Alex Newman is relatively new at IALF having started at IALF Jakarta just 18 months ago, but he has more than five years teaching experience in Indonesia. Alex arrived on New Year’s Day 2010 in Jakarta for his first teaching position after completing his Trinity TESOL. That job involved teaching young children, which he deemed far too stressful, so he moved on to teaching business English and IELTS.
This was much more challenging intellectually and on a cultural level, and the dashing between classes by ojek was the very Jakartan way to get around. During this time Alex took some time off to study for his Cambridge DELTA in Istanbul, a wonderful city to live in, but far too interesting to spend too much time studying. On returning to Jakarta he put his new skills into practice by developing and giving various Business English workshops. Shortly after this the opportunity came up at IALF teaching academic English.
Alex really enjoys the students as they are very motivated and keen to study and they inspired Alex to start an MA Applied Linguistics by distance learning, a course he is now half way though. Although the MA is from a British university, Alex has used his experiences in Indonesia in a number of the assignments. These include a comparison of the Indonesian, Malaysian and Jakartan languages, and a critical discourse analysis of an article in the Jakarta Globe.
Prior to teaching, Alex worked as an engineer, having acquired BEng (Hons) at university, and in the IT industry (programming mid-frame computers for a bank). He found he did not enjoy working in a corporate office environment. Other jobs he has had include property development, working as a croupier in a casino, and as a pot washer in a ski resort in France. Interspersed with these was time volunteering as an English teacher for refugees, a role he found both worthwhile and enjoyable, eventually resulting in a final career change to English teacher.
When he is not teaching, Alex enjoys traveling (he has visited many parts of Indonesia and the rest of the world), rock climbing, diving and photographing the streets of Jakarta. He would also like to continue the skiing he did in France, but Indonesia has a regrettably small amount of snow.
Listen to Alex talk about his work at IALF: