By Rivaldy Pandie
It can not be denied that the position of English as the language of the world is getting stronger as time passes. For Indonesian students themselves, one of the greatest advantages of mastering English that you can get more and more information than those who have not studied English. This encouragement to get accurate information faster is one of the main motivations to learn English.
There are many ways for Indonesian students to learn English, be in class, take a course, or autodidac (learning on your own). But, one way to learn English that provides a fun and valuable learning experience is The University Bridge Project (UniBRIDGE Project).
Why UniBRIDGE Project?
UniBRIDGE Project connects Indonesian and Australian university students in order to foster greater language and cultural understanding via multiple digital platforms. By using UniBRIDGE Project's program to study, Indonesian students will get a big opportunity to improve their English skills efficiently in four main areas, which are speaking, writing, listening, and reading.
What does UniBRIDGE Project Offer?
One of the biggest problems that is faced by the teachers or lecturers teaching English in Indonesia is how to keep students motivated and how to get them speaking English in a natural way. To solve this issue, UniBRIDGE Project provides native speakers from Australia that can be used as language partners and who offer motivational support.
Other benefits that Indonesian students gain from UniBRIDGE Project is unforgettable experience and valuable intercultural learning in a simple way. Either English or Indonesian language is used in order to gain insights into the culture and society of each country. When Australian & Indonesian students have regular interactions, they get to know their partner's culture, history and traditions, as well as analyse their own.
What Will You Get?
There are at least four advantages that Indonesian students get when studying English through Unibridge Project:
1. One step ahead
Learning English with native speakers is better than reading books on our own because it accelerates the mastering of new language material. The easiest way to study is by imitating. When we are able to speak with native speakers, we can see and hear the way they speak, the way they pronounce words, and their intonation. We can do this better than we can by looking at the dictionary. Knowledge that is obtained is not only limited to the language, but also their habits, culture, and even lifestyle. Simply, native speaker helps us to study English faster and in a very effective way.
2. Can do because always do
Have you ever heard someone talking in English, you understand what they said, but it was hard for you to reply because you didn’t know where to start? If yes, don’t worry, it means that you are already halfway to becoming an expert in English.
All that you need is just practice and more practice. Being accustomed to practicing English will make your mind more ready, more confident, and more structured in using English.
3. The art of understanding
In learning together with native English speakers, it is not uncommon to find some things that conflict with our own adopted norms. For example, It's a relatively normal thing in Australia for young couples, even teenagers, to live together. While in Indonesia, it is very taboo. In Indonesia, if this is not addressed wisely, then it would be bad for both parties.
A deeper understanding of cultural differences and diversity between Australians and Indonesians isn’t an easy thing. But that does not mean it's impossible to do. The key is understanding. A good understanding will produce a tolerant soul, and then then tolerance will form a person who values differences as cultural riches.
4. Friendships without being limited by space and time
Maybe it is written genetically that many Indonesian people like to chat and make new friends, especially from different places. This is the reason why it is so easy for Indonesian students to use UniBRIDGE Project as a flexible learning space, anytime and anywhere. And maybe, the biggest advantages of studying English on UniBRIDGE Project is the relationships that exist between Indonesian and Australian students. Friends, but with a sense of family, that’s some of Indonesian student opinion when they meet their Australian friends on UniBRIDGE Project.
As a conclusion, we can learn English anywhere with any methods, but having friends while learning English with someone who has very different background, both physically and psychologically, is a rare thing and needs to be appreciated.