Indonesian speaking in the spotlight

September 3, 2021 BY

Competitors: Meg Jones, Megan O’Beirne and Leah Stevens represented their respective year levels throughout the Sayembara Lisan process. Photo: SUPPLIED

DAMASCUS College students saw success at the recent Sayembara Lisan Indonesian Speaking Competition, consolidating and testing their classroom language learning.

Year 11 Megan O’Beirne and year 9 Meg Jones reached the final round held virtually, with Megan placing third from a Victorian pool of 34 metropolitan and regional students.

Megan has been studying Indonesian since year 7, enjoying the opportunity to not only write and speak the language, but learn about the culture.

“I did the first round with one of the school’s Indonesian teachers. We had to hold a general conversation that comprised of a list of different questions, then do a presentation on a chosen topic before an unrehearsed discussion based upon the presentation that you made,” she said.

“The final was held on Zoom. It was one-one-one for 15 minutes per person, with a native Indonesian speaker, and it was the same format as the first round; completely in Indonesian.

“We don’t get that many opportunities to talk to people in Indonesian outside of school, or native Indonesian speakers, so it was awesome to be able to hold it with other people across Victoria and I could see what I can improve on.”

For those that have the opportunity to learn Indonesian, Megan encourages them to give it a go and gain a greater grasp of a nearby country’s culture.

“Indonesia and Australia are really close neighbours, so it’s really important for people to have the ability to communicate and converse in the Indonesian language,” she said.

“Maintaining that camaraderie and bond between nations is really important.”

Year 8 Jovie Skewes-Clinton and year 10 Leah Stevens also competed in the initial regional round held at school.

The final round was planned to be held at the Sidney Myer Asia Centre at the University of Melbourne but was facilitated online to ensure COVID safety.

The Victorian state Indonesian teachers’ Association hosts the Sayembara Lisan competition each year in partnership with the University of Melbourne.

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