Making English fun and exciting


English expert: Dass (right) conducting the workshop at the Tuanku Bainun Teachers Training Institute in Bukit Mertajam.

English expert: Dass (right) conducting the workshop at the Tuanku Bainun Teachers Training Institute in Bukit Mertajam.

AN adrenaline-filled session kick-started a Star-NiE (Newspaper-in-Education) workshop for some 60 trainee teachers at the Tuanku Bainun Teachers Training Institute in Bukit Mertajam, Penang.

It was conducted by Star-NiE trainer Lucille Dass.

Participants rustled through copies of The Star for clues in a race against time during the question-and-answer session.

“There are many different methods to teach English in a fun way.

“Newspapers are an excellent resource for teaching and learning,” she explained.

She said this during the two-and-a-half-hour workshop at the institute on Tues-day.

The question-and-answer session was followed by the ‘Listen and Do’ activity.

The activity saw two participants being enlisted to simulate an action as shown in a photograph from a newspaper article.

“Stand up and lift your left leg. Then, turn 90 degrees to your right and clasp your hands together under your lifted left thigh,” one of them read out the action while her male counterpart demonstrated the act.

Laughter and cheers ensued in support of the sporting male participant who managed to put up the exact pose.

A participant Norsuhaiza Mazlan, 21, who is a third semester student of Teaching English as Second Language, said the workshop was an eye-opener for her.

She said it shed a different light on the various elements of a newspaper layout such as the headline, blurb and sub-headline.

V. Dineswaren, 22, who is undergoing his practicum, said some students were uncomfortable speaking English due to minimal exposure.

“Using newspaper in classrooms can help overcome this problem,” he said during the workshop.

Third-year student Brenda Shareen Tony, 22, who is from Sarawak, said joining the workshop showed her the many ways a newspaper could be used as a resource to teach and learn.

The institute’s English Language Unit department lecturer Yeoh Hee Hee said the students had subscribed to 17 issues of Step Up, an education pullout by The Star, for RM20 per year.

“As students train to become teachers, we believe that the pullout will help the student teachers learn more, especially those training to become primary school teachers,” she said.

Step Up, an initiative under Star-NiE, is a 24-page education pullout.

It is a syllabus-based pullout approved by the Education Ministry.

The pullout prepares pupils in Years Four, Five and Six for the UPSR.