Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Friday, December 3, 2010
Some would dread getting posted in rural and faraway places, like the interior parts of Sabah or Sarawak, or even Pahang’s own Jengka areas, mostly because they’ll face a lot of hardships there. But on the other hand, there are some who prefer to get posted to places like that. It’ll give them experience, they say. Plus, there will be added incentives for teachers in the rural areas. Money can be a motivation, definitely.
Now, let’s look at one aspect that I’ve been giving some thought to. And please bear in mind that I’ll be teaching primary school English. Let’s get this party started.
Since urban folks are more exposed to English than the rural folks, then it can be safely assumed that teaching English in urban areas would be easier compared to rural areas. This is because the rural children, given their low exposure to the language, would have a harder time understanding the language. The teacher would be forced to speak the native language more frequently, decreasing the English immersion time the children get. A good teacher would of course do his/her best in trying to help the children understand the language better, and she/he would succeed, but at the end of the day, emphasis will be given towards vocabulary and proficiency rather than other skills.
A teacher teaching in areas where English exposure is high would have a very different situation. Say that the proficiency of the students is not a problem, since they are already able to use the language well. This opens a lot of doors for the teacher to teach the children other things, such as critical thinking skills, learning to learn skills, and the whole bag of chips. To me, these skills are very important and should be taught to the kids who already know how to use language. The teacher can now teach them how to express themselves, teach them to have an opinion and write it down or speak it out, teach them to question ideas while using the appropriate language. Of course, the teacher will have to set some healthy boundaries as to what they could question and how far to take the discussions, teach them learning to learn skills, encourage them to look for the answers by themselves. In the end, the teachers will be a facilitator of the children's learning.
Of course it would be fantastic to help less fortunate children gain an understanding of the country’s second language, but I think changing students’ mentality from swallowing everything given to them and puking it all out in exams to a more inquisitive and critical mentality is also equally important.
From these arguments, you can probably see that I aim to change the thinking of Malaysian students. I want to get Malaysian students to think more critically about things, to appreciate knowledge more, to question more, and not just regurgitate everything that has been said by the teacher or a text book.
And yes, this all starts at primary school, with the teachers playing the leading role. I need to study up if I want to be able to do all that.
Discussions in the comment box are welcome.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
The significance of the above song line, you ask? Well, this post is basically a syok sendiri post. Just to tell you all that I got myself a netbook! Woohoo!
Why a netbook, you ask? Well, first and foremost, it’s because of the size and the practicality of a netbook, small and light so that I can bring it wherever I go without worrying too much about ruining my backbone. I can get on the Net or type more freely now, and since I’m going to be a traveler soon, this is very the practical, you know?
Plus, it’s a big upgrade in terms of RAM size from my laptop (512MB to 2GB). It should be a lot faster to do stuffs on this thing. And it can store up to 320 gigs of stuff, as big as my external hard drive. Big upgrade from my 60GB laptop. So it has bigger capacity with less weight. Awesome.
Another plus would be the battery life. As long as I have been using it, the longest it can go is about 6 hours, given that I watch videos regularly. Monumental improvement from my 50 minute laptop battery.
However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. This thing does have its down sides too. First of all, the screen resolution. Small. Too small for me to use the Ulead video editor, or any video editor at that. So if I still want to work on videos on this thing, I’ll have to get a new monitor. The laptop’s screen resolution is large enough, so no problems with it there.
Another con (as in pros and cons. Get it? No? Boo you.) about this netbook is that there’s no CD drive, so I can’t install anything from a CD, unless of course I get an external DVD drive. I won’t be able to install Sony Vegas Studio HD on this thing without it. An alternative would be to actually buy the software from their website, but that would cost me. Big time. And I don’t think I’m that comfortable financially for that just yet. The laptop wins in this one.
Both my laptop and netbook have Windows 7, although the netbook has the 7 Starter, which falls short of the real thing. I can’t even change the theme. Moreover, the Chrome isn’t as good. No bookmarks on the tab place up there. Not even a home button. The laptop has the full 7, even if it isn’t genuine. But the functionality still favors the unoriginal full 7. So the laptop gets the better of the netbook here, but only just.
Both don’t have proper anti-viruses, so that’s on the top of my shopping list for now. Too bad I’m very very short on my dough right now. Sigh.
So to bring to Macquarie, at the moment I think I’ll bring both. Some things I can do on the laptop, some things on the netbook. I think I’ll treat the laptop as my desktop, which won’t leave the room and will be used for video-editing purposes as well as other multimedia-related things. The netbook will be brought by me like Paris Hilton carries her pet Chihuahua (does she still do that?) for practicality, and for typing on the go. What do you guys think?
Monday, November 22, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
"It has all been arranged!" said one of the performers during TESL night. And yeah, you can't help but sigh over that fact, but you learn to accept it and be thankful towards Allah for arranging everything. As the Yang Di-pertua of our Student Council once said, "Sebaik-baik perancang adalah Allah SWT." SubhanAllah..
I woke up early the other day, and got the opportunity to increase my 'amal that morning. However, while doing all that, I fell asleep again, totally unintentional. After a few minutes, les neighboure came and woke me up, and I half-heard him say that Ustaz was coming in that day. Cool, I thought to myself as my eyes closed again.
When I finally finished my very long blink, I was already half-an-hour late for class. Hastily put on my batik and ran to the Surau to face the music. And I got the music alright. No need for details there. All that needs to be said is that I don't like going late to class. I don't like it at all.
Then after some more lecturing, Ustaz gave us some advice for preserving our Iman whilst at a non-Islam country, as well as other things. Here are some of those words of wisdom that I managed to jot down:
1. Always be in a crowd, or to use his word, jama'.
And that crowd should be Muslims who can keep us on the Siraatul Mustaqiim. When we're alone among non-Muslims, we will have a bigger tendency to follow their way and be influenced by their norms and beliefs. This makes sense since not a lot of people like to feel like an outsider. Then the tendency to let go of our beliefs and values will be augmented as the desire to "fit in" and be accepted would also increase. We need to be frequently reminded of where we're from and why we're there, and that is to learn.
2. Give 200% in everything.
We'll be foreigners there. We'll be representing our country there. The whole ra'yat of almost 29 million Malaysians' image will rest on the frail shoulders of 62 Chalkies of Cohort 2. So we need to be excellent in everything. Don't give anyone any reason to look down upon Malaysia. Let them see Malaysians as a productive, hard-working, friendly nation. Plus, we have our scholarships to think about. We will be fully supported by the Government. We shouldn't let that money go to waste. Learn as much as possible, mingle with anyone and everyone, and work like your life depends on it.
3. Read the al-Quran regularly.
Regularly means everyday. If you can't do it after every Solat, then at least once a day, after Maghrib ka, Subuh ka. Remind yourself of your faith. Don't leave the Quran. Ever. Istiqamah, very important. If you haven't started, then start here and perpetuate there. Get a tafsir and read the Quran while knowing the meanings. As long as the message is read and understood and applied, you're going to be just fine. InsyaAllah.
Thank you Ustaz for the advice. I'm definitely going to miss him. I have really come to respect him as a knowledgeable and fair person. To me, he's one of several true teachers I have come to know while studying here in this Institute. Praise be to Allah for letting me meet such people.
May we be under His protection always, Amiin.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Alhamdulillah! Yeay! If you have added me on Facebook, then you would know that last month, a bunch of the Cohort 2 Chalkies went to Jerejak Island here in Penang. I saw that as the perfect opportunity for me to make a video. I elected myself as the unofficial director of videography for the trip, and brought along my trusty W380 to capture all the action in beautiful VGA (I didn't know how to edit stuffs in HD yet, boohoo!)
After the trip, the procrastinator in me postponed editing the raw footage for a little more than a month afterwards. One fine weekend, I decided to finally complete the editing, and it's finally finished! So all'a'yall, check it out! My first video!
Thanks to all involved in making the event and the video a success! None of it would be possible if it not were for your cooperation!
May more videos follow! InsyaAllah~
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Yeah, I know. But me likes the intro of the song, like, for serious.