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11 November 2016

[The Star] Trainee teachers help improve pupilsā€˜ English

BY PRIYA MENON

Year One pupils of SJK(T) RRI Sungai Buloh with the trainee teachers from Segi University.

Year One pupils of SJK(T) RRI Sungai Buloh with the trainee teachers from Segi University.

YEAR One pupils of SJK(T) RRI Sungai Buloh are learning English the fun way with the help of trainee teachers from Segi University.

The programme is part of a memorandum of agreement signed between the university’s Faculty of Education and the school to help improve the pupils’ language ability.

As part of their syllabus, the Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) majors are helping the pupils learn the alphabet and simple sentence structures.

The school’s English panel requested assistance from the university in September for their Year One pupils, prompting the birth of the project dubbed Fun English Clinic.

“The trainees have been coming in every week to work with the pupils and have developed a bond with them,” said Prof Dr Mogana Dhamotharan from Segi.

She said they had seen progress with the children who could not even write their own names or recognise the English alphabet.

The programme, she added, was also beneficial for the trainees as it helped them understand the job.

Prof Mogana (wearing spectacles) and Saraswathy (back row, second from left) observing the pupils learning English.
Prof Mogana (wearing spectacles) and Saraswathy (back row, second from left) observing the pupils learning English.

“This way, they get to see if they really want to become teachers and it provides them with the necessary experience,” she said.

As a culmination of their sessions with the pupils, a special clinic was organised that was officiated by MIC national information chief P. Punithan.

Also present at the event were parents, representatives from the Petaling Utama District Education office as well as the school’s headmistress S.Saraswathy.

Prof Mogana, Punithan and Saraswathy all stressed on the importance of parents’ involvement in the education of their children.

“Parents cannot leave the responsibility of education to teachers alone, they need to help their children at home,” said Punithan.

He also said parents and pupils need to understand the value of English.

During the special clinic, the guests including parents, took a moment to join and understand the learning activities the trainees had put together for the students.

Three stations of varied difficulty levels featuring fun ways to learn the language. — Photos: AZLINA ABDULLAH/The Star
Three stations of varied difficulty levels featuring fun ways to learn the language. — Photos: AZLINA ABD ULLAH/The Star

They used affordable teaching materials that even parents can adopt at home such as salt and simple handmade cue cards.

There were three stations with varied difficulty levels – the alphabet and two-letter words at the first station and short sentences at the third station.

Parent Ambiga Perumal, 44, said she was glad her son was given the extra help.

She also said she would appreciate it if parents, too, could be helped to improve their English so they could assist their children at home.

“I can only do so much, my English is not very good. Maybe if we get a little help, we can teach our children as well,” she said.

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