Visiting Scholar Spotlight: Faisal Mustafa
“Faisal is such an enthusiastic person. He’s excited about everything in Oberlin. He wants to learn and discover new things at every turn in life.” -- Louise Edwards, Shansi Returned Fellow
This year Shansi House is home to Faisal Mustafa, a visiting scholar hailing from Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Faisal and is an integral part of the Banda Aceh program for years, having supported numerous fellows, and now has a fellowship here at Oberlin himself. With an undergraduate degree in Education from Syiah Kuala University, and a Masters in Linguistics from University of Manchester, Faisal is most interested in the intersection of those two studies: how language is taught. Here in Oberlin, he plans to delve into language testing. In both his mother language, Acehnese, his native Indonesian, and English, he wants to collect data and run tests on how language changes, and methods around teaching languages. This plan in language testing brings him to a discipline he didn’t quite expect, and now he’s working closely with the Statistics department here in Oberlin.
He’s excited to learn more about different systems of learning one might find in an Oberlin classroom, and is looking forward to bringing them back to Indonesia with him. One of the areas of campus he’s enamored with is the Writing Center, and back home he wants to implement a system of students helping other students writing. Similarly, he’s interested in Oberlin’s ExCo program, and, though a long term process, wants to bring a system like that to Syiah Kuala University, where he’s the Vice Director of the Language Center. Additionally, he wants to experience more of the discussion-style method of teaching one finds in many Oberlin classrooms, and hopes to bring this to his own classrooms.
In addition to learning Statistics here in Oberlin, he wants to learn more about American culture, which previously he had mostly learned about through movies and T.V. shows. He wants to learn how to swim in the gym, which is something he’s never had access to before. He likes cooking in the Shansi House, and has been finding new and innovative ways to keep halal in Oberlin. Utilizing his interdisciplinary learning in Oberlin and Manchester, and implementing it back in Syiah Kuala University, one day he wants to become a world-class professor in linguistics, academic writing, and language testing.