Subtle_Fortitude

…strength of mind can be stronger than you think

Archive for July, 2009

ESL… or is it EFL???

Posted by nuruliman45 on July 18, 2009

The mood of  WELCOME BACK TO CAMPUS is still fresh among all university/college students all over Malaysia…

One of the courses I’m taking this semester is SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION.  I feel real pumped..!  One reason being it is related to linguistics, the other is because one of my all-time favourite lecturers is the instructor for the course! 🙂  She gets my classmates and my mind rolling in class..she knows how to trigger our curiousity, and is humourous in her downright sarcastic way.  I certainly look forward to her lecture classes every week..! 🙂

Yesterday, we went over tons and tons (not literally, seemed like a lot though. hoho) of SLA (Second Language Acquisition) theories.  They ranged from Naom Chomsky’s Universal Hypothesis to Stephen Krashen’s Monitor Model.

Among the discussions we had in class was about the status of English in Malaysia whether as a SL (Second Language) or a FL (Foreign Language).  For as long as I could remember, during school of course, English is referred to as a second language in Malaysian schools.

Why? …because for decades English was actually the second language widely exposed to students in and outside of school.

Now can we say that looking at Malaysian students today?…

SLA or FLA?

Are we dealing with SLA (Second Language Acquisition) or FLA (Foreign Language Acquisition) in teaching English in Malaysian schools? In certain areas of Malaysia, especially in deep rural areas, students come face to face with English ONLY once they enter schools.  So would we still call English these students’ second language in their mentioned situation??

again..SLA or FLA?

one more thing to ponder… Can ‘learning’ become ‘acquisition’ in attaining language?

~*`*~ Subtle_Fortitude~*`*~

Ehem:  Yup, this is what you could call over excitement of starting a new sem to the extent that you write about your own course in your blog entries 😀 haha

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Rejuvenate Campus Culture..!

Posted by nuruliman45 on July 17, 2009

Last week, I was discussing about certain matters with a very vibrant friend of mine. Although we do abide to different beliefs  – him being Christian, me being Muslim – nevertheless, it seemed we shared common ground about university students’ weak grasp of their surroundings.

I recall him expressing his disappointment towards the average Malaysian graduate.

I don’t know about you, but I see that graduates usually leave campus life as people who are gullible and do not have a stand of their own.

These graduates are not a katak bawah tempurung, but worse; like a frog under a glass – they think they know what’s going on around them, nevertheless they don’t realize they’re being samely manipulated.

bob under glass

…quite an odd analogy, I would say, but after much thought, I had to admit…this friend of mine does have his point.

It is real obvious lately that campus students mostly deprive themselves with the ‘Whybother approach’ (thanks farril 😉 ).  Students couldn’t care less about what is going on beyond a mile from them, unless there is a movie cinema 2 miles away.

For example, early this year the world was erupted by the unfortunate fate of Gaza.  A moderate percentage of students took the effort of showing some care and read about what was going over in Gaza, for they actually believed that the whole Palestinian Holocaust is downright wrong.  A small percentage of students even expressed their grief through their personal blogs (read: What could  occur in Gaza within 10 minutes ).

What happened to the 50% rest of the university students (my own statistics based on observation)?? … nope, don’t have a firm stand.  They couldn’t care less.  Some just mentioned ‘Gaza’ at their lips as a passing joke.  Real sad if you ask me.  Lack of sensitivity.

Now, what happens to these kinds of students once they have trained their heads to not be sensitive towards anything but their next test paper?

… they become gullible working people who easily ‘go with the flow’ – meaning that they easily enjoin the majority without any basis of enjoining them in the first place.  The only reason they want to be a part of this majority is because, well.. it’s the majority.  It seems easy.  Well, graduates… majority or no majority, a firm stand comes with firm principles.  So develop your principles as firm as possible while still on campus for its on campus where you are opened to various world perspectives.  Be a graduate with a strong stand so won’t easily be fooled!

Campus Culture as a Catalyst in Developing Graduates with Firm Identity

I truly believe that campus culture plays a large role in developing graduates with a firm identity: firm stand with firm principles…!

So, what to do???….

REJUVENATE CAMPUS CULTURE! –> rejuvenate = UPLIFT

…Campus students need to feel the importance of being self-informed of what is happening beyond their forehead.  How do you get students to do this?.. well, the mood of ‘Curiousity brings prosperity’, instead of ‘Curiousity kills the cat’ (why does that suddenly sound weird) needs to somehow be of existence on campus.

Walking around on campus should give that magical effect.  To the extent that, masuk je pagar kampus, terasa nak baca paper!…haha :-p (well, something like that)

Bring a new campus image through Induction Week

The Induction Week for new students at any university is basically a ‘first impression’ of the campus for new students.  One batch of students might hold a different perspective of the university then its former, based on the impact of their induction week.

Hence, this should be seen as an opportunity in REJUVENATING the campus culture within this week.

Just to share, I took part in my campus’s induction week as among the orientation committee.  It amazed me how certainly opened and easily influenced these new students were.  Well, mostly only those from matriculation colleges and STPM holders, because it was their first time stepping into a university.  Now, don’t get me wrong…’easily influenced’ meaning they easily depend on any senior campus.

From this observation, I feel that rejuvenation of any campus culture could be started during this first week.  The attitude of the importance of being a KNOWLEDGE-THIRSTY student could be  inculcated upon these students.  …let’s effort towards it in the future…!

Information here and there!

My friend I mentioned above suggested we gather all the potential writers on campus and start on a new culture of arising curiousity through reading of critical writings.  A really great idea…! Quite exciting if you ask me.  Goodness, wouldn’t it be awesome to bring change to a campus???… Let’s! 🙂

~*`*~ Subtle_Fortitude~*`*~

Ehem: ok, i planned on only talking about my experience being an orientation committee… however it ended up averting to sumthing else… aiya

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