Tuesday, January 03, 2006

ZAM's 'poison' is M'sian children's meat

Teachers from US to coach students
Jan 2, 2006 New Straits Times

Students at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Agama Sheikh Abdul Malik may soon be speaking English with an American accent.They will be learning communicative English from American Fulbright scholar Leslie A. Thompson, who began work today.

For the next five months, she will drill them in proper English usage. Thompson is here on the State Government’s invitation and in co-operation with the US Embassy and Malaysia- American Commission on Educational Exchange (MACEE) to promote English among secondary school students.

She is among 10 US English teaching assistants in the programme who have been assigned to different secondary schools throughout the State.

The other schools are Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Padang Negara, SM Agama Khairiah, SMK Tengku Mahmud, Imtiaz, Kospint, SMK Tengku Ampuan Intan, SMK Mak Lagam, SMK Ibrahim Fikri and SMK Lembah Bidong.Met at the school, Thompson said she planned to inject new ideas and adopt approaches in getting students and teachers to use English often.

"I plan to use games, movies, music and newspapers such as the NST as interactive tools," she said.Thompson came to school in a baju kurung and headscarf to respect religious and cultural sensitivities.

The Middle Eastern Studies graduate from South Carolina said it was appropriate to adapt to her new environment.School principal Che Ku Razak Che Ku Mohd said Thompson would be helping students get comfortable with English."Our problem has always been communicative English.

"While most students and teachers are fairly competent in English, they find it hard to speak the language," he said.