Scholastic Life

The biggest aspect of our lives in Indonesia at this point is language learning. Five days a week from 8:30am to 10:30am we are in formal classrooms. Gena and I are in one class, the kids are in another, but we’re all at the exact same place, covering the same material. In Unit 4 we were in the same class together, which was a lot of fun. But in Units 5 and 6 we’re separated again. Gena and I have a younger couple from South Africa as classmates.

Two hours a day doesn’t sound like a lot. But that’s just the classroom part. Each day we now must write essays in Bahasa Indonesia, discussing either assigned or chosen cultural topics. This takes a lot of time as our vocabulary for more advanced topics is still quite limited and we need to rely on various translation tools. Additionally, we often must interview a native-speaker on either a pre-assigned cultural topic or one we choose ourselves. Usually we present in class on this interview the next day, which requires additional thought and consideration beforehand. Finally, each night we need to translate the following day’s lesson so in class we can focus on reading pronunciation, verify our interpretative skills, and elaborate on problem areas as well as cultural topics.

All told, it can add up to eight hours of work, five days a week. Plus homework on the weekends. Not including extra-curricular interactions like coffee in the school coffee shop after class.

We spend a *LOT* of time at the school.

We’re now half-way through Unit 6 out of 9 possible units. Given my increasing travel and work schedule as well as the Christmas holiday break we are likely to complete the last three units by April of next year. It will be strange not to have formal classwork anymore, though we will undoubtedly continue with tutoring.

The school has been a huge blessing to our family, arriving as we did without knowing anyone else in Indonesia. They’ve served as surrogate family and friends celebrating birthdays with us, and have been an invaluable resource to us as we attempt to establish ourselves here, whether renting a house or furnishing it or dealing with other interactions before our language skills were adequate.

We never expected to have such a resource but it has definitely been a huge blessing from God. Please include LCE in your prayers as they grow and expand post-Covid to accommodate not only an influx of foreigners desiring to learn Bahasa Indonesia, but a huge group of Indonesians studying to learn or improve their English language skills.

2 thoughts on “Scholastic Life

  1. My brain is tired just thinking of all the work involved in learning the new language! Based on your daily estimate of time, I figure 5 of you at 8 hours each = 40 hours daily for the Nelson family!!! Enjoying your blog so much, and continuing to keep you all in prayer. Love, Sandie


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