Miri – 11 March 2010 – 19 Bumiputera SPM and SPMV school-leavers became the first batch of students to complete Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak Malaysia’s 1English Enhancement Programme when they received their certificates of completion from the university recently.
The group completed the 9-week course, which was conducted for the first time between 28 December 2009 and 26 February 2010, with flying colours, according to Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr. Joan Gribble.
Addressing the students in her opening speech during the certificate presentation ceremony, Dr. Gribble said, “All of you have done exceptionally well. I have never encountered a more enthusiastic group of students who have grasped the fundamentals of the language so quickly and are so eager to apply what you have learned.
At Curtin Sarawak, we aim to make learning English fun and this group certainly seems to have had a lot of fun and a fulfilling learning experience throughout the nine weeks.”
The 1English Enhancement Programme, named thus because of its all-encompassing emphasis on listening, speaking, reading, writing, vocabulary and grammar, is part of Curtin Sarawak’s community outreach activities to support, and build rapport with, the local community.
It is designed to help Bumiputera students with strong academic backgrounds but inadequate English language proficiency adjust to an English teaching environment at university level.
Conducted in an interesting and interactive manner that ensures maximum interactive learning and practice, it involves learning in the classroom, The Learning Centre, language lab and the library.
This way, the students will not only meet the English language requirements, but also garner essential academic skills to meet the challenges of tertiary education.
The 9-week course is a fully-sponsored programme for Sarawakian Bumiputera students with their fees fully covered (including use of ICT and library facilities, study materials and academic support services). Furthermore, students who have undergone the programme stand a higher chance of being granted financial aid in the form of study loans from bodies such as Yayasan Sarawak to further their studies at Curtin Sarawak.
Former SMK Kidurong, Bintulu student Nursafirah Syaza Yusuf said she enjoyed the environment at Curtin Sarawak and the company of her classmates, and was also glad for the opportunity to improve her English.
“Curtin Sarawak offers a most conducive environment for study and our lecturers were always very approachable when we needed help. I want to be a chemical engineer and I am seriously considering Curtin Sarawak for my further studies,” she remarked.
Joshua Lennet, a former SMK Pujut student who also wants to be a chemical engineer, is convinced that the key to a successful tertiary education is discipline. “I really appreciate the exposure to university life here at Curtin Sarawak. I have come to realise that in order to reach my goal of being a chemical engineer, I will have to focus and be really committed,” said Joshua, adding that he, too, was considering enrolling at Curtin Sarawak.
Like Dr. Gribble, English lecturer Angelina Laing also had high praise for the students. “They have all done very well in the programme and are now able to speak and write very confidently in English. The programme has been very effective in teaching them how to apply effective listening and reading strategies, use correct grammar, and write concise and cohesive essays. Such skills will augur well for them when they embark on their university studies,” said Angelina.
According to Fedelia Hii, another lecturer involved in the programme, the students also learned to deliver effective impromptu speeches, make brief formal oral presentations, and participate in group discussions. This, she said, helped them become skilled at working in a team and applying independent learning skills in solving problems relating to their studies.
Also present at the certificate presentation ceremony were Curtin Sarawak’s Chief Operating Officer, James Ng; Dean of the School of Foundation & Continuing Studies and The Learning Centre, Beena Giridharan, and Marketing Manager Liew Mei Yin.
For more information on the 1English Enhancement Programme, contact Curtin Sarawak’s Student Recruitment Department at 085-443939 or e-mail [email protected].