Posted on June 8, 2012, Friday
by Lim How Pim, firstname.lastname@example.org.
RECOGNITION: Khair (second right) presents an award to a representative of SMK Tunku Abdul Rahman. Melta president Assoc Prof Dr Ganakumaran Subramaniam is seen at right. — Photo by Chimon Upon
KUCHING: English teachers must come up with approaches to help put a stop to students’ habit of using netizen’s lingo that stifle the proper use of the language.
This advice came from deputy director-general of Education Datuk Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof, who observed that educators were now confronted with the various forms of English used by students even though they had been taught standard English.
“Even Malaysians at large are constantly exposed to English as used in the media, and most of our English entertainment over television and the cinema are from the United States.
“Let us not forget that our students are very familiar with the slang and jargon used when chatting online or posting in Facebook and Twitter,” he said when opening the 21st Malaysian English Language Teaching Association (Melta) international conference here yesterday.
Khair pointed out that the current generation no longer sit passively and pay attention to what their teachers say and write on the board.
The minds of students in this new era, he said, had been “programmed” by advanced technologies to be visually active.
“It is a generation, perhaps, that is more tactile than before. Notice how many of our young adults nowadays are constantly tapping either on a phone or a pad.
“They do not just speak and listen over the phone. They also view visuals while listening and speaking. Blame it on our smart phones, YouTube or whatever you want, but we have to acknowledge the reality that all those are in their learning style.”
Khair felt that educators should look at ways to absorb changes in the technological world into the classroom.
They, as well as curriculum designers and decision-makers, should take the lead in bringing into the classroom current innovations and technologies that could help motivate our students to learn English, he said.
“Even political parties use technologies to get online support while more and more people are going for online banking such as e-commerce and e-business.”
Hence, teachers had to do away with the old way of teaching, he stressed.
“It is on such a platform that thinkers and practitioners of English language education can come together to discuss, brainstorm, debate and share various concerns, issues, problems, solutions and recommendations.”
Some 350 English language educators are participating in the two-day conference.