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20 Apr 2016

Encouraging Students to Debate in English

Passion for education is what prompted Renata C. G. Vigeleyn Nikijuluw to pursue a Masters of Education (TESOL) at the University of Southern Queensland in 2006 under an Australian Development Scholarship. "I knew I would gain valuable knowledge in material development and teaching methodology, among other key skills for a lecturer," said Renata.

Upon her return to Indonesia in 2007, the lecturer of English Language Education at the Faculty of Education and Head of the Language Laboratory, Universitas Pattimura, Ambon, was involved in producing supporting materials for the listening and speaking class. The Language Laboratory now utilises 10 computers complete with up-to-date English listening CD study materials.

Most notably in 2008, however, Renata established English Community, an English debate group, to encourage her students to not only improve their English language skills, but to also improve their critical thinking skills.

"It took two years of hard work and persistence to establish English Community," said Renata, "but I could see the evident improvement of the students' skills when I served as trainer for the Maluku debate competition held in collaboration with the Education, Youth and Sports Department of the Province of Maluku and when I trained the students for the National Debate Competition in 2010-2011."

"Seeing the students in Maluku develop their skills in presenting ideas and critical debate in English was well worth the effort of establishing English Community," Renata smiled.

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