we had two IELTS classes and one TOEFL iBT class and we were being taught by three distinguished English teachers. They are Miss Wina, Miss Fitri, and Mike. Oh yeah, we had one super-sub native speaker from Ireland (but he has been living in Indonesia for more than five years), his name is Niall, turns out that he is also a great cookies baker. I’ll tell a lil bit more of their specialities.
First, Miss Wina. She has already taught here for ages and she taught us more focus on reading and writing (task 2). She trained us about the faster way to find an answer in the reading materials. For example, she told us to read every first sentence in each paragraph to get the idea briefly, after that we can jump to the questions. That strategy helped me a lot to understand some new topics in the real test, even I haven’t known about it before. For writing session, she enlightened us how to write cohesively and comprehensively. The most important thing is how we can deliver the idea completely.
Second, Miss Fitri. Just like Miss Wina, she has been there like forever. And she trained us about listening and writing (task 1). She taught us to catch a word (or two (or three)) from the listening materials and put it correctly as an answer. For listening, we need to train as much as we can to make us more familiar with the situation on d-day. And for her writing part, she nurtured us how to write something out of a map(s), picture(s), chart(s), or table(s). For this one, we don’t need to put our opinions, just go with the informations on the paper.
Third, Mike. Actually his name is Imam Suyudi, but you can hear about the story later, after you got accepted for this scholarship in the future (you can say aamiin for yourself). His speaking skill is beyond our imagination. He can put a British accent easily in some sentences and bring back her Sundanese in no time. Actually, I have known him since 2017 when I and my office mates hired him as a weekly tutor. And I knew that he is that great at English. In this training, he taught us to think quickly and to speak up our mind deliberately. So we can convince the other person (in this case is the examiner) that we don’t have any language barriers to understand things.
Last but not least, Niall. He is originally an Irish. Even he has known Connor McGregor for a long time because they lived near to each other. He opened up our mind about some simple things but actually it was mind-blowing. For instance, we just knew how to pronounce man, men, says, said, Batman, and Black Panther properly in his class. He told us that we need to be obsessed about English if we want to conquer it. And yeah, even I’m still far from decent, I definitely agree with that statement.
To sum up, this is the best English training that I’ve ever experienced.
Our FETA Batch 5 logo was brilliantly executed by Eki Mahipal.