Stage Fright

on Sunday, 31 October 2010
Tomorrow, 1 Dalton will be having a story telling competition. It's important not only as an enrichment process of speaking English, but performance wise it helps a lot in confidence.


If there is one thing that students need more than anything, it's confidence. Importantly, you get a lot of kids who are noisy, full of energy, and very out of bounds when it comes to personal hygiene... Well, this isn't going to change that last bit...

... moving on....

Most of the time, you'll get students who are so energetic and outspoken but are complete wusses when told to come up to the front of a crowd to speak. It is important to break that irritating affective factor and get them out of their comfort zone; not to freak them out, but to freak them out now. So that they will get the chance to say "Been there, done that".

I'm very happy that I'm going to do this for the form 1 students.

Being Specific

on Thursday, 28 October 2010
Well, just so you know.. if you're going to be a teacher, there's such a thing as item analysis.

I'm sure you're wondering what that is.

It's basically counting what your students answered, how they answered it, and what were the options they missed. It sounds complicated when I put it this way... in other words, you do:

1. Take a students answer sheet and type in Microsoft Excel:
     a) what was answer number 1? A
     b) what was answer number 2? C

... and this goes on for ALL the questions.

So, fellow teachers... imagine if 1 paper has 40 questions...

You have 30 students per class,

Multiply 5 classes.

Well, I'm not that good in maths anyway.

I just know it's a lot.

English School Song

on Friday, 22 October 2010
I'm proud to announce that after a long period of discussions, evaluations, and talking...

SMK Bukit Garam II has an English school song.


I'm proud to say that 4 Dalton managed to do a decent job with my help to translate/rewrite the song. I didn't know that they started singing the English song EVERYDAY instead of the BM song! That just shows how excited they are and how patriotic they are now with a song that they created on their own.

SMK Bukit Garam II
English School Song

SMK Bukit Garam II
The school that we really love,
With our pride we proclaim its name,
The hope of our glorious land.

All the teachers kind and diligent,
Always educating us,
Towards fantastic achievements,
To bring the best out of ourselves.

Our lovely school full of harmony
Knowledge is our cherished prize,
Our academy, we pledge loyalty
to be bright, astute and devout.

We are students of the greatest school,
Always steadfast in our strides,
To be the best of all mankind,
Victorious now and for all time,
Victorious now and for all time,
Victorious now and for all time.

proclaim – say out loud
glorious land – great country
harmony – peace and calm
academy – place of study
pledge loyalty – give commitment
cherished – care about deeply
astute – smart/honourable
devout – committed
steadfast – don’t easily give up/steady
strides – forward movements/walking with big steps

Written by 4 Dalton 2010
Supervised by Tan Shueh Li @ Adrian (English Teacher)
Approved by Siti Suraya Jamil (Head of English Department)
Approved by SMK Bukit Garam II Principal Tuan Haji Mordin Bin Haji Mohd Daud

Testing Taboo

on Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Watching my students do their exams really gets my mind going about writing about testing and evaluation of English in our curriculum. It's really interesting to see the test split into the different sections - different aspects of the language are being tested. Of course, upper forms and lower forms have different sections (though some might seem similar).

I think that if you look at the details of the exam, you would find that it actually encompasses a wide range of compartments of English that might prove very valuable for testing. Simplistically, the test tries to handle both comprehension and grammar. More interestingly, I would like to talk about the balance between these 2 components in the exam.

Personally, I don't see many components of the exam testing a student grammatically. Which explains the second language idea because comprehensible input/output is one of the biggest issue in second language learning.

Let's take a look at the 1st paper of the lower forms:

SECTION A - Graphical Cues
SECTION B - Rational Cloze
SECTION C - Phrasal Verbs
SECTION D - Reading Comprehension
SECTION E - Literature

I think almost all the sections deal with comprehension accept the Rational Cloze. Sometimes, in the literature section, they could ask about definition but that's not a whole section dedicated to grammatical functions.

It clearly shows that there is a solid structure for testing the students. Therefore we should conclude that the original idea of the structure of the exam is VERY valid.

So why are the standards dropping?

Some things, you know... but you just can't say it.

Feelings o Feelings

on Saturday, 16 October 2010
Announcing my re-appearance after a long absence. I am feeling a bit emotional these few days.. reasons? Not too sure..

To come to think of it, being a teacher is difficult.. not difficult because the students drive you up the wall because to me, it's the nature of the job. The most difficult part is not to let your own feelings control you and release the feelings to the students.

I had experienced this situations before when teachers released their anger or negative emotions to the students. Back when I was a student, I just dislike these teachers because they treated us that way.

I wouldn't deny that I did it before. But... I am glad that I realized it and will switch the mood immediately. It's not fair to the students.. not knowing what happened, they'll be scolded and scowled at.

But I am only human.. have feelings too.. get moody once in a while..


being a teacher... I guess.. I just have to learn how to control it and not channel my negative energy to the students.

I love my students to be cheerful... my class to be fun and not dead silence.

Being a teacher? Not easy.. but I will never give up.

Going Graphic

on Thursday, 14 October 2010
Just an announcement...

Starting next week (not exactly sure when), there'll be some interesting additions to the blog posts.

At least, I know I'll be adding something more which I never had.

I always thought that the site was kinda missing something when it didn't have that. I'm glad that I can now contribute a little bit with the additions. I'm sure the message will also become clearer and it'll be more interesting to the readers who have yet to see...

... pictures.

Share the Love

on Wednesday, 13 October 2010
Well, after blogging for a while and realising that this blog has a small following... I thought it's time to take this blogging thing up a notch.

Yeah... I think I should take this thing seriously..

With great power, comes great responsibility...
                                                            -Ben Parker-

I recently purchased a Canon MP245 printer with 3 in 1 functions (printer/scanner/photocopier). Having now taught for a little while, I think sharing and giving things out to other teachers is crucial if I were to be really serious when I talk about trying to improve and making a difference.

I wanna make a difference. That is one of the many reasons why I wanted to be a teacher. In fact, probably it's one of the biggest reasons why I decided to be a teacher.

Therefore, I also want to say that if there are any teachers who want certain exam papers from Sabah, or are not sure about some of the schematics and answer schemes for the School Based Oral Assessment (SBOA) and other things, I am willing to share these documents (which aren't confidential anyway) for free. 100% FREE.

Not sure what I mean or how this whole thing goes?

Let me break it down to ya:

1. You want to see the PMR trial exam paper from Sabah.
2. You email me at; or just message in Facebook; or if you know me personally, call me and tell me what you want.
3. I'll tell you about the availability of the test and if I can share it (only if it's confidential).
4. I scan the paper, and email it to you.
5. You receive the email.
6. You jump in joy and give me virtual kisses and hugs.
7. I slap you with a restraining order.

Well, you can skip steps 6-7 if you're not a stalker...

... but teachers (being professionals), I think you know how this goes. This is just to show that I really appreciate the followers and readers who have been loyal in reading my blog entries.... this is just something I can give back.

Plus... I just want to share the love.

Hanging on

on Tuesday, 12 October 2010
Following up with my debating programme...

Looks like the only people who are truly enthusiastic about the whole thing are 2 students. I don't think it is because of them not grasping the language and cannot understand the language that is being used while the discussions are ongoing but I think it is the nature of debates that are scaring people off.

I thing this whole debating things is enigmatically shrouded with fear.

I would assume that debates aren't for everyone but I was kind of hoping that students were more interested since they have never gotten the chance to do something like that.

Maybe I'm just rubbing it in more by saying that I think that those who are interested could probably be just holding on because they don't want to disappoint me.

Fingers crossed

A Teacher's Blessing

on Wednesday, 6 October 2010
Really sorry that I've been going AWOL just like that.... ahhh ahhHHH AHH CHOOO~!~~~!

As you can see in the previous sentence... I've been caught with the flu that's been going around here.

Lately, there has been not much going on.. even in classes because everyone is too caught up in exams (flu as well). Everyone is busy prepping for the exam... even form 1,2, and 4 are on holidays which is good because... AHHHHHH CHOOOOOOOOOOOOO~!!~!.... you get the picture...

Well, I know it's kinda late cause they have already started yesterday...