The first weekend in January of the second semester of session 2009/2010 – 8th to the 10th – was a weekend that I was not looking forward to. At first.
Us girls lepak-ing by the pool !
We were told that our entire class of TESL/2 has been selected by Dr. Hamidah Yamat@Ahmad (onward referred to as Dr. H) to go for a trip. Not just any trip, mind you. But a compulsory trip. (Read: had no other choice)
Like any other spoiled child, we grumbled and whined “Why meeee??? Why do we have to gooo???” =.=”
It turned out to be one of the most fun trips I had ever had !
This trip, as was eventually explained to us by Dr. H herself, was actually a training camp. Train for what, we asked. Oh, to train you to be the facilitators for the English Camp we are going to conduct in Kundang Ulu, Johor the following weekend of course, she answered.
We were literally speechless >.<
As part of the research project Dr. H was conducting called Program Kecemerlangan Akademik Pendidikan Sekolah (PKAPS), we were to carry out a 2 day English camp at a secondary school in Kundang Ulu – as facilitators.
And for that, we would have to be trained and briefed.
Phase I: Training Camp (8-10 January 2010) at the Bougainvillea Resort, Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan.
Dearest Yana, Ana and Shan ! 🙂 We make 1Malaysia hehe
For this program, we also joined forces with our final year TESL-UKM seniors, whom we were not acquainted with. Until then of course.
The aim of this camp was to first, brief the facilitators (us !) on what PKAPS was all about, and how the school in Kundang Ulu is like. Next was to train the facilitators (that’s us !) on how to conduct fun language classes with poor proficiency students in rural area schools. Finally, to brainstorm together on activities and tasks that will not only be fun and interesting, but also effective English language learning stuff; which will eventually be published in an activity book of sorts as reference for other educators. 🙂
We were divided into groups comprising of us, second year students as well as our seniors. As a team, we were supposed to come up with ideas for fun activities that we could do with the kids in Kundang Ulu to stimulate their interest in learning the English Language and not to give up, just yet. 🙂
Yes, it was hard work. For hours on end, we would just sit and discuss and brainstorm for ideas for various aspects of language learning – teaching grammar, vocabulary, listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. We had to fine-tune the details of each activity – the materials needed, the aims and objectives, the advantages.
Playing Snap! in our free time 😛
By the end of the first day there, I felt like all my brain juices had been squeezed out. I was mentally drained.
However, we all came alive when it was our break time ! 😛
This was our first time out on a trip like this as a class. You can’t blame us for wanting to relax and have fun ! We were at a resort by the beach ! 🙂
Then it was back to work again. Presenting our ideas to the rest of the groups, giving feedback to one another to improve on our ideas. We each had gotten to know our group members well by then, friendship sealed by hysterical laughter and sly teasing 🙂 Discussions were tough, but we each contributed, giving our best to come up with good, workable ideas.
Finally, we compiled everything, the materials for our exciting first, real (well, for me, anyway) teaching experience ready and waiting.
Despite all the hard work, we enjoyed ourselves, fostered friendships with seniors I would not have known were it not for this program, as well as drew closer to my fellow course mates whom I knew, but never really knew. 😛
Our group: Just Do It ! That's It ! *lol*
The long-dreaded weekend in PD turned out to be one of the sweetest memories I have with my fellow TESLians. I had never laughed so much in my life before !
It was exciting, thinking of all the kids waiting for us in Kundang Ulu. Think of what we had in store for them !
I am honestly privileged to have been a part of this program – it was certainly an enriching and valuable experience I hope I never forget. 🙂
TESL/2 (Can you see it in the sand? ^^)
Enjoying the windy sea breeze of PD air 🙂