SMK Alma students testify that the Star- NiE (Newspaper in Education) programme is doing wonders to their performance in the English language.
Fifth former Nurul Nadiyah Abdul Razak said she was grateful for the opportunity to enhance her language skills through the NiE programme. Her grades have improved significantly!
“I used to get Ds in English. But now I am getting Cs and Bs,'' she said when interviewed during an NiE session at her school in Bukit Mertajam, Penang, recently.
Nurul added she was now more confident about conversing in English.
“Previously, I was not comfortable speaking the language. But after going through many NiE sessions, I feel more confident,'' said the bubbly Nurul.
Her classmate Nordiana Ramlee said her grades in English had improved from a D to a B, thanks to the NiE sessions.
“The NiE sessions are most rewarding. I get to improve my skills in English, expand my knowledge, and keep myself updated with current news and affairs.''
She added that she had no opportunity to read English papers at home because her parents were not subscribers.
Science student Nordiana said that a strong foundation in English was important to pursue tertiary education in science. She is currently working on improving her language proficiency.
S. Kalaivani said her grades in English had improved too. ”I am confident that I will get an A in the subject if I follow the sessions diligently. Besides, NiE is fun,'' said the fifth former.
George Tan too said he was pleased his English had improved. ”My grades have changed from a C to a B. My spoken English has improved tremendously,” he added.
English teacher Teo Lai Yong said some of her students had no access to English papers at home and the NiE classes exposed them to news in the print media.
“I notice that some of the students are excited when given newspapers to read. They discuss what they have read with fellow group members. Unfortunately, most of them have a tendency to discuss in Bahasa or in their mother tongue,'' she said.
School principal Fauziah Yeop said the school’s PMR performance in English improved by 4% last year compared to the previous year.
“The standard of English among the students in the school is relatively poor, as most of them are from rural areas where the language is hardly spoken.
“Since we introduced the NiE programme three years ago with the help of state executive councillor Datuk Dr Toh Kin Woon, we have seen the grades improving gradually.
“We would like to express our gratitude to Dr Toh for all the contributions he has made to the school,'' she added.
Also present at the NiE session was English language panel head Noorilyati Mohd Mauli and English teacher Ng Kooi Lim.
Dr Toh, who is also the state education committee chairman, said 4,440 copies of The Star would be distributed to SMK Alma and SMK Taman Sejahtera throughout the year, sponsored by the State Development Fund.
“I am happy to hear that the programme has inspired some students to do better in English,'' he said.