Showing posts from September, 2020

I Rarely Get Students Who Want To Learn From Me

This is a rare occurrence. I've been a teacher for more than a decade already & rarely have I had students who actually want to learn from me. At the Malaysian secondary schools that I have taught at, I've always had to go the extra mile to encourage, persuade, psych, coerce, & even force students to learn from me or participate in English language related activities. So, my students tend to be afraid of me & avoid me because I can be sharp-tongued, overbearing, & strong-willed. But they all learn & improve... whether they like it or not. 😅 I don't blame them because English is very difficult to them due to factors beyond their control. Unfortunately, being able to speak in English fluently is a marker of privilege in Malaysia. All of the English teachers in Malaysia are doing our best to ensure that English becomes the norm, rather than the exception. This has to happen if we hope to compete in the global marketplace. 💪 Therefore, it was extremely ref

Nak Pengumuman Juga: Keputusan Pertandingan Esei Hari Malaysia Shine Pharmacy

Amboi! Tingginya! Cikgu nak buat pengumuman juga la. Murid-murid, kalau anda rajin belajar BI, anda boleh mendapat banyak duit tau? Ya, betul tu. Cikgu tak tipu. Cikgu sendiri telah buktikan. Hah, tengok ni... Pada Hari Malaysia yang lalu, cikgu telah dianugerahi tempat pertama dalam Pertandingan Cerita Hari Malaysia anjuran Shine Pharmacy bertemakan "How I Shine For Sarawak." Nasib baik bila cikgu "walk the talk," dapat juga menunjukkan cara menulis dalam BI dengan kreatif dan membina kredibiliti sedikit tentang kebolehan saya sebagai seorang guru BI. Ini cerita yang ditulis cikgu: Cerita ini tentang cabaran seorang guru demi membantu anak Sarawak menjadi lebih cemerlang dalam pelajaran dan mencipta kehidupan yang lebih baik bagi diri dan keluarga. Pembaca digalakkan agar mengelak daripada menilai seorang guru secara terburu-buru tanpa mengenalinya dahulu. Cikgu ingin mendedikasikan kem

Project Anak Malaysia: Winning The Hearts Of My Students With An International Video Production (Malaysia Day 2020)

So proud of my students & the effort they put into speaking English for this video! I've told this story countless times, but it's worth telling again. The struggle to teach English in Malaysia is real. Every year roughly 20% of the hundreds of thousands of Form 5 candidates fail the SPM 1119 English exam. When I first arrived at this school, students only spoke Iban & Malay. They had self-efficacy issues with English & behavioral problems. Some of them were even hostile towards English &, consequently, me too. Students would turn around & take the long way when they see me coming their way in the corridors, just because they had to greet me in English & I'd stop them if they greeted me in BM. Many refer to me as "madam" with a straight face. They don't realize that it's only for married women. And a career first--I've had students run away from me in terror because they knew that I was going to rope them in for some kind of Eng

"My Hope For Malaysia" (Video) by SMK Tabuan Jaya (Malaysia Day 2020)

Happy Malaysia Day!     In conjunction with Malaysia Day in 2020, a few final-year students at SMK Tabuan Jaya (Sarawak State Sports School) shared (a) what they loved about Malaysia & (b) what their hopes were for their country. In the video, you can clearly see the extra effort my students had to put into conversing in English. What you do not see was (a) the hours they put into writing & rehearsing their scripts, (b) the heartbreak of three students deciding not to show up, & (c) the multiple takes that they did for their short presentations. I certainly am proud of them. They have set a wonderful example for their juniors. Let's pray that they do extremely well in SPM & spark a cultural shift at school.   Do leave a comment on the video encouraging my students to use English! Presenters (in order of appearance): - Christ Endree Anak Molem (5O2) - Isaac John (5O1) - Chris Emannnuel Rentap Anak Watson Telajan (5O1) - Erika Vallensian Anak Andrew (5O1) - Andy Sagin

My Sarawak Story: "How I Shine For Sarawak"

 **This story was written for a Malaysia Day competition by Shine Pharmacy ** What do you think about this pair of shoes? It has seen better days, has it not? Peeling, worn out, and tired, it reflects poorly on its owner. Truth be told, we should not judge a pair of shoes by what they look like—judge them by where they have been and what they have done in their short lives. If these shoes could talk, they would tell tales of their youth, traveling only a few weeks after their purchase by express boat from Sibu to a rural school in Song to deliver an important talk so that children from underprivileged backgrounds can excel in the most important exam in their lives, SPM. For many children in Sarawak, improving the livelihoods of their families hinges upon a few letters printed on a flimsy slip of paper. If one can reach a student, that student and their family will surely benefit. Additionally, these shoes would also wax lyrical about dodging potholes on a battered, bumpy, and treachero