For those who missed (including me) this article in the NST, here is an extract on comments and thoughts from our own educator YSF....& hopefully I can get a nice pic (wink, wink) to go along with it. Anyway well-done and congratulation to Sook Fun for such great achievement....among which I believe she is the only non-Malay HM in a rural Malay school. Read on.....
Sharing her sentiment about poor English standards is Yau Sook Fun, headmistress of Sekolah Kebangsaan Sungai Dendang, Selama, Perak, a small, rural school with 12 teachers and 138 pupils.To her, the most memorable event for 2006 was training a choral speaking team to participate in the District Level Choral Speaking Competition. This created a need to learn the language. The number of hours they trained also increased meaningful language learning contact time.Yau says: "When the team emerged fourth in Larut Matang and Selama District, against established urban schools such as Sekolah Kebangsaan Convent Kota and Sekolah Kebangsaan Klian Pauh, Taiping, the teachers and parents were surprised.
"It was a great achievement for a rural school, which had never taken part in such a competition."
Yau, who teaches English, science and mathematics, agrees that teaching English is an uphill battle. As the administrator of the school as well as the Master Teacher for English, one of her main concerns in 2006 was to improve the standard of English in the school.
"English is a subject which determines the overall performance of schools in the UPSR. I adopted several strategies. Although rote learning is sometimes frowned upon, I found memorising an effective technique to remember words, phrases and sentences. I wish phonics will find its way into the school system for preschool and Year One. It will help students master reading."
Yau’s strategies worked and with the cooperation of dedicated teachers, her school achieved 83.3 per cent passes in English in 2006 compared with 46.9 per cent passes in 2005. The overall results impr& full article can be viewed atoved from 46.9 per cent (2005) to 72.2 per cent (2006).
Extracted from NST Learning Curve ....Perspective: A full teaching year 30 Dec 2006 by
KOH SOO LING