Gaming, video editing among methods Malay teachers use to get students to enjoy language class

Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim speaking at the Malay language Seminar on March 16, 2021. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Malay language teachers Nazarudin Abdul Bakar and Syaiful Bahari Abdul Latif at Bedok View Secondary School have incorporated gaming elements in their lessons to encourage their students to read more Malay content.

They tasked their students to read a Malay story before getting them to answer questions on Deck.Toys, a platform where teachers can create interactive lessons with gaming elements, to test their understanding of the story read and the language used in it.

At Changkat Changi Secondary School, Ms Siti Nurhidayah Abdul Aziz and Ms Nur Umaira Mohamad Zulkifli used video editing software iMovie to help their students write stories more creatively and confidently.

The students worked together to create a short video based on one of the stories selected by the teachers and recorded their own dialogues, sourced for sound effects and created subtitles.

These were among the examples highlighted in a new compilation of 47 articles by 88 teachers on improving how the Malay language is taught in schools here.

The collection was launched at this year's annual Malay Language Seminar, which was held on Tuesday (March 16). The event was organised by the Malay Language Centre of Singapore (MLCS). Over 480 Malay language teachers attended online, with 30 more attending the seminar at the centre in Bishan.

Said Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, who was the guest of honour: "The seminar has provided a platform for teachers to come together to share their research findings. The seminar also raises issues and topics that are relevant, such as the (Covid-19) pandemic."

After observing the online sharing sessions of the research findings, Dr Faishal added that the Malay language teachers have adjusted to using technology in their lessons well to enhance the joy of learning the language.

The MLCS was established by the Ministry of Education in 2010 to support the in-service training of Malay language teachers. It offers a wide range of professional development courses, workshops and seminars. Malay language teachers can also tap the resources available at the centre.

Associate Professor Salinah Ja'afar, from the Department of Linguistics of the Academy of Malay Studies at University Malaya in Malaysia, delivered the keynote address at the seminar through a live stream.

She said Malay language teachers must be open to change and take advantage of technology to enhance the teaching of the subject, although it may seem challenging at first.

"The Government should work closely with schools to provide infrastructure and courses relevant to the latest technology available to enrich the skills of teachers," she added.

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