Nani Songkares, is the English teacher at the SMA Seminary St. John Berkhmans, Todabelu, Mataloko. The monastery is located on the island of Flores in the far eastern area of Indonesia. With the help of ERF Board Member, Yuseva Iswandari, he had been implementing ER with his high school students, however, they had few readers and many of the students were not very motivated to read. In Nani’s words:
“Some students really loved reading those books, but others would only read because I required them to do so. I required them to read 10 books per month, and asked them to make a summary of each book. But then many would visit the English Room several days before the deadline. Then, I invited them to read without any assignments – I didn’t ask them to make a summary. They only needed to tell me how many books they read and the titles. Then they visited English Room when they were free. But normally, per day we had around 8 to 10 students.”
“When the first box from Japan came, MReader was introduced. First, I only allowed some students (around 10 of them) to join. But then more and more came, until we have three classes for MReader (104 students). To my surprise, almost every day many students visited the English Room. The number increased to 20, 40, 50, 60 students. When the exams finished, they spent more time in the English Room to read and do the quizzes. The principal noticed this and he came with two important decisions: first, to include extensive reading in the curriculum of seminary, second to choose the English Room as one of the internet spots for the near future.“
The most surprising thing, however, is that once the term was over, at the end of May and the students returned to their homes, they continued to read! Of his 104 students, 68 took one or more quizzes during June, with an average of 3.7 books per student. Many of the others have no internet connectivity, or even electricity at home. They will have to wait for school to resume to continue reading.