INDONESIAN musician Michael Jakarimilena performed at Peter Moyes Anglican Community School in Mindarie last month.
One of two Michael J’s Concert for Schools events in Perth, the concert was a fusion of entertainment and language education for students.
The performer gained the Indonesian public’s attention as a top-five finalist on the first season of Indonesian Idol in 2004.
At the August 24 concert, he performed to about 700 students and teachers of Bahasa Indonesia from PMACS, Quinns Baptist College and St Stephen’s School Carramar.
Twelve students joined Michael J on stage to perform one of his hit songs.
More than 1100 PMACS students learn Indonesian as their second language, making it the largest Indonesian language program in WA, and acting head of languages Laura Wimsett said the concert was an important part of the program.
“The concert was an opportunity for students to engage with a real-life celebrity across linguistic and cultural boundaries,” Ms Wimsett said.
“Music is a powerful bridge between cultures and the concert was a fun and engaging way for students to learn.”
The school offers high-achieving Year 10 students the opportunity to move into the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank stage 1 and 2 Indonesian second language course, allowing them to complete stages 3 and 4 and the ATAR exam in Year 11, a year earlier than others.
Students also concurrently complete the Vocational Education and Training certificate 2 and 3 in applied languages (Indonesian).
In 2015, one Year 11 student achieved the second highest subject mark in the WA Certificate of Education exams undertaken by Year 12 students.
Principal Julian Dowse said learning a second language was an important part of the Australian curriculum and of the school’s culture.
“Our students learn Indonesian for much of their time at school to help expand their understanding of the world and other cultures,” he said.
“Learning a language also improves cognitive skills, especially understanding rules of grammar, which assists learning in all subject areas.”
The Australian Government through the Australia-Indonesia Institute of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Consulate General of Indonesian in WA and the Westralia Indonesian Language Teachers Association supported the concert, organised by Balai Bahasa Indonesia Perth.