Chakris Srisuwan, Senior Awardee 2015
Why did you decide to apply for NAILA?
I found out about NAILA through my Indonesian Tutor who was a friend helping me with my self-study at the time. I decided to apply for NAILA because I thought it would be a fantastic and eye opening experience that would lead to meeting new inspirational people. Of course, the NAILA experience was exactly that, I met so many like-minded people and couldn’t have asked for more. This competition may seem challenging for some of you out there, but remember you’ve got nothing to lose by applying; the NAILA team is always supportive. Besides, you’re all truly winners for having the courage to submit your entry.
Do you have any tips on how to prepare for NAILA?
Everyone has their own individual way to prepare for speeches, especially when it’s in a different language. I first tried to write my speech directly into Bahasa Indonesia, but things got frustrating when ideas weren’t flowing the right way. It was much better to write the speech in my most preferred language (in this case English) and then translate it into Indonesian. Try showing your final speech to an Indonesian friend or mentor that can assist with any minor tweaks your speech may need. It’s also important to remember to just breathe, relax and present your speech naturally. Once you’re comfortable, everything will just flow.
What did you learn or gain from NAILA?
NAILA had allowed me to experience a new side to our ever developing world, especially on the topic of “international relations.” I remember the conversation all the awardees had at dinner one night with the judges about various topics that related to our world’s future. NAILA definitely benefited my confidence in speaking Indonesian as well as shedding light on new perspectives that were brought forth by all the unique individuals I got to meet along the way.
What you are doing with yourself now and how Indonesian has helped you?
At the moment, I am still finishing off my Year 12 studies in Perth. I believe this year will go quick, especially with the other speech competitions coming up. Learning Indonesian has helped me develop a better overall perspective. It’s exactly what I talked about in my speech: Languages help shape our perspective of the world because we experience new cultures, ethnics and people that influence our perception of reality. Indonesian has also helped me in my travels throughout Indonesia and Malaysia, I believe you establish a better connection with the local people when you can embrace their native language.
Chakris is a Year 12 student who has been actively learning Indonesian as his third language for the past 3 years through the Western Australian home schooling curriculum know as SIDE (School of Isolated and Distance Education).