Friday, 13 November 2015

Latest Edition for Teaching Writing

Here's a sharing of the latest edition of my book with Jenny Ho. It is not sold in bookshops though. To order, you can contact your local salesman. This book can be used in Forms 4 or 5 to help your students improve their writing skills.


 Happy Teaching!

Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

Friday, 16 October 2015

Young Readers Programme

Image result for readers images
credit: google images
Next year, in sha Allah I'm planning to start an extensive reading programme with the Form 1 students in my school. As teachers we all know the level of English these children display after graduating from primary 6. Down memory lane, I remember clearly those who couldn't pronounce the word "could" and "would" correctly. Instead of /kud/ and /wud/  it was /kuld/ and /wuld/. Took a while for me to defossilize that! Next year am thinking of a reading programme to improve the students' reading and vocabulary. If you guys have any idea where I can start, please do message or email ( 

I'm thinking of stories, newspapers... A4 paper which optimises both sides (passage and questions/activities). There is a lot of literature around on extensive reading but I need something simple and impactful and fun for perhaps a six-month programme or so. Can these children just do reading and vocabulary instead of OPS-English for example? They just have to read to do well in English really. Speaking is an important skill but given two groups doing OPS-English and another doing extensive reading, which do you think will improve their English at a faster rate? No study has been done on this I bet but it's worth thinking about. Teachers are in the dark as to the success of OPS-English in the first place. I think there needs to be sharing of information especially impacts of programmes involving teachers in schools. This information should not be exclusive to the researchers, ELTC and the stake holders. If something is successful or unsuccessful, share it. As one of the writers, I too would like to know the impact of the programme. Meanwhile, I will do some research on extensive reading and hope to carry it out next year :)

 Happy teaching!

Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Kintamani and the 62nd Teflin Conference, Bali, Indonesia (14-16th September 2015)

Been postponing this post for a bit. Alhamdulillah I was in Bali for the 62nd TEFLIN conference to present my paper. My action research was on journaling in my classes. I must say though that ICELT or MELTA is more happening than this conference but the strength in TEFLIN was in the research rigour of the presenters. The presenters, although mostly Indonesians, showed a lot of rigour in research methodology. Missed Pak Willy Renandya's (National Institute of Education, Nan Yang Technological University, Singapore) plenary though due to a lack of ticket and so I settled for Dr Jayakaran's session. Dr Jaya was a witty as ever and had us in stitches and his students' videos were refreshing. As usual Dr Jaya will always touch on Malaysian textbooks :)

Of course I went sightseeing in Bali too. Would be silly not to take that opportunity. Went back to Kintamani- the food on the hilltop restaurant tasted the same but the crisp air and the view of Mount Batur was unforgettable. Never quite like the food to be honest but the view from the top was majestic. We prayed Zuhur in a nearby mosque and the cold water to perform the ablution reminded me of the winter days as a student in England.There's something about Kintamani that makes me want to come back again and again :)

Alhamdulillah for the opportunity to share in this conference.

Happy teaching!

Sanur Paradise Hotel, Bali


Barong Dance

Love Sunda food!

Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

Random thoughts: Muharram (Part 2)

Muharram is here- a new year and a new beginning! The second holiest month in the Islamic calendar is surely significant enough to make that hijra to become a better person or to do that (good) thing you've always been postponing.  The coming of Muharram will, I hope, renew my energy and enthusiasm. To be fair I've had some issues with health this year (spondylosis may be a common problem but speaking from experience, it's not something you would welcome) Remember the good days when you had good health and you walked into the classroom with that spring in you feet and that everything was possible? Time to start anew, to rejuvenate and to live life fully. May this holy month  bring all the good things in my life and yours :)


Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

To help or not to help?

HRMIS is giving me problems tonight and so I've decided to blog instead. Felt a little sad today when a teacher whom I only got to know in one event where I was the invited speaker, contacted me and  asked  for a telephone interview. She is doing her Masters Degree and would like to find out more about a module I co-wrote for ElTC some time back. Mind you this isn't the first time I had been contacted by some teacher or researcher and it gets a  little too much sometimes. I refused politely but she had the audacity to ask me for another name! Don't get me wrong - I love to help anyone but I have been taken for granted too many a times! I have lost count of how many such incidents. 

On one occasion, a lady (whom I'm not acquainted with) emailed me and requested for a module which I immediately sent but goodness gracious me...not even a word of  'thank you'. It is so hard to say thank you for a favour done. On another occasion, a young teacher (whom I have not heard from for a very very long time) suddenly emailed and asked for materials to be emailed back to her. I would think twice about asking for materials from others, even from close friends. Even close friends may not want to share things with you sometimes and it's entirely their right.  O.k. fair enough, I've asked from some people I know but sometimes we exchanged something in return and sometimes they never sent me anything despite their promise. Please! Can we get rid of this bad habit of wanting freebies?  People spend a lot of time and effort to write/produce/create/compile/source for materials and you can't just walk in and say you want this and that! Let's be contributors and not users. Don't mean to offend anyone but if you were in my shoes, you would understand exactly how I feel.

Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

Sunday, 4 October 2015

"Program Kecemerlangan 4 Penjuru", Kluang District

Am I itching to blog? Yes, you can say that because it's been a loooong break. Now where do I begin...let's start with today. We had a "Program Kecemerlangan 4 Penjuru" today involving SASEM, SMK Kahang Timur and SMK Seri Sembrong. However, SMK Datuk Ibrahim Majid did not come today. Gosh! Three weeks before the SPM and a workshop? Despite the hectic end-of-year schedule and work especially for the exam classes, I managed to conduct a three and half hour session with them. To be honest, it was a tiring legs were really painful and my throat too. The haze did not help either. 

The week before was given to preparing a suitable module and I decided to deal with three targeted poem in the SPM namely He had such quiet eyes, Are your still playing your flute and Nature. Lunch was good though but all I wanted was to rest my legs! My prayers are that these students excel in the English paper. I still have another four-hour long session with the orang asli students soon (a directive by the JPN Johor). Yours truly has no other choice but to carry it out.

Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

Friday, 4 September 2015

Lesson Study in SMK Taman Johor Jaya 2

Tomorrow I will be sharing lesson study with a group of teachers in SMK Taman Johor Jaya 2. The principal is collaborating with a PHD student on the programme and I'm glad to be of assistance. We will have theory and practical for half a day and hope that everything will go well. 

PLC (Professional learning community) is the buzzword now and lesson study (LS) is undoubtedly an important programme/tool to produce quality teachers. How can you improve teaching without LS? This was one question popped at me during a course/meeting I attended some time back. It got me thinking....a lot...and thinking is what we teachers need to do more.......seriously :) How can we even dream of thinking classrooms if teachers are not doing enough thinking about what happens in the four walls of the classroom? How do we sharpen the saw as teachers? Are we faking it?

If a teacher doesn't sit down and plan quality lessons then we are going no where. You can shove down their throats all sorts of programmes and ideas but the teacher has got to do his or her basic responsibility which is to prepare lessons and teach well. Of course, it takes time to become skillful at your trade but it has to start from thinking about the lesson and planning to teach it well. It sounds like hardwork doesn't it but that is what teaching is! HARDWORK. Of course we get sidetracked by many things- co curricular activities, meetings, deadlines, courses  and what not but at the end of the day, we are paid to teach.

One way to instill professionalism in teachers is through LS i.e teachers talk about what they do best in the classroom- TEACHING. Not many take LS up because they say it's time-consuming, frightening etc. Yes I realise it takes time for a professional culture to be instilled in our teachers. Time and space (plus recognition) must be accorded to teachers. We have many programmes in place but some are just touch and go. My take is that we don't need so many programmes- the MOE does not have to jump at every single new idea and launch it. Instead take a few and develop and sustain them. LS could be such a programme. Many a lab to brainstorm ideas is good but does the idea reach the masses, the teachers?

Schools can be more creative in the running of its daily affairs and braver to change things. Do away with maintenance culture and switch to developmental culture. Instead of having endless meetings in the afternoons, conduct LS where teachers learn and collaborate. Why not? And if principals are brave enough, start the culture by using some of the morning classes for LS. Instructional time is not wasted but enhanced. The impact I believe, will be far-reaching. LS will ultimately shape the kind of professionalism we dream of in teachers. Let me leave you with this quote to ponder upon. It got me thinking a lot!

If they aren't learning 
you aren't teaching.


(credit: google images)

Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

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