Keeping English language learning alive


  • Education
  • Sunday, 14 Jun 2020

Team building: Xin Yu and her brother having a good laugh as they scour the newspaper for the items. required.

IF you have been following The Star’s Newspaper-in-Education (Star-NiE) column closely for the past few months, you would have gained a number of ideas and resources to keep English language learning alive at home amid the movement control order (MCO).

In this column today, our readers share their NiE experiences at home – be they mothers who worked on the tasks with their children, or teenagers who tried out the activities for themselves and guided their younger siblings along.

Do keep an eye out for next week’s Star-NiE column for insights from other readers who have tested out more of our activities. Kok Xin Yu, 16, from Wesley Methodist School Kuala Lumpur (International), Kuala Lumpur, tried her hand at a scavenger hunt activity. A newspaper scavenger requires participants to spot the specific items found in the newspaper. This theme focused on the family’s likes.

“For once, I discovered a sibling-bonding activity that does not involve my 12-year-old brother and me squabbling over who gets more screen time on the computer. We enjoyed a round of identifying potential gifts for our dad, who celebrated his birthday amid the MCO. We had a great laugh at our final choice: a live English Premier League football match broadcasted on Zoom! I highly recommend this activity, ” said Xin Yu.Goal accomplished: Shamini with her son, Aiden.Goal accomplished: Shamini with her son, Aiden.

Shamini Palraj is a mother who tried her hand at the scavenger hunt activity with her eight-year-old son.

“My son and I have spent most of our time at home joining Zoom meetings, besides completing worksheets and class assignments.

“Poor child! He felt like he was on a hamster wheel that he couldn’t get off. This activity gave him a fun break! Since it was his first experience working with the newspaper, he was so excited reading through the list and going through the pages of The Star, looking out for pictures to complete his list. The one hour we spent together hunting for pictures gave us a different kind of ‘high’. Not only was he exposed to the different sections of the newspaper, but we were also able to read more uncommon words and news together. Definitely worth the time spent!” said Shamini.

Tenby International School Setia Ecohill student, Lee Yan Huen from Selangor realised that it had been quite a while since she had spent time with her 10-year old brother.Bonding time: Yan Huen and her brother enjoying a sibling-bonding moment.Bonding time: Yan Huen and her brother enjoying a sibling-bonding moment.

The 15-year old was busy pursuing her own interests and working on my assignments.

“I sat down with my brother. After working on the activity together, my brother told me that he was fascinated by how many things a newspaper covers, from sports to world news. I have also noticed that he is now flipping through the newspaper that is delivered to us daily.

“He has even been informing me of what is happening around the world!” said Yan Huen.

Khadija Juzer, from Wesley Methodist School Kuala Lumpur (International), Kuala Lumpur, tried an alliteration activity from the newspaper. She chose three or four words that began with the same letter in The Star.

“This activity allowed me to tap into my creativity by playing with words and trying to phrase them into a meaningful sentence. While searching for the words, I read The Star intently and improved my knowledge of current affairs.

“Moreover, I managed to pick up new words that enhanced my vocabulary. I also got to distract myself from the hunger I felt from fasting as the activity helped fill my day, ” said the 15-year-old.

  • Since 1997, Star-NiE has been making a difference in the English language classrooms nationwide, with an emphasis on aiding teaching-learning activities with the use of authentic newspaper materials. Published on Wednesdays, The Star’s NiE programme is available only through school subscriptions of The Star.
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Published twice monthly on Wednesdays, the colourful 16-page NiE pullout incorporates authentic materials from the newspaper into English language learning. It is written by experienced teachers/specialists and is endorsed by the Education Ministry. The syllabus-based pullout comes with a copy of The Star and is only available through school subscription. For more details, call The Star’s Customer Care Unit at 1-300-88-7827, Monday to Friday (9am-5pm).

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