Friday, July 24, 2009

Semester Break

Latest news: Dear students of UiTM Johor, your semester break will begin from 27 July 2009 until 2 August 2009. Have a safe trip home. D3D1 & D3D2, don't forget your weekly blog assignment!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Of Bitches and Witches

I have combined class (with D2D1 and D2D2) every Wednesday morning at Sri Laksamana. Majority of these Part 2 students haven't bought the prescribed textbooks for BEL260 so I decided not to waste the slot by asking them to perform a short drama on twisted fairy tales of their choice.

There were five groups who performed twisted fairy tale versions of Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Cinderella and Beauty and The Beast.

I had fun watching them. They were certainly not shy at all and that's a good thing even though they made a lot of grammatical mistakes. But the most important thing is, they tried to speak in English and I could see the effort. Through drama, you can witness the proficiency level of your students.

In The Little Mermaid, the mermaid (played by a guy) wants to be a human just because he wants to audition for Malaysian Idol (or was it One in A Million? I can't remember).

In Snow White, the prince's name was Snow Black (because he loved wearing black clothes) and he used the magic mirror to find out who was the most beautiful princess because he wants to marry her. But the princess (her name was Princess Diana and she lived with the seven dwarfs) ended up marrying Snow Black's father. And Snow Black became crazy and the seven dwarfs took care of him after the princess got married. Ouch!

In Cinderella, there wasn't much to tell, but the guy playing Cinderella was terribly funny. His facial expressions and gestures were definitely interesting to watch.

But it was in Beauty and The Beast that I found was the most memorable.

The whole group were introducing themselves to the class. And this girl confidently spoke:

"Hello everybody, my name is Azilla and I will play The Bitch."

The whole class roared with laughter and suddenly she realized her mistake.

"Eh.. eh.. I mean The Witch. Sorry."

More laughter from the class. As for me, I couldn't keep a straight face any longer and chuckled.

See? If you pronounced the consonants wrongly, there will be a difference in pronunciation and the meaning will change as well.

P/S: Nad, I miss your group's version of Hindustan Wedding and Desperate Housewives. We all love Aizat's part (Pokok), don't we all? *chuckles*

Monday, July 13, 2009

Cheeky Girls

Besides teaching BEL311 to both D3D1 and D3D2, I also teach BEL260 to D2D1 this semester. (Apparently, I am destined to teach Banking students this semester!)

So this morning's activity is to ask them to write any five sentences in English and then ask them to transcribe the sentences into English phonetics with the help of their dictionaries. (I always teach phonetics to Part 2 students as I feel that it is important for them to know how to pronounce phonetic symbols in the dictionary).

Anyway, I checked their work to make sure that they had used the symbols correctly. Most of them wrote plain sentences and some even put in part of a popular song lyrics. I don't mind at all, as long as they are all in English.

But this one particular group dared to put in this sentence:

Well, they are cheeky girls, aren't they? :P

P/S: Can you interpret the phonetic symbols? If you can, I'll buy you lunch. Nadheera, DON'T ANSWER! THIS IS TOO EASY FOR YOU!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Welcome D3D1 & D3D2

Dearest D3D1 and D3D2 students..

Welcome to a whole new semester. You are in Part 3 now, and you have to sign up for BEL311 (English For Academic Purposes) as one of the courses this semester.

BEL311 is all about writing and that is why I have taught you on how to create your very own blog on the very first day of class. The ultimate reason for this is to encourage all of you to write well in English. This skill won't be developed overnight, so it takes time and practice on your part. I hope you will publish those weekly blog assignments before they are due on every Sunday.

Here's how all of you will be assessed for BEL311:

First of all, you are required to write a term paper. Term paper is pairwork, so you can choose a friend to work with you. The topic is up to you. You can write about anything EXCEPT sensitive issues like religion, politics and racism. The total assessment for term paper is 30%, which is further broken into:

Outline: 5%
First Draft: 10%
Final Draft: 15%

In BEL311, you also have discussion which is worth 20%. Just like BEL260, you will be given a situation and you are required to discuss which is the best solution. The only thing missing this time are the four options. You are only given the situation and you have to think of four possible solutions on your own.

The last is of course attendance, participation in class and assignments; which carries 10% of your on-going assessment. 10% might be small, but it is significant (I'm quoting the Director himself) if you want to get an A for this course. So please come to class.

As for the final exam, you will expect Reading Comprehension (worth 20%) and you have to write a term paper (20%). Don't worry, I will teach you how to do it, since a term paper has its own format and conventions. Just come to class, learn and you'll be fine.

Obtaining an A for this paper is not that difficult. It will solely depend on your own patience and perseverance. Don't be afraid to ask if you do not understand anything.

I hope you will enjoy being my student and I hope you will have fun blogging at the same time.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

First Entry

Hey there. This is my new blog and let me tell you in advance that it's going to be very boring. It is created solely for the purpose of communicating with my BEL311 students. At least they have this blog to link to their lecturer and it will be easier for me to check whether they had updated their blog assignments from their blog links.

The entries of this blog will not be as interesting as the previous one as I only wrote about general things. This is because I am reluctant to have my personal thoughts to be read by my students and fellow colleagues of UiTM Johor. Therefore, if you think what you read here is boring, just leave instead of leaving insolent remarks.

My first blog "In The Campus of Serenity" is now private because I changed my mind about sharing my personal thoughts, so please don't bother asking me for permission to read it.

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