Did you know, you can improve your English while go traveling. Just visit Pare. It is known as Kampung Inggris (English Village). At least, two of its villages, i.e. Tulungrejo and Pelem Village, are dominated by English learning activities.
They hold English courses intensively day and night. From days to months. It’s not merely formal classes. The students sometimes travel out to some tourism site, go around with bicycles, play some games, and finally sleep in dormitory. However, they have to speak English all the time. Yes, that’s English camp’s rule!
But of course, the program is not for native English speakers. There is no Caucasian here. Even the man who started this kampong development is an Indonesian.
Brief History of Kampung Inggris
Back in 1976, a young man named Kalend Osen wanted to learn some subjects from Hajj Ahmad Yazid in Pelem Village, Pare. Mr. Yazid was a polyglot. The young Kalend then stayed as a student in Mr. Yazid’s pesantren (Islamic boarding school).
One day, two university students from IAIN Sunan Ampel Surabaya came to learn English for their exam. Because Mr. Yazid wasn’t there, his wife then asked Kalend to teach them. Hence, Kalend gave them short course for five days.
Done. They went home.
In about a month, they returned to tell Kalend that they had passed the English exam. It was a good news! Kalend got more confidence to teach English.
So, in 1977, he officially launched the Basic English Course (BEC). Kalend adopted pesantren method in his curriculum. It was successful method. That’s why, many of his students then ran their own English Course with the same success recipe: everyday learning (reading, writing, listening, speaking) from dusk until dawn, in such conducive ambiance.
Kampung Inggris Today
The new students keep on coming, from Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Jakarta, Bogor, even outside Java. And the number of course institutions continually grows as well. Currently, there are more than 100 institutions in Pare alone.
Mostly, the houses in Pelem and Tulungrejo Villages are dedicated for the course activities, including classes, guest houses or dormitories for students, book stores, et cetera.
Luckily, tuition fees for the course and dormitory is super cheap. That’s why we call this place “kampung”. The living cost here is relatively lower than cities like Malang, Gresik or Surabaya. FYI, Pare is a district in Kediri Regency, East Java Province. It’s located at the bottom of Mount Kelud’s slopes. About 30 minutes land trip from Kediri, and about two hours land trip from Surabaya City.
And by the way, in Kampung Inggris, there are also course for other languages, such as Arabic, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and so on. Interesting, isn’t it?
- Written by Moch. Yusuf, Course Coordinator for Kampung Inggris