As the concluding project of Reading and Writing III course in the previous odd semester, UDE students from Batch 2016 and a few from Batch 2014 organised their first Writing Exhibition. During the semester, they had been working hard in producing two major writing pieces: children’s picture storybooks and a three-lined Japanese poetry known as haiku. In order to celebrate their learning achievements and to appreciate their hard work and commitment in these writing projects, I supervised the students to organise their own Writing Exhibition. The event was held on Friday, 15 December 2017, at the Auditorium Lobby of the Faculty of Medicine. The exhibition was organised alongside UKRIDA’s Christmas celebration.
Many guests attending the Christmas celebration also visited the students’ Writing Exhibition. Students, lecturers, staff and other visitors from outside of UKRIDA walked around the Auditorium Lobby to take a look and read the children’s picture storybooks and haiku. Some of the visitors also took time to interact with the students, who are the authors and illustrators of the works being displayed in the exhibition. It was a good experience for students to see people actually take notice of and appreciate their works. Overall, the Writing Exhibition went well, both during the preparation period and during the D-day. As a follow-up of the children’s picture storybook project, currently the storybook manuscripts are still in the reviewing process for publication by Andi Publishing.
In the future, UDE may conduct regular exhibitions like this one as an opportunity to display students’ best works to a wider audience, both to Ukridians and non-Ukridians. Conducting exhibition for students’ works will help them to be more aware of their learning progress and achievements. Besides, as people from different backgrounds will visit and take a look at students’ works, the students will have an opportunity to get more feedbacks on their works, which will also expand their point of views towards their own works. All of these, in some ways, might inspire and encourage them to keep on developing and improving their English skills in the future.
To develop UDE students’ writing skill, particularly, writing a narrative, a guest lecture was conducted in the Reading and Writing III course. As an implementation of the learning unit, they were assigned to practice writing a narrative in the form of children’s picture storybook for their mid-semester exam project. This project was planned for a few reasons. Firstly, it was because the students had never written a narrative on children’s story genre previously, so this would prompt them to explore and develop their writing skills for a different genre. Secondly, children’s stories have a simple plot, yet are very meaningful. This would also facilitate the students to practise expressing their ideas precisely and interestingly in creative writing. Thirdly, since UDE 2016 are quite creative in arts, particularly in drawing and painting, it would be interesting to engage them in their learning by integrating it with something they really love and are good at.
The guest lecture session was conducted in the form of a writing workshop on Tuesday, 12 September 2017. There were in total 20 students attended the workshop, which lasted for 6 hours. The speaker for the workshop was Dr. Murti Bunanta. She earned her doctoral degree from Universitas Indonesia and is a famous writer, lecturer and expert in children’s literature. She has written dozens of children’s storybooks, of which many have been translated into several foreign languages and have received many recognitions, both nationwide and internationally. In addition, she is also the founder and the president of a non-profit organisation named Kelompok Pecinta Bacaan Anak (KPBA), which aids the development of children literacy among Indonesian children.
The workshop was divided into two sessions. In the first session, Ibu Murti delivered a lecture on children’s literature and the various aspects of writing a children’s story. In the second session, students had an opportunity to consult their children’s storybook draft with Ibu Murti. Each group alternately presented their storybook draft in the front of the class and afterward, they received feedback from Ibu Murti on how to improve their draft to be more interesting for the reader. Ibu Murti was very pleased listening to their creative ideas, and since she is an experienced writer in the field, she was very helpful in guiding the students with their storybook draft.
All in all, the workshop went very well and the students found it very fruitful. Since they had worked hard before the workshop to prepare their storybook draft, they gained more knowledge on how to improve their draft as they listened to Ibu Murti’s lecture and feedback. To follow up this workshop, the students are going to organise a Writing Exhibition at UKRIDA’s Christmas Celebration, where they will display their picture storybooks and another writing product of their upcoming UAS project. In the future, it will be very rewarding for the students if their first children’s picture storybooks can get published and be read by children.
On Wednesday, 10 May 2017, UDE 2014 (TESOL concentration) and 2015 attended a guest lecture workshop on storytelling for children. This workshop was a part of English for Young Learners (TESOL concentration) and Second Language Learning and Teaching (UDE 2015) courses this semester. Throughout the semester, both batches have learned about children’s language learning development and English teaching for children among many other topics, and this workshop was organised as a complementary lecture on practical ways of teaching English for children. The workshop was held for 6 hours and was attended by 17 students in total.
The speaker for the workshop was Ibu Winti Ananthia, S.Pd., M.Ed. from Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia (UPI), Bandung. The workshop was started with an ice-breaker activity led by TESOL students, who were appointed as the committee for this workshop. In the first session, Ibu Winti delivered an interesting lecture on the differences between storytelling and story reading, and demonstrated both activities in an engaging way for the students. Students were introduced to various practical ways of using stories to attract children’s interest and attention, as well as useful follow-up activities that could be conducted after storytelling or story reading.
In the second session, students were clustered into small groups, where they were assigned to design their own storytelling or story reading activity using the materials provided by Ibu Winti. Students showed an effective group work as they were excited and very creative in designing interesting activities and children songs to support their storytelling or story reading activity. As each group was preparing their demonstration, Ibu Winti supervised and consulted them with helpful advices. At the end, each group performed a storytelling or story reading in front of their peers and was appraised by Ibu Winti and me. It was very interesting to see the students came up with creative and fun ways of delivering their story.
Overall, this workshop went very well. The topic was suitable for the students—it was familiar, but at the same time also practical and challenging enough for them to explore and develop their teaching skills for children. In the future, other activities similar to this workshop might be valuable for UDE students as the skills can be applied not only in formal teaching, but also in informal ones, such as community services or campus events that involve children.