2012, Arkib Berita, Bahasa, Forum, Pembangunan Sekolah, Rencana, Subjek, Surat

ENGLISH: Practice makes perfect

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

By Lim Bee Hoon, Batu Pahat, Johor 0 comments

MUCH has been said about learning English, yet nothing seems to work well despite all the methods advocated.

Let me share with you what proficiency and practice are all about.

In language learning, one has to use it to be confident, that is, one must practise it without fail as practice makes perfect.

So, school heads must be good at two languages. If they can use English to address their audience — staff, support groups and pupils — the whole school would benefit from it.

I did not speak Bahasa Malaysia when I was at school as all of us spoke English with each other.

As the days went by, we became fluent by leaps and bounds.

My parents were illiterate, but two-thirds of the children went to English-medium schools, so we picked up the language like ducks to water.

When I entered college, the scenario changed and I had to start conversing in BM, except during English lectures and tutorials.

Nevertheless, with perseverance and true grit, I survived because I made the effort to learn and use BM with my collegemates, who were conversant only in BM then.

I was always careful when it came to grammar and you could say I am a grammar freak.

When I was promoted to a senior assistant in a Chinese school, I was forced to learn to speak Mandarin as it was the survival of the fittest at such schools.

I am proud to say that I survived, even though it is not my mother tongue.

How did I do it? Simply by using the language daily and making sure I practised it with my colleagues.

They would never speak English with me, no matter how hard I tried as, to them, it was Man-darin that they practised in Chinese schools.

I am glad I took the trouble to practise each language I wanted to master as I wanted to make sure I could speak each of them properly.

I am proud to say that I have managed to speak English and BM well, and Mandarin, too, effortlessly.

So, to those of you strug-gling with English, go out and do it.

Open your mouth and speak the language and you will find that you will build up confidence as the days go by.

Read more: ENGLISH: Practice makes perfect – Letters to the Editor – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/english-practice-makes-perfect-1.105782#ixzz20GoavpYM

2012, Arkib Berita, Bahasa, Forum, IPT, Masalah Pelajar, Pembangunan Sekolah, Program, Rencana, Subjek, Surat

ENGLISH: Easier to learn it at a young age

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

By Hussaini Abdul Karim, Shah Alam, Selangor 0 comments

I REFER to the report “Undergrads to boost their English skills” (NST, June 19).

.Pupils using the New Straits Times to learn English at the Koko’s Smart Start Camp. A comprehensive English language programme will ensure that students pick up the language properly.

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I must say that the initiative of the Higher Education Ministry is laudable.

It is high time graduates and undergraduates were made to go through such a programme.

However, more needs to be done to make our graduates comfortable when speaking and writing English.

The report said: “Students entering university with a good command of English will learn English for Employment to meet the requirements of the working world under a new system, which classifies students according to their levels of competency.”

Ministry director-general Professor Datuk Dr Rujhan Mustafa said: “University faculties can also opt to conduct the English For Specific Discipline subject to enhance students’ comprehension of their field of study, where students are not taught the language but the use of English is part of the contents of the subject matter.”

University students with a low English competency are advised to enrol for crash courses in community colleges and they have two months to take up the affordable and short courses.

My question is, how much can one learn in two months? I am afraid the suggestion that students be taught the use of English as part of the contents of the subject matter and not taught the language may be a bad one. It is only a stop-gap measure and it will not be effective.

Learning English language so that students can use the language properly requires more effort than just that. It needs to be structured and students must first master the basics before they go through the three-tiered programme, as proposed by the ministry.

Another report, “English help for undergrads” (NST, June 25), quoted former Curriculum Development Centre director of the ministry, Datuk Dr Sharifah Maimunah Syed Zin, as saying that “if 11 years of learning English in school, with at least 180 minutes per week, had not helped students grasp the language, trying to help them improve at a higher level is a little too late”.

She added: “I do not think the intensive English programmes will make much difference to these undergraduates, who did not have the basic grounding in school.

“We do not have the right approach at school level.

“We need to remember that learning a language is much easier and faster at a young age. It would be more effective and more economical if remedial programmes are done at the primary level and not at the tertiary level.”

I hope the introduction of the three-tier system — English for Employment, Intensive English and General English — is not a permanent one.

First and foremost, I do not think the programme will benefit the majority.

Many graduates and undergraduates will not give a hoot about it because it is not an examination subject and it will not affect their grading, even if their English is hopeless after going through the programme.

The Higher Education Ministry and higher learning institutions should look for a long-term solution by working with the Education Ministry and start the English programme from Year One.

There are no two ways about this.

Draw out an English language programme so that students will pick up the language properly.

Universities get their students from secondary schools, which is under the purview of the Education Ministry. They either go through Form Six or a matriculation programme.

I believe the universities, through the Higher Education Ministry, should discuss with the Education Ministry to come out with a better syllabus and curriculum that ensures they get students of a certain standard.

Learning a language, especially a working language, is best conducted in primary schools and not in universities.

The priority and the procedure must be put right in the first place.

Otherwise, the problem of graduates not using English properly will continue.

Read more: ENGLISH: Easier to learn it at a young age – Letters to the Editor – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/english-easier-to-learn-it-at-a-young-age-1.105779#ixzz20GnaAW6M

2012, Arkib Berita, Keselamatan Pelajar/Kesihatan, Masalah Pelajar

Two students held over boarding school assault

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

ALOR STAR: Two Form Five students of a prominent boarding school here were arrested on Monday after one junior lodged a police report on the assault of some 80 students at the school’s dormitory.

Kota Setar district police chief Assistant Commissioner Adzaman Mohd said the duo, both 17, were picked up at their hostels at noon.

He said the boys, who will sit the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examination this year, were questioned to facilitate investigations into the complaint by a Form One student, Mohamad Hazim Mohamad Zaid, on the alleged assault that took place last Thursday.

He said the boys were released after police took down their statements.

“We are investigating the case for voluntarily causing grievous hurt and will hand over our findings to the Deputy Public Prosecutor’s Office for the next course of action.

“Since the suspects are underaged, the case will be dealt with under the Child Act.”

In the 2.15am incident, Hazim claimed his right eardrum was ruptured after he was allegedly slapped twice in the face by seniors.

He had also claimed the bullies had brought 30 junior students to his dormitory before they were assaulted, including being asked to do 250 squats.

State Education Department director Mansor Lat said the bullies faced suspension if they were found guilty of assaulting their juniors.

“We have also started an investigation into Hazim’s complaint.

“This is a serious problem and we want to know if such assaults are common at the school.”

Read more: Two students held over boarding school assault – General – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/two-students-held-over-boarding-school-assault-1.105600#ixzz20GmR4zfL

2012, Arkib Berita, Inovasi, Pembangunan Sekolah, Program, Rencana, Subjek

Two Limbang students to represent state in science competition

Tuesday July 10, 2012


In the name of science: A volunteer getting drenched with water when Brandon Chieng (right) and Raymond Wong performed their final experiment in the Petrosains National Science Competition in Kuching. They were attempting to show the concept of atmospheric pressure but it did not go as planned when the water spilled from the cup. Nevertheless, the boys from SMK Kubong, Limbang, won the state-level competition. — ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE / The Star

KUCHING: A “magician” and a “plumber” teamed up to present a science show which was entertaining and informative at the same time.

The characters were Form Five students Brandon Chieng and Raymond Wong from SMK Kubong, Limbang, who were taking part in the Sarawak zone final of the Petrosains National Science Show competition at Batu Lintang Teachers Education Institute here yesterday.

They demonstrated the concept of atmospheric pressure through a series of experiments, such as how two plungers pressed together cannot be pulled apart easily and how to stop water from flowing out of a tiny hole in the side of a bottle by using a finger to plug another hole in the bottle’s cap.

Their final experiment did not go according to plan, with a volunteer getting splashed with water from an overturned cup.

However, Brandon and Raymond’s creative show was enough for them to emerge as Sarawak champions, beating nine other teams who qualified for the state final.

They will go on to represent the state in the national finals to be held in Kuala Lumpur in September.

“We’re very happy to win. We didn’t expect it at all. In fact, we were a little worried because something went wrong during our show and the last experiment didn’t work,” Brandon said, adding that they spent about two weeks preparing for the competition.

Their accompanying teacher Yii Tien Lee said this was the first time SMK Kubong had entered the competition.

“This is a new experience for the students, to be able to dress up in costumes and enjoy themselves while demonstrating scientific principles.

“We will try to improve the show after hearing the judges’ comments, which were very helpful,” he said.

Scientifically creative: A student from SMK Jalan Arang showing the results of a chemical reaction between hydrogen peroxide and manganese dioxide at Petrosains National Science Show competition in Kuching yesterday.

SMK Jalan Arang Team One took second place while SMK Lake was third.

Consolation prizes went to two other teams from SMK Jalan Arang, two teams from SMK Agama Igan, two teams from SMK Lutong and a team from SMK Sibu Jaya.

Introduced in 2009, the national science show competition is organised by Petrosains Sdn Bhd, which manages Petrosains the Discovery Centre at Suria KLCC in Kuala Lumpur, to promote stimulating and effective learning methods for secondary school students.

Teams are required to present science concepts in an innovative and entertaining way. Marks are given for science content, science show, language and presentation, script and props and special effects.

Petrosains chief executive Tengku Nasariah Tengku Syed Ibrahim said the competition was a platform for students to interpret and express their knowledge of science in an appealing and thought-provoking manner.

“It is also an opportunity for teachers to use various techniques in interacting with their students, adding more fun to the learning experience.

“At Petrosains, we encourage out-of-the-box learning and this competition is a clear representation of that,” she said.

This year, the competition attracted 736 entries nationwide, which were whittled down by a panel of judges to 60 teams in six zones.

The champions from each zone, plus two special teams to be chosen by the judges, will compete in the national finals.

2012, Arkib Berita, Bahasa, Pembangunan Sekolah, Program, Subjek

Teachers and officials in native speaker programme attend congress in India

Wednesday July 11, 2012



PETALING JAYA: Twelve Malaysian primary school English teachers and state language officers will be attending the Asia Human Resource Development (HRD) Congress 2012 in Bangalore, India.

The three-day fully-sponsored trip from yesterday is funded by SMR HR Group and acts to reward teachers and officials who have contributed in the native speaker programme initiated by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

SMR HR Group English Language Teaching project manager Michael J. Hughes said the teachers and officials are from six different states Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Perak, Penang, Kedah and Perlis.

Trainers of the congress will speak on topics from “Blind Spots: Opening Your Eyes to Greater Performance” to “How to Get Wild About Work: Planning for Passion”.

“It is an opportunity for the selected ones to enhance their professional development by being exposed to internationally renowned speakers and trainers, who can motivate and help them develop their skills as teachers and educational professionals,” said Hughes.

The Prime Minister’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and former Philippines president Fidel V. Ramos will be attending the conference.

The native speaker programme began in January 2011 and involved the deployment of 360 native speaker teacher trainers who were discharged to three areas covering the whole of Malaysia.

SMR HR Group was awarded the contract to supply 120 trainers to cover the six states on the west side of the peninsula, said Hughes.

This is part of the initiative to improve English in primary schools as part of the Upholding Bahasa Malaysia, Strengthening English (MBMMBI) policy.

2012, Arkib Berita, Pembangunan Sekolah, Program

School team dances its way to gold at world meet

Wednesday July 11, 2012


KOTA KINABALU: A secondary school here has done the country proud for the second time in two years by excelling at an international dance competition.

The 12-member Sabah College team calling themselves The Tagaps Dance Theatre bagged three gold medals at the Dance World Cup competition in Villach, Austria.

Their interpretation of a Murut dance titled Iti No Koposiyan Yaa earned them a gold in the open group national and folklore dance category in the event held from June 25 to 30.

The team earned a special mention from all 26 participating countries for their dance skills and unique costumes, said Sabah College principal Nuinda Alias after a celebration of the school’s victory here yesterday.

A dance performance titled The Reason by Leonardo Constantine Dumpangol in the children’s solo modern and contemporary category earned the team another gold medal.

“Leonardo’s performance also earned a special mention by the jury which awarded him the best solo modern all ages trophy,” said Nuinda.

Leonardo and teammate Mohd Kamarul Abdul Karim won another gold for their dance duet titled Falling Slowly.

“Another feather in our cap was when our choreographer M. Hairul Nazmie Talib was presented with the best innovative choreography award,” Nuinda added.

She said the team’s achievements were notable as they were up against some of the more established school dance groups from Germany, Austria, Italy, Canada, Belgium, Russia and England.

“This year’s competition involved some 2,000 participants, so it was a bit overwhelming but our team still delivered,” Nuinda said in thanking ChiefMinister Datuk Musa Aman and the state government for financial contributions which allowed the team to make the trip.

The Sabah College team entered the Dance World Cup for the first time last year in France where they clinched prizes for the junior group national and folklore dance, and the open duo modern as well as awards in the best overall duet/trio category and for the best choreographer award.

2012, Arkib Berita, Pembangunan Sekolah, Program, Sukan

Students work their way into record book

Wednesday July 11, 2012


PETALING JAYA: Some 3.6 million students from around the country landed themselves in the Malaysia Book of Records (MBR) with the largest simultaneous aerobic exercise under the 1Student 1Sport 1Malaysia event.

The event, involving primary and secondary students from some 10,000 schools nationwide, was launched by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who also took the opportunity to join in the record-breaking feat.

Speaking before exercising for 45 minutes with 2,456 students of Sekolah Wawasan USJ5 in Subang Jaya yesterday, Muhyiddin said he was proud of the Education Ministry’s effort.

He said the event was a continuation from a similar run held in Perak last year, which saw some 4.1 million students from 9,980 schools taking part.

The policy, said Muhyiddin, was introduced as a means of inculcating a love for sports among students by making it compulsory for them to participate in at least one sport.

He later witnessed the presentation of a certificate by MBR founder Datuk Danny Ooi to the ministry’s director-general Tan Sri Abd Ghafar Mahmud.

In IPOH, about 400,000 students from schools in Perak participated in the event.

In SMK Tambun, the session involving 1,350 students started at 8am and lasted for 35 minutes.

Head prefect Siti Aisyah Zulkifli, 17, said it was a good way to encourage student participation in sporting activities.

“The students feel more motivated as the event was carried out on such a wide scale. Being able to enter the Malaysia Book of Records is the icing on the cake,” she said.

Later, in Cyberjaya, Muhyiddin urged local creative industry players to emulate their South Korean counterparts, adding that their films, television series and music had taken the world by storm.

“They are so good that they influence the young to learn Korean in order to understand and enjoy their products. They are the best example to emulate if we want to establish Malaysia as a world brand,” he said when launching the KRU Academy corporate social responsibility programme.