It was a sunny Wednesday morning when Adi Irawan and I walked through the sidewalks of Ohio University with view of African students enjoying the sunlight in front of Ohio University of Intensive English (OPIE) building in Athens county, Ohio, United States.
We both chatted about our first week in American English (AE) 50 class which was taught by Anna Wolf. AE 50 class is for international students whose TOEFL ITP scores are under 525. Mine was 490. Adi’s score was a little higher than mine. I cannot recall his exact score.
Our concern was that we had the class for eight days, but we still learned what we considered as “very basic English lesson” such as simple tense, present continuous, past tense patterns etc.
Adi and I are two of the 17 Indonesian students under Indonesia English Language Study Program (IELSP) studying intensive English for two months at Ohio University. The other 15 students were placed under classes which were higher than AE 50. Some of them are in AE 55 and some are also in “Combined Skills” classes.
“Adi, I wanna talk to Anna whether we can move to a more challenging class. We are here just eight weeks, man. I am sure that you don’t want to spend the rest of the time here studying such a basic English that we have studied in Indonesia,” I said to Adi after finishing our reading class, another class that we both had in common, at OPIE building.
In addition, Adi and I also had another class together, “listening class”, which was taught by Heather House, a beautiful young teacher at OPIE.
Adi agreed. We did not go back to our apartment after the reading class. We went up-stair to Anna’s office where she welcomed us with smile.
“Hi guys, need any help?,” Anna said.
“We are wondering whether we could move to a higher class, Anna,” I replied.
Anna responded: “Sure, we can work on that if you want. But, in the first place, you both need to undergo a test to confirm whether you can switch to a higher class.”
She asked Adi and I to wait for around 15 minutes to prepare the test. We waited outside her office where we saw a gorgeous Japanese student passing by. We failed to get any name or a phone number though.
“Guys, the test is ready come here, please,” Anna called us to come inside.
We opened the door of her office right away: “Yes, Anna. We are coming now.”
“You guys have 30 minutes to do the test. There is an explanation on each section. Feel free to ask any question if you need any help, I will be around,” explained Anna.
We did the test with confidence. It took me 25 minutes to do it, while Adi finished it 3 minutes earlier than I did.
After the test, Anna asked us to wait outside while she was working to check our answers on the answer sheets.
“Anyway, you guys can go to the cafeteria while waiting for me to work on this. This will be quick I promise. You will know the result very soon,” Anna said.
Adi and I went to have lunch at the campus’ cafeteria. We had two free meals everyday from the dining hall. After the test, what we both had in mind was that the next day we would leave the “boring” class to an AE 55 class (at least) or to a CS class.
After 30 minutes, we went back to Anna’s office where she had been waiting for us. As usual she welcomed us with her lovely smile.
“Please take a seat,” Anna said before making announcement about the result of our diagnostic test.
Adi and I looked at each other, whispering “AE 55 man”.
“Adi, Haeril, I am glad that you guys came to take the test. Well, about the result of you tests, mmmm I think you guys are in the right class,” Anna said.
After the announcement we were silent for a while holding our laugh.
“Thanks Anna for you help. See you tomorrow in the class bye bye. Have a good one,” I said to Anna, while still holding my laugh.
Adi and I walked out of OPIE building laughing out loud at our innocent stupidity hahahahaha… Man, I cannot forget the moment. It is one of the funniest events that I have ever experienced in life.
After the third week of our stay at Ohio University, we found that the AE 50 class became more and more challenging and difficult though.