INDONESIA - MANDARIN TEACHERS WANTED
Added On April 21, 2017
Indonesia is home to the largest Chinese overseas community, with thousands of years of movement between the two countries.
But now mandarin is proving more popular than ever, and a small band of teachers are doing their best to educate a country of 250 million, in the world's most spoken first language.
In Central Java, a group of Chinese-Indonesians opened a Mandarin school in its provincial capital, Semarang in 2008.
It's called Tunas Harum Bangsa, means "The Fragrant Seed of Nation", or in Mandarin, the "Sanbaolong Nanyang".
The local Indonesian society quickly welcomed the school, and signed up their children.
In less than ten years, the number of students has skyrocketed from 30 to 450.
The school consists of playgroup, kindergarten, elementary school, and a high school.
Although the school is trilingual, it emphasises Mandarin to the students.
To help teach the language, it employs five native speakers from China as well as seven teachers from Indonesia.
Deng Meiqun is from Guangdong, and is one of the native Mandarin speakers.
Deng has been teaching here for more than a year. She says Indonesia people's kindness touched her heart.
SOUNDBITE2 (MANDARIN): Deng Meiqun, Chinese teacher (07: 38-08: 22)女
"My most intense feeling is that Indonesian people are just like Chinese people, no matter what colour we are on the outside, our hearts are the same, and the humanity is the same. The people here are very kind and friendly, especially the kids, they are more relaxed and happy."
Deng teaches the primary school students. She found many Chinese Indonesians no longer speak Mandarin.
SOUNDBITE3 (MANDARIN) Deng Meiqun, Chinese teacher (08: 23-10: 08) 女
(Q: when you are teaching these kids here, how are they receiving this?
“Well, there are some grandparents who speak Mandarin, and for those kids, their mandarin is a little bit better, because they have a language foundation, however, some families do not speak Mandarin, thus, i have to keep warm attitude and patience to teach them, word by word.(delete) When I first arrived, and I tried to say hello to the students, but they did not understand, it’s very embarrassing. So I started to teach them to say their name, family, how many people in your family, and introduce their own family, and the name of the school, and how to say “hello, good morning, good afternoon”. From this, easy-but crucial- steps and exercises，we began to teach them with teaching materials and books. After a period of training, many students can speak good mandarin in this semester.”
Huang Qihan is 12 years old and has been studying in Sambo Nanyang for two years.
SOUNDBITE4 (MANDARIN): Huang Qihan, sixth grade students
Hello, culd you tell me something about yourself?
Ok, hello, guys, I am Huang QiHan, and I am twelve years old.
When did you study here?
Uh. When I was 10 years old.
And you’re now 12 years old. so you have been studying here for two years?
yes ,2 years.(delete)
How do you like the school?
This school is so beautiful. and, my friends are very good. and my teachers are also patient.
It's not just in this school, where people have turned to mandarin.
A number of schools, courses and tutors have sprung up in cities across the country. But even this hasn't been enough to meet local demand.
SOUNDBITE5 (MANDARIN)： Liang Liming, Indonesian Mandarin teacher (14: 33-15: 23) 男
"The biggest problem is the speaking, because in here, we do not have the language environment, because very few people can speak Mandarin. It is difficult for us to practice Mandarin, because we speak our own language at home. So we need to provide some language environment, so I hope I have more opportunities to study in China.”
The Indonesian Chinese Language Education Promotion Organization hope to solve this problem by copying the process that happens in blood transfusions.
Native teachers from China are expected to be the stem cell, who produce Mandarin speakers of their own, who in turn can then teach more after.
SOUNDBITE6 (MANDARIN)： Deng Meiqun, Chinese teacher (10: 09-11: 20) 女
"From the domestic teacher, I think this process is blood transfusion, and then cultivate the teacher in here is hematopoietic,（DELETE） I think hematopoietic is the most fundamental way to solve the problem, for us, although our own native language is very good，But it has a flaw: we can not switch between Chinese and Indonesian, There is an obstacle to communicate with the students, but for the locals, they learned Chinese, And then let them teach Chinese, they can switch between two languages, this effect will be much better. "
Indonesia now hope to bolster the estimated 10,000 Chinese teachers in the country, to meet the demands of its population of 250 million people.