Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Reflection on Presentation of Political Influences on English Language in Malaysia


Good morning everyone!
This will be the last reflection on my blog. After nearly three months, finally we have finished all the assignments of ELE3103 English for Language Teacher last weeks. The last task was a presentation on How Malaysian Culture Affects English Language In Malaysia.

My group has done about Historical Influences on English Language in Malaysia. For those who do not like politics, maybe this topic sounds boring to them.
However, I would like to advice all my friends who are going to be a teacher some day, please take a look at this issue because as a teacher we should know what happen in our country, particularly in the education system as well as the politics.

Maybe, many people wonder why I said a teacher should know what happen in politics of our country. In Malaysia, politics seems to play a dominant influence in shaping the education policies of the country. Oftentimes, when the Minister of Education changes, we can see there will be many changes in our Education System too. For example, the case of the teaching of Mathematics and Science in English (PPSMI) which has been replaced with MBM MBI is an example of the interference of politics on education.

For political influences on English Language in Malaysia, my group decided to devide  the presentation into two main phases; politics before independence (British Colonial), and politics after independence (after 1957 until present). Over all, we come up with five issues that were English as the Language of Communication and British introduced English Medium Schools specifically for politics before independence, while Teaching Of Mathematics and Science In English, English As The Second Language, and English As A Medium Of Instruction For Science And Technology Courses In Public Higher Institution for politics after independence.
To be frank, at first, I feel quite unlucky about the topic that has been assigned to my group. However, after some readings and researches about the topic, I think the topic is quite interesting. I can gain a lot of information about Malaysian current issues especially about education and language education policy.

From our presentation, I can conclude a few things here. First, Language policies in education are shaped and influence by many factors; social forces, political conflicts, changes in government, migration, changes in the structure of local economies, globalization, and elite competition. In my point of view, I think the government needs to put in more efforts and commitment in creating awareness to the Malaysian especially about the importance of mastering English Language. Well, as we all know, English has been used widely and internationally nowadays. For example in the field of communication, almost all reference books are written in English. If we do not master English language, will be left out from getting current information or knowledge about certain areas.

Other than that, more campaigns and activities related to English should be designed in order to instill the interest to learn and use English Language. Besides, the government, particularly the Ministry of Education should first do proper research and survey before implementing any changes in the language-education policy.

In conclusion, this task was able to increase my self-esteem to present in front of the class especially in talking about such a factual thing like politics. Besides, this task also has encouraged me to be an up dated person particularly about our country education system and what happen in our politics. I really hope that all the experience, information as well as knowledge that I obtained along the process to complete this task will be useful in my future as a teacher.

Language Games

In this entry, I want to share about another language activity that my group has done during my ELE3103 class in the last few weeks. The language activity was to conduct a language game with the class.
When people who speak a different language try to learn English, it's common for educators to use games in the classroom to help them learn the new language. Playing games to learn English is also advantageous for people who already speak English, so they can learn the nuances of the language
In addition, English language learning games are a fun way to help English as a Second Language (ESL) students with English mastery and fluency. The type of game that should be played will depend on the level of student's mastery of English.
Last time, we were consisting of six different groups. So, we played six different English language games. For my groups, we have done on a multimedia language game. The game was carried out by means of laptop, LCD and speaker. We have created five segments with different games techniques as a whole. Each segment emphasized on different language aspects that are reading, writing, speaking, and listening. 
The software that we used to conduct the game was the Microsoft Power Point. So, after having a brain storming among my group members, at the end we came up with five types of games namely, Memory And Imagination, Imagination And Write, Listen And Write, Roll And Action, and Guess And Check.
Apart from that, I also enjoyed the other language games which conducted by the other groups. Among all, I think the best language game goes to Edward’s group. Why do I say so??? First, the language games by their group involved every student in the class. Second, the language game got motivational element to encourage every students to participate actively. They provided bids for the winner in form of sweets. So, this is a good example of a good activity which can draw students’ attention in learning English language.
Another group which I think has done a good job was Hubert’s group. The game was creative. It did not only focus on English grammar, but also it has cultivated the value of appreciating money where the game is conducted like ‘Money Drops’ style. However, there was a weakness which I can detect from Hubert’s group. Even though the game was very interesting, however it only involved four students in one time. So, I think this group should think of a modification so that the game can involve at least half of the class member.
In conclusion, I have learned new things from this activity. I learned how to create interesting language games, how to handle the game, and how to get the players involve actively during the game. Other than that, all the language games conducted by each group have given me ideas to be more creative in my teaching in the future.




Tree bears WORDS…?


Hi, there! 

Wow! It has been a while since the last time I updated this blog…
Miss you all so much!!! 
Actually, it has been so busy lately especially in the last few weeks.
In February, my group (PPRMT5) was holding a BIG (Bina Insan Guru), specifically a bench marking in Sekolah Menengah Sains Kuching, which is located in Batu Kawa, Kuching.

Alright, talking about tree bears words, have you ever heard about this??? ;)
I bet, everyone knows tree bears fruits. But, I don't think everyone knows there’s also a tree that bears words…

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you a tree unlike others which can bear words:
...the TREE DIAGRAM!!! 
It does not need sun light, water or even soil. In addition, it does not have leaves, it only has branches. All it needs is the understanding of sentence structure which also people always called as syntax. What is ‘syntax’? I guess, those who learn English formally will somehow accidentally hear, or being taught about this little thing.

So, what is ‘syntax’ actually???

Basically, syntax is the rules by which signs are combined to make statements. If you consider the words of a language to be its signs, then its syntax is the rules which put signs together to make statements, ask questions, and produce other utterances. 

Syntax incorporates the grammar of phrases, clauses, and sentences. Producing and uttering sentences is an important part of how we make sense of our world. We articulate the meaning of our experience in words; in the process of articulate, we make (or discover) the meaning of the experience.

In short and simple, syntax is the study of sentence structure.

Anyway, what is the relation between tree diagram and the syntax?
Actually, a tree diagram is used to show or to study the sentence analysis of a sentence structure.  Below is an example of a tree diagram:


From the example, the sentence is ‘John lost his pants’. In the first stage or in other word, basically a sentence can be broken down into two basic parts, namely Noun Phrase (NP) and Verb Phrase (VP). 'John' is the NP, while 'lost his pants' is the VP. 

After that, the sentence will be further broken down into smaller unit such as Nouns (N), Determiners (Det), Preposition (P) and other word classes. So, this is basically what I learned under the topic Syntax. Actually, this is not my first time learning sentence analysis, but I did learn it formerly in my Malay subject.
Studying sentence structure is not really difficult to me, just that some of the word classes are confusing, depending on the context of the sentence. But, once we mastered the word classes, doing sentence analysis is just like at the fingertips, which is as easy as ABC.  

This time, for our English activity, we are assigned to produce a worksheet with two sentences for analysis using tree diagrams and its suggested answers. At first, I keep changing my sentences due to some word classes’ confusion. Until night, I still did not manage to complete even one single sentence structure analysis. At the end I surrender, I just do whatever I have on my mind and after that I sent my draft. Below are the sentences that I  analysed for my worksheet: 

My sister wears the new purple blouse that she received from her fiancee at the party yesterday.

Acer Aspire 2920 is a branded invention which the community believes is one of the most efficient and expensive laptop nowadays.


Looking at the sentences, both are quite long. But I think it is never mind because the longer the sentences, the more word classes we learn throughout the sentence. For my worksheet, each sentence analysis comprises of 50 marks. So, all together is 100 marks. To test the worksheet, I have asked one of my classmates to complete the worksheet in the specified time given. Alhamdulillah, she was able to answer almost all correct. 

In my point of view, the used of tree diagram in learning syntax is very beneficial especially in helping students to build strong foundation in English. By doing the tree diagram during sentence analysis, students are able to master the word classes faster and easier. When they analyse sentences, simultaneously they think and write of the word classes related.

For me, tree diagram is a helpful way to strengthen the basic in English. Tree diagram gives me revision for each word classes and oftentimes it is quite challenging when we try our best to complete the sentence analysis and even sometimes it makes us rack our brain just to find out what is the exact word classes for a particular word.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

~Tounge Twister~

Hi guys! Miss me???

In this update, I wish to write about TONGUE TWISTER!


Why must it be tongue twister???
...because, we just had a class activity on tongue twister! :)
Before I continue,  want to try a few first???

video

So, how was it?
Was it interesting?
As someone who is still lacking so much  in English, I love tongue twister activity rather than something else which are formal and serious such as poems, literature and etc.
For me, tongue twister is a joyful way to learn English, especially pronunciation.
This is because, while we read, we also can put in some rhythm and melody to them in order to make they sound more interesting and catchy.

The first time I had heard about tongue twister is when i was in primary 3.
If I'm not mistaken, my teacher taught me something sounds like this:
     the shell at the seashore... bla bla bla...
another one
   if a tie can tie a tie... bla bla bla
*sorry, i can't remember all :(
From that moment, i always wanted to improve my pronunciation in English.
When I heard someone good in English, i'll imitate the way she or he talks.

As for my group, we had presented three tongue twisters as followed:
 
WHILE WE WERE WALKING
WE WERE WATCHING
WINDOW WASHER WASH WASHINGTON'S WINDOWS 
WITH WARM WASHING WATER.

EXCITED EXECUTIONER EXERCISING HIS EXCISING POWER EXCESSIVELY.

LUKE LUCK LIKES LAKES
LUKE'S DUCK LIKES LAKES

LUKE LUCK LICKS LAKES
LUCK'S DUCK LICKS LAKES
DUCK TAKES LICKS IN LAKES LUKE LUCK LIKES
LUKE LUCK LAKES LICKS IN LAKES DUCK LIKES
In my point of view, the first tongue twister was harder as we had to switch between the SH sound and the CH sound. The switch between these two sounds require concentration and good articulation. The same goes to the third tongue twister. The 'L' is repeated many time that nees concentration and good articulation.
Before presenting, we practiced a few times and luckily we managed to put in rhythm to them. We also used chunking method in order to break up the sentences so that they make sense and easier to pronounce properly.
Really enjoyed the activity! :)

Monday, 6 February 2012

Mime


Just a week after the role play, we were busy planning and preparing for our next group activity which was a mime presentation. 

Honestly, I don't really satisfy with our performance. 
I think we can do better than that.
But, due to some problems in my group, we didn't manage to achieve the target. :(

Opps! Sorry, forgot to tell the title of our mime.
My group has done a mime entitled “To Be or Not to Be”. We meant to name the title like that because we thought that the class will guess what does the title actually means. 

I also feel quite sad because some of my classmates could not guess the message that we want to convey through our video correctly. I guess this was due to the failure of the actors to act out the characters that supposed to be. 

The real message that we actually wanted to present here was about everyone should practice healthy diet so that they can build a strong healthy body. But,unluckily because of the improper make over on the actors, some of my classmates thought that our video was about illegal pregnancy. :(

Another thing that I feel a little bit disappointed was the quality of the video that we had produced. I don't know where the mistake was.  The video was unable to play smoothly. It was only okay after the video player had been changed. I admit that most of my group members having trouble when it comes to technology. To improve in this area, a lot of hard works have to be put in this effort. I really hope that next time we will able to produce something better.

Anyway, I'll still proud of the other groups. Their video were interesting. Credited to Nikelson's and Lydia's group. Really enjoy your video, guys! Lydia's video can be something valuable to teach pupils about teeth care. Congratulation!

So, here's the video of "To Be or Not to Be":
  video
Enjoy! Feel free to comment :)

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Role Play Your Dialogue

Good Evening buddies! 
Want to hear something about my group's role play?
Yeah, here it is! :)

My group had decided to do a dialogue role play on Chinese New Year Celebration.  

Since that we need to include at least five language functions based on ISL Week 1, so we did discussed together about the dialogue that we going to present so that we were able to include as many language functions as we can. 
The details of the role play are as followed: 

# Title: Chinese New Year Celebration
# Setting: Housemates were having a conversation during breakfast. 
# Characters: Naja, Jue, Liza & Iin   

CHARACTER
DIALOGUE
NAJA
Hi, girls! Good morning! Chinese New Year is coming. Do you girls go back for holiday? (To ask)
LIZA
Yes! I will go back for sure because it is my family celebration. (To reply)
How about you girls?(To ask)
INN
I’m not sure yet because my parents are not at home for the time being    (To reply).
JUE
Same goes for me as we have not received our allowances yet. (To explain)
LIZA
So pity for both of you. Why don’t both of you come with me? Let’s celebrate the Chinese New Year with me and my family. (To invite)
INN
Hmm…I don’t think I can join you because I already have my own plans for this coming holiday. (To decline)
JUE
Cool! It’s a good idea! But, I have to ask permission from my parents first.   (To half agree)
NAJA
Anyway, are you serious Liza? Since I always dream of celebrating Chinese New Year, don’t you mind if I go along with you? May I? May I?                  (To request)
LIZA
Yes, why not? It’s my honor to have you as my special guest. (To agree)
NAJA
Wow! That sounds lovely. Thanks, Liza. (To thank)
By the way, what is so special about Chinese New Year celebration? Come on, tell us! (To ask)
JUE
Oh, I know. I know! One of them is Lion Dance. I really enjoy the Lion Dance show. It’s what I’m waiting for every year. (To express)
INN
But, I know the most special one! (To express)
JUE
What is it? What is it? (To ask)
INN
Angpau! Since I’m not coming with you, so don’t forget my angpau, okay! (To remind)
LIZA
Yes, both of you are correct. But, I’m so sorry, my dear. (To apologize)
 I’m not married yet so I can’t give you angpau. (To explain)
INN
Why can’t? (To confirm)
LIZA
It’s a tradition. I can’t change it. (To explain)
NAJA
Oh, I see. Actually I’m so excited to play fireworks. (To express)
LIZA
Yes, me too. It is the most exciting part in Chinese New Year celebration for me. (To respond)
JUE
Really? That sounds great! (To respond)
LIZA
So, what are you waiting for? (To convince)
JUE
Alright, I’ll try my best to convince my parents. (To agree)
INN
If that so, I have to think twice about this. (To confirm)
LIZA
Good! That’s my friend. (To praise)
NAJA
Awesome! Let’s shopping for a new cheongsam, girls! (To invite)
LIZA, JUE & INN
Let’s go!!! (To agree)

We managed to include 14 language functions in our dialogue. Yeah!


 to ask  
to reply  
to explain  
to invite 
to decline  
to half agree  
to request  
to thank  
to express  
to remind  
to confirm  
to respond  
to convince  
to praised

Frankly, I found this activity was really interesting and challenging.
Do you know why??? 

Okay, it’s better to tell the story from A to Z.

Actually the idea to present a dialogue on Chinese New Celebration came up as we have one of our group members celebrating the celebration (Liza). Plus, the Chinese New Year Holiday was coming soon.

As we all were looking forward towards the Chinese New Year Holiday during that time, so we all agree to transfer the excitement in the form of dialogue.

The reason I said this activity was interesting is because I really had fun watching others’ group role plays. Among all, the one that I really love was Nickelson’s group role play. It was about a salesman and a saleswoman recommending a hair shampoo for a choosy customer. To me, what made the role play interesting was the way the character of the choosy customer act which was effective and quite funny. Anyway, congratulation to other groups to for the good job!

Next, why I said this activity was challenging is because we all need to memorize our part well so that the role play goes smoothly. Thank god, everyone managed to do that. Huh…

From the pedagogical side, I managed to learn something new from my lecturer. I like the technique that when she asked the group present to choose a few persons to identify the language functions used in the role play presented. The technique is useful in teaching so that the pupils or student will pay attention during others’ role play, plus to check whether the pupils understand or not what they are learning.

Language And Communication


Hi!

I would like to continue my reflection on ELE3103.
The first topic of this course is exactly the same as the title of the post above.
From the lectures that I had attended, I've learned so many things about 'language' as well as 'communication'. These two words are very impossible to be separated because as we communicate, we use language. As we use language, we communicate.  

Just for introduction, language covers everything related to phonology, morphology, syntax, lexis, and semantics. Those five elements are connected to one another and gradually they form a system which is known as language. Actually, I also learned this kind of things in Malay language, but of course it is a little bit different in English language. 

For this topic, my classmates and I had carried out several numbers of interesting activities, namely role-play of dialogue, miming, and tongue twister.  Each activities were carried out in a group of four. As for my group, we consist of Juliza, Normarliza, Nurr Azreen, and me. :)

I'll write about each activity in the next updates. So, see u later! XOXO