Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Snippet from The Star

Tuesday June 23, 2009
Yesteryear’s switch to BM put paid to good English today

THE standard of English in the country has deteriorated since the switch to Bahasa Malaysia as the teaching medium in the 1970s, Nanyang Siang Pau said in its editorial.
The daily said most youngsters in the country could not converse fluently in English even after they had graduated from university.

“Most of them cannot express themselves well in the language, not to mention their proficiency when required to introduce a product or service, negotiate or write any proposal or report in English,” it said.

It said the private sector had also admitted that it was difficult to hire the right candidates for vacancies due to the language barrier.
It said many students realised the importance of English only when they graduated from university.

“Even those who work in the public sector cannot escape the fact that English is important for their career advancement,” it said.

It said what the Government needed to do now was to improve the teaching of the language, which included the increase in the use of English as a teaching medium.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Amuk

Just came back from class. The first group of students did their presentation. This time around there’ll be weekly presentation in class since the computer labs are packed. (too many students) isk.isk . What I want to share is that, as a lecturer I hardly ever scold anyone. While the students were doing their presentation, they were interrupted by questions. Then this particular student replied the question in a harsh tone and sounded as he was pissed off with the question. I was like %^*&^##^%!*^. (in my heart… Biar betul budak ni..). no one asked any questions after that.. (takut kot). So, if the student was evaluated for his teaching practice, I’m sure he’ll fail..

As an educator, I personally respect each and every one of them as students and I try to treat them as adults. To be a good lecturer, I believe in a few basic qualities. If you like it you can apply it. If not just disregard the points.
1. Ability to communicate (susah plak kalau senyap jer)
2. Sincere desire to teach (for the goodsake of our generation)
3. Empathy with the students (try to be considerate.. kesian kena jalan sana sini. Jauh plak tu. Dahla masuk lambat plak… yadayadayada)
4. Love for the knowledge and teaching. (knowledge doesn’t come easily. You pay for it)
5. Happy to see students acquiring knowledge :-) (furthermore if they succeed)
6. Believe in making the students think and become important individuals (so true of me)
7. Occasionally let your hair down and join the students in their groups (have to, I can’t be bothered sitting down while teaching)
8. Give experience, field knowledge to enhance the subject (this is a must)

I think that’s what I do. Do u think so too?

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Recap

Last year I was blessed to be given a chance to teach a new course which was accounting course. It set back me from the norm that I was used to when teaching medical and science students. There were indeed differences among the students, but either positively or negatively, I took all the disparity as a stepping stone for me to be creative in diversifying my lessons.

Once, a lecturer once said that students will always be students. You cannot expect all of them to change but the only thing you can do is try. So, teaching for me is a learning process which totally depends on the educator. I needed time to adjust but time was not on my side since the course was given to me last minute since there was no one available. So, with little background on business English I exposed myself to magazines such as the Time magazine and Accountancy magazines to get the gist of what needs to be learnt in Business English.

Alhamdullillah the semester sailed as planned but what I regretted most is that there were certain activities which were planned earlier in the semester that couldn’t be conducted due to the limited hours per class as compared to other courses. this time around they also participated less in contributing ideas in essays but more towards hand on skills in managing events, trips and participating in competitions. Students seemed quite passive at first but towards the end some of them their true colours, while there were still those who were too shy to break out of the comfort zone of being timid and shy. For those who realized a change in themselves deserve a round of applause. Although statistically the number of A achievers were lower than other English courses but I am proud of their spirit to learn the language because they themselves realize the importance of the language. Grades are just figures. Which student would you be, an A student who does things effortlessly because he already has the knowledge or a B student who struggles to get an A but fails to do so. In the end it is the B student which will learn a lot along the learning curve. This comparison is somewhat similar if you compare an SPM achiever that comes from an urban area to a student in rural area. Although the grades achieved maybe the same but who do you think will gain more coverage?
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Work hard to achieve your goal.