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Showing posts from 2018

That Look You Get When (Some) People Find Out You're A Teacher

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On the rare occasion that I'm invited to speak at an event, I dress accordingly. I like to think that I dress well for these events. I mean, I try 2-3 different outfit combinations & ask my wife, who's busy doing her eyes, if I look "speaker-ish". She'd glance away from her round cosmetic mirror for a quick look & always have great suggestions from my limited collection. I am after all a teacher, not a fashion model. Sometimes I do wish that stores will give me free clothes for me to promote on Instagram. I really don't mind tight body-hugging clothing & exposing some of muh man boobs. **sizzle** If you run a fashion label, do holla at me, y'alls!

So I went to this event, right, &, of course, the VVIPs, they spoke first. These VVIPs had their entourage & all following them everywhere like rats following the pied piper. Unfortunately, lunch was at the cafe on the ground floor so, even though, the speakers got to leave first with the VVI…

How To Avoid AirAsia's Payment Processing Fees

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Being the frugal teacher I am, I don't really care about which airline I use. I just want the cheapest one. 9 times out of 10, AirAsia has the cheapest fares. Despite getting the cheapest fare with AirAsia, it still pains me to fork out an additional RM4.24 for the "Processing Fee" just because I opted to pay with Online Banking or a Credit/Debit Card. Over time, the RM4.25 can add up to quite a bit. If you travel once a month, that's RM4.25 x 2 flights x 12 months = RM102 / year. It's a tax on the lazy. I've been paying this lazy tax for the past 5 years, so Tony's pocketed at least RM510 of my hard earned cash that I could have put towards a lean mean espresso machine. Since I would be booking flights for both myself & my family members, I decided that enough was enough.

Thus, I looked into BigPay, which is basically AirAsia's prepaid credit card service.
Knowing that I'd get RM10, I sought out a random referral code on Facebook. If you'…

Appearance In Rise: Ini Kalilah

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Tomorrow could be your last chance to see my doublechin on the big screen. Check showtimes here.

Until three weeks ago, I never would have expected to be featured on the big screen. Honestly, I didn't know until Cikgu Dilla tagged me on Facebook. On Malaysia Day, I saw the movie for myself &, although it started out very slowly & was a little thin on character development, I appreciated how it depicted the experiences of many Malaysians globally & abroad. It reminded me of what I personally went through to get my postal vote home to Kuching. There were plenty of moments during the movie when I had to suck the tears back into my eyes & hold my breath to keep from making loud sobs. My waterworks went on overdrive during the father & child scene at the end. Did you have a waterworks moment too? When was yours?

Speaker at "What's Next For Sarawak" by UKEC

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Last Saturday, I was an invited speaker at "What's Next For Sarawak" by United Kingdom & Eire Council of Malaysians Students (UKEC) at the Chemsain Building in Kuching, Sarawak. During my speech titled "Turning Lemons Into Lemonade", I spoke about turning the challenges that life hurls at you into opportunities to shine & contribute to the betterment of Sarawak, with sprinkles of anecdotes from my experiences as an educator in rural Sarawak & New York City.

Additionally, I had the pleasure of learning from & sharing the stage with these distinguished Sarawakians:
Dato' Sri Haji Fadillah Yusof, Senior Vice President of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu, who delivered the keynote address about the future of Sarawak's economy in accordance with the digital economy & industry 4.0. Sridharan Nair, Managing Partner of PwC Malaysia, who delivered a plenary keynote about global megatrends & how it relates to Sarawak. Ariff Azahari from…

Plenary At SELES 2018 (Sarawak English Language Educators Symposium)

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After 2 sleepless nights doing 3 overhauls of my slides & loads of prickly constructive feedback from my better half, I was able to deliver a decent plenary at the Sarawak English Language Educators Symposium, or #SELES2018. This symposium was funded & run by the Ministry of Education, Science, & Technology Research (MESTR) Sarawak in collaboration with JPN Sarawak.

I have to salute the team at MESTR & especially Hazelynn Rimbar for their tireless efforts. From what I've observed at the symposium, they've really made a difference in the lives of the teachers in attendance. Honestly, you can't expect teachers to make a difference in the lives of their students if those above them do not do the same & invest significantly in their professional development (PD) & well-being.

Realizing that there's a lot of creativity already taking place in Sarawak, but no platform for sharing/discovering it, I started an FB Group called Sarawak English Educators.…

Chart of Prepaid & Postpaid Plans In Malaysia (2018)

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Ever wondered which telco in Malaysia provides you the best bang for your buck?

Naturally, when I returned to Malaysia, I needed to get a mobile plan that provided the best value for my needs. I want to be as prudent with my money as possible. If I'm not careful, mobile plans could burn a painful hole in my pocket.

I remember a time many years ago when mobile plans were simple & direct comparisons were very easy. No longer. Every telco has got its own way of packaging their services & they also use unique terminologies that can cause confusion. It's very much like trying to compare apples with oranges. Very frustrating.

Therefore, I decided to embark on the painful task of breaking down the bullsheet & make a spreadsheet. The easy comparisons that I was able to make with the spreadsheet has helped me make an informed decision on the best telco plan for my long-term needs & I hope that it'll help you do the same too!

With that extra money you saved, you cou…

Times Square | Walk With Me In NYC | SK Minden Height, Penang

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Take a walk with me in Times Square, New York City!

Dedicated to the students of SK Minden Height in Penang, who voted for the landmark, here's the final video in the Walk With Me In NYC series!

In this video, I take you on a walking tour of Times Square & share with you its roller-coaster history! I'll talk about avoiding costumed panhandlers, how Times Square got its name, One Times Square, New Year's Eve Ball Drop, jumbotrons, the Kissing Sailor, NYPD, & Disney Store.
You'll also see Bryant Park, Times Square subway station, giant billboards, H&M, yellow cab, Big Bus Tours, Theater District, Forever 21, Statues of George M. Cohan & Father Duffy, McD, & TKTS Grandstand.

This video was produced in collaboration with Cikgu Ashikin Zainull of SK Minden Height, Penang.

Buat Apa Di USA? Bercuti Dibayar Ka?

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Hari ini adalah hari terakhir saya di USA & saya teringat waktu Fulbright interview dulu. Director MACEE bertanya, "kamu ni pergi bercuti dibayar (paid vacation) ka?" Soalan itu teramatnya bercili & tajam. Waktu itu saya terkejut & kekangan untuk menjawab soalan itu sebab saya sendiri pun ragu-ragu: Adakah saya ini mampu untuk mengharumkan nama negara & menyumbang kepada keberhasilan sistem pendidikan negaraku? Perlu ke saya pergi jauh-jauh sampai USA & belanja duit yang begitu banyak?

DUMBO | Walk With Me In NYC | SMK Batu Lintang, Sarawak

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Take a walk with me in DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), New York City!
Dedicated to the students of SMK Batu Lintang in Sarawak, who voted for the landmark, here's another video in the Walk With Me In NYC series!

In this video, I take you on a walking tour & show you various landmarks in DUMBO: the Most Instagramed Spot, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pebble Beach, Empire Stores, Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, Bargemusic, Statue of Liberty, Free Kayaking, Roller Rink, & Harbor View Lawn. You will also see Manhattan Bridge, East River, Manhattan, Brooklyn Bridge, Jane's Carousel, & New York Water Taxi.

This video was produced in collaboration with  Cikgu Ho Jia Yiing of SMK Batu Lintang, Kuching.

The Best Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in Their Homework

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by Emily Graham | Contributor

Any parent will tell you that they want the world for their child. In a highly competitive world, education is among the most important tools for anyone to succeed. How you approach your child’s homework and how you teach them to approach it can make all the difference. While you want to help them when necessary, it’s critical to allow them to work through challenges. Here are some painless ways to help your child with their homework without overstepping any boundaries.


Set up a routine The first step to supporting your child’s educational success is helping them establish a homework routine. Your child may work better as soon as they get home from school or after an hour of down time. They may get more done before dinner or after playtime at the park. If your child has ADHD or other problems focusing, you may need to be even more diligent in creating structure. Everyone is different, so figure out a time of day with your child and stick to it. The impo…

Brooklyn Bridge | Walk With Me In NYC | SK Convent (M) Kajang, Selangor

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Take a walk with me on Brooklyn Bridge, New York City!

Dedicated to the students of SK Convent (M) Kajang in Selangor, who voted for the landmark, here's another video in the Walk With Me In NYC series!

In this video, I take you on a walking tour of Brooklyn Bridge & share with you the story of the most recognized landmarks in the world. You will also see City Hall Park, Manhattan, Brooklyn, DUMBO, East River, & Manhattan Bridge.

This video was produced in collaboration with Cikgu Nurhazirah Azhar of SK Convent (M) Kajang, Selangor.

Liberty Island | Walk With Me In NYC | SMK Beaufort 3, Sabah

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Take a walk with me on Liberty Island, New York City!

Dedicated to the students of SMK Beaufort 3 in Sabah, who voted for the landmark, here's another video in the Walk With Me In NYC series!

In this video, I take you on a walking tour of Liberty Island & share with you the most recognized landmark in the world, the Statue of Liberty. You will also see Manhattan & New York Harbor.

This video was produced in collaboration with Cikgu Marinette Baltazar-Shamsudin of SMK Beaufort 3, Sabah.

Mid Central Park | Walk With Me In NYC | SMK Bandar Baru Uda, Johor

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Take a walk with me in Mid Central Park, New York City!
Dedicated to the students of SMK Bandar Baru Uda in Johor, who voted for the landmark, here's another video in the Walk With Me In NYC series!

In this video, I take you on a walking tour & show you various landmarks in Mid Central Park: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park Reservoir, Great Lawn, Turtle Pond, & Belvedere Castle.

This video was produced in collaboration with Cikgu Nor Fadzleen of SMK Bandar Baru UDA, Johor.

The Stole: Leaving A Legacy At Columbia University

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This is a story of a stole. More specifically, the stole (in the colors of Malaysia) which I wore for my graduation ceremony at Columbia University in 2017. Out of the 12k+ graduating in 2017, I know of only 4 Malaysians. That's around only 0.003%! We are very few & far between! I am very proud of my national heritage, as my educational attainment at this ivy league institutionhas a lot to do with the preparation provided to me by the public school & higher education systems in Malaysia. Also, my multicultural & multilingual country has had a lot to do with my ability to assimilate & thrive in this foreign culture.

Therefore, at my graduation, I wanted my country to be represented, seen, & recognized at one of the top universities of the world. I wore my love for Malaysia on my shoulders that day & walked with my head held high, a person from a developing nation standing shoulder to shoulder with those from developed nations, as equals.

After graduation, I…

Farewell Celebration With High Beginner | AMPHS

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Celebrated the end of the academic year with my High Beginner ESOL class from AMPHS with lots of cultural food & reflecting on what they've learned during the semester. I also made sure that they planned what they would do during the summer to retain & build on all that they've learned. Otherwise, they'd forget everything during the 3 month break! 😠

We had plenty of sweet memories together. 😍 We trained for a Choral Speaking performance (here's the video), & had field trips to the Statue of Liberty 🗽, the Museum of the City of New York, & Sunset Park Brooklyn Library 📚. The class also had weekly Duolingo assignments, read 2 books/month, & made vocabulary cards every week 📇.

Thank you, students, for staying with this strict teacher throughout the semester! I really enjoyed our time together! Keep practicing your English! Do visit me in Malaysia!

I Brought Choral Speaking To NYC

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Can you believe that I actually brought Choral Speaking to NYC?

When you search on Youtube, it seems that choral speaking is extremely popular in Malaysia, but practiced nowhere else, as I couldn't find many videos from other countries. So, come NYC, you might be world-famous city, but there's always something you can learn from good ol' Malaysia. Let this cikgu show you what you've been missing out on.

On their Graduation Day, my High Beginner ESOL class at AMPHS performed a choral speaking piece I wrote, "Our English Class". I wanted the guests (& especially funders $$$$) to hear from the students' mouths what actually goes on in their class & why they are taking the class. Check out the video, listen to the piece & you'll find out too.

South Central Park | Walk With Me In NYC | SMK Katibas, Sarawak

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Take a walk with me in South Central Park, New York City!
Dedicated to the students of SMK Katibas in Sarawak, who voted for the landmark, here's the first video in the Walk With Me In NYC series!

In this video, I take you on a walking tour & show you various landmarks in South Central Park: Columbus Circle, Trump International Hotel, Central Park Carousel, Sheep Meadow, The Mall, Literary Walk, Naumberg Bandshell, Bethesda Terrace, Bethesda Fountain & Bethesda Arcade.

This video was produced in collaboration with Cikgu Noor Raihan of SMK Katibas, Sarawak.

Farewell Celebration With Civics & ESOL AM1 | LaGuardia Community College

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Celebrating the end of the academic year with my ESOL class from the Center for Immigrant Education & Training at LaGuardia Community College, some of whom have been with me for 2 or more semesters! They prepared a beautiful picture slideshow movie 🎥 of our memories together 😍😍😍 & we celebrated with food from our respective cultures. I brought Beef Rendang (spiced meat dish), from Taste Good in Elmhurst, which was an instant hit! I also discovered a love for Empanada Colombiana (Colombian meat puffs).

It's so sad to part with them. They were an active, funny & inquisitive group to teach. We had so many memories together. We went to the Tenement Museum, the Federal Reserve Bank of NY, Federal Hall, & 3 different Queens Libraries on field trips. They improved so during the semester. I remember some of them having difficulty reading simple texts, but they were so dedicated & hardworking.

My dear students, I've learned so much about your home cultures &…

Farewell Celebration with CALP PM1 Class | LaGuardia Community College

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Celebrating the end of the academic year with my ESOL students at the Center of Immigrant Education & Training, LaGuardia Community College! Have a great summer, everyone! 🌞🏖️🕶️

It's really sad to say goodbye as many of them have been with me all year & we shared many moments together. Besides our regular classes, we visited The High Line, 911 Memorial & Museum, & 3 Queens libraries on field trips.

I've seen them improve tremendously from not being able to speak English or pronounce properly to being able to make simple conversation & read fluently.

Thank you, my beautiful students for being willing to learn from me & teaching me about your culture & delicious food! God bless all of you! Come visit me in Malaysia!

Featured In US Embassy Alumni Highlight - April/May 2018

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I am very surprised to be featured in the April/May 2018 US Embassy Alumni Highlight & I'm humbled by this honor. Thanks so much, Alumni Affairs Team, for helping to spread the word about the "Walk With Me In NYC" initiative!

I'm happy to announce that 5 states & 6 schools are participating in "Walk With Me In NYC"!
1. Penang = Times Square | Cikgu Ashikin Zainull, SK Minden Height
2. Johor = Mid Central Park | Cikgu Nor Fadzleen, SMK Bandar Baru UDA
3. Sabah = Liberty Island | Cikgu Marinette Baltazar-Shamsudin, SMK Beaufort 3
4. Sarawak = DUMBO, Brooklyn | Cikgu Ho Jia Yiing, SMK Batu Lintang
5. Selangor = Brooklyn Bridge | Cikgu Nurhazirah Azhar - SK Convent (M) Kajang
6. Sarawak = South Central Park | Cikgu Noor Raihan, SMK Katibas
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Useful info: Thinking about pursuing your Master's Degree or PhD? The Fulbright Malaysian Graduate Study and Research Program is now open. Click HERE to find out more. Deadline: August 10, 2018.…

How To Get A Malaysian International Driving License WHEN ABROAD

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This was how I (1) got an International Driving Permit (Permit Memandu Antarabangsa/IDP), and (2) renewed my Competent Driving License (Lesen Memandu Kompeten/CDL), from NYC. No, you don't need to return to Malaysia. Yes, you can do the same from anywhere in the world! All you skeptics out there can can call JPJ to confirm, the proper term to use is "memohon permit memandu antarabangsa DENGAN WAKIL".

Role Play + Peer Feedback | Low Prep ESL Activity

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How do you provide your ss with authentic language practice? One of the ways, I add relevance & authenticity to my lessons is with role play. Also, it a great activity for the end of the day when your ss are tired of sitting all day listening to lectures. How do you make sure that ss are paying attention when their peers are presenting? One of the best ways is to get spectators to provide peer feedback. Here's how I implement this engaging Low Prep ESL activity in my classes.

Skills Engaged:Listening, Speaking, Cooperative Learning
Materials: Sticky notes
Time: 35-60 min (depending on class size)

Fluency Lines | Low Prep ESL Activity

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How many times have you asked your ss questions, & instead of an invigorating & thoughtful discussion like the one you imagined in your head, you get crickets chirping? Perhaps there is this one student that dominates & answers all your questions all the time?

Ss want to talk but sometimes they might not feel comfortable or they might require extended wait time. This engaging Low Prep ESL activity is one way to provide everyone with an equal speaking opportunity, hold them personally accountable & also allow them to learn from their peers

This activity also lifts up the mood of a class, so if you feel that the energy level in your #ESL class has slumped, you can pull this activity out of your hat! You can also use this at the end of your lesson to give students the opportunity to go over the day's content.
Skills Engaged:Listening, Speaking, Cooperative Learning
Materials: Space (if you have a big class, your students can form a snaky-line or find an alternative spac…

If My Postal Vote Could Tell Its Story

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Oh, if my ballot paper could tell the story of it's travels & the hope it carried on its shoulders.

I'm crying in the subway now while typing this. Couldn't read the news until I finished teaching a morning class. I'm rushing home now to witness this historic moment on the news! I'm sobbing uncontrollably now & New Yorkers are probably thinking I got my heart broken. Oh, on the contrary, these are tears of joy. Hear me cry out from decades of pent up frustration & tampered hope. All the injustices I've witnessed. Totally didn't expect this. Not even close. We are at the cusp of a Malaysian spring. Looking at all the effort put in by Malaysians all around the world. How can I not be moved?

Why I'm Not Sending Back My Postal Vote

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REGARDLESS OF TOMORROW'S ELECTION RESULTS, I AM SOOOOO FREAKING PROUD OF YOU, MALAYSIANS!!!
It's amazing how Malaysians rise up to the challenge. I managed to find a Malaysian to bring my ballot from JFK to KLIA. Another Malaysian to bring my ballot from KLIA to KCH. And, another to deliver my ballot from the airport to the RO. Amazing!
We've done all we can from abroad.
Now it's up to you, Malaysia! GO OUT & VOTE!!!

Malaysians all over Malaysia, we still need more volunteers to hand-deliver postal votes. Postal votes will continue to arrive from overseas until late May 9th. No matter where you are, we need you! Let's fight until the very end!

Volunteer here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/GE14PostalVote
Tomorrow morning, go early & complete the voting process. Then, I urge you to volunteer to carry postal votes & deliver them to their respective ROs.

If your vote cannot make it back to Malaysia, MAKE SURE NO ONE VOTES FOR YOU by emailing your PAC…

Dear Malaysia, Walk With Me In NYC

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New York City is such an inspiring place. Countless movies have been made here. Famous celebrities like Godzilla have been here. It's so amazing that jealous alien races, like the Chitauri, want to destroy it. I've learned & grown so much as a human being immersed in its culture & living amongst its people. I want to share those benefits with all students in Malaysia & inspire them to be global citizens, as well as motivate them to constantly improve their English language proficiency. So come, Malaysia, walk with me in NYC.

Being able to live in NYC has been a tremendous privilege & throughout my time here, I have been looking for engaging & meaningful ways to leverage my position for the benefit of my colleagues & students in Malaysia. Some of my more notable initiatives include a US-Msia Video Exchange Project, sending postcards to 160+ schools in Malaysia, video conferencing with a school in Sarawak, & making a video for a special ed. seco…

Walking In NYC With SMPKV Indahpura

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Recently, I took the students of a Malaysian secondary school on a video walk at Gantry Plaza State Park, one of my favorite parks in the city (mainly due to its inspiring view of the Manhattan city skyline). I posted the video on YouTube (for the teachers to show to their students on a big screen, as YouTube accepts more than double the video resolution of...) & Facebook (where a majority of my audience resides).

To think that it started 2 months ago with a simple Facebook message from Cikgu Zaidah, a PK at SM Pendidikan Khas Vokasional Indahpura. At first, I was very intrigued as I had never seen a school with that acronym before. I looked up the school on their website & found out that it's a secondary school providing vocational skills training to students with disabilities (deaf/blind/mute). Besides BM, BI, Math, & P. Islam/Moral, students are trained in either housekeeping, reflexology, culinary arts, cosmetology, & desktop publishing.

I found myself immedia…

Vocabulary Storm - No Prep ESL Activity

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Are your ss competitive? Want an engaging activity that wakes your ss up while assessing their prior knowledge at the same time? Try this No Prep ESL activity.

Skills Engaged:Vocabulary, Cooperative Learning, Spelling
Materials: Whiteboard, & markers
Time: 10-20 min

Calling SMK BL With Love From NYC

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When I was in secondary school, we were still using payphones & dail-up internet. Technology has made giant leaps since then. Seeing all these students, it felt like I was speaking to a younger me. You see, I was once a student at SMK Batu Lintang in Kuching, Sarawak, too. Therefore, I have so much hope in my heart for these young people & I totally expect them to surpass me in every single way. My dream is that at least one of them will pay it forward & continue to inspire future generations of BL-ians.

After getting her students to write responses to a postcard from NYC, their teacher, Ms Ho, capitalized on her student's interest with a video call. She overcame the headache of setting up AV technology in her typical low-tech Malaysian classroom so her students got to practice their English in an authentic conversation & experience the potentials of 21st century tools in the classroom. Respect. Her students asked several thoughtful & challenging questions tha…

Group Flyswatter - No Prep ESL Activity

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Want a great lesson starter? Perhaps you're looking for a pick me up in the middle of a tough lesson? What do you do to wake your students up after a long day at school? Why not practice previously taught vocabulary at the same time?

We all know that repeated & varied vocabulary practice improves retention. However, the drills necessary for this to happen might be too tedious to carry out in some classrooms, esp if your students are not as committed or your class periods are scheduled at the end of the school day. Here is an engaging No Prep ESL activity that works for both young & old. You'll allow your ESL students a chance to stretch those bones without compromising valuable instructional time.


Skills Engaged:Vocabulary, Spelling
Materials: Flyswatters (if available; otherwise, brooms, sticks, canes, slippers, shoes, etc make for interesting alternatives), dry-erase markers, & whiteboard
Time: 15-30 min

Chain Story - No Prep ESL Activity

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Want your grammar lessons to be a little livelier? Want students to move a little bit in your class & have a little laugh after a long day? Want them to cooperate & perform peer-correction? Perhaps you should consider this engaging No Prep ESL Activity!

This is an activity that can be easily adapted for higher or lower proficiency levels! It's perfect for assessing grammar: tenses, conditionals, SVA, conjunctions, prepositions, etc.

Skills Engaged:Grammar, Writing, Cooperative Learning, Spelling
Materials: Dry-erase markers, & whiteboard
Time: 15-30 min

Why Every Malaysian Should Send Postcards Home When Graduating Abroad

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If you are a Malaysian studying abroad, I implore you to send postcards home when you graduate. Here's why...

Being able to study abroad is a luxury & a privilege enjoyed by roughly 55,000 Malaysians every year (from 2003-2013). It may seem like a big number but it only constitutes roughly 5.5% of the tertiary student population (from 2000-2010). Academically, there is not much difference between degrees earned locally & those abroad. The special-sauce is in the broadening of the mind & the ability to consider multiple perspectives after being exposed & forced to survive in a foreign culture. With a simple gesture, you can share a glimpse of what you've learned with a new generation of Malaysians with the hopes that your postcard will spark young minds & inspire them to surpass your wildest imaginations.

Send Postcards To Where You Know It Will Actually Be Used Perhaps you can send a few back to your past schools. I'm sure the students there will be i…

Written Charades - No Prep ESL Activity

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How do you make sure your students pay attention to new vocabulary you've covered in your lessons & incentivize them to return to those from time to time? Every teacher knows charades & it's classic vocabulary game that's great for all levels & ages. But, what happens when one student/team completely dominates the game every time you play it? How do you make sure that everybody gets a chance to participate? Also, how do you know if your students can spell the words correctly?

I've figured out a No Prep way to tap into what makes the game great & engage all students without alienating those who are a little bit slow (like myself, I'm really bad at charades). Trust me, your students will frantically flip through their notes during this engaging ESL activity! Try this out & let me know how your lesson went! =)


Skills Engaged:Vocabulary, Cooperative Learning, Spelling
Materials: Dry-erase markers, & dry-erase tablets (you can make your own low-co…

Reflections on the 2017 Video Exchange Project

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In early 2017, I wanted to connect students in Malaysia & the US to help make learning English more relevant to young Malaysians & share the wonders of multiculturalism in my moderate-Muslim-majority country with young people in the US. I considered all of the barriers for such an undertaking & figured that the best way to do this was to run a video exchange project targeting teachers as they would be able to provide mentorship & support to their students.

First, let me congratulate SMK St Thomas (Cikgu Khor), SMK Batu Lintang (Cikgu Ho), Youth Guidance (Mr Oommen), & Operation Breakthrough (Mr Rowles) for completing the project!

In this blog post, I will share publicly available pictures & videos from the participants as well as what I have learned as the coordinator of the project.

Sentence Strips - Low Prep ESL Activity

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How do you segue from reading & discussion into grammar with an activity that's engaging and cooperative? How can you squeeze more teaching out of a reading passage that you spent so much time sourcing & painstakingly adapting?

This week's Low Prep post-reading activity was created to assess/develop my students' understanding of English sentence structure & give them an opportunity to communicate while figuring out a puzzle with a partner! If you've tried this, let me know how your lesson went in the comments!

Skills Engaged: Grammar, Cooperative Learning
Materials: Paper strips, & scissors
Time: 10-20 min

Sentence Run - No Prep ESL Activity

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What do you do to reinforce vocabulary you taught your students? Do you find yourself constantly having to repeat definitions? What if its the end of the day & your students have already sat through hours upon hours of lectures? This activity will definitely help you with all of the above!

I don't know about you, but I for one am tired of constantly having to repeat the meanings of words that I've already explained a gazillion times before. I prefer to remain sanguine & tai-chi the learning burden onto my students. You will see them desperately racking their brains or pouring through their notes for this activity! Ah... the joys of learning.

This is one of my favorite No Prep vocabulary practice activities & it never fails to wake up & engage my students. Students of all ages & levels will enjoy this one. It's a great way for students to revise the vocabulary you've taught them & practice their sentence formation skills too. Try it out & le…

Essay Strips - Low Prep ESL Activity

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When you give your students a passage to read, how can you be sure that they are actually reading & comprehending the text? How do you make reading more engaging?

Created out of necessity while working with a class of students who didn't like to read & inspired by an activity on Breaking News English, here's another Low Prep activity that you might want to try out in your ESL class. Try it out in your class & let me know how it went in the comments!

Skills Engaged: Reading, Grammar, Cooperative Learning
Materials: Whiteboard, poster/easel papers, & markers
Time: 20-30 min

The Disappearing Text - No Prep ESL Activity

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This is one of my favorite post-reading activities & students of all ages enjoy it too. The best part is it engages your students for 20+ minutes & it's No Prep! Try it with your students next week & let me know how it went! =)

Skills Engaged:Reading, Pronunciation, Memory, Writing, Grammar, & Spelling.
Materials: whiteboard, marker, & eraser

Register As Pengundi Pos Luar Negara Via Email In Just 5 Minutes!

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I sent in my Permohonan Kertas Undi Pos (Pengundi Pos Luar Negara) a month ago after reading this post on my Facebook feed & was surprised that some Malaysians I spoke to thought that it would be too much trouble to bother. That's ludicrous & asinine (my latest favorite word)! Well, guess how long it took me to finish the application?