THERE are no hard and fast rules to using NiE (Newspaper in Education), so said experienced Star-NiE trainer Tung Soo Kee at the first NiE teacher workshop held for the year.
Tung explained that teachers had the freedom to modify the activities in the Star-Nie pullout as they see fit.
“If you think the activity is too easy for your students, make it more challenging. However, if it is difficult or there are time constraints, simplify the activities.
“You know what works best with your students,” she said.
A total of 52 English language teachers from primary schools in the Gombak district tried their hands at various newspaper-based activities during the half-day workshop, held at the Gombak district public library recently.
The Step by Step activity raised more than its fair share of guffaws as participants were given pictures of people in interesting poses and then asked to give instructions to their models to get them into the same pose in five steps.
Tung explained that teachers could use this activity to reinforce the use of imperatives as well as hone students’ aural skills as they would have to listen carefully to the instructions in order to get the positions right.
There were also laughs aplenty when the teachers filled in new speech bubbles for the Hi and Lois cartoon found in The Star.
“This activity will certainly help students develop creativity and imagination,” said Tung.
Language officer in the district education office Nurun Saadiah said she was impressed by the workshop and would like to try and do the same for Bahasa Malaysia if possible.
“Teachers should be exposed to a variety of teaching methodologies to help them make learning fun,” she said.
The workshop was a great success with the teachers. Many said they had gained ideas they could take back with them to school.
Sasirekha Kandasamy, who teaches Years One and Two at SK Taman Permata, Kuala Lumpur, expressed the wish that the workshop could be extended to at least one or two days. She gave the thumbs up to the workshop and enthused about the Star-NiE pullout.
“It is wonderful, with lots of fun activities. The colourful and cheerful-looking illustrations and pictures always capture the attention of lower primary pupils,” she said.
Normalah Zainuddin, a teacher for 28 years, shared that she had been using NiE for many years, with varying degrees of success.
She said that NiE gives her students a chance to experience learning English differently.
The workshop was jointly organised by Star-NiE and the Gombak district education office. Pizza Hut is The Star's partner in NiE.