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Children's Literature, Media and Culture (CLMC) - Erasmus Mundus Scholarship Essay


Sep 15, 2021   #1

Erasmus Mundus scholarship essay



Hello everyone, my name is Soca from Indonesia. In accordance with the title of this thread, I ask for your help in providing feedback on the essay that I will use this year (intake 2022) for the Erasmus Mundus scholarship. Regarding essays, there are several prompts that must be met, namely:

1. 1200 words maximum
2. You should outline your motivation for choosing the CLMC program (i.e. how it complements and develops your previous studies; how it relates to your career path; how it relates to your personal and academic interests).

3. Explain why you think you are a good candidate for the program given your previous studies and the courses offered on the program in both years.

4. Briefly indicate what you see as being the topic of your year 2 dissertation (this can change later).
5. You should highlight your participation in conferences, internships, non-governmental organisations, summer schools, and other socially sensitive or political activity; as well as any prizes/awards received even if these activities are not specially connected to the area of ​​children's literature.

I really hope to get help in improving my essay. Thank you in advance.

Essay:
I graduated in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts degree from English Language Teaching at the State University of Malang, Indonesia, and I am passionate about developing learning media. The first time I was interested in developing learning media was when I attended the Instructional Media & Activities in Language Teaching (IMALT), Coursebook Evaluation, and TEFL (Teaching English as A Foreign Language) courses. In those courses, I received guidance in the development of conventional and digital learning media. However, I used to experiment more in making and using conventional learning media such as handmade media or using books as references in educational organization activities or working as a tutor.

During my undergraduate study in Malang, I actively participated in communities work on literacy. I joined the Malang branch of the Indonesian Children Literacy Movement (GPAN) organization in 2017 until 2018 where the team and I implemented several programs to improve children's literacy in Malang. For instance, creating literacy seminars, visiting various book clubs, social foundations, orphanages, schools, and socializing the importance of improving literacy skills. All of these efforts have shown significant results. At the end of 2018, there was an increase of 20% to 30% in the literacy skills of children in Malang. However, I understand that the cultural approach to normalizing literacy culture is not sufficient to improve reading levels in Indonesia, since based on the ranking of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2018, the literacy level of Indonesian children is still ranked 73 out of 79 countries members of PISA around the world. It means that the literacy for the lower age group remains steady.

Based on those, I realize that books take big roles in literacy development. The functions of books as sources of knowledge and literacy material which are equally important as foreign language literacy, especially English in this modern era. The magnitude of the role of reading materials and English can affect the quality of a nation. Furthermore, in English learning context, data from the EF English Proficiency Index 2020 shows that Indonesia positions as one of the lowest countries in English proficiency rate. This is problematic, since in 2045, Indonesia is predicted to experience a demographic bonus where most of the population are in their productive age (15 - 64 years old). This issue and target motivate me to contribute in advancing Indonesian education, specifically in the field of children literacy and English, and this aspiration leads me to apply for CLMC. Specifically, CLMC will be very suitable to the situation in the area where I live where many children and older residents aged 20 and over experience school dropout at their young age due to many conditions, one of them is their low awareness toward education. Due to this situation, I believe that a comprehensive education related to my expertise in education will be a profound provision, and I see CLMC as the right path.

According to CLMC website, there are several goals of the program, they refer to the development of children's and young adults' understanding toward the production and consumption of multimodal texts by combining culture and creativity through rigorous research, consider the challenges of integrating multiliteracy into diverse educational contexts and policies. Furthermore, the program will also broaden the view of how texts and media for children reflect the developmental challenges of adolescents and how they can increase basic social awareness and generate social change through worldwide trends. I believe these two are the most striking and most needed for Indonesia to exist in the learning process, and in fact that the program provides more goals than two that I mentioned before would be even more beneficial than I could imagine.

By being a part of CLMC, I would acquire 'media making for children and young adults' ability from courses such as Cross boundaries: Children's literature and other media, New media for children and young adults, and Reviewing children's and YA books. Meanwhile, from the courses such as Developing reading programs for different contexts, Promoting reading through cultural activities, and Children's literature for a diverse world, I would be able to develop skills in increasing Indonesian children's willingness to read in various contexts, both local and international scale through media. Besides, there are many more courses that would be beneficial for me. Regarding that, I plan to discuss the topic of the impact of using UK English textbooks on the English literacy skills of bilingual immigrant children in the UK as my dissertation. I choose that, since it would be very useful for me to learn how to conduct English textbooks (as a lecturer in the future) that fulfil multicultural children's needs in Indonesia since the UK is in the first rank of the education system in the world. Besides, UK has more than 660.000 immigrants in 2021. These data show that the UK is a multicultural country like Indonesia.

After finishing my study, I have two plans regarding my career path. First, I plan to develop my English course and mini-library into an English course and public English Self Access Center (ESAC) for all ages with sufficient technological facilities, adding to the collection of English books by adjusting the required language level and age, and also developing human resources for English teachers. I will also write a proposal for support and cooperation from the local government, to provide rules for its citizens. For example, certain age groups are strongly advised to take English courses on certain days, so that each age group will have the same learning rights. The course and public ESAC can also be a way for undergraduates of English Language Teaching like me to work as teachers, facilitators, or staff. I will not charge any fees from basic programs at my course or ESAC, the costs that will be used for the first capital of this course is from my family store (selling electronics tools). Therefore, it is hoped that the community will be able to feel the pleasures of learning so that their knowledge will improve.

Second, I want to be a lecturer. A lecturer has such numbers of duties such as teaching, writing textbooks, being a member of a committee/body at a university, and many more. These tasks would make me easier to strengthen my goals and network in the advancement of literacy and English learning in Indonesia. As a part of my implementation in one of the lecturer duties, I would also be part of the Education and Learning Development team or the Office of International Affairs of the university. Both of them have a strong role in maintaining the quality of the academic community, locally and globally. In this case, the contexts that I want to deepen are literacy and English.

Regarding the moving scheme of study between countries determined by EMJMD, I can confirm that I am an adaptive person, thanks to my active involvement in a number of various organizations and events at national or international level. With additional networks that I will gain while studying in Europe, I will be connected with other experienced EMJMD alumni from around the world with the aim of equitable literacy in low-rate literacy countries.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 11,584 3758  
Sep 16, 2021   #2
According to CLMC website,

Remove the whole paragraph. There is no sense in explaining the course to the reviewer who is far more familiar with it than you are.

By being a part of CLMC

Explain how it applies to your future plans, not what you hope to learn. That is a given in the syllabus. stop explaining the courses to the reviewer. He will lose interest since you are lecturing rather than applying / giving a written interview.

Regarding the moving scheme of study

relevant. Remove this reference as it is not a part of the prompt requirements. Stick to the discussion points provided.

Truth be told, this is not a standout application. It lacks local and national accomplishments that would have helped heighten the applicant's qualifications. The background is extremely minor when compared to the credentials of the other applicants. I cannot say for sure that this essay will get the applicant past the screening round.
OP Socapanggiring28 1 / 4  
Sep 16, 2021   #3
Thank you very much for the feedback, it means a lot. So, what can I do to make it stand out? adding my work backgrounds or anything else? @Holt
OP Socapanggiring28 1 / 4  
Sep 17, 2021   #4
Merged:

My Second Revision of Erasmus Mundus Personal Statement (CLMC)



Hello, I am Soca from Indonesia, and this is my second revision of the Children's Literature, Media, and Culture essay for the EMJMD scholarship. I ask for your help in providing feedback on the essay that I will use this year (intake 2022). Regarding essays, there are several prompts that must be met, namely:

1. 1200 words maximum
2. You should outline your motivation for choosing the CLMC program (i.e. how it complements and develops your previous studies; how it relates to your career path; how it relates to your personal and academic interests).

3. Explain why you think you are a good candidate for the program given your previous studies and the courses offered on the program in both years.

4. Briefly indicate what you see as being the topic of your year 2 dissertation (this can change later).
5. You should highlight your participation in conferences, internships, non-governmental organisations, summer schools, and other socially sensitive or political activity; as well as any prizes/awards received even if these activities are not specially connected to the area of ​​children's literature.

I really hope to get help in improving my essay. Thank you in advance.

Essay:
Dear Sir/Madam,
I am writing this essay to show my aspiration to pursue the International Master in Children's Literature, Media & Culture (CLMC) programme. In this essay, I will describe myself, my vision, my mission, my experiences, and how I view CLMC as the right place for me to improve my capacity as a human being and as a professional.

I graduated in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in English Language Teaching program at the State University of Malang, Indonesia. Currently, I am an English teacher at my English course and at a junior high school in Blitar, my hometown. During my undergraduate study in Malang, I actively participated in several communities work on literacy. I joined the Malang branch of the Indonesian Children Literacy Movement (GPAN) organization in 2017 until 2018 where the team and I implemented several programs to improve children's literacy in Malang. For instance, creating literacy seminars, visiting various book clubs, social foundations, orphanages, schools, and socializing the importance of improving literacy skills. We put the books in our mini library, and distributed some to well-off children and dropouts. Our activities on the weekends were teaching mathematics, English, doing storytelling, and sometimes after distributing a different book each week, the children would tell what they have read in front of their friends. All of these efforts have shown significant results. At the end of 2018, there was an increase of 20% to 30% in the literacy skills of children in Malang. Besides, my experience related to children's literacy has also increased by joining several other organizations and also working. These experiences have played a very important role in my understanding of how far Indonesian children understand the importance of literacy.

I am passionate about developing children's literacy and learning media. The first time I was interested in developing learning media was in my bachelor's time. I attended the Instructional Media & Activities in Language Teaching (IMALT), Coursebook Evaluation, and Teaching English as A Foreign Language (TEFL) courses. In those courses, I received guidance in the development of conventional and digital learning media, how to implement the media into class, and how a textbook can be an effective medium in class. The final assignment for each course was also different. However, in the context of media application, IMALT is the one that stands out the most. In the course, I was asked to create a conventional or handmade medium and a digital-based medium. So I made a "Holy Blocks" board game and a powerpoint based "Spinning Wheel" game as a result.

Due to my curiosity about how influential the "Spinning Wheel" game has on English learning, I made it the material for my thesis, and the topic is improving the speaking skills of vocational school students through spinning wheel game. During the data collection process through teacher interviews, I was surprised because it was very rare for teachers to teach using instructional media so that students were only taught using the teacher-centered method. This further convinced me of the low digital literacy of teachers when I was already working as a teacher in a junior high school. The situation is more difficult because I work in a suburb where some of the teachers are people who consider themselves as too old to understand technology. The teachers are not familiar to simple digital platforms. Young teachers understand on Microsoft word and PowerPoint only. Therefore, the pandemic period is really a big challenge for Indonesia because the low level of digital literacy of teachers has a big effect on the critical thinking skills of students.

Based on the results of the 2018 Program for International Students Assessment (PISA) survey, Indonesia ranks 71 out of 79 countries. This survey shows that Indonesian students have difficulty understanding and critically evaluate long and complex texts. Furthermore, in English learning context, data from the EF English Proficiency Index 2020 shows that Indonesia positions as one of the lowest countries in English proficiency rate. This is problematic, since, in 2045, Indonesia is predicted to experience a demographic bonus where most of the population are in their productive age (15 - 64 years old). This issue and target motivate me to contribute in advancing Indonesian education, specifically in the field of children literacy and English, and this aspiration leads me to apply for CLMC.

CLMC has met my expectation to apply because it provides convenient curriculum for me. For example, during the completion of the master's program, I will be able to conduct a research to optimize Indonesian cultural aspects in a digital learning media to train children's reading habits. I will also see whether or not by having Indonesian culture as the context, students would still be interested in it and have such impact on their English skills. The strong collaboration among institutions in the consortium will help me in developing my abilities and skills to work in the field of education and human resource development, especially in the aspects of literacy, English language learning, and culture. Moreover, I can speak Javanese, Indonesian, English, and basic French. My interest in diverse cultures also led me to win first place in the international short film competition held by One Asia Foundation in 2019 with the theme of Asian culture.

After finishing my study, I have two plans regarding my career path. First, I plan to implement the CLMC experiences in developing my English course into an English course and public English Self Access Center (ESAC) for all ages. I will also write a proposal for support and cooperation from the local government for convincing people to learn. For instance, certain age groups are strongly advised to take English courses on certain days, so that each age group will have the same learning rights. Second, I want to be a lecturer. At the beginning I explained how important it is for teachers to be literate in both digital and English, this will affect students' interest in learning and their literacy skills. Therefore, I need to become someone that can train future teacher candidates with the knowledge that I have gained from CLMC, namely by becoming a lecturer. As one of lecturer duties, I would also be part of the Education and Learning Development team or the Office of International Affairs team of the university. Both of them have a strong role in maintaining the quality of the academic community, locally and globally. In this case, the contexts that I want to deepen are literacy and English.

My experience in learning many languages, working as a teacher, participating in international events, my curiosity in diverse cultures will complete the global character of CLMC and it will be an excellent opportunity for me. In this program's mobility scheme, I will observe different teaching standards, as well as build my cultural awareness. I also have many obstacles, but my parents always told me not to give up on my dreams and not to stop being useful to society. So, if I am accepted as an EMJMD awardee, I will truly do my best in the CLMC program and I will serve the community with dedication in the form of meaningful and beneficial knowledge.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
xxxx


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