Teaching Children English Through Culinary Day


Kanisha Suryadinarta and Makayla Maulida Noviar's faces lit up as their homemade gimbab was served. The Korean specialty sits on a simple table alongside food from other countries, such as sandwiches and barbeques made from meat or vegetables. Kanisha and Kayla were among the English For Holidays (EFH) participants in the Culinary Day held in the courtyard of Ki Ageng Suryometaram Building, Faculty of Language Arts and Culture UNY. Interestingly, the Culinary Day chefs consisted of children aged 4-18 eager to process food ingredients into delicious dishes.

With the nuance of English as the main dish, it is unsurprising to hear English babble coloring the process of mixing food ingredients in this activity. Depending on their grade level, the children practiced English, from revealing ingredients and cooking tools, asking and offering help, to explaining cooking steps, all expressed in English. In addition to preparing their food in each group, the children also got to go around tasting the other groups' cooking, which included specialties from different regions. The variety of food from different countries follows this year's EFH theme, 'Intercultural Community', which invites children to embrace the richness of global culture and develop tolerance in diverse perspectives.

One of the teachers, Amila Sholihah Filhayati, said that this Culinary Day activity was very useful because children could practice communicating in English in a real context. "While preparing food, they directly see the ingredients and cooking equipment, unlike classical classes that only use pictures," she said on Wednesday (5/7). Culinary Day is an activity to introduce students to various snack menus from different regions in Indonesia and abroad. In this activity, participants will communicate in English while tasting various snack menus offered in each group.

In the row of participants, Nadia Amania Mumtazh, Khayla Nur Afifah and Rista Salsabila were engrossed in the barbeque, while Khalisa Azmia Fauzia struggled with her salty sandwich. One of the parents of EFH participants, Prastiwi Ariani, has routinely included her children in this activity since 2015. "From my experience, they become more accustomed to speaking in English. The children are also more confident in using English daily," she said. Prastiwi sent three children to this activity, Prabhutomo Gusti Amarendro, Lintang Ayu Kinanthi and Banyu Woro Bismo, who participated in three grade levels. She says EFH is a positive activity to fill the children's vacation. (Writer: Dedy, Editor: Sudaryono, Tj.lak)

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