Cafetalk Featured Tutor Interview


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Wina Tutor Interview

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Q. Hi Wina Let’s start off with a brief self-introduction!

A. It's Wina, and I was born in Indonesia but raised in Indonesia, Singapore, and the US. Three years had passed since I started teaching on Cafetalk. I teach English, Chinese, and Indonesia on Cafetalk. It's a pleasure to meet you all.

Q. According to your profile, you are now living in Indonesia, where you were born. Can you tell us a bit about Indonesia and its culture? What is the city where you live like?

A. I've moved back to my home country, Indonesia, with my Korean husband due to his job. Indonesia is located in Java, and the weather is hot and humid throughout the year. I currently live in Jakarta, which is the center of Indonesia. As an island country, Indonesia is blessed to have the power of nature and various cultural heritages. We could see much diversity not only in arts, architecture, songs, and languages but also in the food. Indonesia has much energy and I can feel the growth of this country every day.

At the trip to India.
Q. It seems like other than in Indonesia you have also lived in Singapore and the US before. Can you tell us about the life in each country?

A. Due to studying abroad and my job, I've lived in Singapore, the US, and Korea for 27 years, more than half of my life. For me, Singapore is like a second home. I left my home and parents for the first time and lived with my sisters while going to a school there. I've learned English and Chinese naturally at school. Singapore is a country like a melting pot of many nationalities and cultures. Other than Chinese, lots of my classmates are Malay and Indian, this way I had the opportunity to meet many cultures from a young age. After my graduation from high school, I moved to the east coast of the United States and went to a university in Boston. My college life taught me how to manage my time while both studying and doing a part-time job at the same time. At that time, I didn't even imagine this experience would be an advantage in the future. After I graduated from university, I worked for a hotel in Boston. Through the experience of working in the hospitality industry, I was able to learn how to care for customers from the bottom of my heart, and it was a pleasure to treat them with hospitality. When I had settled down in the States and felt like I wanted to try a new thing, I decided to go back to Singapore and started my new life as a worker, not a student at the place. I was lucky enough to get a job in which I could make use of skills that I obtained in the US. In the company, I had met my first mentor, and polished my presentation skills. I also learned, in order to achieve the sales goal, working together with a team towards the goal is the most important thing other than communication skills. When I've turned 30, I decided to make another fresh start. By talking to my Korean friends whom I got to know during my study abroad, I had become interested in the language and culture, so that I made up my mind to go to a language school in Korea and learn Korean from scratch.

My favorite spot in Boston, where I used to live before.
Q. It would be related to the previous question, but you've been using several languages! Japanese, Chinese, English, Indonesian, and Korean...How did you learn all of those languages?

A. Thanks to my environment, where I grew up, I was able to acquire five languages. I'm an overseas Chinese who was born in Indonesia. I talked in Chinese with my parents since childhood, and I got an education in Indonesian. Through studying abroad in Singapore, I've learned English naturally. In Singapore, I took all of my classes in English except for the Chinese class. For me, Japanese is the very first language that I studied with my own will. However, since I've been to Japanese school as an exchange student only for a year, I continued my studying afterward as a hobby. I watched the Japanese dramas or read Japanese novels. I also used to work for a Japanese company, I learned how to write emails in polite Japanese at that time. The fifth language I studied was Korean. I even never thought about going to graduate school and met my Korean husband after graduation from a language school. Probably, learning a language has been part of my daily life and life-long homework for me.

Q. What are you usually up to when you’re not teaching on Cafetalk? What are your hobbies and interests?

A. I'm basically a housemaker, so I do house chores in my spare time. In my other free time, I do exercises, read books and listen to podcasts with the topic I'm interested in. On the day without any lesson, I go out check out some cafes to find the best coffee. Uploading a photo of the coffee is the thing I'm looking forward to. I also like traveling, going to art galleries, coffee and eating tasty foods. I usually go traveling three times every year because of that.

At my favorite cafe (in Korea)
Q. What made you start teaching on Cafetalk?

A. Before I started teaching on Cafetalk, I've visited Japanese and Korean students who were working in Jakarta and taught them Indonesian and English for three years. And I happened to see the Cafetalk's recrutment page for tutors at a cafe. I started to teach on Cafetalk because I would be able to work at home and I could help more students than just those who are in Jakarta. I've stopped teaching at students' homes in order to focus on teaching on Cafetalk, so I'm a full time tutor at Cafetalk right now.

Q. Since you offer a variety of lessons, is there any lesson you can recommend in particular? Or can you give a quick overview of which lesson might be good for which type of student?

A. My lessons are flexible based on what students' would like to learn and anyone can take my lessons regardless of age. The youngest student I teach right now is 4 years old. The levels of students are vary, but most of them usually take our lessons once or twice a week. By routinizing their studies, they don't need to feel rushed and can improve their skills at their own pace. The students who study Indonesian with me mostly have the goal to pass the Indonesian Language Proficiency Test some day.

Q. A lot of students are probably curious about the atmosphere in your lessons. What can a student imagine a lesson with you to be like? What’s your teaching style?

A. I intend to make the lesson more relaxed and fun because I believe this is going to be the best way for students to keep learning. I also correct pronunciation even if they are beginners in order to help them become like a native speaker.

Q. Finally, would you like to leave a message for your current and future students?

"A. Three years have passed since I joined Cafetalk. At first, I thought this would be just a communication exchanges from the one platform to another. However, all of the students I met on Cafetalk are very honest and diligent. Some of them who passed the exam sent me an email about it and others spend much time on their homework, which shows me their efforts. Thanks to everyone, as a tutor, I can feel accomplished and more motivated everyday. What I would like to tell those who are going to see me from now on is you don't need to be in a hurry. You shouldn't judge your progress horizontally but better look at it in a vertical way. It would be better for you not to compare yourself with others. Rather than thinking that you aren't improving compared to others, you should look at how much you improved compared to yourself last year or five years ago. "



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