Schools English Language Communication

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Introduction

English Language is playing an important role in our daily life. Statistics have shown that English Language is currently the most frequently used language in the world. This is proven when most of the countries nowadays use English Language as the formal language of communication and written jobs. Hence, mastering English Language is unavoidable and many conservative steps should be taken so that the new generation of future will be able to learn the language for the sake of their future. Five skills of language consisting of reading, speaking, listening, writing and grammar should be practised by the young generation frequently so that they will not face difficulties about English Language in the future. Hence, English Language society of SJK (C) Jinjang Tengah (1) has planned an English Week and oral test throughout the year.

Aims and Objectives of Programmes

Both programmes are planned last year by the committee members of the society based on few aims. The aims the society planned these programmes are to encourage the use of English Language among all the students. The programmes organised provide them a mean for them to interact with each other. Through this mean of communication, students are expected to practise English Language and boost up own confidence through speaking of English. For the oral tests, its objective is to create a space for the students to test their language through a series of skills, that are reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar. Students nowadays are weak in mastering all the skills of language. They only focus on their mother language while abandon other language for learning session. This will greatly restrict the chances the students improve themselves by equipping them with fluent languages which can increase their competitive advantages in the society. As oral tests commonly test students ' five skills of language, the students have neither no chance to skip the learning of language nor being lazy to learn it. This is because the class teacher will evaluate students ' performance through oral tests, which is part of the marks in the students ' final exam.

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Besides, the second aim of the programmes is to make the use of English Language becomes visible in the school compound. Most of the students tend not to learn English as they think that English Language is tough enough for them to overcome. They scare to be teased by other students. However, the use of English Language is becoming more important in daily life. Students are ought to learn English to equip themselves in the competitive global. Through the programmes being planned, five essential skills in language are expected to be mastered by the students and eventually students should be able to use English Language in their daily life. This is to prepare the students to be equipped with fluent English to compete in the society.

In the annual plan of English Language society, there are two major programmes being held. The first programme is English Week. During English Week, many activities will be carried out, consisting of story telling competition, poem recitation, and singing competition. There are few objectives English week being held. Firstly, through a series of competitions during English Week, students are hoped to learn five essential skills of the language, that are reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar. Students should learn these skills since young. These skills will be useful enough in their work in the future. Besides, students will be able to improve their English respectively through these competitions, as the saying goes," Practice Make Perfect".

Duration of Programme

Both programmes were being completed on time within the schooling time. For English Week, it was held at the midst of the year, that was around end of March. The opening ceremony was initated by the headmaster on 28th of March, 2011. The programme was lasted for one week. The singing competition was being carried out in the school hall on Tuesday, that was 29th of March, 2011. Meanwhile, the story telling competition was held in the school hall too on 30th of March, 2011. On 31st of March, 2011, poem recitation took place in the language room. For the oral tests, it was subdivided into two periods. The first test was in the midst of March, while another one took place in around September. All the oral tests took place in the class, during schooling hours. The schooling hours was from 7.20 am to 1.20 pm for Tuesdays until Thursdays. For every Friday, the classes start from 7.20 am and end at 12.45 pm.

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During English Week, The competitions were held based on different specific group of students. For the singing competition, it targeted on students from Year One and Year Two's students. Students from Year Three and Year Four would be competing in story telling competition. Meanwhile, the poem recitation competition targeted students of Year Five and Year Six to participate in. For every competition, every class would have to send maximum two representatives to participate in. For oral tests, it is opened for all the students, from standard one until standard six. None of the students can be excluded as speaking of English is essential to be learnt by all the students. This is due to the global trend that people in the world currently communicate with people in English the most, rather than other languages such as Chinese, Malay and so on. Hence, oral tests are held with the purpose of testing students ' fluency and pronunciation when communicate in English.

Report on implementation of Programme

English Week

The opening ceremony of English Week was held on 28th of March, 2011. The headmaster delivered his speech to officiate the programme. In his speech, he stressed on the importance of English Language and hoped all the students would appreciate the chances given to learn English Language when they are still young. The programme lasted for a week, and all the competition managed to be completed on time.

The first activity was the singing competition. The singing competition was on individual based. It was carried out on 29th of March, 2011 in the school hall. Classes from Year One and Year Two were required to send maximum two representatives to participate in the competition. All the students in that two forms were gathered in the school hall at 8am sharp to support their classmates respectively. The teacher in charge was Madam Ong. A board of prefects helped her to arrange the seats and to control the situation in the hall. The competition started as schedule. There were total 28 participants taking part in the competition. The presentation of songs must be in English form and being approved by the English teachers respectively before submitting the form to the organiser. All the participants had 5 minutes to sing their songs only. The panel of judges consisted of Ms Chang, Mrs Lim, and Mr. Ng. They judged the participants' performances according to their gesture, their volume, their rhythm, and their fluency. Use of costumes was optional to all the participants. Eventually, Ng Xi Yien from 1 M won away the first place by obtaining 92 marks out of 100 marks. She presented the song "Hokey , Pokey". The second place was taken by Justine Chang from class 2 K with the song titled "If You're Happy" and the third place won by Michelle Tan from class 2 B. The champion received a trophy , a stationery hamper worth RM30 and participation certificate. Meanwhile, the second place winner could take away a trophy , a stationery hamper worth RM20 and participation certificate and the third place winner took away a trophy , a stationery hamper worth RM10 and participation certificate. Prizes were given away during closing ceremony. All the students clapped for their impressive performances.

On the third day, that was 30th of March, 2011, story telling competition took place. The story telling competition targeted on students from Year Three and Year Four. There were 24 participants in this competition. Ms Goh was the teacher in charge of the competition. As all the students from both form were gathering in the school hall to watch the performance, she requested school prefects to aid in controlling the situation in the hall. The competition started at 8.00 in the morning. The participants were required to present their stories based on the themes set by the organising committee. The themes were courage, kindness and responsibility. Their story telling must be presented within 8 minutes. All the participants presented their stories in very creative ways. The judges were Mr Chang, Ms Low and Ms Ong. They had the hard time to choose the winner of the competition. They evaluated the competition from the combination of gesture, the pronunciation of words, the rhythm and the lessons behind the stories. Wong Bee Lian from class 3B emerged as the champion of the competition with the story titled "Random Acts of Kindness. She received a trophy , a stationery hamper worth RM30 and a participation certificate. Meanwhile, the first runner up went to Chong Hoo Wai from class 4 M. He presented the story entitled "The Brave Monkey" and he took away a trophy , a stationery hamper worth RM 20 and a participation certificate. Johnny Nyon from class 4 H won away the third place and received a trophy , a stationery hamper worth RM10 and a participation certificate.

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Poem recitation competition took place on Thursday. It was also the last activity carried out during the English Week. There were only 10 participants for the competition. Each participant was given maximum 5 minutes to recite the poem selected. The competition took place in the language room, which is at Block B. The competition started at 8am sharp after the introduction of the panels and the rules required to be obeyed by the participants. The panel of judges were Mr Ng , Madam Tan and Ms Chang. They evaluated the performance from their tones, their rhythm, and their pronunciations. Alvin Koh from class 6 B emerged as the champion for the competition, with his poem titled " Mama". He also received a trophy , a stationery hamper worth RM30 and a participation certificate. Nur Akilah from class 6 H took away the first runner up place while the third place went to Johnson Gan from class 6 M. His poem was "Above the Bright Blue Sky". The first runner up and the second runner up winners received a trophy , a stationery hamper and a participation certificate respectively.

Oral Tests

The oral tests were the annual programme that is held every year. The objective is to to create a space for the students to test their language through a series of skills, that are reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar.This year, English language society committee members had included reading session and grammar session in the oral tests. Previously, the oral tests were about memorizing a speech or presenting a drama in front of the classmates. Through the previous oral tests, students had the chance to have the presentations which were conducted in English. Nevertheless, students became weaker in reading skill and writing skill. During examinations, students ' writing skill were tested. As a result, students ' writing papers became a thorn to the teachers as numerous grammatical mistakes were found in it. The school administration noticed such phenomenon occurring among the students, and hence, requested the committee members to develop the later oral tests which were specially designed to curb such problem.

The oral tests were carried out in two period. The first oral test was held in the midst of March, that was around 10th of March, 2011 until 10th of April, 2011. It lasted for a month as the oral test was on individual based. The session tested about students ' speaking skill and required all the students to prepare with a speech to present in front of the classroom. The speech prepared could be found at anywhere, no matter from magazines, Internet, newspapers, story books or own writing. Nevertheless, the speeches presented must have positive influence but not negative influence. Sensitive issues such as political issues, religious issues and so on were strictly disallowed. To avoid such phenomenon occurred, the students were required to submit the sample speeches to the class teachers respectively two weeks before the oral test. For the oral test, the marks would be given based on the pronunciation of words, the combination of gestures and the rhythm of the speech. The class teachers were the judge for their classes respectively.

For the second oral test, it was held during September, that was around 11th of September, 2011 until 25th of September, 2011. It only lasted for two weeks as it was on group presentation basis. The students were required to present drama by having own group. The group must consisted at least 7 to 8 students. They had to submit the drama line to the teacher one month earlier before they could practise for the drama to present. The drama presented must include some moral values which could be learnt by every student. During the drama presentation, all the students had to speak in English. Speaking in other languages would lead to mark penalties.

Both oral tests would contribute partial marks for the students ' final examinations. This was implemented to avoid the students ignoring the oral tests as they would think that oral tests were useless and contributed none for their academic performance. Through a series of oral tests, students would have the opportunity to practise their English. Learning English could not be achieved within a day. Hence, the students should appreciate the effort made by the committee members and strive hard in mastering English language.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Programme

The success of the programmes was contributed by the dedication and hardwork from all the organising members of English Language society. All the activities went smoothly. Eventually, the committee members had the meeting to analyse the programmes being carried out. This is to ensure the committee members to realise the mistakes committed and to have better plannings in the future.

There are few strengths found via the programmes. Firstly, all the teachers had given full cooperation in aiding the progress of the activities. They played their role by encouraging the students to participate in the competitions provided and being the judges to evaluate the performances of the participants. Besides, appraisal should be given to the board of school prefects too. They helped to control the situation when the competitions were being held. They ensured all the students kept quiet in the competition scenes so that the competitions went smoothly. Credits are given to the students too as they cooperated to support school's programmes. They were active to volunteer themselves to represent the class to win the competitions respectively. Their acts of volunteering in activities should be kept it up.

Credits should also be given towards the school administration and the parents for their support. Without their cooperation, the programmes would not succeed. During the implementation of both programmes, English Language society received full support from both parties. School administration contributed their part by providing the equipments required such as PA system and microphone when the programmes were held on. Besides, parents also played their part in the form of monetary and moral supports. They also encouraged their children to take part in the competitions organised.

Moreover, all the students were exposed to the use of English Language when the programmes were being held. They had the chances to test their English through the acts of speaking, listening, reading, writing and grammar. As the saying goes "Rome was not built in one day", English could not be mastered in a day. It has to be accumulated day by day and eventually they will turn up to speak English fluently and will be able to understand what others are saying. Through the singing competition and story telling competition, the students are able to promote the use of English in creative way. They will be more interested to learn English as students in young age tend to in flavour with the creative things.

Nevertheless, there were few weaknesses analysed and were required to improve. Immediate actions should be taken so that the committee members will be aware of that and be alert when planning similar programmes in the future. Firstly, most of the students were demotivated to take part in some specific competitions, such as poem recitation competition. The promotion of the competition was not that great as many students were not understand about the criterias of the competition clearly. They committed the restrictions during their performances and were being eliminated on the spot.

Furthermore, the PA system of the school was not modern enough. During competitions such as singing competition and story telling competition, the committee members often faced the problem that PA system was malfunctioning. The competition could not go smoothly. All the participants had to wait for the organisers to fix the problem before continue their performances. The malfunctioning of PA system nearly caused the competition to be delayed and could not finish on time.

Suggestions and Recommendations

To ensure the success of the English programmes in the future, English Language society has come out with few suggestions and recommendations to improve. Firstly, school administration should take immediate action to send the PA system for maintenance and repairng. A good quality of PA system will ensure the programmes to go smoothly. Besides, the programmes should be extended to a longer period. For instance, English Week should be extended to two weeks next year. This is to enable more activities to be implemented during English Week.

Moreover, the English Language committee members would also like to recommend the school administration to encourage all the teachers to organise more indoor activities for the classes to join respectively. This is because English Language should be learnt from day to day, but not for a period only. Students that are weak in English will have the opportunity to improve their English. The teachers must be responsible in monitoring the students' progress of learning English.

Conclusion

As the saying goes, "Practice Make Perfect", all the students are advised to practise English in their daily life. The global nowadays is very competitive, and the students should equip themselves with excellent English and be updated with the latest news happening around the world. They must not give up in learning English as mastering English will ensure them to have better communications and acts an useful tool in the future.