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Malakoff Corporation Berhad held an educational series entitled, “English is Fun” on 10 and 28 November and 12 December 2018 at Masjid Al-Amin, Kampung Sungai Dinar, Mukim Serkat, Johor as part of its 2018 CSR Education Programme in Mukim Serkat that was launched in March this year.
The programme, aimed to foster the usage of the English language among the local community by implementing an engaging and fun learning method, was led by five volunteers from Malakoff who acted as facilitators for the programme. The programme that attracted more than 50 participants was not limited only to students, as adults who looked to improve their English proficiency were also present.
As the syllabus was designed according to the participants’ proficiency levels, it was imperative that the series be broken down into three sessions.
The first session was meant to gauge the participants’ basic grammar knowledge and understanding of words by conducting activities such as the “Ice Breaker” and “What Am I?”. Each participant was asked to introduce themselves in English and were later placed in groups.
The groups were later given a card each, containing a picture of an animal that they had to describe. Banter and laughter broke as each group worked on the task and gave their presentation to the rest of the class.
The activities in the second session of the series were more focused on building the participants’ self-confidence in speaking the language despite their hesitation and limited comprehension. At the start of the class, the participants had to complete a word search where they had to look for a list of words in a ten-by-ten box puzzle. Tokens were given to the first ten correctly submitted answers.
As a continuation of the conversational skills from the first session, the participants were given a set of dialogues on situations such as buying groceries, bumping into friends and telephone conversation to coach them on the correct use of words in these situations.
As each pair stood up to converse, they were guided by the facilitators on their pronunciations and grammar, while the rest learnt by listening to their friends.
As the series reached its finale, the class were given more listening and talking practices to increase their levels of confidence. The session started with “Broken Radio” that caused havoc as the groups competed to pass on a sentence from the first person to the last in line while ensuring that the sentence remains intact. Participants’ eagerness in completing this activity with success had certainly livened up the atmosphere and prepared them for the next activity.
Next, working in pairs, the participants were given a list of topics to choose from and converse with their partner, guided by the facilitators. In this way, each of them would have the opportunity to talk and get feedback from the facilitators.
As the last activity of the session, the groups were given a map each where they had to give directions on how to get from point A to point B. The level of teamwork and commitment displayed by the participants were truly inspiring as most groups managed to finish the task on time and carry out their presentation with confidence.
Commenting on the programme, Ilhan Hafiy from Kampung Sungai Dinar said, “We hardly converse in English at home or in school mostly due to the fear of being laughed at for speaking in English. This programme made me feel less intimidated and I will certainly use the skills that I learnt here to speak in English more in the future.”