I would like to share a bit about the history of THE SPLASH and what it has come across earlier from another perspective as compared to the previously published in the very first edition (vol. 1, March 2008, p. 2). Before THE SPLASH was born, I attended an inspirational workshop from the Jakarta Post on its Newspaper in Education (NIE) program (Please read news reports – news #1 and news#2 – from The Jakarta Post for further information). In general, its aim was to effectively use English newspapers (and the like) as resources for learning English for students. It is a good idea and The Jakarta Post invited writers – both teachers and students – from all over Indonesia to contribute to their own publication, named Youthspeak. All the participants are also encouraged to establish their own publication at their places and they may send it to The Jakarta Post. In short, the program motivated and empowered me even more – as I have planned a similar thing before – to have the students’ voice and creativity even more focused and distributed to the society.
Soon after I got back to the campus, I planned a program with students – semester IV and representatives of students’ organization – to produce a publication of English Education Department of UNDIKSHA. The students and I had a workshop on articulating their ideas into publication forms. They were in groups and each of them shared their works with all others. In the end, we collected the best content and that was when THE SPLASH was born. It was published in two forms; printed publication and e-newspaper in an own made webpage.
From its first publication, THE SPLASH had several praise and criticism. For beginners, it was a normal thing. To keep moving forward and improving the quality were the points for a better quality in next publications. Two more very significant things I would like to share here are how the idea of THE SPLASH has made our publication global. Along with the distribution of THE SPLASH to schools around Singaraja and establishment of a webpage for wider access, I also sent the idea to conferences. It was directly accepted in two academic conferences. The first was TEFL WORKSHOP IV on Calling CALLers conducted by Pelita Harapan University in Jakarta. Another one was in THE 3rd CLS INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE” ClaSIC on Media in Foreign Language Teaching and Learning conducted by the National University of Singapore in Singapore. Since I could not come to the workshop in Jakarta, I presented it using voice call over the internet program, i.e. Skype and it was a great success. However, I could not attend the other conference in Singapore due to lacks of financial supports from related institutions (surprisingly, I eventually met the President of this conference in another conference and he kindly sent me his book). Above all, what I am trying to convey here is not about whether the idea has been presented or whatsoever, but more to the fact that THE SPLASH has been fresh drops of water in the dearth air, if you like the expression, of accommodating English Department’s creativity to wider relevant society. Therefore, as you know ‘a side-story of THE SPLASH’, it is necessary to keep expressing yourself, especially students, in your own unique ways. With new forms of publication, i.e. tabloid and newly improved webpage, everyone in the department could feel ‘new life, new motivation’ to perform better.
*This was published in the previous edition of THE SPLASH (Edition 6, November 2010). However, I think it is also important to put it online to gain wider access.