Archive for the ‘Reading’ Category

Parents: Can teachers cope with new standards?

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

PETALING JAYA: Stakeholders welcome the use of imported textbooks, but are sceptical about whether teachers will be able to cope with the foreign standards.

Parent Action Group for Educa­tion Malaysia chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said having the “right” textbooks was vital.

“There are many English textbooks that are better than the ones published specifically for our schools,” she said.

“The problem lies not with the books but the quality of teachers.

She added that while the nation was moving towards the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages-centric (CEFR) syllabus, which was a good move, the parents’ group had reservations, noting that having these books required time and effort to ensure its benefits.

“Textbooks can change, but everything has to follow suit,” she said.

Noor Azimah also said teachers needed to change their ways to adapt to the new curriculum to improve the quality of English language teaching.

“The problem will also come from designing test papers, which teachers are tasked with,” she said.

Parent Choo Yen Li agreed that the switch to imported textbooks was a good move.

However, she said it was important that any problems be identified during the roll-out and be solved immediately.

This would lessen the pressure on students, teachers and parents, she added.

“Our education system and its direction constantly changes,” said the mother of two primary school pupils.

Secondary school English teacher Mohd Sirhajwan Idek said what mattered most was the approach teachers adopted in using the materials effectively.

The National Teacher Icon Award winner added that it was essential for teachers to keep improving themselves and upgrading their skills through the Continuing Professional Development programme.

Educationist Devinder Raj ex­­press­ed scepticism about the fo­­reign textbooks
Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/10/05/parents-can-teachers-cope-with-new-standards/#mYObAIKqpZElLfhL.99

Imported books will improve language skills, say experts.

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

PETALING JAYA: Experts believe that imported English books will lead to better usage of the language among schoolchildren.

Welcoming the move, Prof Dr Zuraidah Mohd Don from Universiti Malaya’s Faculty of Languages and Linguistics said the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) had become the de facto international standard for language education because it incorporated the best of current knowledge based on more than 40 years of research and had benefited from contributions from scholars all over the world.

In adopting the CEFR, the Education Ministry was providing the children with the best material available, she said.

“It’s essential for all stakeholders to support the changes being introduced to ensure that our children get the material they need to learn English effectively,” Prof Dr Zuraidah added.

Teachers, she added, must be given appropriate training and needed to have confidence in the new material.

“This means that the textbooks used for teaching English must be aligned with the CEFR and the knowledge it incorporates about language teaching.

“International publishers have been working on the CEFR for many years, so they have a head start.

“The challenge for local writers and publishers of English textbooks is to produce quality textbooks for use in Malaysian classroom,” Prof Dr Zuraidah said.

Describing the move as significant, the faculty’s senior lecturer Dr Surinderpal Kaur said it showed that the ministry was committed to improving English proficiency.

But she warned that the books were merely resource materials.

To improve proficiency levels, other factors such as the proficiency and aptitude of the teachers, their mode of delivery, continuity and sustainability of the prog­ram­me, and attitude of the students themselves must come into play, she said.

“It’s too early to predict with certainty, but there will be improvements for sure as the new books are well written,” she added.

While acknowledging that the textbooks were expensive, Dr Surinderpal pointed out that they were of good quality.

“It’s a necessary short-term start for the programme as we currently do not have adequate local resource materials,” she said.

“But the exchange rate and price of the books are things to be concerned about in the long term.
Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/10/05/imported-books-will-improve-language-skills-say-experts/#jhlqYGt06hiIMhVQ.99

Only imported English textbooks from next year.

Saturday, October 7th, 2017
Road to better English: Starting next year, preschoolers, Year One and Two pupils, and Form One and Two students will start off with the new CEFR-aligned curriculum.

Road to better English: Starting next year, preschoolers, Year One and Two pupils, and Form One and Two students will start off with the new CEFR-aligned curriculum.

PETALING JAYA: Starting next year, imported English textbooks will be used in schools instead of locally produced ones.

This is part of the Education Ministry’s move to implement the new Common European Frame­work of Reference for Languages (CEFR) aligned curriculum.

The CEFR is a guide developed by the Council of Europe to gauge fo­­reign language proficiency.

From next year, preschoolers, Year One and Two pupils, and Form One and Two students will start off with the curriculum, Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kama­lanathan told The Star.

“The ministry will buy off-the-shelf books to cater to schools be­cause locally produced textbooks are not able meet the new CEFR levels,” he said.

Primary school pupils will use Super Minds from Cambridge Uni­versity Press, while secondary students will read MacMillan’s Pulse 2.

According to the Mac­Millan website, Pulse 2 provides an integrated approach to skills so that students can develop receptive and productive skills while perfecting their communication competence.

Super Minds comprises a seven-­level course that enhances young learners’ thinking skills, memory and language skills, as described on the Cambridge website.

A check online showed that the books are priced between RM78 and RM135.

Teachers, said Kamalanathan, were being trained and the books were already available in all schools.

“This is part of the ministry’s English reform to ensure students achieve proficiency levels aligned to international standards,” he said.

In August last year, the Education Ministry launched a roadmap to continue enhancing English proficiency among teachers and students.

Focused on the country’s 40,000 English teachers, the English Language Roadmap 2015-2025 is part of the implementation of the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 to reform English Language education in the country.

The roadmap to upskill teachers uses the CEFR and was produced by the English Language Standards and Quality Council.

The CEFR lists six grades, with C2 – or “specialist English Language teachers” – being the highest and A1 the lowest.

English teachers need to achieve a minimum C1 grade to teach lessons based on the CEFR, said Edu­cation Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.

C1 and C2 grades mean that the person is a competent user of the language and is able to participate fully in both professional and academic life.

While welcoming any effort by the ministry to improve the teaching of English in schools, National Union of the Teaching Profession secretary-general Harry Tan said the “bigger issue” of non-optionists in schools must also be addressed.

Kamalanathan: Locally produced textbooks can’t meet CEFR levels.

Kamalanathan: Locally produced textbooks can’t meet CE FR levels.

Currently, many English teachers are not trained in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL), but were chosen by school heads to teach because they know “a little more English” than their colleagues.

“It would be counterproductive to force these teachers to do the CEFR training because English is not their forte to begin with,” said Tan.

However, he said using imported instead of locally produced textbooks was more current and cost-efficient.

“This means the schools can have new books every year or every few years, unlike the current practice where the textbooks are only replaced when there is a change in the syllabus.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/10/05/only-imported-english-textbooks-from-next-year-move-part-of-reform-to-ensure-international-proficien/#0yVYOffwSp4A4UPB.99

Teach them young, watch them excel, says Kamalanathan.

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: The habit of reading should be inculcated in children from a young age, says Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan.

“When we read, we gain knowledge and we enhance our critical thinking,” he said.

“The Government, through the Education Ministry and other avenues, is doing its best to provide Malaysians, especially youngsters, the means to quality reading materials,” he told reporters after the launch of Popular’s BookFest@Malaysia at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre here yesterday.

Kamalanathan commended Popular, saying that the ministry encouraged such efforts. “Reading is a healthy habit and initiative.

“The ministry has introduced competitions such as the Nilam programme where children are encouraged to read as many books as possible and in turn, will be rewarded with prizes,” he added.

Launched by the Education Ministry in 1999, Nilam (Nadi Ilmu Amalan Membaca) aims to inculcate the habit of reading in both primary school pupils and secondary school students.

Under the Nilam programme, pupils and students are required to jot down details of the books they read – the author, number of pages, publisher and synopsis or a mind map – into a record book. The programme tracks the score continuously until the student leaves school.

Entering its 12th year, BookFest@Malaysia is recognised by the Malaysia Book of Records as the largest trilingual book exposition in the country.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/06/07/teach-them-young-watch-them-excel-says-kamalanathan/#U3esyyQQl27D126w.99

New and improved Nilam

Sunday, April 16th, 2017
Dr Amin (second row, third from right) and National Library director-general Datuk Nafisah Ahmad (second row, second from right) taking part in 5 Minutes Of Reading with school pupils during the launch of the national level 1Malaysia Reading Camp.

Dr Amin (second row, third from right) and National Library director-general Datuk Nafisah Ahmad (second row, second from right) taking part in 5 Minutes Of Reading with school pupils during the launch of the national level 1Malaysia Reading Camp.

MAGAZINES and journals will be considered scientific literature that can be included under the soon-to-be-launched version two of the Nadi Ilmu Amalan Membaca (Nilam 2.0) reading programme.

Deputy education director-general Datuk Dr Amin Senin said this new version of Nilam that begins in 2018 includes digital content such as e-books and online journals.

“A lot of reading materials are now converted to digital form and these can be considered reading materials for students (in Nilam 2.0),” he said after launching the national level 1Malaysia Reading Camp (KK1M) 2017 in Kuala Lumpur last Tuesday.

Launched by the Education Ministry in 1999, Nilam aims to inculcate the habit of reading among both primary and secondary school students.

Students are required to jot down details of the books they read – the author, number of pages, publisher and synopsis or a mind map – into a record book. The programme tracks the score continuously until the student leaves school.

“The previous Nilam is actually successful in achieving its objectives,” said Dr Amin, who added that the new programme incorporates digital content in order to keep up with the times.

“Improving the current Nilam programme is needed to keep up with current trends and still instil the reading habit in students,” he said.

Education Ministry Education Technology Division director Zaidi Yazid said Nilam 2.0 will not just emphasise quantity, but also the quality of the reading materials.

In reading out Education director-general Tan Sri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof’s speech, Dr Amin said that almost 97% of students in Malaysia were part of the programme in 2016, with an average reading rate of 28 books per student per year.

“However, programmes to encourage reading should be intensified and continued to form a progressive and dynamic Malaysian society,” he said.

Dr Amin said one such programme is the KK1M, which is a three-day programme carried out nationwide to cultivate a “bookworm society” and foster a thirst for knowledge.

by REBECCA RAJAENDRAM

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2017/04/16/new-and-improved-nilam/#ikCAKIJ2dgYxetFS.99

Book corners bring out the reader in pupils.

Saturday, March 18th, 2017
Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) treasurer Wendy Cheah and the organiser of the reading corners at SRJK (C) Puay Chai 2, Bandar Utama

Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) treasurer Wendy Cheah and the organiser of the reading corners at SRJK (C) Puay Chai 2, Bandar Utama

WITH children increasingly losing interest in reading, the parents of SJKC Puay Chai 2 pupils in Bandar Utama decided to put together three reading corners within the school compound.

The reading corners meant to cultivate the habit were set up about three months ago and are placed strategically in the foyer, outside the library and the activity hall.

Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) treasurer Wendy Cheah said children nowadays were more likely to indulge in digital games even when they eat.

Year 1 and 2 pupils being entertained at the launch of the reading corners.


Year 1 and 2 pupils being entertained at the launch of the reading corners
.

“We have placed the books in such a way that the covers face out to attract the children to pick them up,” said Cheah.

“In November last year, we conducted a pilot study by putting old copies of the Young Scientist magazine on the shelves.

“Surprisingly, about 30 to 40 of them huddled around the shelves to read,” said Cheah, who is the brains behind this initiative.

“Following the successful, we were willing to spend about RM8,000 on shelves and renovations to set up the reading corners,” she added.

Since then, many parents have sponsored the books, for which school principal Pang Lai Cheun is grateful.

by PHOEBE KHOR
Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/metro/community/2017/03/18/book-corners-bring-out-the-reader-in-pupils-initiative-by-sjkc-puay-chai-2-parentteacher-association/#3zRP4GCgzW3eV0uI.99

Kids benefit from reading corners

Monday, July 18th, 2016
Let’s read: JCI Butterworth City members and OCBC Bank staff standing in front of the newly constructed reading corner.

Let’s read: JCI Butterworth City members and OCBC Bank staff standing in front of the newly constructed reading corner.

OVER 20 schools in Butterworth will now have access to a selected range of literature at a special “reading corner”.

This is thanks to a literacy project spearheaded by the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Butterworth Chapter and OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Berhad’s Bukit Mertajam branch.

The project which is part of a programme that was first established by JCI Butterworth City in 2014, is being rolled out in Butterworth in four phases featuring three schools and an orphanage. A total of 14 reading corners have already been set up nationwide so far.

Junior Chamber International Butterworth Chapter organising chairman Kenny Hing said the schools were selected on the basis of its environment and needs.

At a recent ceremony, 600 books were donated to SJKC Jit Sin A and SJKC Jit Sin B to be placed at their reading corners, with another 900 books to be made available to the remaining three schools in the next few months.

On the reading corners, Hing: “It is a peaceful reading atmosphere where the pupils can use their free time meaningfully. They can choose the books to read or re-read. It is also a fun environment to gain knowledge.”

He added that the initiative in Butterworth would not have been possible without the partnership with OCBC Bank.

“We are grateful for the partnership with OCBC Bank.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2016/07/17/kids-benefit-from-reading-corners/

Cultivate reading habit, schools urged

Friday, March 11th, 2016
Reading Practice Knowledge Pulse award recipients with Ahmad, Masly and other officers.

Reading Practice Knowledge Pulse award recipients with Ahmad, Masly and other officers.

KENINGAU: Sabah Education Director Datuk Jame Alip has urged all schools in the State to cultivate reading culture among students in an effort to raise their knowledge level in line with knowledge suitable for people’s needs in the new millennium.

He said the practice of reading should not limited to reading materials in school textbooks, and even more broadly, through reading materials in the print and electronic sources.

According to him, by reading a lot of reading material especially scientific and general knowledge was very important in developing ideas and thinking, especially in making compositions as well as in public communication such as speech, debate, storytelling and others.

“Thinking would be wide open, with good ideas and factual findings of diligent practice in reading on materials that are useful,” he said when opening the state level Reading Practice Knowledge Pulse (NILAM) Carnival at SJKC Yuk Kong hall here yesterday.

He said that this could help students to excel academically, especially on the work of writing, thus encouraging reading that must be cultivated through a variety of activities in school.

Jame’s text of speech was delivered by the State Education Department’s senior assistant director of Education Technology Division, Ahamad Jais.

At the same time, Jame said based on the report of the National Library in 2010, average Malaysians read eight books a year and this shows a positive increase compared to an average of two books read in 1996.

He added that although this rate was much lower than the reading rate in developed countries such as Japan and the United States, this rate indicated that more and more Malaysians were beginning to realize the importance of reading.

In the meantime, he said the re-study of the 2011 Malaysian Reading profile by the National Library formulated that the group aged 10 to 40 read eight books a year, and over 40 years old, read just six books a year.

Accordingly, Jame said the NILAM awards organised by the Educational Technology Division (BTP) was consistent with the goal of giving encouragement to all schools, teachers and students in addition to giving recognition to schools and teachers as well as students who were eager to read.

In a related development, he said schools should use the facility such as a library center as knowledge source.

“Educators in schools need to make a habit of reading as a daily practice that can be emulated by their students, which includes implementing NILAM program with excellence.
Read more @ http://www.theborneopost.com/2016/03/11/cultivate-reading-habit-schools-urged/#ixzz42axlmF2p

Getting Students to Do the Reading

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

reading textbook

Getting students to do their assigned reading is a struggle. Most teachers don’t need anyone to tell them what the research pretty consistently reports. On any given day, only 20 to 30 percent of the students arrive at class having done the reading. Faculty are using a variety of approaches to up that percentage: quizzes (announced, unannounced, online), assignments that require some sort of written response to the reading, reading journals, a variety of optional reading support materials, and calling on students to answer questions about the reading. Which of these approaches work best?

As Hattenberg and Steffy (reference below) note, there is surprisingly little research that addresses that question. And there are some issues with the existing research. For example, according to Hattenberg and Steffy, most studies compare a reading compliance strategy with doing nothing. “It is hardly surprising to find that a particular technique is more effective than doing nothing at all.” (p. 348) Furthermore, a lot of studies of these approaches involve small sample sizes—maybe just one class.

These researchers aspired to see whether they could find out what approaches worked best and do so in a way that remedied the research deficiencies. They surveyed students in eight sections of an introductory sociology course—a course with the enrolled students majoring in a variety of fields. The 423 students in their sample were asked whether they had experienced one of seven reading compliance techniques:

by .

Read more @ http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/effective-teaching-strategies/getting-students-to-do-the-reading/

The hidden power of reading aloud

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

Good rapport: Turner (in blue) leading the storytelling session while the children and their parents listen attentively.

Good rapport: Turner (in blue) leading the storytelling session while the children and their parents listen attentively.

A LOVE for reading makes children mellower.

Secondary school teacher Yeap Chee Beng, 39, believes that reading helps children to “mellow” and be less hyperactive.

“Before I introduced my eldest son to books, he was mischievous but now he knows how to behave,” she said at the storytelling brunch of the Penang International Kids Storytelling Festival 2015 in Muntri Street, Penang.

Seventy participants — parents and children – took part in the event held in a cafe recently, for some good food and good reading.

The programme was conducted by senior teacher Julie Turner from the British Council, who has 10 years’ experience in Spain and Kuala Lumpur.

Turner’s storytelling method involvescreative pedagogy and engaging children interactively.

“Reading is important for children to cultivate their imagination,” she said.

Penang Education Council preschool education committee chairman Prof Dr Anna Christina Abdullah said the organisers planned to sponsor 400 to 500 underprivileged children in Penang to attend the festival’s activities.

by JOLYNN FRANCIS.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/Metro/Community/2015/06/27/The-hidden-power-of-reading-aloud-Participants-gain-insight-into-its-benefits-to-children-at-worksho/