Learning can be done anywhere, regardless this pandemic of Covid-19. That is what Universitas Muhammadiyah Gresik has been doing this time. Kuliah Umum Zaman NOW “Nang Omah Wae” (Just stay at home) keeps providing us with series of interesting talks collaborated and worked together with various speakers both local, national, and international. On 29th April 2020, Kuliah zaman NOW holds a special talk with the head of English education department and international speaker from Al-Ahzar University, Egypt. The topic was “Quick tips for TOEFL/IELTS”. It was followed by lots of participants from the students, staffs, lecturers, even people outside the campus. Furthermore, those speakers talked about different topics which were so useful for us especially for those who wish to pass English proficiency test like TOEFL or IELTS.
The first speaker who is the head of English education department, Mr. Ribeh Najib Muhammad, M.Pd. brought the material about how to tackle reading and writing in English proficiency test. He also mentioned the difference between IELTS, TOEFL PBT, and TOEFL IBT because some people still have problems with them. Furthermore, Mr. Ribeh also gave some useful tips and tricks to prepare for TOEFL/IELTS which are understanding the pattern, knowing how they are scored, and of course, he suggested for not being afraid to answer the whole questions because they will not reduce our score if we answer it wrongly.
The next material was brought by international speaker Eslam Ashraf Sayed Ahmed from Al-Ahzar University, Egypt. He is a student of English department, and in it was a good opportunity for English department students UMG to know how English is being learnt in another country. Moreover, Eslam shared his experience in learning speaking and listening for his English proficiency test because he thought those skills are challenging and need to be prepared for long time before taking the test. Therefore, he shared some tips about how to prepare speaking and listening sections for both TOEFL and IELTS. One tips he mentioned was working on our weakness since it can make us eager to improve better. In addition, he encouraged the audiences not to be afraid to practice speaking by themselves when they cannot find someone to practice with because that way can still improve the skills.
Some questions from the audiences like how to overcome problem in writing test, and what kind of method that suitable to improve speaking skills, etc were discussed. Furthermore, the audience also asked the international speaker to share about his culture and how he learns English in his university. Finally, the series was recorded and will be uploaded on Youtube, so people who haven’t gotten chance to join the event can still watch it. (Nada)