Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Reflection on presentation of how historical influence affects English language in Malaysia

First of all, I would like to thank my group members for the best commitment and cooperation throughout the process of preparing the PowerPoint slides on given topics. Through this activity, it helps me to recall back on what I have learned about historical development in Malaysia. We learned about history since we were in secondary school. However, I almost forget what I have learned before since I have left secondary school for many years. This activity has gives me the opportunity to revise back on development in Malaysia especially in educational field. Not much of us will bother about the changes in educational policies in our country as everyone is more interested with political issue. Based on my observation, I found that not much of us care about the educational issues in our country except for those who serve for our ministry of education especially the educator and some parents who concern about their children’s education and those communities who were educated.
The development and reformation of educational system in Malaysia have always been regarded as by the government’s efforts to adapt education to national development needs. The concentrate of educational development and reformation, as in other developing countries, has always been curriculum development, to provide education for human resource development in order to meet the needs of the social, economic and political development of the country.
Malaysians have been greatly influenced, especially during the British colonisation periods which use English in their main daily transactions. The English language is being used extensively in Malaysia, in commercial, social settings or even in political setting, formal or informal situations. For some communities, it has become the second language which is used in everyday conversation among family members and friends.
Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to express my opinion on the development of our educational policies nowadays. I am really interested with the PPSMI programme which was introduced by our former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir which aims to make sure that all students are able to proficient in English language. I found that PPSMI programme is actually a good medium for Malaysian students to master English better since it was taught in Science and Mathematics. I also do believe that the rural area students also can excel as urban students are. I think that the topology is not the main factor that should take as the main reason on why they abolished the programme. Let’s take SK Ulu Lubai as example, this school is very excellent in academic and all of the students in that school have a very good of proficiency in English even though the school was categorized as the rural school which located far away from the city of Limbang. I think that the administrator of the school and all the teachers n that school have made a great effort in making the school famous with the good academic achievement. I also really impressed when I heard that the teachers in t hat school are willing to teach their students regardless of time and place. I am sure that not much of us willing to do so unless if we are really committed with our profession. Therefore, we must model these kind of teachers so that our future students will be able to achieve well in their academics as well in other aspects of life. In my opinion, it is also depends on the effort of administrator of the school in making sure that all of the students are excelled in English language especially in the four main skills which are reading, writing, speaking and listening. I also think that the parents also must take part in making sure the programme is successfully done. This can be done if the parents are willing to study about English language so that they will be able to replace the teacher’s role in teaching their children during school break or weekend.
However, I do believe that our ministry of education has their own reasons on why they abolish the PPSMI programme. Fortunately, our ministry of education has introduced a new policy which is MBMMBI (To uphold Bahasa Malaysia and to strengthen the English language) which replaced the previous PPSMI programme. By doing so, I hope that all the future generation will be able to master the English language better and have a very high level of proficiency in English language. I also agree with the effort made by our ministry of education in hiring the foreign expert in English to monitor the English lessons which are carried out by our local English teachers in order to improve the English proficiency among teachers as well as students.
If we revise back all the policies that have been implemented by the governments, we can see that our government are really concern about the English education in our country so that our citizens are able to compete in nationwide. Even though the history may sound boring, we must remember that everything that we achieved today is results from the history.
Through the presentation on the topic of how Malaysian culture affects the English language in Malaysia, I have gained a lot of information about the educational policies that implemented by our ministry of education before and presently as they were presented through this task as well as the information given by our lecturer throughout the presentation. I think that this is the best way to learn something that is fact. Every information that presented by us were explained briefly and further by our lecturer. This also contributes a lot in helping me to digest the information easier.  Other than that, I also have the opportunity to watch few interesting short clips that presented by the other group which contains many meaningful message. And I found that it is easier for me to understand the fact or examples if there are some short clips included. I also have inserted a short clip about MBMMBI Programme which is the new policy that implemented by the government to enhance the proficiency in English among English language teachers as well as the students. This short clip is in Malay version. It is useful to us as it provides various clear information about that policy. As a future teacher, it is compulsory to know this programme better so that we are able to improve ourselves by joining the various activities which conducted under this programme such as Proficiency and Pedagogical courses, short courses by the English Language Teaching Centre, and the Native Speakers programme which aim to enhance the teachers' development to become proficient and efficient English language teachers. I think that this programme is beneficial to our country as it helps to produce citizens who are able to verse well in English language. 
I am glad as I have finished presenting the task even though some of the words that I spoken are not pronounced well. But, I think lot of my classmates are able to verse well in English. This has motivated me to improve my speaking skills in English language so that I could be a good model of English speakers for my future students. Sometime, I also made some efforts by speaking to them in English language and it is really works in term of making me more confident in speaking English language. I do agree when people said that we learn from the mistakes as from the mistakes, we will try harder in order to improve ourselves better rather than no improvement at all. While presenting the materials, I can see that my friends are really paying their attention towards what I am presenting. This has touched me and motivated me to present more confident in front of them. Therefore, I also would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thank to my classmates for being supporting and willing to lend their ears and minds in listening to what I am presenting. 
As conclusion, I hope that all of us should aware the importance of English language in our country. Even though we learn more in English, our official language, the status or importance of Bahasa Malaysia, has never been threatened. It will always be our national language. However, it is not sufficient to only learn Bahasa Malaysia and neglect the other languages. Therefore, English is becoming a necessity if our country would like to compete in nationwide. 

Monday, 5 March 2012

Syntax - Worksheet for sentence analysis

Another activity that we must design for the evaluation is a worksheet with two sentences for analysis using tree diagram and its suggested answer. Therefore, I have created two sentences as shown below which will be included in the worksheet that I have been created.
1.      Nina believes that Kelly knew that David is married even though Kelly denies it.
2.      The tough guy who next to you fell into the drain yesterday.
The layout of the tree diagrams for these two sentences are as follow.

Following are the suggested answers for the questions in the worksheet that has been created. 

In order to avoid any grammatical mistakes or sentence analysis, we also have sent the worksheet as the draft to our lecturer for preview, correction and modification. This activity will be conducted during the ELE 3103 lesson in the classroom in which each of us will exchange the worksheet among us so that we will have the chance to answer the questions that have been designed by our friends. 
After made some correction on it, I have printed these worksheets so that my friend will have the chance to go through it and answer it. I think the sentences that I have used are not too complex and it's suitable for our level. However, in order to answer all the questions correctly, the candidates should be able  to identify the category of the phrases and the word classes which are contained in the sentences. Some of the words may have different function and used in different context too. Therefore, the candidates should read through the sentence before labeling the phrases or words which are contained in these sentences.
In the process of designing these tree diagrams, I found that it's not easy to create a worksheet for others to try. We have to make sure that the questions given are correct in term of grammar and their orders. Sometimes, it is also hard to identify the word classes of certain words since some of the words are differ in term of meaning and function as I said before. Therefore, I have referred some of my friends to make some preview on it and modify it so that it will be more challenging and interesting. Apart from that, it is can be assumed as the practice for me to become a teacher who is able to create worksheets which can help in reinforce the students' knowledge as well as designing questions that are able to challenge their minds.There is a lot of features that we must consider before we create a worksheet as we need to make sure it is creative in term of its appearance and able to attract the pupils' attention to answer it. Then, it must suits the target's level of knowledge and there must be variety in term of level of difficulties so that the pupils will be able to improve themselves in the specific learning areas or topics for the worksheets.
Syntax basically refers to the rules for the arrangement of words into phrases and phrases into sentences. The syntax tree diagrams can help us to understand the grammatical structure of a sentence in a better and easier way. Syntax is an important part of language and is usually difficult to grasp. By observing a sentence which has been “broken down” into its constituents by means of a tree diagram we can see how each part combines to the others and fit together as a meaningful sentence. This is very useful for teachers and learners to study the formation of sentence.  The functions of syntax tree diagrams are very much similar to family tree diagrams and the difference is just that these tree diagrams are used to visualize the construction of a language rather than a family. 

This activity has been carried out in this week during ELE3103 lesson. I am really glad that each of us are enjoyed in answering the worksheets. This activity is very beneficial to us as it helps us to recap the thing that we have learned from the ELE3103 especially in syntax topic. For the worksheet that I have created, I am glad that my friend are able to fill most of the boxes with correct answers. This means that the goals of the this activity has been achieves as the students are able to understand the instruction of worksheet clearly and also able to fill up the boxes with the most answers. Other than that, I also would like to share my experience in completing the worksheet which is prepared by my friend. The sentences used in the worksheet also very challenging and sometimes I took time to classify some phrases or word as I was confused with the answer that I am about to fill in as I am not really sure which category of word classes did it belongs to. However, I am glad as I am able to answer fill up most of the boxes with the correct answers. Beside, this activity can be assumed as one of the reinforcement and enrichment activities for us that helps a lot in revising back what I have learned from ELE 3103 lessons before.
That's all from me. Thank you

Our Group Language Game - The Odd One

For our group, we have chosen a game entitled "The Odd One". The aim of this game is to challenge the participants in identifying the odd object among those which displayed on screen. Therefore, in order to make this game more fun, we have used the bid concept. There were four groups who will be involved in this game. Each group will be given ten sweets. Next, each group has to bid any numbers of sweet that they would like to bid for each question chosen. Apart from that, each group will have the chance to choose any numbers of questions from the box which contains 20 numbers of questions. Then, the organizer will click on the box in the main slide which containing the selected number that will link to the question. Each correct answer will worth the same amount of number of sweets that have been bid. For example, if the group bid ten sweets for the selected question and they are able to answer the question correctly, then, the group will get another ten sweets from the game officer. However, if the group is giving the wrong answer, then, the game officer will take the sweet that have been bid. The group with the highest number of sweets collected will be declared as the winner of the game. The winner of this game goes to Hubert’s group which has collected the highest number of sweets. From this game, I can see that all my classmates are really cooperating with each other throughout the game. For sure, they did it for fun. Most of the questions are not too hard and suitable for our level. But, I’m sure that all groups will find it’s hard to spot the odd one since all the options are close to each other in term of their word stem but may differ in term of word classes, meaning and usage when we add affixes on it.

Apart from that, I also enjoy the other language games which carried out by the other group. Among of those language games, I think that the best language games will goes to Normaliza’s and Hubert’s groups as their games are very challenging and creative. For Normaliza’s group, they have variety of games which will not make the participants get bored easily and most of the questions are based on the diagrams which also play the important role in attracting the player’s attention. Meanwhile, for Hubert’ group, I am very interested with their game’s concept and questions are suitable with our level. Besides, they also used the bid concept for their game and I can see all the players are really enjoyed the game so much.  But, the other groups also did great effort for their language games and I am really enjoyed with the games which carried out by each group.

For this activity, I think that I have learned much from it in term of how to handle a game, attract the player’s attention, and arrange the order of each question according to its level. Other than that, those language games also give me lot ideas for me to design the languages games for my future lesson with my students when I am having my practical session and being a teacher in future.

That’s all from me. Thank you. 

Saturday, 4 February 2012


Grammar includes the structure of word, phrases, clauses and sentences. Grammar is divided into morphology, which describes the formation of words, and syntax, which describes the construction of meaningful phrases, clauses, and sentences out of words. Eight major word classes are noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and deter. A word can sometimes belong to several verb classes.  Words combine to form phrases which themselves can take on the attributes of a word class.  Other phrase classes are: verb phrases, adjective phrases, adverb phrases, prepositional phrases, and determiner phrases.
You may visit the following websites and download the following files to get a clear picture on what grammar is.

I recommended the above websites as I have gone through it. I found that it can be easily understood by us and the explanations are direct and the examples also simple and can be easily understood. If you are looking for the grammar tenses, please click on the third link that has been given above as it contains a table which illustrates each grammar tenses with the signal words, use and examples for each grammar tenses. You also can make it as a short note for your English studies.
It is important to learn it so that we will be able to explain the function of each categories of grammar to our children or students in future. However, we must make sure that we have mastered it enough so that the English proficiency among our students in future can be raised.
Honestly, even though I have learned since I was a primary student, I admit that sometimes I could not analyse some sentences according to grammar categories.  Therefore, I feel that studying it brings no harm towards me as it has helped to improve my English much better than before.  Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the English teachers that have made great efforts in teaching me the English subject.
As conclusion, the purpose of studying grammar is not to burden us with so much rules or principles. In fact, the aim of it, so that we know how the structure of the sentence was made and what categories of grammar involved in forming a sentence and how the usage of each grammar tenses in a sentence.

Phonology and Phonetics

Form the past lecture; I have learnt about phonology and phonetics. Phonology is viewed as the subfield of linguistics that deals with the sound systems of languages. It also a study of how sound is organized and use in natural language. Based on my reading, phonology is one of aspects of language. It is also related to other aspects such as phonetics, morphology, syntax, and pragmatics.
Phonology and phonetics are two different things. Phonetics is the study of the articulatory and acoustic properties of the sounds of human language.
Following is the summary from the information that I have get from the internet.  For full information on phonetics, you may visit the following website as there are few diagrams and international phonetics alphabet which may help you to understand the concept of phonetics in more deep. http://jcarreras.homestead.com/rrphonetics1.html
According to the above website, when we are speaking or singing, air from the lungs will pass through the larynx. Then, the Vocal folds will be set into vibration when the air is passing through them which lead to production of sound. A set of muscles and cartilage of it allows them to change their shape, and also the quality of sound that will be produced. These vocal folds can also be kept from vibrating by keeping them completely open or completely shut.  The vocal folds and the opening between them are called the glottis.  Once the vibrating column of air had passed through the larynx, its shape can be molded into different sounds as it passes through the vocal tract.  
Vowels are produced with no obstruction to the air flow coming from the lungs. Vowels take on their different sound qualities by subtle changes of shape in the vocal tract as they are being produced. A diphthong is a long, complex vowel which starts with the sound quality of one vowel and ends with the sound quality of another one. Although they are classified as single phonemes, diphthongs are given a double symbol to show both the quality they start with and the quality they end with. Consonants are speech sounds that involve a momentary interruption or obstruction of the air flow.
            (Source: http://jcarreras.homestead.com/rrphonetics1.html)
            The above information is just to help us to recall back on what we have learned before.  I’m really enjoyed practising the pronunciation during the lesson and I realized that I have done a lot of mistakes in pronouncing certain words in English before. I hope that I will be able to improve my skills in pronunciation so that I will be able to communicate with others by using the Standard English which can be easily understood by the locals and also internationally. By practising it verbally, I’m sure that I will not have any problems in pronouncing the English words again. Sometimes, it is hard for us to make sure that we pronounced the word according to the articulation manner as we can’t see what is happening between our internal organs. However, no matter how hard it is, it is our responsible to learn it and it brings no harm to us. In fact, it brings us more advantages especially for our future profession, which is educator. That’s all. Thank you. If there are any grammatical mistakes, feel free to comment and correct me. ^^

Mime Story

Our group has done a mime story which entitled "X Factor Audition". Actually, I found that it was not easy to create a mime story which can be understood by the audience. It took skills and lot of body languages and of course facial expression also play the major role too. In other word, talking is not necessary in making a mime story, it is all about our body language and how we able to make it funny so that the audience will not get bored easily while watching it.  We also have asked for the other group's help in the process of making this mime story. Apart from that, we also took several scenes and made preview on it in order to improve it. We have done some preparations before we started the shooting session. The preparations were including the making of props, the costumes and camera that will be used during the shooting session and session. Overall, we took almost 2 hours to complete the shooting session and edit the video scenes. For my group, I also enjoyed watching it as there is also a few funny scenes that will make you non-stop laughing if you watch it for several times. I love the scenes where the Priscilla and Nickelson are having their audition sessions. I never saw Priscilla dancing like that before. I also love the part in where Nickelson's voice are turn into horrible voice which is not his real vocal while he is having his audition. The sound effect also plays the important role in making the mime story more lively. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thank to my  group members for the ideas that we shared and cooperation while we are producing this mime story.

Seriously, editing process is not easy as I thought as we need to make sure that the audios used are match with the scenes. Apart from that, sometimes, we need to publish it for several times as almost every time we finished publishing it, then, a new mistake is detected while we are previewing it. It comes to worst when we couldn't locate the folder of video scenes that we have taken. Fortunately, we managed to locate it after searching folder by folder. I couldn't imagine how was my feeling at that moment. I almost gave up and I also can see the expression of my group members at that moment who were hoping the folder comes out quickly by itself as we don't have time to shoot for another time. Therefore, moral of the story will be that we must be careful while storing any important items so that we are able to locate whenever we look for it. 

The moment that I can wait was waiting for the presentation of the mime stories from every groups. Honestly, I felt very excited and enjoy laughing when I was watching each mime stories as it was a lot of surprises and I am proud of my classmates for their wonderful talent in acting. Humour is the main ingredient in the production of mime story. I'm sure that each of us will agree with it. Let's take an example. We watch "Mr. Bean" movie as it contains a lot humour and exaggeration and the body languages with the facial expression that make the story more lively which do not make us feel boring even we watch it for several times. If we look at the actor, Rowan Atkinson who acts as Mr. Bean, he always do something that extraordinary that the audience did not expect. Of course some of the scenes may not logic if we compare to real life. Therefore, the mime story sometimes need to include some exaggeration and non-logical elements so that it will look more interesting. Let's take one example, if we watch the mime story which is produced by Huber's group, we can see those elements within the story. For example, if you still remember the scene where Huberts was bullied by Hishafinaz and Khairunnisa, it is impossible to Hishafinaz and Khairunnisa to beat Hubert who are bigger than their sizes. However, they manage to make the audience laugh and this means that those elements are necessary in producing a mime story. If we exchange their characters, in which Hubert turns into gangster who beats Hishafinaz and Khairunnisa, then, it will become a common thing. I enjoyed watching their mime story as it was really funny and you will never thought how was Hubert act like a small kid in that story.

I think Lydia's group has done a great job as they able to make the audience non-stop laughing along the screening of their mime story since their actions are very funny. They have impressed me with their talents. I can say that my classmates are good in acting as they are able to perform or act in any situation given. No much of us will be able to act like small kids. This also indirectly gives me several ideas which may be useful for me one day in my career as a teacher. Miming appears very simple but it takes a lot of skill and practice to make it appear realistic. Mime study can be very useful, not only for actors and other performers, but for anyone who needs to communicate clearly.

I still remember that one of English language teacher in SM Sains Kuching, Miss Rabiah ever said that a teacher must be perform everyday. This means that a teacher should be able to act and perform so that the students will interested towards our teaching and learning activities. However, the most important thing is that the story that we would like to tell the audience must contain moral values which are able to influence the audiences after watching it.

But, acting is not easy as we thought. No wonder the international actor and actress are paid with high price as it was equitable with their talents. Miming appears very simple but it takes a lot of skill and practice to make it appear realistic. Mime study can be very useful, not only for actor sand other performers, but for anyone who needs to communicate clearly

As conclusion, I would like to congrate every group for the excellent mime stories and I hope we could find another time to watch them together again. That's all. Thank you.

Friday, 3 February 2012


I have learnt about morphemes in past few days. Now, I would like to share some information that I have found which may be useful to us. Based on my understanding, morpheme is a combination of soudn that is meaningful which can stand by itself when it put as a sentence. (Please correct me if it it inaccurate.) There is two types of morphemes which are free morpheme and bound morpheme. Every morpheme can be either a base or an affix. (either a prefix or a suffix)  Let me give one example. For example, the word cars.  Car is the base morpheme, and s is a suffix.

Following is the some of information that I have found and extracted from the internet. You may also visit http://www.uncp.edu/home/canada/work/caneng/morpheme.htm to learn more about morpheme.

by Kirsten Mills
Student, University of North Carolina at Pembroke, 1998

Morphemes are what make up words.  Often, morphemes are thought of as words but that is not always true.  Some single morphemes are words while other words have two or more morphemes within them.  Morphemes are also thought of as syllables but this is incorrect. Many words have two or more syllables but only one morpheme.  Banana, apple, papaya, and nanny are just a few examples.  On the other hand, many words have two morphemes and only one syllable; examples include cats, runs, and barked.
  • morpheme: a combination of sounds that have a meaning.  A morpheme does not necessarily have to be a word.  Example:  the word cats has two morphemes. Cat is a morpheme, and s is a morpheme.  Every morpheme is either a base or an affix.  An affix can be either a prefix or a suffix.  Cat is the base morpheme, and s is a suffix.
  • affix: a morpheme that comes at the beginning (prefix) or the ending (suffix) of a base morpheme.  Note: An affix usually is a morpheme that cannot stand alone.  Examples: -ful, -ly, -ity, -ness. A few exceptions are able, like, and less.
  • base: a morpheme that gives a word its meaning.  The base morpheme cat gives the word cats its meaning: a particular type of animal.
  • prefix: an affix that comes before a base morpheme.  The in in the word inspect is a prefix.
  • suffix: an affix that comes after a base morpheme.  The s in cats is a suffix.
  • free morpheme: a morpheme that can stand alone as a word without another morpheme.  It does not need anything attached to it to make a word. Cat is a free morpheme.
  • bound morpheme: a sound or a combination of sounds that cannot stand alone as a word.  The s in cats is a bound morpheme, and it does not have any meaning without the free morpheme cat.
  • inflectional morpheme: this morpheme can only be a suffix.  The s in cats is an inflectional morpheme.  An  inflectional morpheme creates a change in the function of the word. Example: the d in invited indicates past tense. English has only seven inflectional morphemes:  -s (plural) and -s (possessive) are noun inflections; -s ( 3rd-person singular), -ed ( past tense), -en (past participle), and -ing ( present participle) are verb inflections;  -er (comparative) and -est (superlative) are adjective and adverb inflections.
  • derivational morpheme: this type of morpheme changes the meaning of the word or the part of speech or both.  Derivational morphemes often create new words.  Example: the prefix and derivational morpheme un added to invited changes the meaning of the word.
  • allomorphs: different phonetic forms or variations of a morpheme.  Example: The final morphemes in the following words are pronounced differently, but they all indicate plurality: dogs, cats, and horses.
  • homonyms: morphemes that are spelled the same but have different meanings.  Examplesbear (an animal) and bear (to carry),  plain (simple) and plain ( a level area of land).
  • homophones: morphemes that sound alike but have different meanings and spellings.  Examples: bear, bare; plain, plane; cite, sight, site.
I hope that this information will be useful for us and for more information, you may also visit the website that I have put on top to get more clear information. That's all. Thank you..