NUTP sec-gen: English proficiency assessments not carried out to find fault

Thursday June 21, 2012

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/6/21/nation/11510373&sec=nation

By KANG SOON CHEN
educate@thestar.com.my

PETALING JAYA: English language teachers should not fear getting their level of proficiency assessed, said National Union of the Teaching Profession secretary-general Lok Yim Pheng.

“Teachers must not think that the tests are administered to find fault with them,” she commented on the Cambridge Placement Test (CPT) and Pedagogy Standards for English Language Teaching test online.

Starting from May, all English language teachers in schools are required to sit for the test.

Lok said that all state teaching unions had agreed that the tests should be carried out as the module on the continuous development for teachers will be based on the outcome of these assessments.

“If we want to improve the standard of English among students, there is no other way but to make sure that teachers are proficient in English,” said Lok.

Education Ministry deputy director-general (Teacher Development Professionalism) Datuk Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof said teachers would be placed at different bands or Com-mon European Framework of Refer-ence for Languages (CEFR) levels according to their scores from CPT.

“Teachers should aim to achieve a minimum of band C1 (effective proficiency) in their CPT results. Those who are placed along bands B1 and B2 (scores of less than 75) will be sent for retraining courses,” saidDr Khair Mohamad.

Malaysian English Language Tea-ching Association president Dr Gana-kumaran Subramaniam suggested that teachers be provided with specific feedback on their CPT scores.

“Teachers may not be able to know which area they are weak in from their overall CPT score. It would be better if teachers receive a breakdown of their scores so that they can improve,” said Dr Ganakumaran.