The Flutter Project: A Special Interview with Nadya Al-Areif 

Just like how a butterfly transforms and undergoes metamorphosis while being able to fly, we hope to approach language teaching in the same way.

Nadya Al-Areif, Co-Founder of the Flutter Project

In the same way that butterflies flap their wings traveling thousands of miles at a time, students can learn from their tutors from different parts of the world and connect with people of different perspectives like a butterfly traveling. 

Nadya Al-Arief, the co-founder of the Flutter project, started the project as a high schooler with her friends. Her project focuses on breaching the gap in language learning by connecting English tutors and Indonesian students, specifically in Bogor’s schools. The project specifically aims to target underprivileged students in Indonesia that do not have access to the educational resources required to learn different languages like Indonesian. I asked Nadya questions about how she started the project and her thoughts on how the Flutter Project has changed perspectives on language learning. 

How has the Flutter Project impacted your own life and realizing what you want to do in the future? 

“Working on this project helped me realize what I was most passionate about, education and creating more equity in my country and community where there are so many gaps in education. It sparked what I wanted to do in the future.”

Nadya hopes to expand the project and has even published an Indonesian book discussing the stories of collaboration within the project titled Dari Anak Indonesia Untuk Anak Indonesia. She even currently holds an internship at Nvolve Inc. as a Communications and Logistics Coordinator. 

How did you start the Flutter Project? 

“I started out by tutoring my cousins and their classmates over Zoom. It was something I was reluctant to do at first because I didn’t know if I could teach English as a high schooler. I realized that if I could teach, anyone could teach.”

Hearing Nadya discuss the anxieties around language learning gave me flashbacks to my own experiences. Even learning Spanish in class, I would notice how students had trouble speaking with confidence, being afraid of judgment or mispronouncing words, even though those experiences are a part of the language learning process. A study conducted by the Department of Education- students in Bandung recorded that 71 students perceived a “medium level of anxiety,” with two factors of potential anxiety coming from “text features” like unfamiliar vocabulary and “personal factors” like making errors while reading aloud. 

The Flutter Project, however, has facilitated a different approach to language learning: one that fosters empathy between the learner and the tutor. Students and tutors can discuss their experiences- whether it be talking about school or finding common ground in sharing an Indonesian identity.

“Everyone is capable of accomplishing their goals even if there is reluctance or fear. There is always going to be progress, and whether that be through learning Indonesian or English through watching movies, anyone is capable of learning another language.” 

Special thanks to Nadya Al-Areif for agreeing to be interviewed and for more about the Flutter Project, you can find them on Instagram: @theflutterproject!