Miri – 8 October 2014 – Four lecturers of the School of Continuing Studies at Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) recently conducted a 1-day educational workshop for students of SMK Luar Bandar about 50 kilometres from Miri.
The lecturers, led by the head of the Department of Language Studies and Humanities, Michelle Voon Huey Fen, facilitated the workshop in the school’s hall. The main objective of the workshop was to expose the rural school students to modern teaching methods applied at Curtin Sarawak.
“It was a heartwarming experience for us. We were very warmly received by the school’s staff, and the response from the students who packed the hall was very positive,” commented Voon.
Associate lecturer Angelina Laing delivered an hour-long interactive lecture on ‘Effective Presentation Skills’, imparting tips on becoming an effective presenter, including preparations needed to deliver a good presentation. A few of the students were later asked to deliver impromptu speeches while the rest of the students participated as an active audience and provided constructive feedback on their peers’ presentation skills.
Lecturer Tahiruddin Mian then gave an interactive lecture on ‘Writing Essays in English’, which the students participated enthusiastically in.
”I believe that you learn best when you are involved in a process, and I planned the writing lesson in a way that required the maximum participation of the students,” he said.
Tahiruddin started by giving them an essay topic, and they then took the lead by giving him points during a brainstorming session to build a strong introduction and write the essay in such a way as to catch the attention of readers. He emphasised the importance of rich vocabulary, idioms, examples and quotes in good essays.
This was followed by a talk by lecturer in Malaysian Studies Valerie Velina Nagreg on how to write excellent essays for the Bahasa Malaysia paper in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination. She gave pointers on writing essays that would attract the attention of examiners and talked about common mistakes made when writing essays such as spelling errors, wrong choice of words and unclear pronouns.
At the close of the workshop, the students were invited to give their feedback. According to Tahiruddin, they all expressed satisfaction over the workshop, saying that it had been helpful in their preparations for the SPM examination. They also found the interactive teaching very interesting. Some expressed a desire for more events like the workshop to be conducted at the school in the future.
In his closing remarks, school principal Marcus Gau Lian thanked the Curtin lecturers for conducting the workshop and helping enhance the students’ understanding and knowledge. He expressed a strong desire to have similar workshops at the school on a regular basis.
The school presented certificates of appreciation to the lecturers and also entertained them to lunch.