TUEETOR CHATS with English Teacher, Nanang Eko Prastiyo

English - Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash

Of all the teachers I’ve had in my life, I reckoned the ones who made the biggest impact on me by far, were my English teachers. Not only were they helping to build up my confidence for life as I progressed from primary to tertiary, they were, at least in my mind, more than inspirational; titans who’ve launched me (except for a certain GP tutor from college. Him, not so much.) As per Geoff Barton’s (himself a respected English teacher for some 40 years and more), ’12 Things’, he summed it up in the best possible way:

“English teachers are more important than they realise. They teach the most important skills within the most important subject. They remind us of the power of language and the delights of literature. They have an impact beyond their knowledge, influencing generations of young people and great English teachers nourish our heroism. They allow us to feel that we can read better, write better, think better, learn better. The world is like the biggest challenge, but because of our English teachers, we as learners suddenly feel up to it. We owe our English teachers a great deal – not least, our gratitude.”

Geoff Barton

So for all tutors, teachers, trainers, instructors such as Tueetor’s Featured Trainer from Indonesia Nanang Eko Pratiyo whom we interviewed in this Q&A. For all those who teach English in a non-native English-speaking country, we salute you!

Connect with Nanang, English Tutor on Tueetor by clicking here.

Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi! I’m Nanang Eko Prastiyo. You can call me Nanang. I’m currently studying chemical engineering as an undergraduate at Universitas Pembangunan Nasional “Veteran” Jawa Timur. I love travelling, playing music, and watching movies. I’m an easy-going and flexible person.

What inspires you to be an English teacher?

I have enjoyed learning English since I was in junior high school. Hence, speaking English is a major part of my daily life. I would always try to speak English in my daily life with my friends and family, even if it’s just parts of the entire day. This way, I would like to share what I can with those people who may have the intention to learn English, but do not have the resources to.

(Top & bottom:) Did you know #1? William Shakespeare gifted us with modern English words we use almost every day. From ‘manager’ (“Where is our usual manager of mirth? What revels are in hand?” – Kind Theseus in a ‘Midsummer’s Night’s Dream. Act V, Scene 1; to ‘fashionable’ (“For time is like a fashionable host that slightly shakes his parting guest by the hand, and with his arms outstretch’d, as he would fly, grasps in the comer: welcome ever smiles, and farewell goes out sighing.- Ulysses from ‘Troilus and Cressida’, Act III, Scene III.; the bard has gifted us with an amazing repertoire of everyday vocabulary. Of course, as per mentalfloss.com states it, just because the first written instances of these words appeared in Shakespeare’s scripts doesn’t preclude the possibility that they existed in the oral tradition prior to his recording them. But as Shakespeare might have said, it was high-time (‘The Comedy of Errors’) for such household words (‘Henry V’). Pictures courtesy of Pinterest.

If you’re not already doing so, would you like to be a full-time freelance English Teacher?

Yes, I would like to, with my pleasure!

Why is learning English important?

Because English is a global language. You will need to know English in this modern era to thrive. When you learn English, it means that you open your window to the world. It makes you become more open-minded because your knowledge will be so much wider.

Did you know #2: Beowulf is often referred to as the first important work of literature in English, even though it was written in Old English, an ancient form of language that slowly evolved in the English that we all know today. Above, a photograph of the first page of ‘Beowulf’, known to be produced sometime between 975 and 1025 AD. Picture courtesy of Wikipedia, the British Library.

What are your biggest strengths being an English teacher? What sets you apart from other English tutors? And how do you organise your lessons for beginners, as opposed to those who are more advanced? 

My biggest strength would be patience. I would not be expecting my students to master English within a day or even within one month. Especially for students who have no prior knowledge of English and are non-native speakers of English, I’d have to start by teaching them the very basics, such as the use of tenses and grammar, thus it would not be easy.

The thing that sets me apart from other English tutors is that I have my own method to teaching English. I usually like to make my lessons fun.

Also, I get regular feedback from my students like my very own FGD (focus group discussion) to allow my students more ownership of their lessons. And I take this feedback seriously, allowing me to further tweak and improve my lesson plans.

For beginners, I will also teach them grammar, because it is the very basic component before you start to learn more advanced elements. For the advanced students, I’d like to have regular FGDs so that the students will be more active and engaged, and this is also when they can speak up their minds. – in English!

Did you know #3: The very first dictionary of the English language was published 4 April 1755 and was written by Samuel Johnson. (Picture courtesy of the Eighteenth Century Collections Online, Public Domain, Wikipedia). As Wikipedia puts it, there was widespread dissatisfaction with the dictionaries of the period, a group of London booksellers contracted Johnson who took 7 active years between the decade of 1746 to 1755, to complete it single-handedly. Until the completion of the Oxford English Dictionary 173 years later, Johnson’s was viewed as the pre-eminent English dictionary.

What is the most rewarding part of being an English teacher?

For me, the most rewarding part of tutoring in English is the ‘before and after’ scenarios. It’s when my students, who do not know any English aka from totally zero, to when they can finally understand English aka master levels; that alone is reward enough.

Finally, what do you think of Tueetor?

I think that Tueetor is a good platform to learn English. Because we are in an era where all people are digitally connected (to the internet). It is a simple way to learn English when people have no time to go to the formal class, they can choose Tueetor because it is more flexible. And also, online classes are a fast-growing phenomenon. And I hope to be a part of that!

Did you know #4: A poem written by Gerard Nolst Trenite (1870 – 1946) entitled ‘The Chaos’ (also more popularly known by its opening line, ‘Dearest Creation in Creation’, was a poem featuring around 800 of the most awkward and counter-intuitively spelled and pronounced words in the English language; it was written as a way to help students with their pronunciation. Here’s the challenge: if you are able to pronounce every word correctly in this poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world! Picture courtesy of the Busy Teacher.org and yes there’s more to the poem! For the full poem click here.)

For more information on how to be a tutor or trainer with Tueetor, visit https://tueetor.com/ or call us at +65 6206 6660 or whatsapp us on 98833 867. Or, if you are looking to improve in English in another market, other than Indonesia, feel free to PM us for assistance. Written and edited by Cecilia Leong.