My first tour of duty was to leave on 5th June and be picked up by the awesome Mr. Razol of Uni Razak at KLIA. He came in his shiny new Peugeot and I had great limo service to the hotel. Arrived past midnight and went straight to sleep to be fresh for the workshop the next day. On Saturday, 6th June, it was a public holiday for TYT's birthday yet 60+ uni students of UNI RAZAK showed up for my 8.30 to 4.30pm workshop. We did speaking simulations, theory and had tons of laughs with jokes to test their proficiency. Luckily, they laughed at most of my jokes so I could tell these students have quite high command of the English language and they will certainly do well in MUET as well as become future leaders in Malaysia. One of the best memories was being stuck in the jam during lunch break, and we ended up returning late to the auditorium but the Lamb Shank briyani was soooooooooo worth the calories and the cholesterol. In short, it was a brilliant and memorable experience which could only have taken off with the hard work and commitment of Mr. Razol, the Director for the Centre for Languages and Malaysian Studies and his great team. Kudos to all and may the force be with you!
My second stop was to fly from KL to Penang on the 7th of June on Sunday.. and on the Monday morning, Pn. Norzihan and her husband came to pick me up having driven all the way from Sg. Petani, Kedah only to drive all the way back there for the MUET workshop. It was definitely a superb collaboration between the district education office and the 8 schools that showed up for the talk. I would like to give a shout-out to 250+ teachers and students of SMK Khir Johari, SMK Kota Kuala Muda, SMK Sg. Limau, SMK Sg. Pasir, SMK Amanjaya, SMK Tunku Ismail and SMK Bandar Sungai Petani for sacrificing their mid year holiday break to be with me throughout the 4 hour workshop. I always emphasise that I am just a normal, ordinary teacher striving to share what little I know in the hope that students all around Malaysia can move forward through English language proficiency. Hopefully there will be more Bands 4 and 5 in the coming exam, the bulk of which is the hard work of all their own MUET teachers and just a tiny bit more 'ajinomoto' from me. Special mention to Mr. Yap for being my official power-pointer and to all the teachers who made the effort to come and listen. Tq especially to Pn.Norzihan and team and to her hubby for driving me back to Georgetown via the ferry. Was a wonderful tour of duty, in fact it felt like a holiday tour! Anyway, good luck, everyone!
I am always humbled that people would like me to speak at the workshops they organise. I have no intention of stepping on MPM's toes but I do believe that what little I know, I should make a point to share. Together, let us raise the standard of English in Malaysia so we can stand tall in the eyes of the world. #feelingblessed