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Oxford Fajar – MELTA Webinar Series

 

Embracing the path for borderless education

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the global education landscape, and it is a totally a new world we are living in now. In times of uncertainty, it is important that we stay connected. Oxford Fajar and the Malaysian English Language Teaching Association (MELTA) hope to engage with you through a series of webinars on topics related to education.

In this webinar series, classroom practitioners and experts in the field of education invite you to discussions and participation in activities. The webinar series is open to all. Teachers, parents, and student teachers in particular should find the webinars of interest.

 

Secure your place at these complimentary sessions:
(Limited to 500 participants only per webinar)

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many aspects of life, and we have witnessed some of the greatest upheavals on the frontiers of education.  In Malaysia for example, the Ministry of Education announced the cancellation of the UPSR and PT3 examinations, and this has led to extensive discussions about teaching and assessment.

In this webinar, we narrow our focus to assessing English language proficiency as envisioned in the KSSR and KSSM.

Discussants

Datin Dr Mardziah Hayati Abdullah is a member of the English Language Standards and Quality Council, Ministry of Education Malaysia and retired associate professor from the Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia.

Ms. Jayapushani Ponnudurai is a member of the English Language Standards and Quality Council, Ministry of Education Malaysia. She is also a Cambridge Examiner Trainer and Examiner for IELTS and Life Skills. She retired from the Ministry of Education after 34 years of service and her last appointment was as Head of Department for Quality Assurance at the English Language Teaching Centre. 

Dr Ramesh Nair is associate professor at the Academy of Language Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA and president of the Malaysian English Language Teaching Association.

Moderator

Dr. Premalatha Nair is a senior lecturer at the Institute of Teacher Education, International Languages Campus Kuala Lumpur. She has been involved in conducting workshops in the area of Language Assessment for primary schools and training teachers for KSSR.

Who should join? Teachers, parents, pre-service teachers.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has propelled educators into innovating classroom methods. What prospects does this hold for the literary classroom that has often been based on traditional textual engagement? In this webinar we take you through two classroom settings as presented in the abstracts below.

The first session titled Text and Context: Developing a holistic textual engagement in a literature classroom by Associate Professor Dr Raihanah Mohd Mydin, stresses that literature needs to be read within a context. The presentation will identify key ‘contexts’ that readers of literature need to take into consideration when engaging with works of fiction. Using concepts developed in previous research, the discussion takes the audience through a step by step guide into moving from a micro-level, text-based reading to a more macro-level, context-based engagement. KS Maniam's The Return will be used for illustration.

The second session, Reinventing the Literature Classroom through Digital Platforms by Associate Professor Dr Shanthini Pillai showcases how traditional pedagogical boundaries can be reinvented when students are given a number of modes within which to communicate their ideas and articulate their interpretations of literary texts. This section of the webinar will present samples of ways in which students were guided towards designing and representing their interpretative responses to traditional printed literary texts through utilising a number of digital platforms.

In this way, the webinar will provide participants with a view to how holistic textual engagements and digital reinventions are part and parcel of a changing literary classroom.

Speakers:

Raihanah Mohd Mydin (PhD) is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, UKM and Deputy Director of the Centre for Teaching & Curriculum Development, UKM. She teaches comparative literature and Malaysian Literature in English at the graduate program. She continues to publish in the area of Malaysian Literature in English, Muslim Diaspora and minority narrative. In 2014 she became the recipient of Anugerah Akademik Negara.

Shanthini Pillai (PhD) is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, UKM and Associate Senior Fellow at the Institute of Ethnic Studies (KITA). Her research interests are primarily diaspora and transnationalism, ethnic diversity, and religious mobilities, with particular reference to global South Asian communities. She has headed a number of research projects on transnationalism and cultural identity, held Research Fellowships at the University of Queensland, Australia and the Asia Research Institute, Singapore, and has published widely in the areas of her expertise.

Moderator:
Jai Shree Bipinchandra
 is a MUET teacher at Kolej Tingkatan Enam Tun Fatimah, Melaka. She has extensive experience as a teacher trainer and has been involved in conducting workshops for teachers’ continuous professional development.

Who should join? Teachers, educators and student teachers

 

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound effect on our education system, schools and higher education have entered uncharted territory.  In the current circumstances, educators are working at a superhuman pace to develop new learning and teaching environments, as learning is being moved online.  The lines between work and home have become blur. Educators are coping with heightened stress levels from students, families, colleagues and management.

Therefore, there is danger that this could lead to burn out and mental issues. Some may thrive in these situations, but that does not mean everyone will be able to cope. These current circumstances are unprecedented and therefore it can be challenging to balance wellbeing with managing uncertainty and changing expectations.

Pressures and worries can build up to a point where they have a detrimental effect on wellbeing, which in turn impacts the educators’ ability to do their job. It is said that Smart teachers prioritize their wellbeing because teachers teach better with high wellbeing.

This webinar will discuss the challenges, strategies as well as the tools needed to support our mental and emotional wellbeing. It will be a platform for teachers to share their thoughts and experiences.

Speaker:

Datin Dr. Cynthia Yolanda Doss is an associate professor at the School of Education University of Nottingham Malaysia and the Vice President (2) of the Malaysian English Language Teaching Association. She has been actively involved in teaching training, trainer-the-trainer, curriculum design, and materials production as well as teaching Business English and Mind Mapping courses for both the public and private sectors and presented papers at national and international conferences. She has co-authored several ELT books. Her areas of research interest are Mind, Brain and Educational Sciences, Literacy, Growth Mind Set and Critical Thinking

Moderator:
Dr Teh Pei Ling
is the Director of Special Projects MELTA Malaysia. She holds a PhD in Educational Leadership and she is very much into managing and motivating students in their learning. She is also one of the CEFR master trainers in Petaling Perdana district. She teaches in SMK Taman Desaminium, Seri Kembangan, Selangor.

Who should join? Teachers of all levels

 

Synopsis:

Professional development for teachers is an essential aspect of the teaching profession. English Language teachers need to continuously develop their professional knowledge, competencies, and skill sets to deliver high-quality English language teaching to 21st century students.  A key factor in improving student learning is by supporting teacher professional development at all stages of a teacher’s developmental journey. Professional development for teachers aims to introduce new skill sets or to enhance existing skills. The English Language Teaching Centre, Ministry of Education Malaysia is the lead agency in providing Continuous Professional Development (CPD) to English language teachers.

Speakers:

Dr Kalminderjit Kaur is the Deputy Director, English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC) Ministry of Education Malaysia. Dr Mindy received her PhD, Masters and Bachelor degrees from Universiti Kebangsaaan Malaysia. Her research interest is in the area of critical literacy teaching and learning. She was the Chief Editor of the ESL Practitioner Journal, which is the Journal of the English Language Teaching Centre, until 2018.

Audrey Lim Bee Yoke is the Head of Department, ELT Pedagogy, and English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC) Ministry of Education Malaysia. She has more than 16 years of experience and accomplishment as an English teacher, the Head of English Language Panel and Departmental Head of Languages. Audrey serves as a Head of Department in ELTC since 2011.

Diana Fatimah Binti Sahani, Head of Department, Language & Literacy, English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC) Ministry of Education Malaysia. She entered the teaching profession in June 1991 as an English teacher in Johor Bahru. Before joining ELTC, she was the District English Support Teacher of Johor Bahru, the Head of the English and Literature Unit of the Curriculum Development Division and the Senior Teacher for Languages at a secondary school in Putrajaya.

Moderator:

Dr. Premalatha Nair is a senior lecturer at the Institute of Teacher Education, International Languages Campus Kuala Lumpur. She has been involved in conducting workshops in the area of Language Assessment for primary schools and training teachers for KSSR.

Who should join? Teachers, educators and student teachers

 

Synopsis:

The reality in many Malaysian primary and secondary ESL classrooms is that there are students who are not able to communicate in English.  Studies have revealed that the primary reason for this is that these students do not possess the vocabulary range necessary to function effectively, both in oral and written form. Primary and Secondary school teachers find it extremely challenging in dealing with such students during class time. This webinar will discuss ideas and best practices that can be incorporated in an out-of-classroom vocabulary development home programme. It is designed to enable students to progressively build and expand their vocabulary and effectively use new words in communication. An out-of-classroom home programme such as this will hopefully enhance the confidence of weak students and encourage them to communicate in English.

Speaker:

Datin Dr. Cynthia Yolanda Doss is an associate professor at the School of Education University of Nottingham Malaysia and the Vice President (2) of the Malaysian English Language Teaching Association. She has been actively involved in teaching training, trainer-the-trainer, curriculum design, and materials production as well as teaching Business English and Mind Mapping courses for both the public and private sectors and presented papers at national and international conferences. She has co-authored several ELT books. Her areas of research interest are Mind, Brain and Educational Sciences, Literacy, Growth Mind Set and Critical Thinking.

Moderator:
Santhi RG Krishnan is a Senior English Language teacher Sekolah Menengah Saint Michael Sandakan, Sabah.  She has extensive experience in conducting workshops and trainings for teachers’ continuous professional development as well as workshops for students.  She is also a CEFR master trainer for the Sandakan district and leads the MELTA Sandakan Chapter.

Who should join? Teachers, educators and student teachers

 

Synopsis:

In this 21st century, there has been a huge transformation in teaching English due to the ongoing refugee crisis and globalisation of migration. This often leads to frequent dilemmas faced by teachers in choosing the right teaching pedagogy and methodology to ensure optimum engagement for English as an Additional Language (EAL) students.

This presentation focuses on the multi-layered pedagogy and methods used in Australian EAL settings. EAL students in Australia are a mixture of refugee, migrant, and international students. In this context, they continuously move along a continuum to arrive at a competent level sometimes starting at non-existent English language knowledge. Our experience would be of interest to teachers who support low proficiency learners of English.

Speakers:

Boney Nathan has a Master of Applied Linguistics (Edith Cowan University, Australia), a B.Ed TESL (Hons) (UM), a Graduate Certificate in Education: International Baccalaureate (IB) (University of Melbourne). She is currently part of the School Leadership Team as the EAL Learning Specialist and Curriculum Coordinator at a public school in Melbourne. Previously, she was a Deputy Principal and Teacher Consultant for Classroom Management and Students Engagement in Western Australia. She has worked as an EAL teacher for 33 years across multiple settings including International Schools, Colleges, Universities, including Malaysian and Australian public schools.

Seetal Kaur has a B. Ed TESL (Hons) degree from Canterbury Christ Church University, United Kingdom. She is currently part of the School Leadership team as the Literacy Improvement Leader and Year Level EAL Coordinator at a public school in Melbourne, Victoria. Previously, she was a District Level Master Trainer and Professional Learning Community (PLC) Coach for the Batang Padang district in Perak. She is a recipient of the Perak State Education Department Gold Award. She also received the Silver Award for presenting at an International Conference organised by the Malaysian English Language Teaching Association (MELTA).

Moderator:

Cheah Yet Thang was an English Language teacher for 24 years before joining the Northern Kinta District Education Office as a School Improvement Specialist Coach Plus officer. She holds a bachelor’s degree in TESL and a master’s degree in Education (Psychology) from the University of Malaya. She is actively involved in supporting district, state and national level English courses for teachers and students.

Who should join? Teachers, educators and student teachers

 

Synopsis:

In this webinar, participants are introduced to an online English language proficiency testing platform, specializing in formative assessments tied to the CEFR. With an AI-powered evaluation engine, the platform empowers teachers by allowing them conduct their own Speaking and Writing evaluations on a centralized platform. It is hoped that the session will provide teachers with insights into assessing and supporting the needs of individual students.

Speaker:

Sean Kilachand was born and raised in New York City but has spent the last 8 years living abroad, spending 7 years in Brazil and the last year in India, where he now lives. With a background in Computer Science and Economics, Sean founded EduSynch, an online English language proficiency testing platform, with the belief that technology can be leveraged to not only improve current testing procedures, but make teachers’ lives easier in the process while also improving student engagement and learning outcomes.

Moderator:

Santhi RG Krishnan is a Senior English Language teacher Sekolah Menengah Saint Michael Sandakan, Sabah.  She has extensive experience in conducting workshops and trainings for teachers’ continuous professional development as well as workshops for students.  She is also a CEFR master trainer for the Sandakan district and leads the MELTA Sandakan Chapter.

Who should join? Teachers, educators and student teachers

 

The Malaysian University English Test (MUET) was introduced to measure the English language proficiency of pre-university students for entry into tertiary education. The MUET syllabus has been revised to ensure that MUET maintains its relevancy in testing candidates’ English language proficiency. 
In this webinar we will be addressing the gap between SPM English and MUET. We will also be covering the changes in the new MUET paper and how to tackle them. 
 

Speakers:
Datin Dr. Cynthia Yolanda Doss is an associate professor at the School of Education University of Nottingham Malaysia and the Vice President (2) of the Malaysian English Language Teaching Association. She has been actively involved in teaching training, trainer-the-trainer, curriculum design, and materials production as well as teaching Business English and Mind Mapping courses for both the public and private sectors and presented papers at national and international conferences. She has co-authored several ELT books. Her areas of research interest are Mind, Brain and Educational Sciences, Literacy, Growth Mind Set and Critical Thinking

Puan P.  Malliga is currently teaching MUET in SMK Dato Mohd Said, Nilai. She was the 21st century coach in the transformation programme in schools for 17 years. She has over 33 years of experience in ELT, serving in the Primary & Secondary schools and pre-university. Her interest in ELT includes teaching literature the small 'i'.

 

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