Sunday, 18 July 2010

SPM Excellence Seminar for Felda Southern Zone

Date: 10 July 2010 (Saturday)
Venue: Hotel Sri Malaysia, Mersing





A total of 28 selected SPM candidates from the southern zone Felda scheme invited me for a talk. This was arranged a month earlier and I couldn't refuse as it was jointly organised by JPNJ. The number of participants was ideal, as usually one has to cope with over a hundred students.  I asked the students to write down their grades in the PMR and the recent mid-year exam on a piece of paper so as to know my clients and to pitch the talk at the right level. Despite the claim by the organisers that they were 'cemerlang' students, many obtained 50% and below in the mid year exam. I did what I could but I couldn't help feeling that I haven't quite achieved what I wanted to achieve...However, I wish them all the best in the SPM.

I have some issues though for thought. I think it's time organisers and counselors rethink their programmes.  Little can be achieved if you want an exam techniques talk for low proficiency students. What they need is a lot of practice with the language in the classrooms- emphasise on what teachers do in the classrooms. What happens in the four walls of the classroom is most important. You will agree with me that if students are proficient in all the four language skills then they are ready to sit for any exams. The MESSAGE is teach for proficiency. Exam techniques is secondary, as a  way of polishing their performance. I know some of you out there may disagree with me but we really have to change the way we do things. Doing the same things over and over is a definite recipe for failure! Counselors, don't do things for the sake of  doing things... Think for a moment- can such a talk really benefit low proficiency students?  They are already  struggling with the language and do you really want to give them exam techniques? Why not have regular language workshops where target groups are given a lot of language practice in schools instead of a one-off exam techniques talk? Focus on the low and average groups and get teachers to do workshops for them in school. 

2 comments:

  1. hello there,
    totally agree with you on teaching proficiency to students, then students will not have problem with the exam. i made a comment on your post about this a few months back. i like the idea of language workshop. however, i am not sure of how to go about with it. do you mind sharing some of your ideas? i am teaching in a secondary school in selangor with a majority of the students having very low proficiency level. i would like to be able to help them improve their language proficiency and confidence.

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  2. hi yannli,
    yes i remember your comments. how about identifying the target areas first like tense, sva, articles (for grammar) or writing skills. then select the target group. the best thing is to do it together in a panel- build the module first and then use it with your students. once you have the material, you can organise workshops for these students. don't make it too long,they can't retain too much. these are just my suggestions anyway. u know best ur situation. good luck :)

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