US grads say teaching stint in Melaka enjoyable

(From left) Hurst chatting with Clay, Doshi, Stanford and Waff after the press conference at Melaka.

MELAKA: Four graduates from the United States are enjoying every moment being part of the Fullbright English Teaching Assistants (ETAs) Programme, which has just been introduced in Melaka.

Sarah Stanford from Buffalo, New York; Meaghan Waff from Chicago, Illinois; Meera Doshi from Summit, New Jersey and Marra Clay from Minnesota are having a fun and fulfilling time teaching English in four rural schools here.

In addition to that, they took time off to go on short gastro-nomic adventures and loved the experience.

The graduates, aged between 22 and 23 years, are part of the ETAs at SMK Seri Pengkalan and SMK Dol Said in Alor Gajah, SMK Datuk Bendhara and SMK Dato’ Abdul Rahman Ya’kub in Jasin here.

The four named the iconic local beverage Coconut Shake in Klebang, roti canai and spicy fried chicken rice as their favourite dishes, when met for a media interview at a leading hotel here.

Waff, the most bubbly among the four, said she never failed to share photos of the local dishes with her family and friends back home.

For Stanford, being in Melaka is a prized experience as she got the chance to learn about a unique state.

She also felt that the students are too shy to speak in English now but she was confident they would be able to express themselves eloquently over the next few months.

Clay, who spoke a little Bahasa Melayu, said she was immersed in learning about Malaysians’ lifestyles as well as the cooking.

Meanwhle, Doshi said it had been very gratifying to be given the opportunity to teach the local students English.

Public affairs counsellor of the American embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Bradley Hurst said the four ETAs started teaching in Melaka in January.

He said 2018 marked the first year for an ETA programme in Melaka and currently there were 96 other ETAs in various parts of Malaysia.

Each year, hundreds of young American graduates teach English and start community ventures for thousands of Malaysian students in rural areas.

The ETA are assigned to schools for 10 months where they work under the supervision of qualified Malaysian teachers to enrich the schools’ English language instruction.

When met at the interview, a teacher at SMK Dol Said, Huzaimi Hamzah said the ETAs were given handbook to teach the language in Malaysia.

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