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Salam Aidil Fitri 1438H

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الإنسان يحاسب على الأفعال والله يحاسب على النيات


MEMBINA KOMITMEN, MENCIPTA KEBERSAMAAN

TINDAKAN SE ALIM KATA

MENGUPAYAKAN ORGANISASI,
MEMINIMUMKAN KUASA DOMINASI

MENCIPTA SEJARAH, MEMAHAT TAMADUN

MEMINTAS ARUS MENCIPTA SEJARAH

ASPIRE TO INSPIRE BEFORE YOU EXPIRE

Man punishes the action , but Allah the intention

Mudah-mudahan Allah SWT mempermudahkan segala urusan dan tindakan kita. Sokongan dan kerjasama anda adalah satu penghormatan kepada usaha merealisasikan hasrat slogan MERSING HEBAT berteraskan kepada amalan HIKMAH, EFEKTIF, BADAR, AMANAH dan TAWAKKAL.

اللهم اجعلنا من المستمعين القول فيتبعون أحسنه

Idea dan cadangan tuan amat dialu-alukan.

SEBARANG KESULITAN DAN KELEMAHAN AMAT DIKESALI.

Sila salurkan cadangan, komen dan aduan tuan/puan ke alamat email berikut : akademikmg@gmail.com.
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Isnin, 23 September 2013

PRAISE FOR UPSKILLING PROGRAMME BY PRIYA KULASAGARAN Sunday Star 15 September 2013

Reaksi :  



IT IS a weekday morning, and a rather unusual English lesson in Klang is taking an unscheduled break.

The “teacher”, British Council trainer Simon Walker, looks on in amusement as his class of teachers their enthusiasm over what they have been learning for the past few months.

“It’s not just about improving your language, I’m also getting a lot ideas that I can use in class,” says Kavitha Lachmanan, a teacher at SK Taman Andalas, Klang.

“We’re learning a lot about methodology and techniques on capturing students’ interest in the subject.”

The class is one of the many currently taking place in schools around the country for the first phase of the Education Ministry’s upskilling programme for English language teachers.

Around 5,010 teachers are currently enrolled in the nine-month programme conducted by the British Council, and another 9,000 teachers are expected to start their training later this month.

“It was a bit demotivating at first, to be told that you have to go for extra classes.

“But I realised that I was getting a lot from this course, and I really look forward to our class every week,” says Nur Diana Abdullah of SMK Pandamaran Jaya, Klang.

The only complaint, that all the teachers agreed on, was that of time or the lack of it.

Teachers are required to undergo 480 hours of “contact time” — 240 hours of face-to-face training, and 240 hours of self-directed online learning.

While classes are usually conducted for four hours once a week, teachers are also required to complete coursework and assessments on tight deadlines.

“Having good support from the school’s administration is really important,” says Treesa Joseph of SMK Kota Kemuning.

“Without their help in managing my timetable for classes and having my extra-curricular workload reduced, it would be even more stressful.”

Another solution, suggests SMK Sri Andalas teacher Fadhilah Hanapiah, is that teachers be allowed time-off “of maybe three months to fully focus on an intensive course”.

Even Walker concedes that it is a strain for teachers to juggle the course and regular teaching duties, adding that “the work is really all on their part”.

The enthusiasm of the teachers is a stark contrast to the critical media coverage of the language competency of English teachers.

This negativity is closely connected to how the country’s 61,000 English teachers fared in the Cambridge Placement Test (CPT) that was carried out last year — the very impetus for the upskilling programme in the first place.

The test results found that only around 30% of English teachers were deemed to have a high mastery of the language, while the remaining teachers either had some or low English proficiency.

More recently, Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said that two-thirds of English teachers have been classified as “incapable” or “unfit” to teach the subject in schools.

The CPT is graded following the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), a guide developed by the Council of Europe to gauge foreign language proficiency.

Instead of a simple “pass” or “fail”, the guide lists six grades, with C2 being the highest and A1 the lowest alongside detailed descriptions of what users need to demonstrate to earn a particular grade.

In this regard, the Education Ministry has decided that the minimum ideal grade English teacher should have is a C1.

The director of the ministry’s English Language Teaching Centre, Dr Ranjit Singh Gill assures that the CPT was not meant to “put down” teachers or their abilities.

“It’s not right to say that those who did not make the C2 or C1 grades are ‘useless’; they still have a working command of the language, but there’s room for improvement.

“The teachers shortlisted for the course were then asked to sit for the Aptis (an English assessment administered by the British Council), to make sure that they really needed the additional training.

“Cases of teachers scoring very differently on both tests have been rare,” he says, adding that teachers will sit for the Aptis test again once they complete the upskilling programme.

Dr Ranjit declined to comment on teachers’ claims of technical flaws when the CPT was first administered, as well as the the exact breakdown of the number of teachers with the corresponding CEFR grades.

On the upskilling programme itself, Dr Ranjit says that the course was designed as a two-prong approach.
“Aside from raising the language proficiency level of teachers, we also wanted to make use of the opportunity to build on their paedogogic competence.
“So key elements in the programme are the materials used; they are not the general sort of English language materials that are taught in schools and at English language centres.

“One of the most gratifying things we’ve seen in our programme evaluation is that within just two or three months, teachers said they were already using many of the strategies that they’ve either read about or experienced in the training room,” he says.

In the training room in Klang at least, teachers heartily agree with this sentiment, saying that the programme should go on for the long term.

“I just wish that we were taught in this sort of fun and interactive way during my teacher training,” muses one teacher.

“But I suppose it’s better late than never.”

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