Dr Subhan Zein has been a school teacher, university teacher, and teacher educator both in Indonesia and Australia.
His professional experience in Indonesia includes teaching English in primary schools, teaching courses in Applied Linguistics and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) at university level, and training primary school English teachers. He used to teach at UIN Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta, and he is currently Visiting Professor at Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia (UPI), Bandung.
Dr Zein’s first teaching experience in Australia was in early 2008, as Kedutaan Besar Republik Indonesia (KBRI) in Canberra appointed him to teach Indonesian at Hawker College. His second teaching experience in the country was providing academic support in English literacy and numeracy to migrants and refugees at the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) in mid 2008.
He continued with teaching English at the English language institute of University of Canberra in January 2009. Ever since then, he has spent a considerable portion of his career teaching English, as well as courses in Applied Linguistics and TESOL, at a number of institutions in Australia, including Trinity College – The University of Melbourne, Australian National University, and The University of Queensland.
Overall, Dr Zein has taught thousands and thousands of students coming from 90 countries. For example, his students have come from countries as varied as Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Myanmar, Mongolia, Nepal, Qatar, Russia, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, among others.
They come from all walks of life, from fresh graduate international students to diplomats, to teachers, to drivers, to translators, to businessmen, to actors, to professional athletes, to spiritual leaders.
Dr Zein with one of this students, Tsul Ny Rinpoche, who is also one of the disciples of the Tibetan spiritual leader Gyalwa Rinpoche, or the 14th Dalai Lama
Dr Zein’s professional teaching portfolio includes teaching face-to-face and online university courses such as Concepts in Applied Linguistics, TESOL Curriculum and Pedagogy, English as a Second Language: Teaching Specialist, Teaching Languages, and Language and Intercultural Communication. In teaching these courses, he has incorporated various concepts pertinent to language education such as translanguaging, English as a lingua franca and World Englishes, language ideology, interculturality, multilingualism and multilingual education policy, and language revitalisation. His teaching of Qualitative Research in Applied Linguistics as well as his growing research experience have also deepened his knowledge in qualitative and mixed research methods including participatory action research and language education policy research in the triangulation of statistics, surveys, interviews, and policy documents. In addition, he has taught Indonesian-related courses such as Advanced Indonesian, Intermediate Indonesian, and Indonesian Contemporary Culture, to local Australian students.
A plurilingual who speaks two indigenous languages (i.e., Betawi, the Tegal dialect of Javanese), one national language (i.e., Indonesian), and three international languages (i.e., the Fusha of Arabic, English, Spanish), Dr Zein also has some familiarity with other languages such as Portuguese, Italian, Bimanese, and Sundanese. He has incorporated his own learning and/or teaching experiences of these languages as well as his accumulating knowledge of applied linguistics into his pedagogy. Accordingly, he has equipped his students with strategies for learning and teaching languages, sound intercultural knowledge and communication, and customised approaches to language education in international settings. He also ensures that the content knowledge and structure of his classes embrace digital technology, having utilised learning management systems such as Moodle, Blackboard, Cambridge LMS, and Wattle, as well as platforms such as Padlet, Memrise, Kahoot, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, among others.
Dr Zein’s pedagogical interventions have resulted in a proven track record in achieving improved learning outcomes over a sustained period. His Course Satisfaction Survey data of the various courses he has taught averages 89%, with the latest Satisfaction Survey data of a course he taught at University of Queensland reaching 95.4%* while another at Australian National University reaching 96%*.
Dr Zein’s students are appreciative of his teaching. A great majority of them attested that he had provided them with substantial academic support and learning experiences that are engaging, practical, and transformative. A few of the verbatim comments they have made in student evaluations and testimonials are:
“The best teacher I have ever met. Dr Subhan is a very very kind, gentle and patient teacher. He gives us useful feedback and help us solve problem. He has a wide range of knowledge, always be ready to answer our questions. Best!”
“Dr. Subhan provided us really detailed lecture recordings and gave us some further readings, it was so nice for our learning.”
“Suhban always tried to extend our views of Applied Linguistics. He usually had the organised contents of class and encourage us to think some questions.”
“Third year Indonesian was a true mixed bag, with all students hailing from different educational backgrounds and disciplines. Yet Dr Zein always managed to combine language learning with other information relevant to our respective degrees. He would neatly incorporate aspects of culture, politics, economics, and linguistics, which helped to keep things interesting and engaging. Every class started with an update on the week’s most important Indonesian socio-political news, where he would demonstrate true subject matter expertise. Sometimes class would end and I would be amazed at how many topics of Indonesian culture he seamlessly intertwined into the week’s theme.”