ENGL 4070: Learning and Teaching English SEMESTER I 20011/2012

Written Assignment

Name Section Lecturer

: Nor Hazirah Mohd Ghazali :1 : Dr. Maimunah Abdul Kadir


He has always been the one we referred to when we were in school because he has broad knowledge about all.Malaysia has its own stance when it comes to the debate on the importance of English. Snow White. For an example. It is believed that she did not want me to continue with learning English through entertainment anymore. He said. Disney’s Classic Movie Collections like Cinderella. There were tapes that my second aunt brought for me those are mainly children’s tapes that have English nursery rhymes with words underneath them. my mother stopped giving me video tapes of cartoons after I was 6 years old. Based on my earlier days of being exposed to English language. my grandfather upholds Malay more than English. learning spelling is done as early as 3 years old. The exposure of giving more English cartoons’ video tapes has helped me to being able feel at ease when I was being surrounded with English. there were not many cartoon programs that were available to be watched. I should be able to speak for communication rather than imitating the scripts and characters from the cartoons that I have watched. Compared to my mother. It was during those times when the technology was using video tapes hence I only watch tapes that were brought by my parents or my aunt. in order for me to be eloquent in Malay. I was only exposed to English cartoons when I was young. As for me. These movies have helped me gained new vocabulary and helped in further enhancing my imaginations. I was still at my grandparents home and did not go to pre-school yet. there should not be such limitations because by putting a total stop to something that can help in . watched English cartoons and tried to speak English to both of them. During that time. I have been able to feel at ease when I listened to English songs. I grew up and spent most of my times with my grandparents. She claimed that by 6 years old. In my opinion. Beauty and the Beast etc. They have been speaking to me in English and giving instructions in English to help me familiarize with the language. My grandfather is a Mathematics and Malay Language teacher when he was still working teaching in high schools. he decided that it matters most to speak it when children was still in their toddler years. I was given a huge support from both my mother and my aunt who are fluent in English. Later on. growing up in a family that prioritizes education more than anything else. I believed that because of the support from both of them. He only spoke to me in Malay until I was 5. my mother provided me with English spelling books when I was 5 years old. However.

two and three in English. Later on when I finally enroll into the primary school. I was not able to speak well and was very intimidated to use English in kindergarten. I never had the chance to converse English with my friends when I was in kindergarten but my mother continued encouraging me to speak and use English at home. If a class consists of thirty pupils. The problem was I never use English in school with friends and it would be extremely weird when someone speaks English in the kindergarten. I was de motivated to speak English to the fact that I did not even count one. This typical overgeneralization was extremely famous during that year particularly among people in my area. It is because the pupils were also aware that Malay language is more important than any other languages when we were in school. the other two being Chinese and Indians. you are not Muslim enough. That means in a batch. there might be only thirty out of 150 pupils are Malays. I have been speaking only Malay to my friends but because of the sudden change of environment I would need to speak English with my primary schoolmates. It was hard to believe that there were people who really did not speak English at all in school. Due to this problem. In school. most of children my age are formally introduced to learning English. My mother could have changed me to another kindergarten but because in that kindergarten I was able to received Arabic learning as a foreign language. she did not send me to another new kindergarten. the percentage of Malay pupils was the least among three races. which was only a month before I entered the primary school. Hence. Looking back during those days. When I first started going to kindergarten. but Malay.adding more vocabulary and knowledge may distort the brain development of a child. Everybody thought that once you start to speak English. Malay and English were used . the use of English was very important as an act of communication with other pupils. the Chinese and Indians. In my primary school. having seven Malay pupils is the most number that can happen in a situation. I was able to receive proper education for English language. However. I was sent to an Islamic kindergarten which teaches Arabic and the medium of teaching was never English. A child needs to be exposed to what are the things around them and things that are beyond their circle of visions. the reason why I was very afraid to use English was because the environment had never welcome English. This was a big of a shock to me because during my kindergarten day.

I have never liked reading English materials. However. I never really liked the books and some of them were rarely read. My mother has been buying me books that I could read when I have free time at home. my mother would go to the bookstores and buy Enid Blyton’s book for me to read. I began having intensive English conversation with my own made friends in order for me to speak the language well. I was called by my teacher and she was very angry with me looking at how bad I did for my examinations. To some of the pupils. Hence. The reason why I became that way was because when I entered primary school. and it was the turning point of my fate with English. my mother stopped me from watching cartoons. I started to take English very seriously. It continued until I was in Standard Six when I finally realized how I really need to start to take the language seriously. I started to sing English songs only and remember the lyrics and tried to analyze the grammatical elements involved in . even during my primary school years I was never serious about anything at all. The torture that I received from school to speak English consistently was never seen as a serious matter to me at all. children being children. even during the English period. I was insulted by my English teacher in front of the class. My mother was not aware of this because she was too busy with work. Hence. I never intended to be disobedient to use English in class or with my friends but I purely had no intentions to learn English. When I was seven years old. When this happened. I was left further behind in English classes because of my lack of interest in English class. spelling and vocabulary was only an activity that I just had to finish as homework but never intended to implement them in my communication skills. I somehow became one of the Malay pupils who did not use English in class. She said there is no use of being pretty and nice if you can not use good English and have bad brain. I watched a lot of football matches with my grandfather and started to become the commentary of the football match and many more that I tried to impersonate and sound like native speakers. Being someone who always do things whichever and whatever that I want. a child would be very provocative wanting to get to watch cartoons. Due to the lack of interest in reading English books. learning English grammar.interchangeably to ensure that the pupils aware about the importance of using both Malay and English in our country. learning English was very simple and fun for them because they are born in a family that everybody uses English but not mine.

I was able to speak English which later gave a shock to my English teachers who praised how much I have improved in English. We managed to change the culture of the school to be loud and vocal not only by using Malay but also English and Arabic particularly among the girls who the school expected to be soft-spoken. Nobody really likes those who speak English because for them those who speak English are snobbish and stuckup and arrogant. I should have taken the chance and be serious in enhancing my performance in English when I was in primary school. it is like killing two birds with one stone. I was very good in English but I was sent to a religious boarding school and it was very hard for me to find people who speak English. Being in boarding school and especially in my school. nobody really speaks in class. it was when I came to the situation I received when I was in kindergarten. I should have been better when I was in the environment where everybody converse in English because after my primary school years. I can not find people who speak English. I regret that I took for granted the given environment that most of the people around me speak English.each sentence. girls are not recommended to talk or give opinions out loud. obedient and poise. However. I was determined to change this hence with some of my fellow good friends we tried to change this culture by joining the English debating club. When I was in secondary school. I believed that during the years in secondary school. have become loud. English debating has helped me a lot in improving my English and boosted up my confidence level speaking English in front of public. Good grades students were grouped in a set and the later sets have lesser number of students so that it will be easier for the teachers . I have wasted five years of learning English and I only realized towards the coming of UPSR examination. public speaking and forum. I am very thankful that I realized it sooner on how important English skills in our daily lives are used after our school years. English debate has been the only platform that I really work on until today to improve and enhance my language and thinking skills. the process of learning English was very entertaining because they separate students by grades. I gained confidence in speaking English after that and started to be more serious in class and became independent during English class. English was only used in English class but even then. After a month. strong and vocal in expressing logic and arguments in platforms like debate.

Hence. I entered Matriculation Center in Penang. the training with my seniors were done in English and if one Malay word came out from anybody’s mouth. where the subjects like Chemistry and Physics are taught in English. When I have debate trainings. Since my result for SPM exam for my sciences subjects were not very satisfying.to cater to the weak students’ need. Being in the first set. It is very entertaining to watch friends talking and sharing stories and it helps the students to boost their level of confidence up because they can finally share their stories and speak in front of the class. where everybody speaks and writes well in English. producing students with high motivation and very well equipped with English skills. the competition was quite high between the students. one should pay twenty cents as a punishment. This was a good training for the debaters and I because we learn to think in English rather than in Malay. most students were assessed by their individual and group presentations that are included in English syllabus across the country. It was very effective for a certain point but not to some students. We worked really hard not to code switch and continued speaking in English only. something that fits me. I managed to pull through during my days in the Matriculation Center because the learning process was done by using English and I was able to understand better than other friends. But it was good that the quality of essays and work given by the teachers are high in its value. However. English was the medium of learning. they need experience in answering questions for the examinations. I was given the chance by the university to experience life in England because I had to represent IIUM for a debate tournament in Oxford where later I met a lot of ESL speakers who came to debate too. After finishing secondary school. That is the reason why I was able to speak and use the language very well later on when I debate. Even though they are already able to use the language perfectly. and starting from that place. When you start to think in English. There I learned the culture and listened to the accents that are used in the . Learning English in formal classroom are boring however there are ways to be taken into consideration if you are teaching good English students. As for communication wise. it is easier for you speech to be smooth and quick because you do not need to translate you thoughts into words from another language but just have to use the same language. science was never my passion so I left the school and went to IIU to further my studies in English Language and Literature.

country. It depends on the individual on how to learn a language and particularly English. I experienced a new experience that can not be bought but I treasured it as much as I treasure my own teachers. I came back bringing the accent with me. you can never have the gut to learn the language just like I have stated before earlier in the essay during my primary school years that I did not have any will to learn English. pronunciation and euphemism. Based on my opinion. without motivation. It is mainly the motivation that comes first because. I have learned that the accent is no longer important if nobody around you uses it and without having to stay in a native country for a long time. Staying there after two weeks. I learned what the proper ways to say few things are. in my opinion. It is very hard to find Malaysians who use British accent when they speak English and that is why I gave up speaking with the accent. the appropriate words. one is not able to adopt the accent of the country for a long time. There are many theories that can be used in order for a teacher to apply one concept of teaching. it is because I have less resource to continue to listen and use the accent in Malaysia. the language that everybody in the world concede that has the influence in education and political relations between countries. I believe it is the same theory for any other foreign languages too. I was able to make friends with English natives who live there and during this period of time. learners themselves need to know what are their learning styles and methods that can help them to understand and to acquire the language faster than usual. You need to be there longer for you to be able to grab and adopt the language yourself. I spoke with my friends and do presentations and debates with the British accent however it faded away after a month after I used it. The most important thing is to seek the different background of students that a teacher needs to clarify first before taking into action which theory is the best to be used in the . There was nothing to motivate me learning the language anymore hence I took the class for granted. In order for a learner to acquire the language. I learned these three items in such an informal way because they corrected me while we were conversing. It was very fascinating to see how from the North to the South region of the country differs in their accents. I learned something else in regard to English. I learned from an Australian and American friends who initially thought I received education in the United States because they thought I sounded like an American so much. When I was in Korea for a short visit.

This brings us back to the idea of Interactionism which allows the classroom to interact most of the time. Learning language needs to be practical in order for the instructors or teachers to see how the language is used. If a teacher over generalizes students and students’ learning styles. Is there any connection of the use of English in Science and Mathematics can be used in daily lives of students? These questions should be aroused whether or not the subjects chosen are perfectly fitted for the students to learn English language skills as well. I believe in learning language there is a need for the learners to first understand the concept and technical things such as vocabulary. After having good understanding and knowledge of these items. This is the matter that is very crucial. Malaysia should focus on whether or not teaching Mathematics and Science in English will help to improve the English skills that are related to it. Is it a good choice of using Science and Mathematics to ensure that English language can be used and conveyed by using these two subjects as the medium where we can both learn knowledge and also the use of English. grammar and pronunciation. Every theory that we learn needs to be practiced in order for it to be able to generate and enhance and later on acquire the theories that have been learnt. it will further improve the skills of a person in acquiring the language that has been learnt. then think again. there are several needs to be taken into consideration of the government on what is the main focus of choosing to learn it either in English and Malay and even if we need a subject to be taught in English. there should be subjects that can help to improvise the language skills. If they are debating on the need to have English to be the medium to teach Science and Mathematics because it can improve students’ English skills. teachers should initially prompt to understand and does a background research on what styles of learning do the students mostly use. not just to add knowledge and vocabulary but mainly the interactions among the students in class while learning the subject while using English. Rather than debating on whether or not Malaysia should change teaching and learning of Mathematics and Science in English to Malay language. For the conclusion.classroom. Interactionism allows two or more party to involve in societal afflictions and communicate by using the learned language. it may bring side effects to the learning outcomes. Hence. . the learner should start to interact with the other learners of their level and other people too. spelling. Hence.

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