Fifty-nine lower secondary students from SMK Sentosa, Kampar had an enriching learning experience during the EXtra English (EXE) Camp at the Faculty of Arts and Social Science, UTAR Perak Campus on 11 April 2015.
Organised by the Department of Languages and Linguistics (DLL), the one-day camp aimed to make English learning simple and enjoyable for the secondary students, further spurring them to take interest in learning, understanding and using the language on a daily basis. The camp also engaged 10 English Education (ED) undergraduates as trainee teachers so that they are exposed to real classroom teaching and management scenario, allowing them to gain hands-on teaching experiences.
After an exciting ice-breaking session, the participants were then evenly divided into Red, Blue and Yellow groups for the classes where they learnt vocabulary, reading and grammar. The syllabus were developed by the ED students along with lecturers-cum-coordinators Lee Ling Khai and Teh Tze Chien.
During the classes, the Form 1 and 2 participants were taught the order of adjectives using mnemonic, a device such as a pattern of letters, ideas or associations that assists in remembering something. To teach vocabulary, the trainee teachers used clines which are gradients used for teaching and learning shades of meaning. The participants were then asked to arrange the words along the gradient. As for reading, the participants were asked to match the paragraphs of the passage to the main ideas.
“Teaching these students has been an interesting experience. The EXE Camp is a good platform for us to be in real classroom situation before we begin our internship,” said Year Two ED student Cheah Shi Thing.
Classes aside, the EXE Camp also introduced intriguing language games such as “Reading Bingo”, “Code Breaker Game” and “Visualising Riddles” which Form 1 student Zulaikha binti Sidek thoroughly enjoyed. “I’m happy to learn how to use synonyms, vocabulary and adjectives better,” shared Zulaikha.
EXE Camp came to an end following Head of DLL Christina Ong Sook Beng’s closing speech which encouraged the participants to discover the fun in learning and using English. “English is an important language and being good at it helps you to do better not only in your studies but also in life. I hope all of you had fun learning today and will start using English not only in class, but on a daily basis.”