Pupils pick up English the fun way

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05 October 2012 | last updated at 12:11AM

By Fahirul N. Ramli | news@nst.com.my

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INTERACTIVE ACTIVITIES: 250 on Tioman learn how to communicate in English

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Ryan Harb meeting bermesra dengan pelajar sekolah SK Tekek pupils during the Brighton Education Group’s Teaching English Language and Literacy programme on Pulau Tioman. Pic by Afif Abd Halim

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ROMPIN: Unlike other rural children, those living on  Pulau Tioman  have more confidence in mixing with foreigners as they meet such tourists almost every day.

Their high confidence level has made it easier for foreign and local English teachers to organise various activities during the Brighton Education Group’s Teaching English Language and Literacy (TELL) programme on the island recently.

“The common trait of students in South Korea and Malaysia is that they have set goals and have the enthusiasm to learn, making our job as educators easier.

“As for the pupils on Pulau Tioman, they are more open to outsiders as the island is a popular tourist destination,” said John Fujot, 44, one of the Language Mentors in the programme.

The teaching graduate from Carroll University, Wisconsin, the United States, said the primary school pupils were eager to take part in all the activities.

“We have to make English learning fun through interactive activities as local students in general are quite shy.”

Elizabeth O’Donoghue, 51, said each TELL programme was customised to meet the needs of both teachers and students in each school.

“Every teacher should be treated as an individual and the programme must suit their ability and needs to ensure a smooth language learning process.”

She supervises 19 local English teachers at five schools here.

Ryan Harb, 30, from Toronto, Canada, said the teaching of English in his country was very different from Malaysia.

“Our system is much similar to TELL, which is student-centred.

“From my observation, Malaysian teachers rely too much on textbooks while the students focus on examinations.

“They should instead focus on communication, which is the core of language learning,” said the Terengganu TELL project manager who embraced Islam and married a local last year.

SK Rompin English teacher Haziq Sawaludin, 25, said the TELL programme was more effective as it was injected with fun elements.

“It is an essential part in teaching primary school pupils as it will make them learn English while playing games.”

The two-day programme was known as Active Learning in the English Classroom and involved 205 primary school pupils from SK Mukut, SK Juara and SK Tekek.

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Read more: Pupils pick up English the fun way – General – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/pupils-pick-up-english-the-fun-way-1.152783?cache=03D163D03edding-pred-1.1176%2F%3FpFpentwage63Dp%3A%2Fhe3D03Dn63Frea-rti3D19.3D163D03edding-pred-1.1176%2F%3FpFpentwage63Dp%3A%2Fhe3D03Dn63Frea-rti3D19.111%2F7.186166%3Fpage%3D0%3Fkey%3DKuala+Lumpur%3Fpage%3D0%3Fpage%3D0#ixzz28NuGCZO8