Posts

Re-establishing Respect?

Image
Respecting students is one of the classroom cultures that is less discussed among teachers. This results teachers to be inclined to treat their students at times with little to no respect. Worst, in many schools and classrooms, little commitment has been taken either by administrators or educators to foster an environment of respect in school which should start with teachers respecting the students.  Classroom culture: a culture when the members of the classroom the physical environment, the schedule and the approaches to instruction work together in harmony (Children's Literacy Initiative, 2017) Malaysian students, for instance, are frequently reminded to give respect to teachers because many of Malaysian cultural practices which are inherited from the past emphasis on the need to look upon elders and teachers with respect. However, none is mentioned about respecting the young as the Malay saying goes; Yang tua dihormati, yang muda disayangi. Therefore, it is not shocking that …

Parking Lot

Image
Parking Lot has been considered as one of the best practices in the 21st century classrooms besides the famous group seating arrangement. In Malaysian public schools especially in Sekolah Amanah, it is a mandatory to prepare a space or an area in the class to put up a Parking Lot.
Per contra, to date, teachers are having a lack of proper guidance on the use of Parking Lot as a consequence of the non-existence of a blueprint or a printed guide from any Malaysian education departments on this practice.

Worst, the knowledge of Parking Lot is succinctly dismantle to teachers while they are having courses on 21st century classroom or learning, during Professional Learning Communities (PLC) sessions or during department meetings. It is through these short sessions or meet-ups that Malaysian teachers are made aware of the benefits of Parking Lot. Even the practice could benefit both teacher and students, the lack of understanding on the practice results failure in its execution process. 


Let…

Use Malay (L1) instead of English (L2) in English Lessons?

Image
The debate on the use of L1 in L2 lessons has been going on since forever. Different scholars come out with different theories and hypotheses yet no one theory or hypothesis has become the most significant. After all, it all depends on the teaching context.
The use of L1 has always been a contentious issue. Teachers have choices whether to: ban L1;minimise L1; ormaximise L2. Again, it all depends on the context the teachers are in. It is best to also mention that even so, teachers who resort to the L1, despite their best intentions, often feel guilty for straying from L2 path (Cook, 2001).


However now, let's not talk about teacher's use of L1.  Let's look at student's use of L1 in L2 lessons. 
Should we ban the use of L1 among students in L2 lessons? If not, why are there a lot of suggestions given to cut or limit the use of L1 in L2 lessons?

Speak Out

Image
More people should have the courage to speak their mind out so that other people could learn and understand them better. Many love to keep things to themselves because it is pleasurable and because it is safer, and because speaking out may open up chances for people to criticise and to hurt
Silence has never killed anybody but silence too has never healed anybody. 
People need to speak out.
Speaking out could be threatening, tiring, emotionally draining, yet most of the time, it is the only way out of the tensed situations we are inflicted on. Speaking out may take a lot of strengths but staying in silence could cause harm. 
When at work, learn to say NO. When at home, share what and how we feel. When in public, vocalize our thoughts. When with partners, pour out your heart. When with friends, let them know. When with an enemy, make them listen.
Stop assuming things. 
"They should have known the pile of work I'm working on." "They must have known by now that I hat…

Word Card Tag

Image
Exposing vocabulary list to students of beginner level of English proficiency is always challenging especially when the students are at the age of 14 to 17 years old which had had an approximate 6 to 7 years experience of English language learning.
Talking from experience, the group of students, despite the level of their proficiency, hate to be treated as kids as they perceive themselves as grown up and that they have been learning the same thing for years. Therefore, they expect learning to be more serious, learning aids to be more mature and learning content to be more challenging.

Well, how do you make lessons on basic colours be more serious, mature and challenging? 

If one is able to come out with the lesson, another question then arises; when are we going to get done exposing students with all the basic vocabulary so that we can proceed with the vocabulary that students are expected to know by the MOE in order to answer PT3 or SPM? Let's flip through PT3 or SPM papers. Hone…

Threatened

Image
I wasn't paying attention when my name was being called. It was only when I stood up that I knew she was expecting me to answer her question which was very much unclear to me. 
She seemed reluctant to repeat her question but she did. She expected me to come out with a sentence.
I guessed. 
I threw a sentence then I happily sat thinking everything was over ...

... yet I was wrong. 
She started blabering. Saying how incompetent, how undetermined, how unenthusiastic I was. 
I kept silent. Partly guessing her expectations. 
Then I knew all she wanted from me was a lengthy introduction that contained all the 5W's.

Phewwwww

***
The task given was an easy one yet having to spontenously answer the question, standing up with the words being typed and was closlely observed by a troop of Grammar Nazis, made me felt judgedinsecurd  and threatened
Her aim of questioning might be to nurture insights yet what she had nurtured in me at that moment was hatred towards the course and her. 
**…

The Only Thing Constant In Life

Image
This blog has been my place since 2008. Scrolling back the years, it is crazy how things have changed.


A 19 years old me was an innocent one. She shared with the world everything that was in her head - mindless. The language was absurd and the point of writing was ridiculous. 
"I think throughout the years, I have changed a lot. I have tamed my tongue, at least. Have you too changed? What were you like before?" "I was a lazy freak. Glad that you've changed me." "I don't change you and you don't change for me. You are born responsible. Even if you are married to any other woman in the world, you'll be a better person. For you are a responsible man." 
I change. My husband change. People change. Why? For change is the only thing constant in life.
But when we change, it is not people or a particular person that change us. It takes us to change us. It takes us to rewire the connection we have already had in our brain; when you change, your brai…