Education Ministry seeks feedback on English language initiative

The Star

The Education Ministry is seeking feedback on the effectiveness of the first wave of the teaching and learning of English as outlined in the Malaysia Education Blueprint, and how the initiative has impacted student outcomes.

In a speech read by his deputy Senator Chong Sin Woon at the opening of the three-day English Language Training Centre (ELTC) Conference here, Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said: "That people would want to know how much the initiative had achieved."

I am sure many of us have similar questions in our minds that we wish to be answered such as: How much have we achieved in improving English language standards and quality?

"Many of us may also want to know how can we maintain positive student outcomes and chart the way forward for future English language initiatives," Mahdzir said.

The three-day conference themed "Malaysia Education Blueprint: English Language Initiatives Towards Enhanced Student Outcomes" was organised by the English Teaching Centre Malaysia, a specialist English language institution under the ministry.

Some 350 academics and practitioners are attending the conference.

On a separate matter, Mahdzir in his speech said: "His ministry would also introduce an Oral Communication Support Plan to help students develop communication skills."

"This plan will address the gaps in oral proficiency for students and provide support for the development of effective communications skills from pre-school to secondary schools," he said, adding that the ability to converse effectively in English was important to allow students to have a competitive edge.

He added that the professional development of teachers remained an important agenda of the Malaysia Education Blueprint.

"The quality of teachers is the most significant school-based determinant of student outcome," Mahdzri’s said in his speech, adding that to ensure teacher quality, the ministry had introduced the Professional Up-skilling of English Language Teachers (Pro-ELT).

Some 14,000 teachers have been trained under this programme and another 5,000 more would do so in 2016.
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