Last Saturday, December 27th 2008 I join a kind of small work shop. The work shop was about “How Teaching Math in English?” Of course this work shop was very interesting for me, because I am one of the lecturers in my department who always encourage my students to learn English and motivated them to be able to teach mathematics in English. In my opinion, to face the era of AFTA in few years to come, my students have to be prepared to compete with qualified teachers from many foreign countries. As we see right now, here in our country many international school have been growing like mushroom in many big cities like Jakarta, Bandung, Semarang, Surakarta and Surabaya. The fact that many parents are very enthusiastic to send their children into international school by reason of quality are challenging for Indonesian educator to improve their quality and English as an international language is one important point should be accomplished by Indonesian teachers.
The members of the workshop were teachers from some RSBI (Rintisan Sekolah Berstandar Internasional) that already have some classes that using English as an introduction language and some post graduate students from SPS UPI. There were three speakers in that forum, first was Prof. DR. Jozua Sabandar, M.Sc who delivered a speech about the strategy in teaching mathematics in English he gave some samples of instruction in teaching about pattern. The second speaker was Prof. Yaya Kusumah, P.hD who not only delivered a speech about teaching set and basic operation in English but also trained us how to read and spoke some words, terms, and languages that related with mathematics instruction one by one. And the last speaker was DR. Turmudi, M.Sc who delivered the strategy of teaching Pythagorean Theorem in English in inquiry method.
This work shop was very important for teachers and educator that want to improve their skill in teaching math using English. We not only get some paper about the topic that was explained by the speakers but also get some simple English-mathematics dictionary that was a little bit difficult to find in book stores or even in internet especially for the symbols that were very specific in mathematics. I prepared for the next posting I will share some of the terms for all of you. Unfortunately, this forum was not design for discussion forum, so the member only have little practice in speaking English especially in explaining the mathematics opinion to other using English. As we know, that explaining mathematics concept was not simple task even in Bahasa Indonesia, it needs some skills. That was why, it was very important to build skill in delivering opinion about mathematics concept for mathematics teachers.
Some of my friends always asking, “How I learned English?” especially learned speaking English. Based on my experiences learning English was very effective when you try to use it. One of my lecturers who finished her master degree in Australian and U S was very kindly to give opportunity to me to learn English by active conversation with her. So in every time and every place that I met her I should speak English with her. Even for the first time it was very hard for me but time to time I was getting used with it. I didn’t care many negative insights from friends of mine. Just be my self, this was the right path for learn. Since that time I am getting used to speak English in the time which I needed. And because of this I got some job from the school that has immersion classes for teaching mathematics in English. I also implemented this method to my students who want to learn English. I ask them to try using English in our communication even by email or sms.
This writing is also a kind of practicing English in the term of writing ability for me. Hopefully, it can increase my skills and also give motivation for all of you to learn English.