Setting higher standards for english teachers

PUTRAJAYA: THE introduction of the Professional Upskilling of English Language Teachers programme, or Pro-ELT, by the Education Ministry has yielded encouraging results.

The Ministry’s English Language Teaching Centre unit head Dr Jayanti Sothinathan said 76.4 per cent of teachers who participated in Pro-ELT moved one level up in their English language proficiency test.

“Due to its success, the focus of research this year is now centred on the impact of the programme towards the students’ mastery of the language.

“Pro-ELT is intended to enhance the English language proficiency of our teachers so as to ensure that every student is taught by a teacher who is proficient in English,” she said.

The initiative under the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 outlines plans to enhance students’ grasp of the English language, and aims to further strengthen teachers’ English language proficiency as well as their pedagogical skills.

Pro-ELT, conducted in schools nationwide, was first introduced in 2012 with 5,010 teachers and this number has increased to 9,000 this year.

The Ministry aims to up-skill 24,000 English teachers by 2016.

Jayanti explained that for the second cohort of the programme, qualified English Language trainers from the British Council were selected in to provide 240 hours of face-toface sessions and another 240 hours of online learning.

“The training materials and resources specially developed for this programme addresses the pedagogical needs of the participants while ensuring their experience in the training room is transferred to classrooms.” There are two methods under the programme — cluster and centralised — which takes 40 and 16 weeks respectively.

The cluster method is for participants inurban,suburbanandsomeruralschools located 25km and less from the training centre, whereas the centralised method is meant for teachers in rural or less accessible schools.

The cluster method requires participants to attend a six-hour face-toface session per week during school term and approximately seven days of training per year during the school holidays.

by ZAFIRA ANWAR.

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