English majors are often considered as unpopular, impractical majors by many students and parents. A question like "What in the world are you going to do with a degree in English?" is often expressed by parents, relatives, and friends of students who consider majoring in English (Berube, 2013). Although the demand for English speaking professionals continue increasing over the years, public opinions that English majors do not offer prospective careers have worried students and parents about choosing the majors. This school of thought is definitely misleading as many colleges offering English majors today have ensured students are receiving a well-rounded education, keeping the balance between establishing students' knowledge and preparing them for successful careers.
If you like reading and writing, sharing your ideas about the literature you read, issues you hear, then studying English could be the best choice of study. Don't you think of it exciting and rewarding when you can pursue your interest while preparing yourself for your future carreer? Imagine, you can possibly choose your favorite novel, poem, or other texts and earn your grade for a course, even a degree by examining one of them. The thought of it fascinated me when deciding for my undergraduate study years ago.
English Department students read a diverse range of classical and contemporary texts. Courses are designed to help students understand the texts they read at the same time challenging their critical and creative thinking. English Department graduates are expected to be good thinkers, skilled writers and communicators, and creative problem solvers. These skills are undoubtedly needed in numerous job fields.
Today, English Department graduates are in high demand in a wide range of work places like journalism, tourism, education, translating, publishing and editing, advertising, marketing, and public relations. Ukrida Department of English in particular, prepare its students for entrance to these various job opportunities. Three major concentrations: Creative Writing, TESOL, and Translation/Interpreting are offered to help students improve their communication skills and nurture their imagination and intellectual inventiveness. Minor and elective courses in English for Business Purposes will also supplement the students with the skills needed to work in business areas.
Choosing the right college and study program can be a difficult, life changing decision. Therefore it is not surprising that the involvement of parents in their children's college decision-making process is dominant. Students and parents unfortunately seldom have access to information to help them make informed decisions regarding college majors to choose. Most choices are usualy given to popular colleges and majors. What constitute popular is however often ambiguous and requires clarification. English for example, is not considered as a popular study choice in Indonesia whereas it has become one of the ten most popular degrees in the U.S. for many years (Stockwell, 2014; "Top 10 College Majors," 2014). With the arrival of Asean Economic Community (AEC) at the end of 2015, movement of people and businesses across the region will be much easier. Ability to communicate well in a global language, especially English, will absolutely become a crucial skill to acquire. It sounds logical for English majors to gain popularity in Asia soon as they are in the U.S. (Picture : Ukrida Department of English (UDE) at the Career Day of SMA Katolik Marsudirini in Kemang Pratama, Bekasi)
Berube, Michael. (2013, January 4). My View: What will you do with an English degree? Plenty. CNN. Retrieved from
Stockwell, Carly. (2014, October 26). Same as it ever was: Top 10 most popular college majors. USA Today. Retrieved from
Top 10 College Majors. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.princetonreview.com/college/top-ten-majors.aspx
To start off the new semester this year, the Department of English conducted an English writing workshop for lecturers in UKRIDA. This workshop was held for 4 days during 19-23 January 2015, and was attended by a number of lecturers from the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science.
As a follow-up of last year's workshop topic on abstract writing, this year's workshop focused on developing participants' writing skills for professional academic essays. In higher education, one of the lecturers' responsibilities is to write and publish essays of their expertise. This responsibility is often hindered when they want to write for a wider range of readers in global context, due to language barrier and unfamiliarity with western/international academic essay writing characteristics. To address this circumstance, the workshop was conducted to equip its participants to learn together and overcome their writing difficulties in various methods.
The workshop was led by lecturers from the Department of English, Ms. Frieda and Ms. Hanna. During the four-day workshop, the participants learned and practiced the process of writing an academic essay. They also shared and discussed difficulties that they experienced when writing, and worked together to find possible solutions. On the last day of the workshop, Ms. Ira, the Head of UKRIDA Department of English, also joined in as a guest lecturer.
Through the writing assignments from this workshop, the participants' English writing skills are improving considerably, as seen in their final essays at the end of the program. In the future, hopefully UKRIDA Department of English could conduct more training to equip other professionals within and outside the university.
Behind the Stage and Performance
As one of Indonesian theaters, Teater Koma was founded by N. Riantiarno – as the central figure, in 1977. It has performed more than 100 plays. Teater Koma is known for their reputation in performing satirical plays, critizicing social politics situation in Indonesia.
For the Christmas celebration, UDE students will perform a short play entitled "Christmas Present". By having this field trip, the students had a chance to see how to perform a play thoroughly, from make-up artist, costume design, preparation room – including refreshment and room management, stage setting, music instrument setting, warming up, practice and rehearsal. One of the Teater Koma's members, Mr. Binton, gave the students a tour inside the building, from the makeup room, briefing room, preparation room, and stage area. Mr. Binton also gave brief history of the building and the summary of the play. The students also had a chance to meet the stage manager, Mr. Bayu, who also played a role in the upcoming play. Some students had the opportunity to look around the music area with the stage manager.
After the tour, the students watched the performers rehearsed a scene from the play. They were excited and amazed. Before leaving, they met a senior actress, Sari Madjid, who advised them to be disciplined and honest in performing a play.
The field trip went well and the students enjoyed it and learned a lot from it. Especially those who are in charge, they gained useful and inspiring knowledge. Based on the report they wrote, they experienced new and amazing things during the field trip. Most of them are inspired to do better for the Christmas performance. The students who watched the performance enjoyed the show and were amazed by it.
The following week, some students watched the performance. Due to the show time (7 pm to 11.30 pm), most students could not make it. Two of the students writing below present the students strong impressions on the behind the stage trip and the performance of Teater Koma.
An Amazing Trip
I had an exciting pleasant trip on November 10. My classmates and I, along with my lecturers went to Gedung Kesenian Jakarta (Jakarta Art Building). We started our trip at 11.00 a.m and arrived at 12.30 p.m. When we arrived, I was totally disappointed with the building. But after entering the building I was speechless as it brought me to the colonial's era. I was shocked to see the art of this building. I like this place a lot, especially in the theatre room as it is known for its beauty and used for great theater performances.
When we entered the building, we met a man from the Teater Koma. First, he described the history of this building and explained about Teater Koma. After that, we entered a room which was full of posters. He said that this is a special room for theater posters. The next place is makeup room. There are so many kinds for their show. He explained to us how to makeup ourselves correctly when we are on stage and he directed us to the stage to saw the properties, decorations, and lighting of the stage. After he explained the whole place patiently, he invited us to see Theater Coma's practice so we can understand how to practice theater correctly.
They started practicing at 3.00 p.m. Before their practice, they did warm up exercises first. The exercise was very cool as it could transfer energy from the players to the audience. After warming up, they started the practice with new energy. What a great practice! They looked like they were doing a real show. I think this is the best theater that I have ever seen so far. When I was watching, Ms. Frieda and Ms. Ninda said that we had to go back to campus. That is a memorable experience because we can see behind the theatre stage. I have learned new exciting things from this field trip. (Behind the Stage of Teater Koma by Tiara Jacynda)
Republik Cangik: Teater Koma Performance
On November 18, my friends and I, with two lecturers went to Gedung Kesenian Jakarta to watch Repubik Cangik performed by Teater Koma. Republik Cangik symbolizes Indonesia's government. The story is about the King Election, satirically referred to the presidential election when Jokowi and Prabowo were candidates. Yet, they used nickname not the real name of the candidates.
Suranesia is the name of a kingdom led by a King who has just died. He has three sons but none of his sons want to lead Suranesia. So, Cangik and her daughter, Limbuk, made a competition to choose the right king to lead Suranesia. They have six candidates, Santanu Garu, Dudung Bikung, Burama-rama, Graito Bakari, Binanti Yugama, and Jaka Wisesa. If Cangik is the one choosing the king, it will not be objective. So, she invited famous people from around the world to help her choose the king for Suranesia. They are Gatotkaca, Lesmono Mondrokumoro, Batara Narada, Semar, and Permoni.
Every candidate must give a short speech and performance to everyone who comes to choose the right king for Suranesia. When all candidates finished their performance, none matches the judges' expectation. But they have one candidate who have not performed yet. He is Jaka Wisesa. Cangik believes that Jaka Wisesa will impress the judges so they make Jaka Wisesa perform last.
When Jaka Wisesa performed, and yes, he met the judges' requirements. But Riri Ratri, one of the judges and Lesmono Mondrokumoro did not agree with other judges. They said that Jaka Wisesa was not suitable to be king of Suranesia. So the judges have little conflict to choose Jaka Wisesa to be The King of Suranesia.
At the same time, Dudung Bikung, Graito Bakari, Burama-rama, and Binanti Yugama declared that they withdrew from the election and supported Jaka Wisesa or Santunu Garu.
This story told us that this is Indonesia's government and the facts about Indonesia's election. It makes people realize that we should choose the right leader to lead this country so Indonesia can grow bigger and be more independent. It was a great performance. (By Daisy)
Ukrida Department of English – New Student Orientation
Time flies. It seems only yesteday seeing new faces of the Ukrida Department of English first batch students. Like the firstborn, UDE students begin their four year journey this year, writing up stories that will become a part of the Ukrida English Department's history.
Coming from different ethnicities, schools and family backgrounds, UDE students share unique characteristics. They are warm, sociable, and artistic. They consider themselves as members of the Ukrida Department of English Family. Their talents in music and entertainment have stood out early in the orientation week.
The theme chosen for the orientation Soar on Wings Like Eagles suggests optimism that UDE students will work hard, never give up when faced with challenges, and be successful in their study. We hope their achievements will stand out from the crowd in fields related to their competencies and talents.
UDE students are thus expected to become individuals that are
2. Confident and Courteous
3. Technology Literate
4. Committed, Persistent, Reliable and Kind-Hearted
UDE students started their orientation day with a prayer. Led by their seniors, who majored in psychology, they did a praise and worship passionately. They also participated in the University Monday Service. One of the habits nurtured, students are encouraged to open and close a program in a prayer. To respect pluralism, non-Christian believers are welcome to lead and say their prayer according to their religion.
The prayer was then followed by Introduction to UDE in which students were informed about UDE faculty members, curriculum and programs. The study program head, Mrs. Ira Rasikawati presented UDE curriculum including the four concentrations offered. Students will have the option of selecting concentrations such as: Creative Writing, English for Business Communication, Translation and Interpreting, and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).
To increase students' motivation to learn English and participate in international program, Calvin from the Civil Engineering Faculty was invited to share his experience becoming Ukrida representative going to the Association of Christian Universities and Colleges in Asia (ACUCA) conference in Taiwan. He presented his activities during the conference and suggested some tips to win Ukrida travel grant.
Confident and Courteous Individuals
UDE students were taught to dress, look, act, and treat others gracefully. With the guidance of Puspita Martha (PM) International Beauty School instructors, students learned about personal care, hygiene, and grooming. They also learn how to dress up and wear make-up appropriately for the occasion.
During the workshop, students had the opportunity to learn and get the make-over from PM beauty experts. The students found it exciting that a little extra effort could significantly change their look. They also practiced how to greet and meet people with manners and other business etiquettes. Having these new skills, the students are expected to impress on other people with their confidence and courtesy.
Technology Literate Learners
Being UDE students means mastering computer operations, word processing, graphics, multi-media, internet, email, and e-learning applications. Students were guided by the head and staff if Ukrida Learning Media Center to learn various technological and media applications to support their study, including operating google apps, developing blogs, and e-portofolio.
Through the use of moodle, students participate in online classrooms. They access their learning materials, upload their assignments, participate in online tests, virtual classes, and online forum discussions. Learning does not only take place in traditional classrooms but also virtual.
Committed – Persistent – reliable – Kind-Hearted Characters
On the last orientation day, students gathered in the auditorium to have motivational workshop led by the Secretary of Psychology Faculty, William Gunawan, S.Psi., M.Min., M.Si. They shared and addressed their fears as new students. They were motivated to live like eagles, overcoming fears and finding strategies to be successful students.
Students share their favorite foods in a potluck lunch. Some cuisines are unique, to name a few, Indonesian, Japanese, and Italian foods. Many are similar, students' favorites, fried foods such as fried noodles, fried rice, and fried chicken. They gathered before lunch to introduce their foods. That was their first presentation in English.
Following lunch, students were prepared to do their performances. They were given freedom to interpret the theme songs "Like Eagles, "Do Life Big", and "As for Me and My House." Nine groups particated: some of them sing and dance to the song, a few others added lyrics in other foreign languages, and others got themselved lost in the music.
After lunch, students voted for their class leaders: Demus Abetnego and Tomi Wijaya. They made an honor pledge, stating they would give their best to be outstanding UDE graduates. They made an artistic painting of a tree using fingers. This painting has been hung at the department's lobby, A building 8th Floor, to remind students of their commitment to study hard, to never give-up, be dependable, and kind-hearted graduates. UDEians, bring it on!