A Coffee Time with Khansaa Saii



This is the first time I interviewed one of my friends in my PLN. I chose this title because I really love “Coffee”. Coffee is my best friend which always be with me every time I need it.

This time while enjoying my coffee, I had a small talk with my dear friend, an English teacher Khansaa Saii. She is an English Teacher at Raba’a Al-Adawiya Secondary Girls Independent School, Qatar. We spent a few minutes to talk a little about her profession as a teacher. Here we go;

Image Khansaa Saii

Hello dear Khansaa! Thank you for allowing me to ask some questions while enjoying the coffee. It’s my first time to interview my ELT friends.

Ika              : How are you,Khansaa?
Khansaa     : I’m fine , Ika and you?
Ika               : Could you tell me a little bit about your town? I’m sure many friends really
                     want to know it, too.
Khansaa      : I was born in Lattakia, Syria. It’s on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
Ika               : Now,I’d like to ask you about your profession as an English teacher.
                      Do you teach English at School? What school it?
Khansaa      : Yes, I’ve been an English language teacher for about 10 years.

                       I taught in Lattakia, Syria for about 2 years the ministry of education( English Language Teacher) then I married and       me                   and my husband moved to Qatar .
Ika                : How do feel of teaching girls? Do you feel bored sometimes?
Khansaa       : It’s an amazing experience. I used to teach boys and girls.
                       Not that much.
Ika                  : What difficulties do you find of teaching English in Qatar? We all know that
                        English is not as L1 there.
Khansaa         : Arabic is L1. Motivation is the major point in teaching here, especially they’re teenagers.
Ika                   : How do make students feel enjoy learning English?
Khansaa          : By playing some games, watch some videos and try to do some plays( role- plays).
Ika                    : Why do you like  being an English teacher?
Khansaa           : I like teaching . I feel proud when my student start to talk fluently , get high marks and communicate in English.
Ika                     : Who’s inspired you for being a teacher?
Khansaa           :My mom is a teacher, I used to see here with her students when she was teaching in one of the primary schools in       Lattakia ( our towns ).
Ika                    : How do you learn as a teacher?
Khansaa          : I usually attend some webinars, register in courses of the teachers professional development.
Ika                    : Do you teach every day ?
Khansaa          :Yes, everyday
Ika                    : Good job. Now, What do you think of learning and sharing thru Social Media?
Khansaa           : so interesting and important .
Ika                    : Do you usually join kinds of Webinars? Why Yes/ Why No ?
Khansaa          :  No , since I’m teaching Grade 10 and it’s not allowed in independent schools as well.
Ika                    : The last question, what you will say to all of English Teachers
                           from all over the globe, especially who are teaching at Non-Speaking English  Country!
Khansaa           : Go ahead and really it worth . Appreciate you sharing ideas and information.
Ika                     : Thank you dear Khansaa for this nice talking. You’re great and inspiring. Squid
                           Hugs from Indonesia.
Khansaa           :Thank you so much Ika

Ika                     : The pleasure is mine,Khansaa. What a nice Coffee Time!




Nothing special about teaching profession… Huh?

Thanks for opening my eyes and my heart from every word in your writing,Rose. You’re awesome^^ . Let me Reblog it.

ROSE BARD - Teaching Journal

Bairro da Juventude School

This week I started observing a class of 6-year-old kids that are learning to read and write. The observation is part of my studies in Early Childhood education. The 1st grade teacher will be my research internship supervisor. First, I have to spend days observing and write down a report for my internship mentor who will discuss what I had observed. Then, I have to create the lesson plans focusing on literacy development and teach the kids a number of hours.

The 1st grade teacher is a great professional and passionate about the kids. I’m happy that she accepted this role in my final year. She’s also the one who will observe and assess me when the day come for me to step into her shoes. She’s been working in Bairro da Juventude School for 14 years. Needless to say that we clicked right away and…

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ImageMari Yamauchi ( Chiba University of Commerce ) and me


1. Is Mari your friend? Yes,she is

2. When did the 1st time you met Mari? I met Mari virtually via iTDi Collaborative Community. I knew her as one of iTDi Associates. I learned a lots from her. And, I met in person for the 1st time is on Wednesday,February 26th 2014

3. Really? Why you both looked so close? Hahaha…This is me and This is her. We are lovely friends^^ Thank you.

4. How did you communicate with Mari? Thru social media,especially facebook and email.

          Those questions always come to me after Mari come into my English School.


There are some reasons why I choose that as the tittle,they are;

1. It’s the 1st time for Mari Y took her students of Seminar Class to go abroad and all are boys.

2. It’s the 1st time for those boys come to Indonesia,especially to Depok and Jakarta.

3. It’s the st time for those boys visited a local English School and communicated with them in English.

4. It’s the 1st time  for me to welcome special guests from other country,the I accompanied them to go around Depok-Jakarta.

5. It’s the 1st time for me to take foreigner students and engage them with my students in my classroom.

6. It’s the 1st time for me to be listen people speaking Japanese and I tried to understand their speaking.

    ….so many things for me are the 1st:)

         The 1st Day–> Wednesday,February 26th 2014

       My sister and I picked them up at Soekarno-Hatta Int’l Airport at 10.55 am. Unfortunately, the flight has been delayed. So, we both had to wait for an hour. After an hour, suddenly a very energetic woman run to me and hold me..yes,she is MARI YAMAUCHI, a friend who I’ve never met in person, a lecturer who I know her thru social media. The, she introduced the boys behind her. They are all from her Seminar Class. They are;

  • Shota FUJISAKI
  • Hiroki NAKAJIMA
  • Tomohito MUNAKATA
  • Daichi YAMASHITA
  • Hidenari UMEDA
  • Yuta OSAWA
  • Koki SAKAI       

     Right after having lunch together, we went to our Guest House by a school van at TAMAN REKREASI WILADATIKA,CIBUBUR-JAKARTA. It’s near my house and my English School. It is a simple house with a simple facilities. Why didn’t I take them to stay in a five star hotel? Because I wanted to show them a real life of Indonesian. Because Mari told me that they came here to learn about our cultures.

ImageOn the way to our Guest House by a school van.Image

The traffic in Jakarta was not really friendly, so we spent about 3 hours to get to the Guest House. After checking time, I took them to enjoy the beauty of “MASJID KUBAH MAS” in Depok-West Java. Along the way to Masjid Kubah Mas, they enjoyed the views of Depok City in the afternoon. Then, we arrived at Masjid Kubah Mas at 6 p.m , it means that as a Moslem I had to do ‘SHOLAT MAGHRIB”. They allowed us to do that.   


After that we left the place to look for some foods for dinner. I took them to one of the Shopping Malls in Depok. We enjoyed our 1st dinner.

ImageImageMy sister, Mari, the boys and me “cheers”

The Second Day, Thursday 27th 2014.

     The 2nd day was a very full day. We had 3 programs in a day.

The 1st program –> Visiting Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII),Jakarta.

ImageImage ImageImage

TMII is the miniature of Indonesia. In there, we could enjoyed the beauties of traditional houses from all over the provinces and also kinds of museums. In TMII, they boys had a chance to get on a cable car, visit some traditional houses, have lunch in Padang Restaurant and also buy some Batik Shirts, souvenirs etc. 

  The 2nd program –> Visiting NIHON CLUB of SMA 4 DEPOK

Image ImageImage

We arrived at SMA 4 around 3 pm, then we had a chat with members of NIHON Club everything about Japan,Japanese and also about our country,Indonesia. The students could practice their Japanese with them. Everybody felt happy at that time. Thanks to Ibu Vice-Principal who’ve joined us in the room.

     The last program –> Visiting my English School (New Concept English Education Centre, Branch 25)

My English school is located near to SMA 4,so we went there on foot. Again, I wanted to show to all Japanese the real Indonesia and Indonesian. After arriving at NC 25, they had to sit on the carpet in the veranda cos they had to wait for “Meet and Greet” session with my teens. Around 5 pm, all those Japanese boys had to join in my teens class. My teens looked so happy meeting them. They asked some questions to those Japanese boys enthusiastically. The last class was my conversation class. The students are from the 3rd year of High School Students and also University students. They looked so happy and fun. Their activities during a half an hour;

1. Each of students had to introduce himself/herself in English.

2. My students presented about one of musical traditional equipment from West Java, “ANGKLUNG”.

3. Mari students told us about ‘SNOWY’ session in Japan.

4. All of the students played a children game both from Indonesia or Japan.

5. Each of student has to tell a hope and an impression about their 1st meeting.

6. All of students had to change their gifts each other.

ImageImage ImageImage



           The 3rd Day, Friday 28th 2014

                Friday was the last day they’re in Indonesia. I took them to go sight seeing around Jakarta. I took them by public transportation, by ANGKOT ( a public van) and also by TRAIN. It’s the 1st time they took ANGKOT and they felt hot then sweaty,but they felt very fun because the driver was so clever while driving. As for the train, they didn’t have any problem, everything is okay with the train. We took the train to Kota Tua,Jakarta.



       @ KOTA TUA,Jakarta

In Kota Tua,Jakarta, they had lunch at “Cafe Batavia”  and enjoyed some historical objects from the Dutch Era.

Image ImageImageImage

After spending 3 hours in Kota Tua, we went to Grand Indonesia,one of big shopping malls in Jakarta. WE went there by taxi. It’s time for them to shop something unique from Indonesia.

        Finally, I had to see they went back to Japan at 3 am.

It’s the hardest time for me, sure…after being with them for 3 days, talking, having fun and also learning together, I had to say GOOD BYE. We spent 4 hours before leaving the Guest House by doing some activities which made us are getting closer each other.

Image     ImageImage

       Mari and the boys, thousands thank you for your willingness to come and visit our small English School and make my students feel happier than before. You are all inspiring us to learn more about other people from different cultures. Besides learning English, my students are also inspiring to learn about Japan and Japanese.

       Personally, I’d like to say sorry for my err during 3 days together. Boys…I will never forget what you said before leaving us

Kanashimanaide,Ika sensei..I will be back here ” 🙂

     Mari and the boys, my door will always open to you anytime you come back here again. Good luck for you all.^^

Hugs and Kisses,

Ika sensei


Are these communicative language teaching activities?

It’s a new knowledge for me. Thank you Kevin for sharing this. I re-blog yours^^

The Other Things Matter

Dorpsomroeper / Town-crier from Flickr's The Commons.Dorpsomroeper / Town-crier from Flickr’s The Commons.

Lately, I’ve been taking a lot of cold medicine.  It makes me feel like someone stuffed a bag of marshmallows into my head…through my ears.  It is not an entirely unpleasant feeling.  But it has given everything around me a strange hue and left me slightly confused.  For example, I recently filled my mug up at the coffee machine and didn’t notice that the coffee bean hopper was empty until after I had taken a few sips of hot water.  Even worse, it has me wondering about the most basic aspects of language teaching.  For example, I seem to have lost my grasp of what communicative language teaching is.  According to Richards and Rogers’s Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching, in the early 70s, British applied linguists, “saw the need to focus in language teaching on communicative proficiency rather than on mere mastery…

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Closing 2013 and Opening 2014 with 12 wonderful days


That quote is very true. I do believe it.

December,28th 2013.

     I decided to go to my home village by bus cos I wanted to celebrate my New Year with my whole family. I went there in the evening around 7 pm. I took 8 hours to reach my home village. It’s a small village in one of a fresh town in Central Java,Indonesia.

My father picked me up at a bus terminal around 3 am. “Happy”, yes, I felt it when I saw my father’s face and saw he’s in his good health. Then, I also felt happier when I saw my lovely Mom and Grandma. When the morning came,I met my cute stars : Aura, Aurelia and Ghanian. I hold them tightly and also gave my sweetest kisses. They grew up so fast, Aura is almost as tall as me, Aurel is also taller than before, Ghanian has already ran fast. Thankful God for giving them for me.

Image   Image

In the 2nd day I was there in Dec 30th, Aurel (rere) celebrated her birthday. Now, she’s 7 years old. We went to a swimming pool and we swam and played water together. It’s a fun day.

Image Happy Birthday,dear.. Wish you all the best^^ hugs and kisses.

My fun day has changed in Dec 31st…My body felt not really good. I got bad cough, bad cold and diarrhea. I couldn’t smile and play with them again. I could stay in my bed, took a good rest and busy with kinds of medicines from my doctor. It’s very boring activities:(

In New Year’s Eve, I stayed at home only with my grandma since my both parents went somewhere and my three cute stars came to meet me around 10 pm. It’s better for me, at least I didn’t stay alone that night. Their smiles were so wonderful that night.

The 1st day of 2014,I was still not good. I couldn’t eat my favorite foods cos I had to consume only vegetables and fruits.

Three things I didn’t like during my days there; I was sick so I couldn’t play effectively with my stars,no ‘internet connection’. It’s very bad. in my I couldn’t keep on line. I couldn’t share and learn with my online friends effectively. If I wanted to be active, I had to go to a higher place to get better connection. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do that since I was still very weak and pale:(.

Finally, I spent my days in my home village for 12 days, from December 28th 2013 until January 10th 2014. I called those days as ’12 wonderful days’ since I realized that during 12 days in there, I got many wonderful experiences, included getting ‘sick’. I could take a great lesson from it. It’s “BEING HEALTHY IS EVERYTHING” .

Thanks God for giving me a great chance to feel ‘sick’. It means that I have to keep my health, good meals and good rest…never ignore having breakfast!  I will always keep my health because we can’t do anything if we’re not health.

(It’s just my notes, I wrote here because I want do it as my good reflection)





2014: And let the fun begin!

My dear sis and mentor has inspired me with her great idea about ‘games’ for her students. I decided to re-blog it. Thank you Rose Bard..Keep inspiring us!^^

ROSE BARD - Teaching Journal

My journey to understand playfulness has come to an end.  And now it is time to take full advantage of the lessons learned and create/adapt the games for 2014!

  •  I learned for instance that when choosing a game I have to make sure that all learners are prepared to fully participate, and to create a supporting atmosphere. Also never to base the choice of a game on a language point alone, but rather I’ll give some thought on the pedagogical reasons to use it, and adapt in order to provide the support that everyone needs.

Take a simple spelling game for example. If competition is involved and there are stronger/higher level students, the other students might not have the same chance of winning if they play alone and that can be really frustrating, and also demotivating if classroom culture promotes competition especially with teens. I’m not saying that competition is…

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Getting closer with FRIENDS in E.L.E.V.E.N.

It’s been almost a month I kept a way from my PLN friends, yes….It’s really hard for me to do that,for sure. But, my students’ examination at their formal school and also at informal school ( at English School) made my days full of tasks,scores and students’ report. ‘Lurking, Liking and also Posting simple pictures with simple comments were being my favorites activities I could do.


December 20th...I was tagged by my lovely Sis, Vicky Loras about this great thing called 11. At that time, I immediately asked her about how to play it and what I should if I wanted to answer her questions. She said “Whatever you like Sis. It’s for your blog” …Then, I promised her that I will answer after finishing all my Students Report. Now…..

It’s 11 am on Monday. Here I am with…11 facts, 11 questions and 11 answer.

These are what I have to do,

  1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  4. List 11 bloggers.
  5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you.

Let me start it,

11 facts about me;

  1. I am the oldest in my family. I have a long name which sometimes I feel lazy to write it. But,it’s really meaningful: IKA SARI LESTIYANI WIBOWO. IKA means “One/ First” ( Indonesian). SARI means “Flower” (Indonesian Classic). LESTIYANI is my Mom’s name. WIBOWO is a part of my Dad’s name. Thank you for a nice name you given to me:)
  2. “Chieka” is my popular name among my friends when I was at High School and University. So,I also use it here as my facebook account:)
  3. I am afraid of “FROG”.
  4. I love cooking so much. Now,trying to cook International Foods.
  5. I don’t know how to play musical instruments.
  6. I am a crazy of Sea Foods, fruits and vegetables (except lettuce).
  7. I come from teachers’ family ( My both parents, a grandpa,uncles and aunts are teachers).
  8. I prefer staying at home to hanging out with friends without fixed planning in my holidays.
  9. I go home village at least once or twice a year ( But,I always keep in touch with my parents and siblings by phones and messages).
  10. Never been abroad before:) But,I hope my 1st flight to other countries will be started in 2014 with my lovely Sis^^
  11. I am not familiar with Hi-Tech 😦

Vicky asked me and I answered;

  1. If you were not an educator, what line of work would you imagine yourself in? A doctor in a my small village.
  2. Which person in ELT would you like to meet in person and why? May I have 2 ELT people? Of course you,dear Vicky and my dear Rose Bard in Brazil because I really want to give my squid hugs for you both..hahaha..( lots of things I want to learn from you both).
  3. What new activity / hobby would you like to start? Swimming
  4. Which is the best book you have recently read? Why? “Teaching with Heart” /”Mengajar dengan Hati” . It’s an awesome book for me, I could learn from experts teachers how to teach and educate types of students.
  5. If you could change one thing in the world, what would that be? I would change it as “Lots of green, safe and comfy play grounds for children”.
  6. Which is the nicest destination you have visited so far and why? Bali Island (Indonesia). It’s a wonderful place..can’t explain it..just feel it:)
  7. If you decided to write a book, what would it be about? A story book for kids
  8. What is your favourite song this period? Everything at Once by Lenka
  9. What is your favourite and least favourite food? My favourite food: “Soto” (Traditional Food from my home village) and the least is meat.
  10. Which is the next conference you plan to attend? In 2014, I plan to attend TEFLIN Conference and I wish I could attend JALT Conference.
  11. With whom from the PLN was your first meeting in person? What was it like? I met these 5 great teachers at the same time in February 2013, Yitzha, Barbara Hoskin Sakamoto, Chuck Sandy, Eric Kane and Adi Cerman. I was blessed and felt very excited:).

Here are the bloggers I’d like to ask them taking part of this challenge:

  1. Rose Bard
  2. Theodora Papapanagiotou
  3. Pravita Indriati
  4. Yitzha Shiella Sarwono
  5. Roseli Serra
  6. Barbara Bujtas
  7. Malu Sciamarelli
  8. Priscila Mateini
  9. Kathleen Kampa Vilina
  10. A-Chan Loseva
  11. Alexandra Chistyakova

Then…here are my 11 questions for them;

  1. What’s your first word to describe LIFE ?
  2. What’s your hobby that really makes you ‘crazy’ doing it?
  3. Where did you go for your last holiday?
  4. Have you ever done ‘something funny’ in public? What’s that?
  5. Are you allergic from some foods or other things? What’s that?
  6. What makes you afraid of?
  7. What’s the best movie you’ve ever watched? Why?
  8. Who’s your ‘idol’? Why do you like him/her?
  9. What colors do you like and why?
  10. When did you start your life as a teacher? Why do you want to be a teacher?
  11. What things you haven’t done in 2013 and you will do in 2014?

Thank you so much dear Vicky Loras for tagging me to take this challenge. I’d like to say my big thanks to my lovely bloggers who are willing to take this challenge,too:)

Image Squid hugs from Indonesia








Goal 10: My Bookprint by @dorapap72 #30GoalsEdu

It’s very inspiring for me as a teacher. Th title reminds me with my Dad’s advice “Mengajarlah dari hati kamu” OR “Teaching from your heart”. It’s worth reading^^ Thank you dear Vicky Loras for sharing this great writing.

Vicky Loras's Blog

198004_513461212006980_973484126_nThis tenth goal has been suggested by an educator I admire tremendously for her work, her inexhaustible energy and enthusiasm in everything she does, be it teaching, blogging, or going to the gym – Theodora Papapanagiotou!

This goal has been on my mind for quite some time.

I love books so much, that every time I go into a bookstore, I struggle not to buy yet another – I have around five hundred in my small apartment. There is always a book in my bag, so I can read if I am commuting to a class by train or bus, or travelling in general, or out for coffee, I always have one on hand to read. I do not like all books (for instance crime novels or science fiction are not my cup of tea), but my favourite kinds are those that have to do with my work, any…

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Goal 5 : Stepping out of your comfort zone # 30goalsedu

Feeling safe and comfort, yes, I used to be a person who enjoyed being in the old box. I wake up every morning then starting my morning classes at 7 – 8 am. Then, I have a break time for 4 or 5 hours before I started my afternoon classes at 2 or 3 pm. In my spare time, I sometimes prepare some materials for the next classes or just do something fun, likes watching movie, writing a story etc. I work from Monday to Saturday. I always do the same activities everyday.
I am an English teacher, I teach English for kids, teens and adults. I work at a good place, I always get what I want. If I need supporting materials, I just call the Education Dept Staff to find it for me. I am lazy to learn something new. I feel safe as  I have friends who always be with me and understand me. I feel like I shouldn’t do anything to develop my teaching skill. I have dreams but I always keep them in my mind. I almost do the same activities everyday. It lasted for about 5 years. At the same time I feel comfort and also feel ’empty soul’ . Yeah,it is ” My Comfort Zone”.

In my comfort zone;

Safe            Limited  dreams       Lazy

Same friends         Same office         Passive

No challenge        Less confidence.

After 5 years, I feel like I’ve slept too long and I couldn’t wake up. Then, one day in February 2013, I got a new experience. I joined Teacher Workshop held by iTDi Community in Jakarta. During the workshop I feel that I am no body. No body knows who I am. It’s not easy for a teacher like me to start having a small talk with new people. However, It is a chance for me to make new friends out side my comfort zone.
After a few weeks, I made my big decision,I had to try something new somewhere. I started to arrange my new timeline of my daily activities. I know that it will be hard for me. Some friends of mine think that I’ve changed to be a new person. I was not Ika anymore. Whatever people think about me, I took the risks with my whole heart.

Yeah, I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and go out and connect with new people outside my zone. I know that they didn’t recognize me as IKA, an English teacher. I’ve got a lot of new things, the things that I will never get if I stayed in my old box.
Outside my comfort zone; 
Unlimited dream and ideas       More confident             

Active Diligent to learn

Fearlessness      More new friends

That is who I am now. I feel that I have found myself as me and as a teacher. By making decision to step out of my comfort zone I also change my ways of teaching. I have many sources for my supporting materials. I dare to start my first virtual exchange project with my ELT friend.
I never regret with my decision as after stepping out of my comfort zone I feel “I grow become a better person and a better teacher”
Thank you for reading.
Squid hugs,

Ika Chieka

Goal 4 : Revisit an Idea#30goalsedu

” My mind contains many good ideas,but it’s not always easy  to squeeze one out ” ( Ashleigh Brilliant)

That  quote is really me as I am a type of teacher with piles of ideas in my mind but i sometimes feel confuse which one of my ideas will be my priority. After reading the challenge of Goal 4 : revisit an idea, I kept silent and said about one of my ideas which I’ve kept it for so long but I will do it in this new term of study. Again, I asked my dear Vicky Loras to describe about the meaning of ” revisit an idea”, then I got it.

Due to my busy outdoor activities, I didn’t have much time to write my Goal 4 in a short time. It was my big homework that I have to finish it soon.

Then, last week I wrote a message to my friend,Rose Bard from Brazil and told her about my project entitled “THE BEAUTY OF WORLD CULTURES”. It is about how to make my students love their culture and also learn the cultures from other countries. I got this idea as my students are above 16 and they like learning something new, something unusual or something make them curious. Rose Bard’s class is my first choice as I have already been familiar with her students and my students also have been familiar with them. We will create a good way to our students in order to learn and share their ideas, knowledge and also experiences as a student. Thank you very much for your nice response Rose. You are awesome.

Now, I am ready to start doing one of my ideas which I’ve kept it for so long. Let’s start it!