Saturday, 30 June 2012

Oh My English!

There's a sitcom of the edutainment type that has finally come to town. ASTRO (our satellite TV station) has been giving us short clips on it and Mama has watched a few episodes. Mama's verdict? This programme teaches you how to use certain expressions properly and correcting the mistakes most Malaysians make when they converse in English. In short, Manglish.. (mangled English?).. Hahahaha..
Anyway, jokes aside, this gives a glimpse of what Malaysians do, especially the learners of English language when they converse or interact with others. It's hilarious but Mama does believe that you learn better with humour thrown in once in a while. The best thing of all, the station also provides a website for this, where you can watch the sitcom and there are also some interactive exercises that you can practise on.
Today, during the extra class, Mama brought along the laptop to key in some data to be sent to the Ministry of Education. After Mama finally finished her non-teaching task, Mama asked the students whether they had taken Mama's advice and tried out the exercises on the website. Some of them did, but most of them didn't so Mama grumbled a bit and said, 'You can spend hours chatting and commenting on posts on Facebook but could not spend a few minutes doing the exercises???'.
So there we were, trying the exercises together and when Mama looked at the pictures, taken (candidly) by one of the students

, Mama realised that for all the trials and tribulations, the ups and downs of being a teacher, this kind of moment is priceless.
As Mama looks back over nearly twenty years of teaching, Mama recalls innumerable tests, trials and times of crushing pain. All of those dissolved when Mama looks at the innocent faces of Mama's students and is reminded of the faces of Mama's students who have walked in and out of Mama's teaching years.
The website's address :


  1. Well done. I have never sat down with my pupils doing exercise as you are doing. I spend a lot of time grumbling, shouting and counselling. These orphans are exceptionally playful and lacking in discipline.

    My wish is to get a couple of assistants. It is hard to do it all alone morning and afternoon practically seven day week. If only I can just concentrate on maths/science life is much easier. And doing this for over 18 years at my age is getting tougher!

    My blog is my pastime. I have a good response for my last entry. I do not see you giving your thought.

    I emailed you a few days ago.

    1. Dear pakcik, this year luckily I teach only ONE form 5 class so I hope to be able to drill them with more exercises. However, based on my own experience, students from better classes prefer to sit at their desks and ask for my help only if they have to. Students from weak classes are more 'manja' (especially the boys) and they'd hang around my desk and prefer to do the exercises with me. Shooing them away never works and since they are doing the exercises given albeit a little peeking now and then at my worksheet, I just let it be.
      I can imagine that it is very tiring and energy-consuming indeed to teach a bunch of unmotivated children all by yourself. I think it is good for you, and for the children too if once in a while, a few volunteers take over the role. The most difficult part is to find a volunteer teacher who is sufficiently proficient to teach the children, right? Have you heard of AFS (or ABM as it is called in Malaysia?). If there are any exchange students, especially from English-speaking countries, they can be your saviours.