“One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way,” said psycholinguist Frank Smith. In today’s globally competitive world where boundaries between countries are no longer felt, the ability to speak a foreign language becomes a very crucial asset. While English is considered a must, as it is our international language, being able to speak foreign languages other than English can open up more opportunities. In Saint John’s Catholic School, Junior and Senior High School (JHS & SHS) students study three languages, which are Indonesian as our mother tongue, English, and either German or Mandarin, as they are prepared to be global citizens.
The 2018 Language Elocution Day was held on February 9th, 2018. It is an annual student activity in the form of language-based competition and is mandatory for Grade 7, 8, 10, & 11 students to participate in. In this activity, classes from each grade compete against each other. This year, JHS students partake in a Kahoot game competition, while SHS students participated in a puppet show competition.
The SHS Language Elocution Day was held earlier in the morning and was opened by SHS Principal Ms. Dinah Tanuatmadja. In this activity, each class performs a maximum of a seven-minute puppet show. The story may be based on popular stories, but the script must be original. What made the shows unique is that in each show, all four languages (English, Indonesian, German, & Mandarin) were used. Many modified version of popular stories, such as Aladdin and the Little Red Riding Hood, was brought to the stage.
The JHS Language Elocution Day was held later and was opened by several performances from Grade 7 & 8 students. They performed dances and sang several songs, where each song contains English, Indonesian, German & Mandarin lyrics. It was then followed by the Kahoot competition for Grade 7 students, where each class sends a team consisting of three students. Kahoot is a learning platform in the form of multiple-choice quizzes online game. On this activity, the quiz contains 30 multiple-choice questions consisting of 10 English questions, 10 German questions, and 10 Mandarin questions. It was then continued by the Kahoot competition for Grade 8 students, in which the system is exactly the same as for Grade 7 students, but obviously, the questions are higher in difficulty level.
As said by Svetlana Shchedrina, “To learn any foreign language, first you need to fall in love with it.” Hopefully, students will love foreign languages more after they participated in this activity.
Written by C. Dennis Budiaman, alumni, internship