Confronting AEC 2015, Five Students of Department of Economics UMY Coins AEC (Andong English Club) Program

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Issues of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) turn the hottest issue of Indonesian. Community is required to prepare for confronting the AEC which would begin in the end of 2015. The issue triggers five students of Department of Economics of Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (UMY), namely Muhammad Anif Afandi, Indanazulfa Qurrota A’yun, Yuni Wahyuni, Gustiva Andri, and Rafin Shiddiq, to do something for facing AEC. It is different from what government attempted to echo in encountering AEC concerning with academic aspect and entrepreneurship. The five students created a program of Andong English Club (AEC). It is a program of English training for 90 horse-cart drivers in Yogyakarta.

In fact, this program has the other objective besides preparing for confronting AEC 2015. “The program emerged when we conducted a survey to horse-cart drivers in Malioboro. It revealed that a lot of horse-cart drivers have not been quite good at communicating in English. It is argued that it would be a problem noticed from the development of tourism in Yogyakarta which many tourists come to Yogyakarta. Based on the data, Yogyakarta is the most visited place after Bali,” told Indanazulfa Qurrota A’yun in an interview on Thursday (9/4) in office of Public Relation and Protocol Bureau of UMY.

Indana stated that the program would be carried out from March to April 2015. It would take place in Kapanjen, Bannguntapan, Bantul, precisely in the house of house-cart division chief in Bantul and Gamping. They chose those two places since most of house-cart drivers live there.

The learning process, Indana continued, would be held on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. The course would be the basic lesson of English as introduction, greeting, and bargaining. “We provide a book so that they would easily understand the topics. It is expected that they would also learn outside class. Moreover, in order that the teaching and learning process is interesting, we often play games dealing with the topics because the participants are 40-year old men. Therefore, it is necessary to modify the learning method,” said Indana.

Indana also asserted that there were always challenges during the teaching and learning process, but it was common. “There must be challenges like we should be patient because not all participants could learn and understand the topics rapidly. We divide the participants into 10 groups to ease the learning process. The groups would be accompanied by a facilitator. Indeed, we would require students of English Education Department (PBI) of UMY to be the facilitators,” she told.

Indana inserted that, besides providing language training, they assisted the horse-cart drivers in marketing. “We do not only focus on language learning, but also help them in marketing. It would alleviate them in offering horse-cart service. In addition, it would also ease tourists who are willing to have vacation by horse-cart. The tourists could access and reserve on On the website, we also post the contact person,” added Indana.

Furthermore, Anif Afandi delivered that they also conducted a training of excellent service and ethics. “We would like to share how to serve passengers well and what ethics of serving them such as their speech and attitudes,” he continued.

Anif uttered that participants would obtain merits of this program. Besides gaining knowledge and the book, they would receive a certificate as a participant of English training. Additionally, to internalize the learning and foster the drivers’ skill of communicating in English, they would immediately practice accompanied by the facilitators.

Indeed, Arif mentioned that the program would be proposed in Pekan Ilmiah Mahasiswa Nasional (PIMNAS) 2015-2016 concentrating on the area of Community Service. “We hope that this program would not cease especially after PIMNAS. We wish that this program would be sustainable so that horse-cart drivers would always gain the advantages. Impressing the participant, we would organize an andong (horse-cart) festival in nol kilometer (0 kilometer point in Malioboro). The festival would be attended by powerful people in Yogyakarta. We would also cooperate with government tourism office to support this event,” Anif told.

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