ON THEIR table were scissors, glue, A4-size papers, manila cards and copies of The Star.
The challenge given to SMKA Al-Mashoor (Lelaki) students in Penang was to create a magazine on environmental issues based on reports and photographs found in The Star.
These Forms Four, Five and Six students – about 100 of them – recently discovered just how much fun learning English the NiE (Newspaper-in-Education) way could be when Penang Seagate Industries (M) Sdn Bhd presented the school with free copies of The Star. Seagate is sponsoring more than 8,000 copies of The Star in total till the end of the year to the school and SK Gambier.
The session was led by Penang Seagate Industries (M) Sdn Bhd corporate communications senior manager Audrey Cheah and 10 Penang Seagate employees who acted as facilitators.
Cheah said the students were supposed to use The Star to find out how technology has helped to preserve the family unit and society as well as change society.
“At the same time, they are learning English and creativity,” she said, adding that the lesson also emphasised teamwork.
At the end of the lesson, the students, who were given an hour to come up with the magazine, had to present their “product”.
A friendly competition was also held which saw the winners given gifts courtesy of Penang Seagate.
While waiting for the results of the competition to be announced, Cheah gave the students some presentation tips.
“Open your mouth when you talk so that you do not mumble,” she said.
She added that the presenter should also face the audience.
Penang Seagate Industries (M) Sdn Bhd human resources director Lee Hock Chuan said that NiE lessons should be encouraged as they help students improve their English.
“The standard of English has deteriorated a lot over the years,” he said, adding that the company supports such projects.
The school's co-curriculum senior assistant Mohamad Mustakhim Sahak said using newspapers was beneficial to the students.
“As 100% of the school's student population is Malay, learning English the NiE way gives the students a different perspective,” he said.
Form Four student Mohd Danial Mohd Don Alfian, who took part in the lesson, also gave it the thumbs up.
“The lesson encourages students to communicate using English,” he said.