Friday, December 12, 2014

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Muet New Requirements

IPTAs will be given sufficient time to implement new Muet requirements 

PETALING JAYA, Oct 17: Local public institutions of higher learning (IPTAs) will be given sufficient time to introduce the new conditions for the Malaysian University English Test (Muet) next year.
Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan said the ministry would give the time to make full preparations to implement the new requirements.
“We will give the IPTAs sufficient opportunity and time to implement the decision (new condition for Muet requirements).
“The IPTAs should not see the upgrading of the Muet grades as a burden,” he told Bernama after attending the graduation ceremony of Form Five students of the Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Damansara Utama here today.
He was commenting on worries voiced by Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) Vice-Chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak that the new requirements would result in a shortage of students to fill the places in several areas of study offered by local universities.
Kamalanathan said the IPTAs should not worry about the new Muet requirements because the ministry would continue to work hard to help students equip themselves with a command of English before enrolling into the universities.
“We will not leave them on their own and the ministry will do whatever is needed to help them improve their English, even at the school level.
“This is the ministry’s responsibility. We will work with the IPTAs and secondary schools on ways to improve the standard of English among schoolchildren,” he said.
Last Friday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, when tabling Budget 2015 announced that beginning next year, the new minimum entry requirement for IPTAs, previously at Band 1, was now Band 2 for arts and social science studies (graduation requirement of Band 3); science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) was Band 3 (graduation condition Band 4), while Band 4 was fixed for law and medical studies (graduation condition Band 5). – BERNAMA

Friday, July 04, 2014

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Compliment vs Complement

Compliment and complementCompliment is to say something nice. Complement is to add to, enhance, improve, complete, or bring close to perfection. 

  1. 1.
    a thing that completes or brings to perfection.
    "the libretto proved a perfect complement to the music"
  2. 2.
    a number or quantity of something required to make a group complete.
    "at the moment we have a full complement of staff"
    synonyms:amounttotalcontingentcapacityallowancequota More
  1. 1.
    add to (something) in a way that enhances or improves it; make perfect.
    "a classic blazer complements a look that's stylish or casual"
    synonyms:accompany, go with, round off, set off, suit, harmonize with

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

MUET 2014

Kalendar Peperiksaan MUET 2014 / MUET 2014 Examination Calendar 

Best of luck to all MUET 2014 candidates!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Malaysian Insider: An open letter to secondary school English teachers by Nadilla Jamil

Something interesting to share...

If you don’t speak only English while teaching English in your classroom, then you should start speaking only English in your classroom.
Because teaching English (L2) to our potential future leaders in your mother tongue (L1) classroom just because you think they won’t understand you is a quite fashionable justification of one of the most olde worlde excuses.
Because I passionately believe that we should stop handfeeding our potential future leaders. They don’t need to be pampered. They don’t need to be underestimated. They are perfectly capable in learning English.
You can adjust your lexical choice, you can paraphrase, you can slower your speech, and you can use any paralinguistic element in your classroom to accommodate their linguistics level. By all means, do that.
But you should stop doing word-to-word translation or even mother-tongue mirroring. You should stop having the need to "explain" L2 in L1.
Because I passionately believe that no language is a direct translation of others.
Yes, our potential future leaders might not be able to digest even a word.
Yes, they might feel awful.
Yes, they might even feel doltish.
Let them.
Because think about giving small babies shots to protect them from illness. They will cry their lungs out, and you know that your decision to give them shots will resulted in pain, but as a parent you believe that that pain is temporary and worth it.
I passionately believe that the same thing goes in language learning. Because speaking English in an English language classroom provides the linguistic environment that you know they are lacking. If not you, as English teachers play the part, then who?
Because I passionately believe that they need the linguistic exposure that they may not or refuse to get elsewhere.
But, if your speaking-English-only classroom makes our potential future leaders yawn and play truant, make the learning fun.
English is fun. Bring along your games, movies. Act out. Consider role-plays. Let our potential future leaders learn the language through music. Through history. Anything. As long as you speak only English in your English language classroom.
Although I understand the limitations as there are things that you need to bow down to:  I passionately believe that the trouble is that education doesn't go on in the committee rooms of our legislative buildings. It happens in classrooms and schools, and the people who do it are you and them as students. And if your discretion is removed, trust me, our education will stop working. So, continue speaking only English in your classroom.
Because I passionately believe that since you are an English teacher, it is only logical to speak in English when teaching the language.
Because I passionately believe that you should provide the space for them to enjoy the language as much as you do (I assume you do, if not, you won’t waste your time nodding to this big mission of being a teacher, will you?)
Because I passionately believe that as an English teacher, you are not a grammar nazi who will red-mark or point out every single written and verbal grammatical mistake of our potential future leaders.
Because I passionately believe that as an English teacher who has been trained with the structures of the language, I know you know that there is no rigid rule in English grammar. So, teach them to say what they mean. And remember that grammar is only there to make sense of semantics.
Because I passionately believe that as an English teacher who has been trained with the phonological structure of the language, I know you are aware that you don’t need to make sure they get the Queen’s tongue while speaking. Because even the English don’t normally speak the Queen’s English.
Let our potential future leaders speak English the way they want it. Don’t panic if you hear words like: "weng" instead of "went". Because it is common too to find an English man who fails to digest what another English man is saying even though both of them are talking in the same language, i.e.,  English.
Because I passionately believe that English as a language is just a tool. Let our future leaders decorate the tools the way that fit their tongue best. At least at this very stage, they don’t need to alter anything.
You don’t need to be Professor Henry Higgins and our potential future leaders are not Eliza Doolittle. They should speak comfortably.
Don’t rob their confidence. Don’t kill the language-learning joy.  Don’t make them feel timid. Don’t sabotage their language learning by speaking in L1 in their L2 classroom.
Because I passionately believe that the more you speak and let our potential future leaders speak L1 in L2 class; the longer they will remain in miserable limbo of being unable to communicate in that language.
Speak only English in your English language classroom to inspire them to do the same. 
Because I passionately believe that learning a language is like learning how to swim. You have to get in there, splash around, get wet and probably swallow a mouthful of water. If you continue to hold on to the bar at the side and never discouraged from doing so, you will never win an Olympic medal. 
So, speak English when you are teaching English language. Let them play around the language to get a hang of it.
Because I passionately believe that we can never learn English by speaking in and listening to another language. No one ever has mastered a language this way. And no one will.
So, speak English when you are teaching English language to our future leaders.
If speaking English when teaching English makes the school principal calls you at the end of the year because of our potential future leaders’ performance in written exam:
Well, you might just want to go to your principal’s office at the end of the year. Explain to your principal that you are actually doing your job.
Because I passionately believe that you should be more concern on what and how they are learning instead of what they are earning in exams.
Explain to your principal that it is not about the performance graph or reputation. It is about learning and teaching English language the right way.  It may take a while, but it is okay.
Because I passionately believe that mastering a language takes time, because you won’t jerry-building a batch of future leaders who only can answer English in the exams but can’t and refuse to speak the language in their everyday lives.
If insisting on so makes some people call you funny absurd names like “penjajah” or “cikgu bandar”. Let them call you just that. But speak only English in your classroom.
Because your mission is not only to let them know how to read and write in English to pass their exams. Your mission should be that so that one day they can THINK critically when they converse and read in English.
Because I passionately believe that speaking English in your classroom will be part of the exorcism of the dead white man spectres that might have subconsciously  trapped in the body and are wandering in the mind of our potential future leaders.
So speak only English in your English classroom. They need English to read more. They are already proficient in Bahasa Malaysia, and they need more reading material. They really need to start reading materials written in English too.
You will do your part saving our future leaders by speaking only English in your classroom. And if you think you yourself are not fluent and proficient enough to speak only English in your classroom, then improve yourself.
And speak only English in your English classroom.
Because like Chinua Achebe, I passionately believe that our potential future leaders should be taught in a way that aims “at fashioning out a English which is at one universal and able to carry his peculiar experience”.
Our future leaders need English to tell the world about our very own experience.
Our future leaders need English to write about our very own stories.
Our potential future leaders need English to read major masterpiece about the world.
Our potential future leaders need English, just like they need Bahasa Malaysia and any other languages to speak out their thoughts to different kind of audience.
Therefore speak English in your English classroom. No matter how difficult you think it is, if you need to use L1 in your L2 language, use it sparingly.
Because I passionately believe that it’s hard work that makes all the difference. – June 13, 2014.
* Nadilla Jamil reads The Malaysian Insider.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.
- See more at:

Friday, May 30, 2014

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Your vs You're

photo credit: google

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Strawberry Generation

One of my bffs asked me,

 " Do you know that strawberry is not only a noun now? It is also an adjective! 

What is Strawberry Generation?

Well, according to

Strawberry generation (Chinese[1] or pinyinCǎoméi zú or cǎoméi shìdài)[2] is a Chinese language neologism forTaiwanese people born between 1981 and 1991 who "bruise easily" like strawberries – meaning they can not withstand social pressure orwork hard like their parents' generation; the term refers to people who are insubordinate,[3] spoiled, selfisharrogant, and sluggish in work.[4]
The term arises from the perception that members of this generation have grown up being overprotected by their parents and in an environment of economic prosperity, in a similar manner to how strawberries are grown in protected greenhouses and command a higher price compared to other fruits.
The term is starting to gain prominence in the East Asian press, as it could be a way to designate a rising demographic or psychographic in terms of consumer behavior. The Strawberry Generation, like the Post-80s of China, could be the Asian counterpart of the Generation Y in the Western world.

A soft Y generation?
Is a strawberry generation emerging in Singapore? - TNP 
Geraldine Mark and Lim Yufan

SINGAPORE - They are big in Japan, growing in Taiwan but are there strawberries here too? Not the fruit, but young people who are just as soft.
In Japan, the post-1980s children are referred to as freeters (a possible shortening of the word freeloader). In Taiwan, they are known as the strawberry generation.
Here, they're simply tagged as Gen Y.

But whatever they're called, they share common traits - they are spoilt, insubordinate, sluggish at work, apathetic, still live with and sponge off their parents and cannot stand hardship. Oh, and they're really soft.
Then-Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, said in 2010 that if not for National Service, we might already have a strawberry generation like Taiwan.

They don't play rugged outdoor games and instead spend their time on the computer. He added then that these young people tend to interact via social media like Facebook instead of communicating face-to-face.
But Gen Yers beg to differ. Miss Acelyn Ong, 24, is one who doesn't think she's a strawberry. Yes, she earns a few thousand dollars per month and does not give her parents any money. Sure, her father's still paying her telephone bills. She's also living with her parents in a five-room flat, together with a 25-year-old sister who is still studying.

But hey, Miss Ong, who graduated from Singapore Management University two years ago, runs a blogshop.
"I've wanted to give my parents money, but they rejected it and told me they have enough," says Miss Ong, whose blogshop Chaceylove sells ladies apparel.
"In fact, my dad still offers to give me money, which I have rejected so far."
By that she means an allowance. Her father used to offer her $800 to $1,000 on top of what she earns.

Not soft? Please, say some parents, who also blame themselves. Mr Ronald Phoa, 65, a father of three, says: "I don't think the kids are aware of what their parents go through to give their children a comfortable life."

His son, an NSF and part-time student, still lives with him.
So are his own children soft?

He says: "Definitely softer than the previous generation. Sometimes, my children tend to rely on me also, but as their father, I tend to give in too."
Madam Lee Li Li, 74, agrees that parents contribute to mushy children. "Maybe the older generations are tougher because children were often left to fend for themselves back then when families were bigger."
However, the grandmother of four children aged from 19 to 24 says: "I feel there isn't anything wrong with helping your children out a bit in the early stages of their careers."
So true, says Mr Aroon Sukumar, a final year student at Nanyang Technological University. "If the parents are always there to take care of the child's problems, then the children would always rely on their parents to handle their conflicts," he says.

The 25-year-old is looking for a place to rent so he can move out after he graduates. He is living with his grandparents.

So are the post-1980s children strawberries?

Prof Tan Ern Ser, an associate professor of sociology in National University of Singapore, is not so sure.
"I have come across many enterprising young people who are highly motivated and energised. There are obviously also the unmotivated ones, but (I don't think) they represent Gen Y," said Dr Tan. Anyway, it is normal to live with parents until marriage in Singapore, he said. He says: "Since households now are quite small, it is not surprising that even when married, a child might still live with his or her parents."

But what about work?

Here, people under 35 tend to switch jobs five to six times before settling down in one, says Mr David Ang, executive director of Singapore Human Resources Institute. Mr Ang has had feedback from employers who have said that many young workers are "soft" and cannot withstand hardship.

But he added: "The older generations will always say that the younger ones are getting soft."
So, maybe they're not strawberries. They just need the right motivation. Dr Tan said that when children do not achieve success, they end up retreating to the comfortable lifestyles that their parents can give to them.
He added: "We just need to provide the right encouragement and affirmation. People are motivated when they have meaningful things to do, and reasonable goals to achieve. "Help them discover their potential, and affirm them along the way."

So maybe what we have here are not strawberries but youths who live by a misguided notion of success.
Perhaps what they need is confidence and some encouragement - to venture out of their comfort zones and become useful members of society in their own ways.

This article was first published in The New Paper.


Monday, April 21, 2014

The Difference Between HAVE GOT TO & HAVE TO

While surfing the internet, I came across this website with an interesting poster in explaining how to use;

Have Got To and Have To

Monday, February 10, 2014

Monday, January 27, 2014

Monday, January 20, 2014

Friday, January 03, 2014

45 Ways To Avoid Using The Word 'VERY'

This is a very useful list of words to replace the over use of 'very' while writing. Credit to

Wednesday, January 01, 2014


Happy New Year to all my readers. I promise myself to update this blog more frequently :)
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