Saturday, November 10, 2012

6th IMETC 2012

Date: 29-31st September 2012
Venue: Concorde Inn, KLIA

Alhamdulillah, I have been invited to be a keynote speaker at the 6th International Malaysian Educational Technology Convention 2012. It was a humbling and gratifying experience indeed to be given the opportunity to speak in front of the movers and shakers of the edutech realm. Thank you Prof. Rozhan Idrus for inviting me. The other three keynote speakers are Associate Professor Alla Saddik from Oman,Professor Junichi Yamanichi from Japan and Dr. Soon, Deputy Director of Bahagian Teknologi Pendidikan (BTP).

The 6th IMETC was officiated by Prof. Dato' Dr. Ansary Ahmed President/CEO Asia e University. This is my 1st time attending IMETC and I am glad I am given the chance to revive my knowledge on education technology from all the experts. During the latest Malaysian Educational Technology Association (META) annual meeting, I was being appointed as one of its Exco members, nominated by Prof. Yusof, the father of Education Technology in Malaysia. It is an honour and I'll do my best to contribute to the association, Insya Allah.
Wonderful and inspirational individuals I've met and networked with at IMETC. I've noticed that all of the professors/AP/academicians I've met at IMETC are so humble albeit their amazing accolades and credentials. Definitely a humbling experience. Who would have thought I would meet Dr. Bushro, the one who interviewed me for my HLP Scholarship interview at IMETC? She has been a great guide and mentor. I got the chance to meet Dr. Chiam from Sabah and Bee Ling from SK Bintang Utara who have been prolifically using IT in their schools. The best part is to meet my fellow HLP recipients, Aznita and Shikin. They are now studying in UKM and it's great to catch up and share ideas on our upcoming dissertation (read: stress alert..hehe)
My keynote address. My presentation focusses more on the educator's role in equipping ourselves to face the current trends and paradigm shift in E-Learning. Prior to this, I have interviewed and talked to several teachers, Mr. Adnan (SMS Sembrong), Jarrod (SMK Katibas), Azlimin (Maahad Al-Ahyar) to name a few. From their e-mails, tweets, FB messages and all, I was able to share the teachers' plights, issues and hope in the implementation of ICT in Malaysian secondary schools. I would like to thank my UTM lecturers especially my supervisor, Dr. Halina for guiding me. I would like to also thank Associate Professor Dr. Kamarul Kabilan who patiently guides me whenever I seek advice on my studies and presentations. You're awesome! In the context of e-learning, I strongly feel that the emphasis shouldn't be on the tools but on facilitating teachers in the use of these tools in the learning process. It is not fair to wiggle our fingers and finding faults when teachers are doing their best, teaching and multi-managing the various key-in systems. Perhaps they should create just ONE system hub where all the essential data can be managed better? Apart from teacher's resistance, infrastructure and professional development need to be revised and restructured so all of the stakeholders will not perceive E-Learning as a daunting task and instead,optimize it effectively to help students to learn better.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Tips for 1119 SPM 2012 : ENGLISH LITERATURE

Here's an interesting acronym that was shared by an experienced teacher, Mr. Adnan. I've came up with a graphic depiction of the acronym to make it easier to remember. In the context of the novel, make sure that you are well-versed on finding the evidences pertaining to all of the literary elements.

The main characters in Lee Su Ann's The Curse.I've taught my students the AMA acroynm (Azreen/Madhuri/Asraf) to make it easier for them to remember the main characters in the novel. The images in the infographic above are the actual thespians who starred in the well-executed Curse Musical Theater in 2011, directed by my friend, Hafeezah.

Analysis of past years questions. The safest way is to familiarise with the main characters and how they reacted to the events in the novel. Focus on the family bond, how the relationship evolves amidst all the chaos and unexpected truth. 

Do check out My Lit Project to explore the digital notes and try out the interactive activities. You can also check out my Slideshare for other novels and online resources. All the best!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Tips for 1119 SPM 2012 : WRITING

I'd like to share some tips with all of the SPM candidates out there. I am sure everyone by now is armed to the teeth, perhaps even experiencing what I call as 'information overload'! Too much info to absorb yet so little time. I don't believe in memorising essays but again, it may be applicable for weaker student at the elementary stage.  Fret not on anticipating spot questions for 1119 or any paper. I believe it's the right format and techniques in answering questions which is more vital in preparing oneself for an important examination.

For directed writing, using the correct format is essential. Don't waste your time doing wordcount for directed writing. One and a half page would suffice. As long each point is well elaborated and justified, you'll do just fine.

Please spare some time to proof read your essay. Many students forsaken this part as they are too engrossed with writing lengthy essay. Quality is more important than quantity! Use Sentence Connectors and Linking phrases to ensure a cohesive flow of ideas. Please ensure you are using the correct tenses too.

Capitalize on all the senses to guide you in writing more descriptively. I'd like to share Kleiser's 15000 Useful Phrases. I think it's a must-have list for all English enthusiast, educator or a learner. A loooong list but worth reading :) 

Use appropriate idioms, proverbs and saying to enhance your writing flair. Remember to use it sparingly. A good website you can find a great pool of idioms is 

Embedding quotes, maxim and inspirational thoughts of great leaders, the movers and the shakers of the world would definitely garner extra marks and merit from the examiners. I suggest memorizing some quotes that you find inspirational and can be generally applicable in any essay. Some of the famous quotes I like  : "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." - Confucius, "You must be the change that you want to see in the world." - Ghandi and "Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower." - Steve Jobs.

Good luck to all the SPM & STPM candidates, may you sail through the examination without any hitch or glitch. All the best!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Vocab Vitamins

A common problem for most students is insufficient vocabulary when writing essays. The tendency to use 'safe words' such as nice/good/bad/cool results to the lack of oomph in their writing. When I started teaching in 2001, I've encountered such issue with students as they tend to struggle with using the correct expressions in their composition. So, I've come up with 'VOCAB VITAMIN' programme where the main objective is to enrich the students' vocabulary via posters, songs and other computer-mediated learning tools. Personally, the secret of acquiring good vocabulary is non other than reading. Be it newspaper, magazines, comics, journals, online forums or E-books, teachers should fully utilise reading materials (linear/non-linear) to facilitate vocabulary enrichment. I'd like to share this poster which illustrates various words to describe various situations. The secret behind well-written essays is using vivid descriptive words that would encapsulate the right description that one desires. Click the photo for clearer resolution. Do check it out!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

6th IMETC 2012

In an hour's time, I will be driving off to KL to attend the 6th International Malaysian Educational Technology Convention (IMETC) 2012. Alhamdulillah, I have been chosen as a keynote speaker for this spectacular event and to be honest, it has been so unexpected.

When Prof. Rozhan Idrus, the Chair of IMETC offered me to be a keynote speaker, I was tad shocked. From what I know, most of the past keyspeakers have been professors,reknowned academicians and the movers and shakers in edu tech domain. I am just a humble teacher/post graduate student. I feel jitters all right! Gradually, I perceive it as an opportunity, a platform to voice out the reality, enigma and possibilities of e-learning in Malaysian schools. I am flattered and humbled that a Malaysian teacher's view is deemed worthy to represent the Malaysian edutech academias.

Honestly, this is a milestone in my career and I see it as a golden opportunity for me to share my views and experience as a teacher with other professionals. The topic of my keynote speech is 'Reframing Education System: Current Trends & Paradigm Shift'. I hope by sharing my projects, my colleagues' views and students' expectations, we can come up with more pragmatic ways to optimize e-learning in Malaysian school. I would like to thank my lecturers at UTM for giving me the green light to be away for the convention. Wish me luck in my presentation!

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Monday, October 15, 2012

SPM Trial Exam 2012 Paper 2 - Answer Keys

Hi everyone, Here's the answer keys for Paper 2 that I've shared a few days ago. I am in the midst of developing another set of SPM 1119 exam set and I'll share with everyone soon. Usually the issue with developing your own assessment is to find relevant authentic materials and generate questions that fulfill the equilbrium of JSI requirements. Although I've been developing items for Utusan Malaysia on weekly basis and in the midst of publishing a workbook with Oxford Fajar, I do think generating good items on current topics can be quite a challenge! Oh well, I'll try my best and hope I could help those preparing for the exam :) Trial Spm 2012 Paper 2- Answer Scheme

Friday, October 12, 2012

SPM 1119 Trial Examination 2012

For those looking for SPM 1119 trial examination items, enclosed are the trial exam set prepared by yours truly for SMK Tasek Utara. This year, each school in Johor is required to prepare their own set of trial examination. I do hope it would help any teacher or student who would like to revise and reinforce their preparation for the upcoming SPM.  For all the PMR candidates out there, good luck. For the SPM candidates, do your best :)

Trial Exam SPM Paper 1 Trial Exam SPM Paper 2

Sunday, September 23, 2012


It's been a tad long hiatus. Entangled with work commitment, exam obligations and various overlapping tasks, it is easy to forget that I have this blog. After 12 years of teaching, I have decided to venture into a different realm.

I decide to be a student again.

I count my blessings that the Ministry of Education has given me this golden opportunity to learn and relearn. With the scholarship, I am granted two years of study leave and now, I am studying in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), majoring in Information Technology Management. I have always wanted to learn more on IT and I believe that the new gained knowledge could complement my experience and knowledge in English Language Teaching in years to come. Honestly, after 2 weeks of classes, it's definitely not a bed of roses. I have to learn C++ Programming, Networking and Systems Development apart from management subjects. It's a bit mind boggling for an ordinary English teacher like me but yeah, I'll try my best and hopefully I won't lose my hair by the time I graduated :)

I plan to focus on m-learning, which specifically cater to the use of applications in mobile learning. I feel that there is a major potential for m-learning to develop effectively in Malaysian schools. My target is to come up with a mobile apps that could assist learners to learn English Language more effectively, Insya Allah.

The hardest part of taking this painstaking journey is to leave my beloved students. I know there are those who question my decision to study. My explanation is tad simple. My study leave is granted by Ministry of Education, the same body that pay the other teachers' salary. So I reckon if they have no qualm with me leaving school to study, why should there be any issue, no? For me, it does not lessen my dedication towards the profession. After all, I'm merely trying to discover another path of knowledge. Ah well, we can't please everyone now can we? Alhamdulillah, my friends, former colleagues and ex-students have been very supportive and I am touched by their words of encouragement. Thank you to SMK Tasek Utara for giving me the opportunity to teach and discover my potential as an educator. Thank you to all my colleagues for your guidance and friendship. Thank you for my family for understanding why I need to do this. Pray that I can sail through my studies with ease.

A wonderful parting gift. Gigantic card, made lovingly by my beloved students. Love you heaps.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Cambridge Placement Test

Last Thursday, I joined other Heads of English Language Panels to attend a briefing on Cambridge Placement Test (CPT) at PPDJB. The briefing was conducted by Ms. Ruzana and Mr. Vijayan, the JB DELOs and it turned out that every English optionist in Malaysia has to sit for this test. I did wonder why the test was made compulsory for all the teachers and what type of assessment do we have to endure. According to the DELOs, it was supposed to be a yardstick to measure a teacher's English Language competence. 

The test is conducted online and will test on comprehension, listening and grammatical competence. For the teachers in Johor Bahru, the test would be conducted on Friday the 13th (oh, isn't that an auspicious date? Heh). Teachers will be given 30 minutes to answer all of the questions. Hopefully, sans technical glitch and server problems as the test would be concurrently carried out in JB and Segamat as well.

The bands. Au contraire, we definitely shouldn't be jumping in joy if we achieve A1 in the test :P According to the DELO, those who did not achieve a targetted band will have to attend courses. I've been told some teachers failed in the test not because they lack the competence in ELT but apparently, they aren't tech-savvy and misunderstood the rubrics given. So do familiarise yourself with the test structure and hopefully the tutorials and demo provided can assist you in some way or another.

In case you would like to try out the test before the assigned date, feel free to try out the demo. My advice, please get yourself a good headphone or earphone because you really need it when you have to listen attentively to the audio recordings.
To try out the demo for Cambridge Placement Test, click here.

Good luck !

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Johor State English Language Conference 2012

Date          : 12-14th June 2012
Venue       : M Suite Hotel
Organiser : Johor English Language Teacher Association (JELTA)

Balan Moses (NST), Dato' Syed Nadzri (NST), En. Hasidin (JPNJ), Datin Dr. Maimunah (M Suite) & Vincent (JELTA) during the opening ceremony.

Pn. Sallina Hussain, Pengetua Cemerlang & my mentor. I hope I can emulate her dedication and teaching fervour.
I was invited by JELTA to present during the plenary session at the conference. I feel humbled and grateful that I've been given the chance to share my ideas with others. Despite minor challenges faced, I perceive it as a positive sign that if you are doing something right, the right thing will happen, Insya Allah :)
Wonderful people I've met during the conference. I met and networked with a lot of teachers and I think a conference is a great platform to engage ourselves with new teaching methodology or keep abreast with the latest info pertaining to ELT in Johor. It was great to be reunited with my juniors, Intan & Terry. The ever bubbly Kak Rocky is someone who I respected as well. I used to be in awe of her due to her active participation in debate and drama so it's great to know she has now become a cool friend too. Meeting Uma from St. Andrew's Muar is serendipitous indeed. We used to teach at La Salle Brickfields and knew the same circle of friends. What a small world!
Sharing session with the conference participants. It was heartening to get positive feedbacks from them on the materials I've shared. Of course, there is always room for improvement and I will constantly try to improve my presentation skills from time to time. For those who are asking for the presentation slides, enclosed is my presentation and I hope it could benefit others as well. Sharing is caring!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

21st MELTA International Conference 2012

Date     : 28-29 th May 2012
Venue  : Sunway Putra Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.
The opening ceremony. This year, the conference is held at 2 venues, KL and Kuching. This has been my 4th time participating in MELTA conference, all using my own expenses. I perceive it as a good platform to share ideas, revive my learning styles and network with other educators. 

HRH Raja Zarith Sofiah Almarhum Raja Idris Shah, the royal patron of MELTA.

I did the 'crazy' bit by sharing my action research during the Creative Teacher Showcase and conducting workshop during the conference. The main idea was to share what I've done with my students but I tell ya, it's kinda taxing and I missed some of paper presentations from others too :( Maybe next time, I'll reconsider doing both in the next conference. On the bright side, I got the chance to showcase the project that I've conducted with my students. The biggest perk is to get Dato' Dr. Khair B. Mohd Yusof,  Deputy Director General, Ministry of Education and Datin Dr. Siti Zaleha Abdullah Sani, Director, Bahagian Teknologi Pendidikan (BTP) dropping by at my booth to watch the videos made by my students. I think E-Learning would definitely be a great catalyst to motivate our students to learn better and discover their true potentials. 

I'm happy that my book is finally out and launched during the 21st MELTA Conference. The book, 'ICT and ELT: Researches and Practices in South East Asia' is the first book that focuses on the use of ICT in English Language Teaching in South East Asia and I'm glad to be part of this project. You can purchase the book via the MELTA's website.  I wrote a chapter entitled 'Utilising Web 2.0. technologies in teaching the KBSM English Literature Component via MY LIT PROJECT', a classroom-based action research that I had conducted with my students back in 2010. I've presented it during the 19th MELTA Conference and it was featured in The Star newspaper as well.  Dr. Kabilan proposed that I write it as an academic write-up and honestly, I was kinda apprehensive at first because it's my first attempt at academic writing after years of graduating B.ed in 2001. Nonetheless, I took it as an opportunity to enrich my writing skills and share what Malaysian teachers are doing in classroom. I was surprised to know that I'm the only teacher contributor among the distinguished South East Asian lecturers. Thanks Dr. Kabilan for the vouch of confidence and I hope this will not be my last attempt.

The workshop that I've conducted on the last day of conference. I decided to do a workshop on Hot Potatoes although I am aware there are so many latest E-Learning tools such as Edmodo, QR Code and other social networking sites that cater to classroom teaching and learning. The main reason why I did it is to encourage teachers to generate their own learning materials, to suit their students' invidual needs. Since Hot Potatoes can be used online or offline, it shouldn't be any qualm for teacher not to try this in school. To me, Hot Potatoes can be used to generate revision materials, extra reinforcement activities for students and students enjoy it as they are interactive and game-like. I'm glad that the workshop received good response from everyone and a lecturer even suggested I write a paper on this in the MELTA journal so I can share this with everyone. Alhamdulillah, I was awarded Bronze for Basil Wijayasuriya Award as best teacher presenter. For me, it was unexpected because I presented for the sake of sharing ideas and experience. After all, there are a lot of more experienced teachers such as Kak Rahmah and Ms. Shantini who are reknowned Guru Cemerlang (Master Teacher) in Malaysia.

Honestly, I feel that we need to give support for more teachers to contribute and share ideas at conferences. My journey hasn't been smooth sailing, my intention of blogging, carrying out action research, doing innovation and sharing ideas at conferences has sometimes been misunderstood by the admins and fellow colleagues but I move forth because I feel when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. When I was having Tweet discussion with Zaid AlSagoff and Will Deyamport last night, I realise that the most important part of being an teacher is to do what you believe would benefit yourself and your students in a long run. The journey may be painstaking but eventually, things will start to brighten up and the best satisfaction is inspiring others to make a difference. 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

District Level Teacher's Day Celebration 2012

Date     : 26th May 2012
Venue  : Pusat Islam Iskandar, JB

I love the venue chosen by PPDJB this year. All these while, the teacher's day celebrations were held at school halls. A change is definitely good this time. The event management was smooth-sailing and I would like to congratulate them for pulling this off successfully.

A speech from Tn. Hj. Bahrom Ali, PPDJB Officer.

The choir was spectacular! I think that the teachers performed really well and everyone enjoyed the musical ensemble. Kudos to Pn. Yeow, the conductor who is a GC from SK BBU2.

SMK Tasek Utara won three awards that day. First for Innovative Teacher Award, next is rep for State Teacher's Debating Team and last but not least, Active Teacher Award. Congrats Ali and Pn. Lim! You are the best!

I am awarded Johor Bahru's Innovative Teacher Award again this year. For me, every teacher has many ideas and wonderful ways of teaching in classroom and it would be even better if the ideas and experience are shared with others. Alhamdulillah, I perceive it as an encouragement for me to strive better in my future undertakings.

Met my TESL junior, Afidah. She's a bubbly and jovial person who is currently teaching at SMK Aminuddin Baki. We first met when we were judging the district level debate competition. It was certainly nice meeting you again :) I'm a bit sadden that this would be my last Teacher's Day as a Tasek teacher for I would be studying full time at UTM this September. Nonetheless, I am proud to be a Tasek teacher as my school has paved many ways for me to improve myself and to meet wonderful teachers and students who made my life colourful and wonderful.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

English Mini Carnival 2012

Date           : 12th May 2012
Venue         : Sri Tasek Hall, SMK Tasek Utara
Organiser    : English Language Panel, SMK Tasek Utara
Facilitators  : Charles Hornsta & David Prihoda, English Teaching Assistants (ETA)

Awesome workshops conducted by the two guys. Students learn more on American culture and share their experiences with Charlie & David. I'm so blessed that I managed to rope them in. It wasn't an easy task but alhamdulillah, things turned out well eventually.

My talented students. This event is mainly organised by the Student Leaders Board with facilitation from the English Language teachers. My students set up games and photo booths, carnival style :) I'm so proud of their efforts. Good job everyone!

The participants and the committee members. I'm so glad to hear that Charlie & David had a whale of a time being with my students. Thanks for sharing your ideas and experience with us. My students were so excited and I can see they are more confident in speaking English now, thanks to this event. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Johor International Student Leaders Conference 2012

Attention to all students and teachers,
 Johor Student Leaders Council (JSLC) is organising the 2nd Johor International Student Leaders Conference 2012. Enclosed are the details pertaining to the conference:

Date: 26 & 27th June 2012
Venue: KSL Convention Centre, KSL Hotel
Participants: Local & international student leaders

The aim of JISLC 2012 is to encourage student leaders from schools (age 13-18) throughout Asia and beyond to meet and exchange ideas, views, initiatives, and visions on an international platform; engaging in a cross-cultural learning environment. 

The 1st Johor International Student Leaders Conference 2011. Don't miss the golden opportunity this time!

This year’s theme will bring together the viewpoints and proposals of student leaders all over the world on a very critical issue of sustainable development that may determine the future of the generations to come. The United Nations 2005 World Summit. Outcome Document refers to three reinforcing pillars that form the underpinnings of sustainable development which are: 
 i. economic development
 ii. social development
 iii. environment protection. 

To register as a participant or a presenter, check out  this link and download the forms enclosed at the bottom of the webpage.  If you are interested to be a paper presenter, please send the abstract of your paper presentation and we'll review them. Grab this golden opportunity to discover new things, hone your leadership skills and meet awesome new friends at the 2nd Johor International Student Leaders Conference.

For more information, please visit the official JISLC 2012's website. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Johor Midyear Examination Schedules 2012

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.” ~ General Colin Powell

Hi folks,
 Enclosed are the schedules for the Johor Midyear Examinations for Form 3, Form 5 and Upper Six students. Hope this would assist you in revising your upcoming examinations. All the best of luck!

Jadual Peperiksaan Setara Pertengahan Tahun T3 Negeri Johor 2012 Jadual Peperiksaan Setara Pertengahan Tahun Tingkatan 5 Negeri Johor 2012 Jadual Peperiksaan Setara Pertengahan Tahun Tingkatan 6 Atas Negeri Johor 2012

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Public Speaking, Choral Speaking, Parliamentary Debate & Drama's Rules and Regulations

For teachers and students who are searching hi and lo for the rules and regulations for the Public Speaking,Choral Speaking, Parliamentary Debate & Drama competitions, enclosed are the documents. You can access them via my Scribd. Hope that would help others to plan and train for the upcoming competitions. All the best of luck! Public Speaking Choral Speaking Debate Drama

Sunday, April 8, 2012

All in a day's work

 My blog had been in such a sorry state as I was frantically trying to cope with various obligations at one go. It has been a great test of patience and endurance and I thank Allah for giving me the strength to go through the manic ordeal. 

 First, it was English week and I count my blessings that I have good English teachers who gave their best to make it a success. The motto of our English Week is 'Keep Calm and Speak English.' The opening ceremony was officiated by the principal, Pn. Hjh. Zainab Ali and graced by a choral speaking performance from 1 KAA1. Sushmita from 3KRK1 serenaded the audience with her rendition of I Have a Dream. For the rest of the week, students had the opportunities to take part in Morning Speeches, Spell It Right competition, Explorace and the coveted event, Tasek Talentime. I believe that by initiating fun yet educating activities, students would be motivated to utilise English in their daily lives. Next month, our English Language Panel will initiate our 1st English Mini Carnival (EMC) where we will invite neighbouring schools to take part in scintillating workshops with engaging English Language games and activities. I'm so excited that I've managed to rope in the help of the American English Teaching Assistants (ETA). My students are all psyched up for this!

In the midst of English Week frenzy, I rushed to 5 schools in JB to conduct the inspection of the ULBS Assessment. The KPs were very cooperative and it was an eye opener to see various working ethos and filing systems. The next day, I had to rush to Bahagian Teknologi Pendidikan (BTP) for an assessment project affliated with the Johor Education Department. Oh, did I mention I have to rush to Port Dickson on the same day for my HLP briefing? Yeah, it was manic all right...

The esteemed speakers. Dr. Maimunah Ali, Dr. Ibrahim, Dr. Kamaruddin & Dr. Latip. One day, I hope I can be as successful as them, Insya Allah.

Despite having to rush here and there, I was relieved that I managed to reach PD safe and sound. Alhamdulillah, I  am selected as one of the recipients of  the Hadiah Latihan Persekutuan (HLP) scholarship this year. Regardless of the shortcomings that I faced, I've survived the rigorous interview and I've been granted 2 years study leave. Not forgetting full pay leave with additional allowance and perks, alhamdulillah. It wasn't an easy journey. The competition was stiff. According to Bahagian Tajaan Pelajaran (BTP) at Ministry of Education, out of 800 people being interviewed, only 120 people are selected. The briefing for the HLP Scholarship recipients were held at Avilion Admiral Cove, Port Dickson and it was jam-packed with brilliant learning nuggets that would assist us in prepping ourselves for the upcoming studies. It was such a humbling experience meeting 119 other recipients who are enthusiastic and optimistic on upgrading themselves. I see this as an opportunity to be a better learner and improve myself as a greater educator. I've planned to further my studies at UTM in September and hopefully, everything will be smooth sailing.

I also managed the school chess club alongside Syura and we had sent 12 participants to take part in the MSSD Chess Tournament at SMK Tun Syed Nasir Ismail last Monday & Tuesday. I am thrilled that Derrick Ng managed to be in the top 8 players and the rest had given their best in the competition. Despite the fact I am often not at school due to official duties, I believe that as long you learn to delegate and assign tasks to your students, it is manageable. I've also learned that it is hard to please everyone but the most important thing is to never neglect your core business, teaching that is. Facebook has been my saviour and I use it as a platform to communicate and teach my students amidst my absence in school. Not sure if work would slow down but hopefully, I'll be given the strength to overcome any trial or tribulation.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Latest Update on Standardised Examinations 2012

For students and teachers in Johor, please take note of the latest information from the Johor Education Department.

  • Only one standardised examination will be conducted for each form in 2012.
  • For Year 6 (UPSR) , Form 3 (PMR) and Form 5 (SPM), the standardised exam will be the Midyear Examination.
  • For Year 3,4,5 (Primary School) and Form 1,2 and 4 (Secondary School), the standardised exam will be the Final Year Examination.
  • Standardised examination will no longer be carried out in 2013.

Enclosed is the letter issued by the Johor Education Department for further reference.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Curse, Catch Us If You Can & Step by Wicked Step

Based from my blog stats, I've discovered that there are quite a number of visitors who were looking for materials on the Form 5's novels ( The Curse, Catch Us If You Can and Step by Wicked Step). Although I blogged more on The Curse as that is the novel that I am teaching in my school, I thought it would be good to jot down a blog entry on all the three novels for easy reference. Enclosed are materials on all of the aforementioned novels. They are provided by the Curriculum Development Division (CDD), MOE and I've shared them on my Scribd as well. I hope that would assist any student or teacher who is in need of extra reading material.

Step by Wicked Step Catch us if you can The Curse

Friday, February 24, 2012

State SLB Establishment Workshop 2012 & my 100th post!

Date           : 18th Feb 2012
Venue         : SMK Tasek Utara
Organizer   : Johor Student Leaders Council
Participant  : 30 Secondary schools from various districts in Johor

The committee members worked around the clock to make the event a success. I smiled when someone asked me "How come there're not many teachers facilitating the workshop?" Basically, when it comes to event management, we believe that the student leaders should play pivotal role in delegating the jobs and executing their roles effectively albeit minimal facilitation from the teacher advisor. During the 1st JSL International Conference last year, there were only 5 adults supervising the event whereas the rest were managed almost 80% by the JSLs. It's high time we give some trust to our students to take charge and believe me, with guidance and time, they'll improve their leadership qualities by leaps and bounds.
Poster presentations by SIGS and SMK Dato Penggawa Timur's SLBs. Thanks for sharing your project with the others. Awesome job everyone!

Group presentations. The student leaders were attentive and exuded confidence and I believe with a wee bit of polishing, they have high potentials to be good leaders. Who knows one of them might be the next JSL ? :)
The JSLC team. Madam Rosliza is the Head of International Affairs/Head Coach for JSLC and I'm officially appointed to be the Coach for the JSLC by the Johor Education Department. JSLC is close to my heart as I've been with them since day 1, from drafting the SLB Constitution, supervising the JSLC Camps, International trainings and so forth. Been doing all that for the past 2 and a half year. This is pure voluntary work and some might gush on how lucky I am that I managed to go here and there but believe me, JSLC is not just about travelling but it requires a lot of sacrifice, tenacity and optimism. Most of the JSLs conduct their activities during the weekends or school holidays so, that means we don't get much rest. There are times I have to rush here and there and spend sleepless nights planning and conducting various projects pertaining to JSLC, the thing is I don't flaunt it to everyone ! I was amused when some people thought I was hogging the limelight by going to almost all international excursions with JSLC and not giving others the chance. FYI, I went there on the ticket of being the JSL Coach and not simply currying favour with the JED officers. If they decide to send others, I'm okay with it. After all, it's purely based on their decision, not mine.  Oh well, at the end of the day, you know your intention in doing things and whatever it is, I'll take it with a pinch of salt and work harder to improve myself  :) On a positive note, I'm glad that we have more teacher volunteers such as Rosita Manas and some other teachers who attended the workshop. Navinder from SIGS is very well-experienced in managing leadership programme in school and I definitely learn a lot from her. I felt happy talking to Mr. Segar who expressed his interest in helping out with SLB and JSL activities. Isn't that great? If you are interested to help us out, let me know and we'll be happy to consider you :)
My beloved SLB. I am proud of them as they worked hard to assist the JSLs in running the event. SLB is one of the most popular societies in my school and frankly, so many students approached me to join SLB due to the activities organised by my students. There's always room for improvement and I trust all of you to learn from your experience and perhaps that would help you be better leaders. I am lucky that I have colleague like Ali and Diana who are diligent and resourceful. Ali is a distinguished debater and I respect him for his verbal prowess. Diana offered to assist but I felt as she was swarmed with MUET schedules, I let her take a breather. She has been an awesome friend and honestly, she inspires me to be a better person. One thing I've learned from my experience working with JSLC is that we can't enjoy the rainbow if we can't endure the rain. It's not easy to establish a new society like SLB but alhamdulillah, with great work from the teacher advisors and students, the SLB in my school is gradually growing from strength to strength. Leadership is an ongoing thing and I believe the workshop would help the other schools to establish their own Student Leaders Board in school.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I Wonder & Heir Conditioning

For Form 2 students and teachers who are looking for PowerPoint materials on Jeannie Kirby's I Wonder and M. Shanmugalingam's Heir Conditioning, I would like to share the materials I've received from the Johor Bahru's English Language Officer. For more English Lit materials, do check out my Slideshare's site.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Around The World in 80 Days

For those looking for materials to teach Jules Verne's Around The World in 80 Days, enclosed is the material provided by the Johor Bahru Education Office during the Johor Bahru's F3 English Literature Workshop recently. Thanks to Ms. Ruzana for the materials. Sharing is caring :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

English Teaching Assistants (ETA) Official School Visit

Date      : 30 th Jan 2012
Venue    : Sri Tasek Hall, SMK Tasek Utara, Johor Bahru, Johor.

Howdy folks! Few weeks ago, my school welcomed 17 English Teaching Assistants (ETA) alongside their mentors and officers from the Ministry of Education, Johor Education Department and Johor Bahru Education Office. The ETAs are from USA and they are Fullbright Scholars. Basically, Fullbright Programme is the U.S. government's flagship international educational exchange program which have been successfully carried out for 6 years in Malaysia. The ETAs come from various universities in the US and represent a wide variety of major fields. They would be placed in various primary and secondary schools in Johor for 10 months and assist the school in improving the English Language proficiency among the students. Way cool huh? The Johor ETAs visited two schools that day. For primary school, they went to SK Bandar Baru Uda 2 and few hours later, they went to SMK Tasek Utara!

Albeit the lack of time in preparing for the visit, I count my blessing that I could bank on my Student Leaders Board & MPPU to assist me in preparing for the official visit. They took charge of the programme from A-Z, with minimal facilitation from the teachers. My principal, Pn. Hajah Zainab assured us that we can pull this off smoothly and alhamdulillah, we did. My English Language teachers are amazing too as they gave their best in making sure the programme is a success. The delegation were welcomed by the principal, Pn. Hjh. Zainab Ali and later on, I briefed them on the English Language programmes conducted in my school. They were informed on the internationalisation programmes, excursions and projects carried out by the Student Leaders Board & MPPU too. Next, Francis, Mujahid and Ambrose gave their speeches on their experiences being student leaders in SMKTU. Good job boys :) The ETAs went to several classes to check out the English Language lessons conducted by the teachers. They went to Kak Izlin's, Kak Nida's, Hanim's and Wani's and based on the feedbacks, they felt that the lessons were well-executed and the students were attentive...hmm ;)  Gosh, all the hard work paid off!

Before they went back to their hotel, some of the ETAs were given the honour to plant a tree in front of the counselling room. Thanks Ali for his effort in finding the seedling ! We felt this is an apt ceremony as it symbolises the nurturing of friendship and goodwill between two countries. As we inculcate the love towards nature and green living among our students, we believe that the tree would be a good reminder on how we should give back to others, be it via education, social works or environmental conservation.

The Johor's ETAs delegation with SMKTU's reps. I sincerely hope that all of you would enjoy your stay in Johor and have fun in teaching the Malaysian students. Seize the opportunity to visit all the magnificent places in Johor and try out the local delicacies ;) Thank you for putting smiles on my students' face. They really enjoy your visit albeit a brief encounter. Thank you to Mr. Shan, Mr. Rozlan, Ms. Ruzana and Mr. Vijayan for coming to our humble school too. We gave our best and we hope that the ETA programme would be a success, Insya Allah :)