Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Workshop on Teaching of Creative Writing

It has been a hell of a year since the beginning that I barely have time to update this blog. What I am busy with??? Countless things that I can't mention here ass all of it are deemed 'sulit'. Finally I am taking sometime to sit and update on one of the many thing that I did recently.
I was invited to give a talk on teaching of creative writing to a group of TESOL students in USM. It was a very exciting workshop as I got to meet many young, vibrant and energetic future academician who do not have any worries on how their lives as teachers going to be like in the future. I have to thank Dr. Tan Eng Kok for inviting me to give this talk,  as she was very much impressed with my presentation during the MICELT 2013 conference. She gave so much compliments that I blushed. 
The workshop held in the Main Campus in USM, Penang. The students were very attentive throughout the workshop and participated actively in all the activities that I have prepared for them. I introduced myself and gave them some reflections on my teaching career which had begun 11 years ago. I shared my teaching materials and ideas with them and gave them tips on what should be done during their lessons. I hope that my workshop has given them some insights and challenges in the teaching profession which they may not have known. I hope through my workshop they have got some ideas that can be used during their practicum which will be helpful.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

English Language Skills Acquisition (ELSA)

We are aware that the PMR examination has been replaced with School Based Assessment since 2012 and the first batch of the students has gone through two arduous years doing PBS assessments for all the subjects in school. Now the time has come for them to sit for the Centralised Assessment or known as 'Pentaksiran Pusat'. Most of us has been in the dark on how this assessment is going to be especially for the English language. I hope the information that is shared will shed some lights at the end of the tunnel.......

It is known as  English Language Skills Acquisition (ELSA)

There will be three papers:

ELSA 1 - Paper 1 (Reading and Writing)
ELSA 2 - Paper 2 (Speaking)
ELSA 3 - Paper 3 (Listening)

Paper 1 (Reading and Writing)

The paper one consists of 4 sections as followed :

Section A – Error identification of a text -Identify and edit grammatical errors in a short written text
Section B – Comprehension -Non-linear text of about 150 – 200 words -Short response answers
Section C – Comprehension -Linear text of about 300 words
Section D – Writing -Two parts – Short and long writing tasks

For section D paper 1 there will be short and long writing tasks :

               i ) Short writing task in about 100 words. Write in response to a stimulus

              ii)  Long writing tasks in about 150 – 200 words .Based on a given stimulus in the form of  
                    recount, speech, article, letter, etc.

Total marks
Section A – 20 marks
Section B – 20 marks
Section C – 15 marks
Section D – 45 marks (15 from short task, 30 from long task)

Duration – 2 hours

 Paper 2 (Speaking)

The paper 2 consists 2 sections as stated below :

Section A – Reading Aloud -Students will read from a contextualised reading text (about 200 words).
Section B – Spoken Interaction -Students will engage in interactions with two assessors from
                     different schools

Total marks
Section A – 10 marks
Section B – 20 marks

Duration – 10 minutes for each candidate, will take place in several sessions for groups of students.

Paper 3 (Listening)

The paper 3 consists of 2 sections as followed
Section A – Multiple-Choice Questions -Listen to recorded text twice -3-option or 4-option MCQ
Section B – Limited Response -Listen to extended recorded texts twice -10 limited response 

Total marks
Section A – 10 marks
Section B – 10 marks

Duration – 30 minutes

 Some other information that we may need to know are :

  •  For all papers, the contents, the questions, structure are 'fluid'. It is flexible and may change from year to year. This is due to restrict publishers to come up with workbooks, or predictions to what may come out for the assessment.
  •  For this year, the HOTS (Higher Order Thinking Skills) items are included, but not many, due to soft-landing the current Form 3 students into the new format. Over years, the number will increase.
  •  summary and literature components will not be included in the papers. But it does not mean we do not need to teach the students, since these items are assessed in School Assessment (Pentaksiran Sekolah).
  •  The assessors for speaking will be from different schools.
  •  It was informed that written assessment will take place in October, while oral/aural   assessment will take place in August.
  •  Each paper is marked on its own. the marks will not be added together, averaged, or presented  in the form of percentage. It will be represent by Grade A to E.
That's all for now. This info is subject to change since we all know that the current school based assessment are being revamped and new ideas or formats may be introduced, so just wait for the updates.....for now we have something to focus on after groping in the dark for the past two years.....
* If this is confirmed I will upload the samples that I have made for all the 3 components for
   teachers and students to download. I have actually done the sample papers but I think it is too
   soon to be shared here...keep your fingers crossed!!!!!

Friday, 28 February 2014

Gone too soon......

Never in my wildest dreams had I ever  thought that you would leave so sudden. I thought you were here to stay till the completion of the book of my life but you were just a chapter of the story left without even completing your chapter leaving behind the 'me' to continue the rest of the chapters without you to be there to support, to encourage, to cheer up and to 'laugh out loud' with me. Now, I have to  move on  without the one and only best friend whom I had a brotherly bond, cherishing the happy and rainy days we went through together for the past decade. You are the one 'friend' whom I had in my life and where would I go to look for a replacement ?

The news that I wished was never true came to my knowledge on the 16th February at 9.15a.m.  made me like a lost child snivelled and stuttered in sobs making it impossible for my family members to understand what I was saying. I bemoaned in tears and sobbed at the devastating news that you met with an accident and was gone forever.......I cried, I cried my eyes out day and night, and hoped and prayed for the news to be false.......the incessant phone calls, text messages and facebook statuses proved otherwise ....shouts...condolences.....and sobs were everywhere.....realisation dawned upon me that the news was indeed true......without even having a second thought I decided to embark my next unexpected journey to Kuching ....throughout the journey I could not take my mind off from the thoughts of you....When I reached the arrival hall at Kuching International Airport, tears rolled down my promised to pick me up from the airport whenever I go to Kuching but you were not there.....When I reached your house in Serian I had no words to console your parents and brother who were thanking me profusely for taking you to India for our self - discovery cum relaxing holidays...... I was speechless....All I could do was to hug them and cry....I  knew no words can cure the heart-wrecking pain inflicted to them .....
On the next day, I put a brave front to 'meet' you for the last time, but upon reaching the parish hall, it faded. When I saw a brown coffin, the erratic thumping of my heart was driving me into deep bereavement, tears rolled down my cheek uncontrollably as I walked towards the catafalque, there I was facing the moment of truth..... I saw you lying as if you were sleeping peacefully....My heart dropped...I could not control my tears and wailed......but I knew no matter how I cried, nothing was going to change and  I had to accept the fact that you are in a better place and watching are an angel now....

It has been more than a week now, I don't receive your morning messages anymore......It is quite difficult for me to adjust to a life without your existence.....I remember our happy days in Bintulu, when people used to call us 'kopi - susu' the 'susu' is no more and left the 'kopi' alone... I will learn to move on  with all the happy and cheerful memories that I had with a happy - go - lucky  Jimmy. Live goes on but the difference that you made in me will definitely remind me of you for the next every day of my life. You are the 'bestest' best friend I have ever had and no one can ever take your place. It is quite difficult to get used to a life without a friend who believed in me, motivated me, cared for me and  shared the same birthday with me, but I will move on long will it take only 'father time' can decide..... Rest in peace dear, you are an angel now.....

Friday, 3 January 2014

What Resolution means to us?

The year 2014 had kicked off majestically 3 days ago. Through facebook profiles I saw confessions and resolutions made by most of us for the year 2014. I was questioned by few mates about my resolutions and I simply said I am not making any this year and going to go with the flow. Well, I have made resolutions in previous  years and some of them were not even accomplished . I would just like to remind everyone around me that making resolutions out of excitement at the beginning of the year is a norm but when it comes to working for it how many of us have really looked back at our resolutions in the middle or at the end of the year, some of us will just forget about it after the first month of the year and towards the end of the year will be making another resolution and by then the resolutions made before will be forgotten. hahahaah......whether we like it or not this happens to most of us.... 
Thus, for the year 2014, I have decided not to make any new resolutions but to complete all my incompleted missions started last year and the year before . I hope this year will be a blessed year for all of us.I will try to upload interesting stuffs more frequently this year and I hope I can spend less time watching tv......hehehehe

Happy New Year Everyone.....

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Pentaksiran Pusat - Bahasa Inggeris Tingkatan 3 (The Format)

It is confirmed that there will be centralized assessment under the current PBS system. Whether the name is PBSMR or something else I do not know. The MOE has released a circular on the format of the assessment for all the subjects. I am very delighted to share the circular here. Assessment for all the subject will be different. For English language there will be listening, speaking, reading and writing assessments. The questions will be from the Examination Board (MPM). However, I do not know in detail the format of the questions for any of the assessments. Please click here to download the circular.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Materials from ICELT 2013

During the conference I promised to the participants that I would share the materials and my module here so that they can download and use them as reference. Unfortunately I am unable to share the complete module here due to copyright issues but I have uploaded a few parts of the module and teachers can use them as a guide to develop ideas for their lessons. Please click on the links below to download the presentation and materials.

Thank you and Happy Holidays....

Friday, 22 November 2013

ICELT 2013

ICELT 2013 was a success and made a difference in my life especially after the nerve - wrecking presentation on the 3rd day which I had been preparing for the past 3 months of my life after my proposal was accepted by the ICELT secretariat. Preparing for the conference was not a joke. I had to make sure that I prepared well as I had no idea who will be attending my sessions and if some big names were to be there the humility would be a bitter lesson to swallow. True enough professors and associate professors from whichever universities were there in my room watching me presenting in such an amateurish manner. What were they doing in my session!? "Hello there are other presentations going on, go to the next rooms not mine please!!!" My heart shouted out loud! I didn't know who were they until they came to me and patted on my shoulder after my presentation, congratulating and honouring me for giving such a wonderful presentation!!! I was shocked, speechless, stunned and nobody knew how I felt at that time!!!! Well I wouldn't say my presentation was the best presentation I did make a few grammatical and pronunciation slip being nervous and being Mohana..... I did notice some glaring grammatical errors on my slide which was not suppose to be there, I WAS IN AN ELT CONFERENCE and GRAMMATICAL ERRORS! NO FORGIVENESS FOR ME!!! OMG I saved the wrong powerpoint slide! gosh!! Well, all went on well at the end of the day!! And all the praises I got on that day has brought my confidence to a greater height....I dedicate all the praises to GOD. I also learnt that I should be extra careful the next time to avoid such glaring mistakes...People may seem to be good but what they talk behind you only GOD knows....

That's enough with my story. ICELT conference 2013 was a fantastic event organised this year with some big and interesting names such as Pearlly Chua, Valerie Bloom Jane Blake and Carolyn Graham.. These were the 4 sessions that I enjoyed the most during the conference. Carolyn Graham being the founder of Jazz chants presented some of her work and made us sing together with her... Jane Blake being a professional story teller brought us to the world of imagination with her wonderful stories and of course Pearlly Chua the icon of Emily of Emerald Hill acted a few scenes from the monologue which left me mesmerized with her talents, she never got bored playing the same role over and over again for the past 20 years and now am waiting for her next show which is in April taking my drama students for her play. What would I say about Valerie Bloom who shared her poems and her Jamaican culture as well as language with us during her sessions... these people are goddesses of talents and I was glad I chose to go for ICELT as I was suppose to go for a module building workshop organised by the District Education Department...after attending their sessions I realized that I made the right choice.

During ICELT I felt blessed when I met some lecturers with Dr. and Phd. title at the beginning and end of their names. Some of them were really down to earth and friendly and that reminds me to be humble and friendly no matter where I reach in life and dear participants, I will upload my powerpoint and worksheets as I promised during my session....just be patient and bear with me..I am facing some problem with Once I have sorted it out will share them here....all you need to do is be patient....