Tuesday, March 2, 2010

WORDS Competition begins

After sharing tricks, games, and lessons at the midyear conference, it was time to cement the rules, proceedings, and theme of this year's WORDS Competition. WORDS was begun by ETAs two years ago as a way to bring the ETA schools together and give students the opportunity for a free trip to Jakarta and a chance at scholarship money. The competition requires 2-5 minute entries of some kind - dance, song, poetry, essay, painting, etc. - with 1 minute minimum speaking English. The entries must address the given WORDS theme for that year. One previous theme was "Why does my culture matter?"
WORDS was presented to us, the fresh batch of ETAs, back in the fall as the collaborative ETA event of the year. We had to sort out the theme and other details at the midyear conference. So we took a day in Makassar to put it all together.
One theme we had tossed around at the beginning of the year was "The World Outside My Window." I think we liked it because to us it seemed simple and gave students the chance to address the perceptions and impact of Indonesian culture. At the midyear conference we chewed on a number of other ideas but kept coming back to this window theme. We realized it needed explanation, so the final theme included a two-part subtitle:

The Changing World Outside My Window:
Where am I from?
Where am I going?

It was late January, and we set the following timetable: Feb 1 introduce the competition, March 1 select the one student who will represent your individual schools, April 9-11 WORDS Competition in Jakarta.
So, I set out in my first week of February to introduce this theme and encourage students to participate. There was a poster soon to come in Bahasa Indonesia.

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