What the participants say

Beneficial workshops

The session I enjoyed the most was the plenary by Prof Dr Saran Kaur Gill. I agree with her that English teachers should be sharing and caring. It was very motivating listening to her. 

Some workshops were very beneficial and helpful especially the one by Assoc Prof Dr Kuldip Kaur who gave very helpful ideas while others were not so applicable. In some sessions, I couldn’t find even one that I was interested in. – Tay Choon Neo (pic right), Teacher, SMK Putrajaya 1 

Funding for teachers

I had to pay my own way to attend Melta. I think what stops more teachers from attending is the fact that they cannot get sponsorship and RM350 is a bit steep. Getting leave from school to attend the conference can also be a problem. 

I hope Melta will work harder to ensure that more teachers are given an opportunity to attend the conference, maybe through sponsorship. – Suraya Zaidun, Teacher, SMJK Yu Hua, Kajang  

More representation

The workshops and some of the papers were very good and relevant to my line of work as I have mature students as well as those in secondary school. Some papers were, however, not very relevant and catered more for academics. 

Many of the participants were from the Klang Valley. It would have been good if there were more from the other states.  

I hope that Melta will include more local issues and more workshops involving group dynamics in future. I hope that more papers related to teaching problems in rural areas will be presented. – P. Karuppanon, Tuition Centre Operator, Tanah Merah, Kelantan 

Provide facilities

Though the conference was generally useful, some of the papers were too theoretical. 

I hope that the organisers will provide LCD projectors in future so that we don’t have to borrow from our institutions and lug heavy equipment around. 

We would not mind paying a small sum to rent them if Melta has these machines. I understand it would have cost RM600 to rent one from the hotel. It would definitely make things easier for us if we knew that such technical support was available. Most of the conferences I’ve been to provide this support readily. – Hawanum Hussein, Senior Lecturer, Universiti Tenaga Nasional  

Inaccessible venue

I came for papers that would help me cater for my students who are in Forms Four and Five.  

I am always interested in finding new ways to make English learning fun. Some of the papers made me reflect on the way I go about choosing materials, and helped me look at it from the viewpoint of a student. 

I find the venue, Subang Sheraton, not as accessible as PJ Hilton where there is an LRT station close by. Sometimes it felt as if I was taking part in a marathon when we had to move from one room to another. – Noor Mahmun Musa, Teacher, SMK Dengkil 

Vet the presenters

The conference provided opportunities for networking, especially with people in our line of work. 

However, the quality of some of the research papers was not up to par. For example, in one paper on writing, the researcher let her presumptions cloud her findings, resulting in a member of the audience pointing out this weakness. Melta can improve on future conferences by vetting the presenters more stringently. – Prema Ponnudurai, Lecturer, Taylors College, Subang  

Practical papers

On the whole, a good conference with many good ideas and speakers. However, Melta should analyse the crowd and see what would suit the needs of different groups. 

Teachers have repeatedly said that they don’t want too many theoretical papers, preferring hands-on activities and workshops. I would suggest that papers which have a theoretical slant also include practical pointers for the classroom. Teachers must be able to see the link between theory and practice. – Lucille Dass, Head of English, KDU College Penang 

Similar problems

I think conferences like Melta allow those of us in South and South East Asia to synergise our resources and expertise as a lot of the problems we face are similar. For example, the socio-cultural aspects of learning a second language are common to both Malaysia and India. 

I have made friends with a lot of people with whom I will be interacting after the conference is over. – Dr Francis Peter (pic right), Principal, Loyola College, Chennai, India 

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