How to Choose a Language School
When considering learning at a language school, whether Indonesian or any other language, there are a number of questions to consider to choose a language school or private teacher. Here are a few:
Is my teacher trained and certified? They can be trained by a particular institution or school, and can be certified by presenting their Indonesian Proficiency Test results and official training certificates. Does your teacher/school have this?
Where will you be learning? Will you be learning at a home, a restaurant or a school? If your teacher is trained and certified, why would they be teaching anywhere other than at a school? If at a restaurant, factor in associated costs such as drinks and snacks, as well as noise, interruptions and distractions. If at home, your environment may be comfortable for living, but not suitable for learning.
What methodology will the teacher be using? Language learning has come a very, very long way since most of us sat at student’s desk. Language learning has become much more enjoyable on one hand, and psychological on the other. The purpose is no longer to help you to be capable in a new language, which old methods could barely achieve, or to help you to translate between your mother tongue and the new language which slows your thinking to a crawl, but to be fluent, which new methods and trained teachers can help you to achieve.
What materials and resources will they be using? Does the school/teacher prepare their own materials for you, or are they using ‘off-the-shelf’ materials from the bookstore? Bahasa Indonesia is a rapidly developing language, most books are obsolete by the time they are published and go on sale. Are they giving you other learning resources to use, or are they just writing and talking lots about the language to you, rather than actually training you how to speak the language, by having you actually speak it?
How much does it cost? It may appear cheaper to learn in a place that’s ‘free’ like a home or a restaurant, but there are many hidden costs involved, in expected food and drink purchases, inconvenience, distractions and discomfort. While it’s good to have a drink if you are talking a lot, you should be able to bring your own to the class.
A formal school may appear to cost more, but actually it costs less. With a formal school, you have trained and certified teachers teaching you in a proper learning space using an effective methodology and specially-designed materials and resources. Private teachers charge the same amount, but they do not provide any of these things, and they pocket the difference. They pay no tax, no rent or mortgage fees, and no formal registration or organization fees, and do not make contributions to local organizations.
Cinta Bahasa started as a school in Campuhan, Ubud, Bali. Our teachers have University degrees, successful careers in their fields prior to become teachers, and are trained and certified by a variety of formal language training institutions. They teach in proper classrooms using the latest methodologies and specially-designed textbooks and learning resources. They are also paid very well and have long-term employment contracts. Cinta Bahasa is formally registered as an educational institution, is registered with the Ministry of Education and is well-connected to Indonesian Language networks across Indonesia. Cinta Bahasa has contributed over Rp 45,000,000 (5,000 USD) to Education Scholarship Funds for low-income Balinese students and has contributed to hotel, restaurants and other businesses in Ubud.