Undergraduate students teaching in Sumatra

School of Education students have spent a month of the summer vacation in the provincial town of Jambi in Sumatra, Indonesia.

Students Lauren Booth (Year 2 BA Childhood Studies) Nancy Humphrey (Year 2 BA Education) were there at the invitation of Junior High School No. 4, whose headmaster is a longstanding colleague and friend of Dr Martin Lamb, Senior Lecturer in TESOL. Their job was to provide English conversation classes for the pupils, who rarely if ever get the chance to try out their language skills with native speakers. They found the pupils to be very highly motivated on the whole, eager to know not just about English but also about young people’s lives in the UK.

In return for their work Lauren and Nancy received living and travel expenses from the school, and were given accommodation by the city mayor, who also arranged for various excursions in the area. To be suddenly immersed in such an authentic Asian community was was an intense but rewarding experience, Lauren said. Being far from any tourist areas, they were struck by the friendliness and curiosity of the local people, and by the many cultural contrasts with home. They hope to have the opportunity in their future career to live and work again in the Far East.