It all began in June last year when I started my German
conversational class for Bahasa Basudara. I don’t know who was more nervous,
the students or me, as it was my first class. But after 36 weeks together, we
parted as more than just friends, we had become a tightly knit group, a bit
like a family really and promised that we would meet up at least once a month
for a catch-up.
We had a three-month break at the beginning of the year and
it’s quite telling, that if you don’t keep practising on a weekly basis, you
tend to lose your fluency and even your vocabulary. Unlike the English-speaking
students in Maluku and the rest of Indonesia, who get exposed to the English
language on a daily basis, either through music or television, my German
students had to make more effort. They had to resort to YouTube, a German news
channel or online newspaper, or as many did, their German textbooks.
I have a lot of respect for my students whose German is much
better than my basic grasp of Bahasa Indonesia. One of the first questions I
asked them was why they wanted to learn/improve German? It’s such a hard
language to learn, with its difficult pronunciation and complicated grammar.
Was it because they already spoke English and wanted to learn another language?
Their answers were varied.
Some of them said that their German was better than their English, others wanted a challenge and learn a completely new language, the female students wanted to move to Germany for either work, to continue with their study, research or work.
Of all the classes I have tutored in the past year, my
German students attended nearly every week. Their attendance record was high,
and I would have on average 5 or 6 students
for each class. They were a driven, focused and highly motivated group.
Thank you Heny, Samy, Juliana, Fanuel, Yulinda, Fifi, Santy
and Risma for your dedication, tenacity, enthusiasm and friendship. Thank you too for the lovely recording of Gandong in German, which you presented at the end of our last class. I have a
lot of respect for you and wish you all the luck in the world. See you again