TEDxKenyalang Preview: Going Global with English

HER very first snail mail involving Form 4 students in 2015 (Pen Pal Writing with a school from Texas).
POSING a picture with TEDEd Innovative Educators (TIE Cohort 3) from USA and Ireland.

MAGDALINE during the TEDEd Summit in New York City from November 10 to
HER very first snail mail involving Form 4 students in 2015 (Pen Pal Writing with a school from Texas).
MAGDALINE (most front) together with TEDEd Innovative Educators from Ireland, Brazil, Pakistan, Argentina and USA.

AS a teacher who struggles against students that lack proficiency in the English Language, she improvised and came out with different materials to help them as it was one of her wishes to see her students to be fluent in English.

Having been an English Teacher since 1998, 42-year-old Magdaline Muuk initially wished to be a radio announcer because of her love to share ideas and to speak. “As a Kampung (village) girl, I then realised that I need to become an educator as there were many individuals with lack of education out there especially my own people,” she shared.

Wanting to be a role model to encourage and inspire her students to immerse into the English Language subject, Magdaline incorporate Edmodo and Padlet, and Global Classroom in her teachings to help her students to better learn and understand the language. Magdaline is one of the speakers for the upcoming November 25 TEDxKenyalang, an event to be held at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching. TED is short for Technology, Entertainment and Design and a combination of TEDtalks video and live speakers to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group will be held at the event. Through her methods in teaching the English Language,she is recognised for her beliefs in giving and creating a platform for her students to learn. “Students will work autonomously and self-reliant to expand their horizon by working independently in person, groups and globally.”

She continued, “Since their main goal is to interconnect in written and verbal form, students would work extra hard and thoughtfully before they are ready to expose themselves.”

Magdaline through her TEDEd Club, which is the one and only in Sarawak, saw her students being able to bring out concealed issues to be highlighted. She disclosed, “My Global classrooms and TEDEd Club methods have really transformed my students in using the language and we could really see the students’ outcomes in the six students aspirations aspects that are knowledge; thinking skills; leadership skills; bilingual proficiency; ethics and spiritually; and national identity.

Edmodo and Padlet Method According to Magdaline, the main concept of Edmodo and Padlet are to deliver, share and exchange ideas as a platform to connect teacher-students even after school hours. She also shared how through this platform that is available online, students are able to work at their own pace, share their very own authentic resources, materials and ideas among themselves, encourages students to partake in the target language and most importantly, an exposure to technology applications that can connect them to the global education.

The platform’s interface which looks similar to a Facebook page, connects students among themselves along with teachers. Magdaline shared her experience with her students using the platform, “These platforms are very useful to those students who are shy or afraid to use the language verbally, especially when they are in the classroom. You will be amazed to see how students can get involved actively after school period.”

Global Classrooms Emphasising on her global classroom method, the school teacher from SMK Kidurong, Bintulu explained the concept of it. “Global Classrooms is an innovative educational programme that engages middle school and high school students in an exploration of current world issues through interactive simulations and curricular materials. Global Classrooms cultivate literacy, life skills and the attitudes necessary for active citizenship.”

Having started the method two years ago, Magdaline admitted it was her very own crazy idea to empower her students to explore their own learning, to be able to think outside the box, and to connect them to the outside world pertaining global issues as it is not in our system or in the curricular syllabus.

“Through Global Classrooms I incorporate cultural exchange into our curricular through virtual international exchange programmes enabling students to have direct communication with kids their own age living under significantly different circumstances,”she also mentioned how through this programme, her students, despite being at home, or at school were able to have the opportunity to ‘travel’ to another country. Magdaline shared through the Global Classrooms, students were able to :

1. Investigate the world beyond their immediate environment, framing significant problems and conducting well-crafted and ageappropriate research.

2. Recognise perspectives, others’ and their own, articulating and explaining such perspectives thoughtfully and respectively.

3. Communicate ideas effectively with diverse audiences, bridging geographic, linguistic, ideological, and cultural barriers.

4. Take action to improve conditions, viewing themselves as players in the world and participating reflectively. By using the 21st Century 4Cs (Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Creativity), Magdaline’s students through Global Classrooms shared, exchanged, and expanded ideas on cultural competency and global issues where they worked based on United Nations 17 Global Goals Sustainable Development 2030.

“The programme saw my students doing snail mail, e-pal, video calls and collaboration via Edmondo, Padlet, and Seesaw with schools outside Malaysia, schools from United States, Australia and Brazil. “We also did Mystery Skype/ Hangout with countries from India, USA, Sweden, New Zealand, and Australia,” disclosed Magdaline. PenPal Schools Being the Global Ambassador for PenPal Schools, Magdaline introduced the site as an online project where teachers sign their class and students up to join and to be able to choose to interact on issues that are of interest.

“Throughout the time frame discussion, students can expand their way of communication (whether they want to exchange email or social media). What is more amazing about PenPal Schools is that students are working at their own time, having no pressure in completing the tasks, meeting new people, enhancing their language competency (vocabulary, grammar, and language structures).” She added also, “To a certain degree, with their teacher’s agreement, the students can have a video session in between or at the end of their discussion (ideas sharingexchange).”

Pivotal role of the English Language globally For the past two years, Magdaline Muuk through the International Leaders in Education Programme (ILEP) has championed in instilling global citizenship values in her school and local community.

The SMK Kidurong teacher’s first project was an online Skype video exchange programme between her classroom and students from Indonesia, India, Phillipines, and Mexico. Based on the United Nation’s World’s Largest lesson, her global classroom’s initiative exploded into a multitude of campaigns, workshops, briefings, competitions, and PenPal series focused on the sustainability development goals.

When asked on the pivotal role of the language and how it can help with the current world, particularly among the Malaysian youths, Magdaline said, “English is a global language and we know that to be someone or to move further ahead, we need to master the language. No doubt the youths are exposed to the language and they need to grab the opportunity wisely.”

She also agreed on the state government’s move in upholding the usage of English Language as there are prospects in mastering the language, and their initiatives to allow Sarawakians to comprehend the language through related programmes to boost the usage of English among learners (Highly Immersive Programme and Dual Language Programme). Magdaline mentioned also how the initiatives can expose the students and provide them chances to be involve with the language.

“Be bold to take the chances and challenges when dealing with the language. Nevertheless, it is up to the teachers and students on how would they accept the importance of the English Language.”

The 2-day TEDxKenyalang conference will see many talented speakers from all walks of life sharing their stories – among them are Professsor Mushtak Al-Atabi, Alvin Wee, Azmir Zed, Magdalene Muuk, Aziph Mustapha, Sada Borneo music band, Dr. M. Abdullah Zaidel, Anthony Sebastian, Diane Russell, Datin Valerie Mashman and James Lai. Shaped by their experience and ideas, the speakers will explore paradigms that will inspire, empower, and motivate participants to embrace new perspectives. On top of that, there will also be workshops by BIMP-EAGA, products showcase and bazaar selling a variety of goods.

The event is expected to attract 500 participants. For more information, do visit www.tedxkenyalang. com or search TEDxKenyalang on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For enquiries and registration do email curator@tedxkenyalang.com or call 082-238636. This event is managed by Place Borneo Sdn Bhd.

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