2 Students of PBI of UMY Inspire Participants of 13th Asia TEFL International Conference


Two junior students of English Education Department (PBI) of Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (UMY), Aisyah Mummary Songbatumis and Aristianto, presented their research in 13th Asia TEFL International Conference (Creating the Future for ELT in Asia: Opportunities and Directions). They inspired the other presenters and participants of the conference since only both of them were undergraduate students.

“The conference was conducted in Nanjing International Youth Cultural Center, Nanjing, China on 6-8 November 2015. We were surprised because the presenters and participants were lecturers, master’s degree students, doctors, and teachers. Undergraduate students were only both of us. Alhamdulillah, they were enthusiastic and appreciated us. In fact, most of them requested to take pictures with us after the presentation. They stated that they would like to motivate their undergraduate students to be like us,” told Aisyah in an interview at Public Relations and Protocol Office of UMY on Friday (20/11).

They admitted that they only wanted to try joining call for paper. They wrote a journal and examine Intercultural Awareness in English Learning. “We selected the topic based on our personal experience. Most of students have good English, but they cannot speak and understand culture of English native speakers. We saw that they were lack of understanding when speaking English,” Aisyah maintained.

Their presented paper entitled ‘Reinforcing Intercultural Awareness through Classifying Cultural Types and Advantages’. “We argued that culture is essential to be integrated in English learning. It was qualitative research that the data were drawn from several exchange students studying abroad or international students studying in Indonesia. The findings revealed six cultural types, namely language experience, daily interactions, local culture, behaviors, attitudes, norms, and academic,” she conveyed.

Aristanto inserted that the research also showed that understanding English language culture will be beneficial when talking to the English native speakers. They will possess diversity understanding, personal enrichment, academic achievement, communication ability improvement, reflection one’s culture, and decreasing of cultural conflicts in daily activity. “The presentation was supposed to be 20-minute length, but it was a bit longer due to a number of questions from the participants. The questions tended to be how education in Indonesia looks like, but some of them also queried our research. The questions were not quite difficult,” he told.

Aris perceived that he gained incredible experience. “After the conference, we encouraged to working or reaching achievement more and more. We are proud that we could contribute and share our ideas in educational field. Indeed, the presenter and participants were from not only English Education Department but also other majors concerning with education,” he asserted.

Both of them expected that there will be a lot of students motivated to write and contribute to education. “We are now starting to conduct another research to join the next conference. Therefore, bring benefits for other despite small benefits,” Aris ended.

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