Reach-Out Programme with Integrated Islamic School Kuantan: ‘TOEFL® Young Students Series GO English! Project’
By: AMY ZULAIKHA MOHD ALI, CENTRE FOR MODERN LANGUAGES & HUMAN
Seventy nine pupils were involved in the TOEFL® Young Students Series GO English! Project that was held at the Integrated Islamic School (IIS) in Kuantan on January 26, 2019.
It was organised by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the world’s largest non-profit educational measurement organisation and assisted by English language instructors from University Malaysia Pahang (UMP) Centre for Modern Languages & Human Sciences (CMLHS).
One of them was senior language teacher Noor Azlinda ZainalAbidin who was appointed as a coordinator in the project.
The school was picked by Eshia and Associates Sdn. Bhd. - the country representative for ETS.
Noor Azlinda and her team of six English instructors took part in the project which was also one of the initiatives under the university’s community service programme.
The project, which was in its first year, aimed to encourage pupils to speak in English. The pupils were divided into small groups so activities could be done in a more creative and fun manner.
Topics of the activities were based on animal, nature and people such as ‘Love the Animals’, ‘Love the Nature’ and ‘Love the Community’.
The pupils were guided to come up with ideas that expressed their aspirations on the project’s main subject, ‘How to Make the World a Better Place’ – the theme for this year’s project.
With the right coaching from UMP facilitators and IIS teachers, the pupils were motivated to speak and improve their English language skills.
Using their imagination, they also created interesting posters and when completed, they were beaming with pride of their artworks.
The pupils also received special rewards for taking part in the project including a plaque, promotional items, educational materials and certificate of achievement when they submitted their projects.
Eshia and Associates Managing Director, Ezani Amir said, ETS Malaysia lauded the participants who worked hard on the project, demonstrating their creativity, research skills, communication skills and teamwork skills at a very young age.
“It reflected the good dynamics of IIS, UMP, the parents and children.
“These are the skills needed in the workforce and entrepreneurs of the 21stcentury,” he added.
One of the participants, Faznur Fadilla Md. Ali, 11, was seen encouraging her group members to think on ways to carry out a recycling project.
The Standard Five pupil brought a lot of materials from home such as pictures from books and magazines, stickers, and other decorative stationaries which she had prepared earlier with the help of her parents so her team could complete the project.
Another participant, Mohamad Farrel Dazeman Mohamad Fatasya, 11, said the discussion on the need to protect and care for nature helped to spur interest among the pupils to learn new words.
“Personally, I am excited to be part of this project. Through the discussions and posters that we have made, pupils like me can learn new words and ideas that are related to nature. We learn the need to plant more trees and say no to illegal logging,” he said.
IIS Headmaster, Abdul Rahim M. Ali said, the project involved 10 teachers from the school and seven facilitators from UMP to guide and assist pupils through communicative activities in English.
“This is an opportunity for pupils to realise the importance of English and effective communication so important messages can be conveyed to the world. This initiative also helps to boost the pupils’ motivation and confidence to speak in English,” he said.
IIS Proprietor, Nor Diana Kassim said, it was a good programme for the IIS pupils because it used a different approach to brainstorm ideas.
The poster-making activity encouraged the pupils and parents to be involved in the project, she added.
“My hope is for the programme to be held annually in this school. Even though it is only a day-long project, it managed to generate interest and created long-lasting impacts. The momentum can be kept through classes run by the teachers,” said Nor Diana.