Peace and all good!
Another year has just finished in the life of the Seminary Menengah Christus Sacerdos, and it was also the second year of my teaching experience with the young Seminarians.
Reading the articles of Bro.Gerard who I met personally here during his stay with us and of Petrus Sitohang, I have more vivid idea of how the English language in the Seminary should be given a first place concern that it may become part of the real life situation of every seminarian.
The semester recently was quite tough for me since I had to teach the new comers, that was the 3 Probatorium classes. Majority of them couldn’t speak the language and even to grasp it. I had tried the most possible means I have in hand like internet, LCD, presenting my lessons in Powerpoint, games, songs and more written dialogues prepared by them so that they could express themselves using English. I think they were effective enough. It is consoling to hear them once in a while speaking English.
I believe somehow that my presence would help them, the seminarians as well as the teachers, to practice English everyday. It is also true that this is what is lacking, the opportunity to use it not only in a classroom situation but also in every day life situation. I am also glad that many of our teachers are given the chance to study the language and I’m happy that they started to have the courage to use it not only with me but also among themselves.
I have a lot of stories, even anecdotes to always remenber during these two years that somehow become the teasers in animating my community.
One day in one of my lessons, Tupa with his broken english asked me,”Sister, couldn’t you speak our language?” I answered, “I couldn’t.” He continued, “Don’t you know it?” With my white lies I responded,”I don’t know.” And he questioned,”Then why have you stayed in our country?” I replied,”Because, I have to teach English in the seminary.” He insisted, “And then, you have to know our language.” I said. “That doesn’t matter because with you there is only English language.” In between the lesson, this seminarian’s naughtiness continued and interrupted me by asking something in Indonesian language which distractedly I answered, and with his forefinger’s ponting up and a smile on his face, he exclaimed,” So Sister, you know our indonesian language!”. And I smiled.
Funny story? Perhaps, but more, it was a beautiful experience. The spontaneity of these young seminarians, inspite of the difficulties in the teaching and learning process of the English language, gives me that enthusiasm to share more what is in my dispositiona. In the Seminary, I am the only foreigner but I never felt I am a stranger. Every one has done the part to let me feel at home.
What we are hoping for the next school year is that we may offer more good education to our Seminarians, rich with spirituality and brotherhood so that these young boys whose future will be also ours, will give the best of their lives and so that our Church may be enriched with men of good faith.
To all the Staff and Seminarians: A fruitful Holiday! See you all again the next school year! (Sr. Imelda Espital Dela Cruz FIS)