Oral English for Hostelites
Although they attend high school and receive English lessons there, they are unable to speak the language. A few months later, a similar appeal was received from Fr Manse of the Parish of Immaculate Heart of Mary in Tanjung Pinang to start the same programme in Asrama St Tarcisus, which is a boys’ hostel.
Members of Epiphany met with the priests and the Sisters and drew up a TeachNLearn programme tailored for their needs. TeachNLearn was launched in Bintan in October 2009, with 26 students from Asrama Maria Goretti joining in the lessons. The structure of the programme is similar to that in Rempang.
Volunteers go in once a fortnight to conduct a 3-hour session. The syllabus is based on the Indonesian High School English syllabus and helps to prepare the students for the national exams as well as to improve their conversational skills. In July 2010 the programme was extended to Asrama St Tarcisus where 25 boys aged 12 to 18 are now part of the programme. There are plans to extend the syllabus to cover computer lessons.
Filling the Shortage of English Teachers
In 2006 a call was made by Fr Poya, Parish Priest of Mary Mother of Perpetual Help, Batam, for help to give oral English lessons to the students of St Ignatius Loyola in Rempang. St Ignatius Loyola is a primary school with an enrolment of 160 students from Primary 1 to Primary 6.
In March 2007 Epiphany launched the TeachNLearn outreach in Rempang. It consists of an integrated programme of English lessons drawn up and coordinated by Singapore teachers. A team of volunteers is sent to the school once a fortnight. Volunteers need not be professional teachers, as lesson plans and teaching materials are provided. At the end of each semester a test is conducted to assess the progress of the students. Volunteers are asked to commit to going on a minimum of 3 trips – to put in their few “bricks” in the structure of the learning programme. The target of the programme is to get the children of St Ignatius School to read and write up to the level of Pr 2 and carry on a simple conversation in English.