Showing posts from 2020

Looking For An English COVID-19 PSA For Your School?

Feel free to use this PSA at your school! It was produced in English for SK Pusat (Kemaman, Terengganu) & SMK Tabuan Jaya (Kuching, Sarawak). It will be played 3-times every day: before the school day begins, during recess, & after the school day ends.
Thank you, SK Pusat & SMK Tabuan Jaya for allowing this recording to be shared with the rest of Malaysia. Please support the YouTube channel by playing this announcement from YouTube rather than from a download. We will not run any ads on this video.

PSA Content: 1. Please make sure you are in good health today. Let your teacher know if you have symptoms like cough, fever, flu, sore throat or breathing difficulties.
2. You are required to be at your own desk at all times during lessons.
3. During recess, please eat your meal at your own desk in your own class.
4. Please clean your desk after meals.
5. Please make sure you wash your hands properly and regularly
to maintain good hygiene, and avoid any bacteria or viruses.
6. Please …

Cara Dapat A+ Dalam Karangan BI PT3/SPM (KELAS PERCUMA)

Adakah anda inginkan A+ untuk karangan anda di PT3/SPM? Asyik dapat C atau D sahaja? Apa rahsianya? Apabila anda sudah memahami konsep-konsep dari cikgu & praktikkan, mendapat keputusan A cemerlang tidak akan menjadi isu lagi!

===KELAS PERCUMA | Cara Dapat A+ Dalam PT3/SPM 1119===
"Advanced English Writing for PT3/SPM" 7-8pm
Setiap Isnin & Rabu (15, 17, 22, & 24 Jun 2020)
Kelas percuma melalui Zoom Terhad kepada 500 pelajar pertama (yang lewat akan disekat oleh sistem)
Daftar disini:
Sebelum anda menyertai kelas tersebut, anda perlu memahami yang asas dahulu. Bagi yang nak cemerlang, cikgu sudah pun mengajar konsep-konsep asas dalam siri seminar "Basic English Language Writing for PT3/SPM" dua minggu lepas.
Video singkatan daripada siri tersebut boleh dilayari di sini: Nota ada di sini:…

Kepentingan Tugas Seorang Guru

Ini gambaran kesusahan rakyat jelita negara kita. Berbaris didepan BSN sampai melebihi hujung blok, dibawah matahari yang panas membara tidak mereda. Setiap hari ada barisan seperti ini. 🥵Cikgu terpaksa ikut berbaris kerana urusan keluarkan simpanan bank. Awal-awal memang cikgu tak puas hati, tetapi sekarang cikgu bersyukur sebab gaji kerajaan cikgu masuk penuh setiap bulan. Pendapatan untuk rakan-rakan sebaris saya ini, malangnya tidak tertentu. 🙁Nampaknya banyak yang berbaris di depan cikgu ini tidak mempunyai telefon pintar. Bila anggota yang bertugas minta mereka scan kod QR, katanya tak bawa fon. Tetapi semuanya berbaris dengan teratur & bekerjasama dengan piawaian pengurusan bank. Tidak ada yang merokok. Tak ada yang meludah. Tak ada yang berlagak-lagak. 👍🏽Cikgu meninggalkan bank tadi dengan perasaan bersyukur. Walaupun tidak berada, anak isteri saya terjaga. Cikgu juga sedar bahawa tugas seorang pendidik amatlah mulia & teramatlah penting, supaya anak didik negara b…

Nak Minta Puji, Kalau Tak Gaji Dipotong

Cikgu sengaja post gambar buat kerja nak minta puji. Kalau tidak sesetengah kalangan masyarakat nak gaji cikgu dipotong. Kata kami tak buat kerja & macam-macam fitnah. 🤷🏽‍♂️
Cikgu berikan sedikit gambaran tentang apa yang para guru seMalaysia buat untuk pembukaan semula sekolah. Bilangan kelas bertambah sebab bilangan murid setiap kelas dihadkan jadi kelas cikgu dipindahkan ke bengkel bahasa. 👌🏽
Awal pagi sudah cikgu sampai di sekolah.  Kerusi meja berlebihan disusun sampai ke langit di sudut belakang bengkel, lantai disapu, meja disusun dengan jarak 1 meter, & pintu keluar/masuk dilabelkan dengan jelas. 💪🏽
Notis tentang keselamatan diri waktu pandemik COVID19 juga dipaparkan. Kemudian, buku teks yang tertinggal dalam kelas diikat & disimpan dengan baik. 👍🏽
Harapan cikgu adalah murid-murid yang dikasihi cepat-cepat kembali ke sekolah selepas pembukaan diumumkan. Tak sabar cikgu nak menjenguk wajah ceria anda & bertanya kenapa tak layan cikgu waktu pembelajaran seca…

Ivana & Jeneter: Sarawak's National Floorball Queens - Athletes Inspire!

Dear students, let's hang out with... Sonia Beriak & Janeter Kadir, Sarawak's National Floorball Queens!
2PM | TUE | June 9, 2020 | YouTube:

Speaking to these two women, I had the impression that they've been through a tough life & came out on top. We spoke about the challenges they faced as girls in sports, as well as our cultural requirements for the "proper" behavior of girls. I'm so glad that I had the chance to meet them, hear their stories, & I can't wait to share them with you. Sonia & Janeter are wonderful role models for my female students. Their resilience & determination are what I desire for all Malaysian youths.

Sonia & Janeter want to answer your questions during the interview! We've also got gifts to give away to the best questions! To ask questions, follow the link to the YouTube page & enter your questions in the Live Chat section.

I'm so excited! See you on Tuesday!

==Ivana & Jenet…

Using Instagram For English Immersion At School

Since I was placed here in late 2018, I have been fighting an uphill battle to get my students interested in learning English. Majority don't come from privileged backgrounds with English being spoken at home or in their communities. Students have turned around & taken detours to avoid meeting me in corridors because they have to say "selamat pagi" to me in English. (FYI, I stop them & make them greet me properly in English.) Students have run away from me because they know that I want to involve them in English programs/activities. (FYI, I am demanding. I make it a rule for only English to be spoken & I'm not shy about enforcing it.)

During the MCO, things have gotten worse. I've been struggling to get my students to participate in my online lessons on WhatsApp & I've failed on Google Classrooms. I've tried all sorts of things like making attractive posters/infographics, writing detailed step-by-step instructions, making voice recordings o…

Kelly Tan: Malaysia's #1 Female Golfer - Atheletes Inspire!

Dear students, let's hang out with... Kelly Tan, Malaysia's #1 Female Golfer!
10AM | FRI | May 29, 2020 | YouTube:

When I spoke to her earlier, she was very candid & open about the challenges she experienced while growing up. She revealed, "I was an SJK kid who couldn't speak a word of English. Like your students, I'd avoid English everywhere I could. I turned down press interviews in English & demanded to be interviewed in BM." Coming from an athlete who's at the top of her game, it's a sign that this Friday's interview will be authentic & straight from the heart.

The best part is Kelly wants to answer your questions during the interview! We've also got souvenirs from the Olympics to give away to the best questions! To ask questions, follow the link to the YouTube page & enter your questions in the comment section.

I'm so excited! See you on Friday!

==Who is Kelly Tan?==
Kelly Tan is Malaysia’s #1 female golfer…

Athletes Inspire: Seeking Role Models For Our Students

I teach at the Sarawak State Sports School & my students are all state-level athletes from all over Sarawak. It has been a real struggle for me to get my students to learn English, even before the MCO & the serious obstacles in online learning.
Readers of my blog will be familiar with stories of students who avoid me, just because they have to say "good morning" to me in English, & those who literally run away from me because they know I want to involve them in an English program/competition. The sad part is I'm not alone. The teachers of other academic subjects at my school are facing similar struggles & working very hard to address them.

Why is this so? Mainly, because the proper foundations for learning were not put in place in their formative years. When learning is such a struggle, they go all in with sports, which may not be an effective long-term strategy for a majority of my students. Also, many of my students are from rural B40 communities & do…

REDfm Interview on Teacher's Day (2020)

On Teacher's Day, I was interviewed by REDfm for a Teachers Day special &, unfortunately, I was an emotional wreck on LIVE radio. In the interview, I shared what I did teaching English in challenging situations in Sarawak, my greatest achievement (that's when I broke down emotionally), as well as my current projects & ideas moving forward.
At a random moment on the next day, my mother suddenly came up to me, dropped a bombshell and then quickly left me like a deer blinking in the headlights. She told me with a finger in my face that she disagreed with what I said in the interview, but only the ending part. Haha... She has always been a straight shooter & she didn't mean anything nasty about it. She was probably being a little naughty too.
You'll have to watch the interview to find out what I said that was so controversial. Bear in mind, the interview was 24 mins long. However, I've included a slideshow of my different experiences as a teacher in Malaysia …

Dearest Teachers, A Video For You By SMK Tabuan Jaya

If you're a teacher, "Dearest Teachers" by SMK Tabuan Jaya is made especially for you, with words that your students want to say to you. It's guaranteed to make you laugh &, if you'll let it, tear, just like I am tearing right now while watching the final product play. You'll see several students who have spoken English on video for the first time.

Here's why I'm shedding tears of joy after publishing this video:

What It's Like To Be A Student In My Online Class

Inspired by CikgooTUBE webinars & sharing by Cikgu Hailmi during the MCO, I've decided to take video production more seriously as a learning resource for my students, as well as other students out there who might find it useful. My short-term plans include a video series exploiting my immediate expertise, SPM preparation for Form 5 students.
Please support my YouTube channel by subscribing & clicking the "Bell" button to get notified about new videos: Sorry about the ugly url. You can clearly tell that I'm just starting out. No unique url... yet.

As a treat, please check out the following video which gives you a glimpse of what it's like to be a student in my online lessons. I guarantee you'll enjoy it!

If you're interested in my online lessons, book a spot on, when it launches in June. I'll be conducting free basic and advanced writing lessons 2-days a week for the entire fir…

I Am A Failed Distance Learning Teacher

Prior to the MCO, I had already formed groups in WhatsApp with students with access to mobile phones for my English language classes at school. However, after two weeks of using WhatsApp groups to manage learning, I quickly realized that it was a terrible place to manage any kind of work (which makes me wonder why school admins use WhatsApp/Telegram to manage their schools, but that's another story for another day. For those who are interested in alternatives, try Teams / Slack. You & your entire staff will thank me.). I needed a more specialized piece of software.
Since the MOE has provided each teacher with a Google suite account, I was one of the few teachers at my school who decided to make use of it. After spending an entire day setting up & loading up all the past assignments onto it for each of my 4 classes, I found out to great chagrin that only students with MOE accounts could join those classrooms. My students had not been assigned their accounts yet, so I had to …

WhatsApp Chain Story - MCO Activity

If you're looking for an interesting activity to get your students reading & writing online in English during the MCO, try doing a WhatsApp Chain Story. It doesn't require a speedy internet connection, but students will have to read & write to participate. Here's how I did mine.

Let's Work Together During the MCO!

We've been kept at home for almost 2 months now, many of us who are lucky enough to still have jobs are working from home. I don't know about you, but I don't find working from home conducive with a kid & chores screaming for your attention at any second. I feel alone working from home too. I miss coffee & troubleshooting with my colleagues. Of course, I miss my students & their creative antics.

Feeling lonely, lacking motivation, & lacking focus, perhaps what I need is a commitment device. Something to get me out of bed & give me people to look forward to every day. Since there isn't anything like this set up within my social circle, I'm going to be the change I want to see, by setting up a password-secured video conference where anybody can join. We can all just do our own work, but in each other's digital presence.

Remember when we used to study at the library for SPM with our friends? We were quietly doing our own thing, yet our physica…

How To Fix Logitech Options Not Loading

I use a Logitech K380 bluetooth keyboard at home & love it to bits. Very quiet & the tactile response is just perfect. Also, it's super small so easy to put away when I need to pile exam papers on my desk. Still, there's one small problem though... It is a compact keyboard so the multimedia buttons double as function keys. I use the function keys A LOT & it's really cumbersome for me to have to hold the "fn" button every time I want to use them. I.e., try pressing alt+fn+f4 with one hand. Thankfully, with the Logitech Options software, I can default to the function keys.

A few months ago, I was chagrined to learn that my keyboard had spontaneously returned to factory settings. "No problem", I thought. "I'll just change the settings in Logitech Options." Only to find that the app wouldn't load on my Windows 10 machine, resulting in the blank window you see screen-captured above. "Let me try reinstalling." Uninstal…

Free KBSM/KSSM Videos: Ensure Your Children Are Pandai During The MCO

**This post is sponsored by Pandai**

Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, the first priority must always be the safety and health of everyone in the country. Thus, all educational institutions are closed in an attempt to contain the global pandemic. Despite allowing for more quality time together with family, the continuously extended amount of free time children spend at home is at great cost to their education.

Teachers and parents are not safe from the disruption caused by the pandemic either. Teachers are worried about their students’ progress while parents are at a loss in finding ways to ensure that the education of their children goes on as usual. In light of this situation, many institutions and organizations have created opportunities for teachers and parents to overcome this interruption. Here's one that is low cost, or better yet, FREE! It might just be the blessing that you're looking for!


What It's Like To Be Tested For COVID-19

Yesterday, I got tested for COVID-19. Despite being asymptomatic, I was ordered to undergo the swab test as I'm part of a high-risk cluster in Kuching, which has been designated as a red zone for the disease. It is likely that we were being tested to prevent asymptomatic carriers from unknowingly spreading the disease. If you haven't been called or ordered to undergo testing, STAY AT HOME. This is what you should do if you suspect you have COVID-19:

Tip SPM Dari Pelajar-Pelajar Cemerlang Straight A+

After feeding my baby & tucking him in for his late morning nap, I finally had time to look at my messages. Lo' & behold, a friend sent me a poster about a webinar by straight-A+ students. Interesting! I sheepishly looked at the date, what? TODAY! Heart racing, I quickly glanced at the time, 11 PG. Oh, petang. Wait a minute, MANA ADA 11 PETANG? PAGI LA BODO!

My eyes darted to the upper right corner of the screen. 10.45AM! I quickly forwarded the poster + some ulasan to ALL my students' groups as well as to my school staff's chatgroup on WhatsApp. Feeling bad that I gave them so little notice, I knew I had to attend, take notes & share those notes with my students. Since I'm doing that, I might as well share it with everyone. The notes are written in my broken BM to include my lowest-performing students.

"How much you achieve is how much you prepare"
- Luqman Nawar, 9A+

Understanding The New SPM (2021) English 1119 Paper Format

I'm sure you've seen the above being circulated on the internet. But, what does it mean? How does this paper compare to the current SPM paper for English? Do we have to change our testing practices in Form 4?

At this moment, information is sparse despite great public interest. As the head of the English panel at my school, my Form 4 colleagues will come to me for what to do & parents will ask me what this is about. Until we have very specific instructions from the ministry, this is what I will be telling my colleagues & parents based on the limited amount of information available to me from my intimate experience with the current SPM paper & second-hand information about the PT3 English paper.

Let me know if I got anything wrong or if you have more detailed information.

Assignments During the COVID-19 MCO

*The following has been distributed to most of my students via existing WhatsApp group channels. I really really really hope that my students would actually have a go at the tasks. It would be pretty epic.

If you're not my student & you'll like to try any of the following out, send me your work & I'd love to take a look at it with you & (with your permission) share them with the world.*

Dear students,

How are things at home? I hope that you & family are well. I know that you must not miss me so much. I miss you too & I am also very worried about your English. Have you been practicing your English like we talked about before the holidays? I understand that you have duties at home & other teachers have also assigned you homework. Therefore, I will keep mine simple & you can choose your level of difficulty. Remember, anang jaku parai sebedau nuan try.

Let me know if you have more questions. You may share updates/thoughts from the assignment in the g…

What To Do If You Think You Have COVID-19

This morning I got an alarming message on WhatsApp; a concerned family member shared a press conference by JK Pengurusan Bencana Sarawak naming my church as a cluster for COVID-19 & urging "those who have attended gatherings or are in close contact with those who have attended them to go to the nearest hospital for the necessary health screening". Stating, "it is very important to you & everyone else". See

We were asymptomatic but the announcement was alarming enough that my wife & I packed up with our 1 year old baby to head out to Sarawak General Hospital immediately. Fortunately, friends in the medical profession told us to stay home. An asymptomatic church member also called to share her experience at the hospital. They just took her temperature & told her to stay home. She wasted hours & risked being exposed to the virus.
No fever, no cough, no flu, no difficulty breathing? STAY HOME! DON'T go to the…

Apparently, I'm A White-worshipper! LOL!

Here we go again. People accuse me of all sorts of things on social media & often it occurs in closed Facebook groups I'm not part of, so I am unable to defend myself or clarify. Usually, I ignore them, but I have to respond to this one because the ridiculous accusation has also directly involved my students, who have generously agreed to be part of the banner picture on my blog.

So You Want To Leave Malaysia?

I've been hearing a lot of educated Malaysians talk about leaving the country after yesterday's political debacle. I do admit, I have similar thoughts, especially since I have a kid & naturally want a better future for him.

But, what happens when the educated people leave? Who will be left behind? Who will clean up the mess? Who will check & balance the government? Who will develop the nation & carry it into the 21st century?

When Chinese Eateries Are Closed, Try Malaysian. Not Western.

During the last CNY celebration, I encountered numerous situations where friends or family expressed the following frustration, "Nothing is open." Then, to my absolute horror, 100% of the time, they'd follow with, "Let's eat at <insert Western fast food restaurant>."

Wait a minute. Chinese eateries are closed, but isn't this a perfect opportunity to expand one's palette and try other Malaysian cuisines? Overseas, we take pride in how multi-racial Malaysia is, but what's the point when we don't include other Malaysian cuisines into our lives? Why are Western fast food restaurants the default? Why not Dayak, Indian, or Malay?

Probably offending people with my outward expression of disgust, I'd insist on one of my favorite Malaysian eateries in town. While introducing one of our local cuisines, I've heard confessions that people have never tried or rarely tried Malay/Indian/Dayak cuisine. Every single time, I'd see eyes light…

Challenge: #includeMalaysia this 2020

In 2018, I had the privilege of representing the Global Malaysian Network (GMN) in a Malaysia Day celebration with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yang Bhg Dato Saifuddin Abdullah. I presented the 2018 Project Hari Malaysia video & shared about how GMN came to be. During the event, I was suddenly pulled aside for an impromptu video. After 3 horrible takes with an extremely patient press officer, thankfully the fourth one was acceptable. It's at the very end of the video, so wait for it... It'll be worth it. Trust me.

In the video, I called for inclusion. In our lives. For Malaysians to include people from different backgrounds. Sabah, Sarawak, Malaya, & around the world. This call is still necessary come 2020, when our nation still seems so divided along racial & religious lines, with perennial threats of another May 13 incident.

Therefore, as we enter the year of Wawasan 2020, let's do our part in making Malaysia Malaysia. Fulfilling the inspiring Wawasan pr…