EIGHTY teachers, some donning masks as a prevention measure against the H1N1 flu, had to switch roles and become students for the day when they attended a recent Star-NiE (Newspaper in Education) workshop specially held for them.
The workshop, organised by the Education Department and assisted by The Star-NiE (Newspaper in Education) team, was aimed at optimising the use of The Star to teach English in schools in Johor’s Ledang district.
Muar-Ledang Education Department officer Lukman Simon said the workshop was organised to ensure the teachers involved in teaching the language knew what to do with the newspapers.
Assisted by The Star’s NiE senior executive Sharon Ovinis, the teachers from the national, national-type and religious schools started their workshop with enthusiasm.
They were eager to use the newspaper as a tool in learning the English language and were also enthusiastic about coming up with fun-filled projects using the various sections of the paper.
The teachers were asked to speak in English, tell stories, perform body movements and even do newspaper cutting and pasting under the watchful eyes of NiE trainer Sim Soo Kee.
Her instructions were aimed at making the teachers more creative and motivated in using the newspapers to teach English in their classes.
Lukman said the workshop was organised after Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman sponsored 25,000 copies of the newspapers for schools in Ledang recently.
The Mentri Besar wanted students in the Ledang district to master the English language and hoped the use of the newspapers in their lessons would improve their command of the language.
“Datuk (Abdul Ghani) had shown his commitment by sponsoring the newspapers in the hope that the students will learn the language and our job is to ensure that the paper is used as a learning tool to the fullest,” Lukman said.
Meanwhile, many teachers said the workshop was fun, interesting and uplifting.
S. Prema from SK (T) Ladang Sagil said she found the workshop very useful, especially to outline work schedules for her classes.
She said she attended a similar workshop organised by The Star last year and was happy that she was selected to attend it for the second time.
“Although we are teachers, we still need to learn and the workshop gives us new ideas to inject fun and creativity in our lessons.
“We are also very grateful to the MB for sponsoring The Star newspapers for schools here to use in our English classes,” she said when met at the workshop.
Meanwhile, G. Devi of SJK (T) Ladang Bekoh near Tangkak, said the workshop allowed the teachers from the different schools in Ledang to meet and exchange views.
She commended Sim for her creativity in filling the workshop with fun activities and making teachers who lacked the confidence speak up in English before other teachers.
“Knowing and understanding the language is one thing, but being able to speak with the correct diction, grammar and tenses is quite another.
“We must be confident and competent before applying the approaches on our students,” added Devi.
Her sentiments were echoed by first-time participants Wong Siao Yen of SK Bukit Kangkar and Low Siau Chin of SJK (C) Pui Nan.
SOURCE: SUNDAY STAR, OCTOBER 25, 2009