WHILE everyone else kicked back to enjoy the long weekend, a group of teachers in Ipoh became students for half a day to learn how to use The Star in their lessons last Saturday.
The 32 English language teachers from Perak had a fun time completing the various activities under the watchful eye of Star-NiE trainer Lucille Dass.
As soon as the workshop got started, there were shouts and laughter as teachers, working in groups, raced against the clock to complete their tasks.
An activity requiring teachers to use newspaper clippings to create a monster was a particular hit as innocuous advertisements and pictures were transformed into parts of a monster.
“The ideas were very good. I can't wait to use them in my lessons,” said Jenny Vincent, from SK Kota Baru in Gopeng.
She added that making the effort to attend the workshop on a long weekend was well worth it as “there is nothing like personally experiencing what we are going to put into practice with our students”.
The series of Star-NiE workshops being conducted throughout the country are organised to give teachers “hands-on” experience in various classroom activities before they implement them with their students.
“The activities were simple and very interesting. There is nothing like seeing and doing the NiE activities ourselves. I am sure it will be a big hit among my students,” said Hasmini Hassan, from SK Jelapang Jaya.
A week earlier, 24 lucky teachers from the Skudai district in Johor Baru had the opportunity to upgrade their teaching skills in an introductory workshop conducted by Star-NiE trainer Tung Soo Kee.
Held at SMK Skudai Baru, the workshop gave participants a taste of how interesting lessons can be when newspapers are incorporated into language learning.
Tung was delighted with the responsiveness of the teachers and described them as the best-behaved “class” she had ever had so far.
Teacher Cynthia Darshan, from SMK Taman Molek, said she particularly benefited from Tung's insights into how certain words should be pronounced.
“The workshop would also benefit Mathematics and Science teachers too as they are teaching the subjects in English,” said fellow teacher P. Puspha Rani, from SMK Seri Kota Puteri 2.
Both workshops were co-sponsored by Hotlink from Maxis.