This is a place where teachers share their stories and experiences of integrating digital technology in their language classrooms. Check this space regularly for your weekly dose of inspirations!
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by Dr Lee Kean Wah
It is an honour for me to announce the launch of the Going Digital ELT Blog. To provide a bit of background, the Going Digital ELT’s website (previously Going Digital Kota Kinabalu) is an online extension to a professional learning community for ESL teachers that I initiated together with Cynthia James and a team of educators from Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and Kota Kinabalu District Education Office (PPD KK) in 2016. This community gathers ESL practitioners who have a common passion in digital technology for language education in Sabah, Malaysia. (Go here to find out more).
by GD-ELT Editorial Team
Nurfadzilah Nek Kamal, or more fondly known as Teacher Dilla, certainly needs no introduction. Her Facebook page Teacher Dilla's English Lessons - which has over 38k followers to date - is popular not just within the ESL teaching community but also among parents, academics, researchers, educationists, and anyone passionate about elementary-level English language education. The Facebook page, where Teacher Dilla shares her fun and innovative classroom activities and materials on a regular basis, has been a major source of inspiration for many school teachers as well as parents with young children all over Malaysia and beyond.
Teacher Dilla is a multiple award-winning teacher. She was the winner of the Best Presentation Silver Award at the International Conference of English Language Teaching in 2015 and the recipient of PPD Kota Setar's Innovation Award and 21st Century Teacher Award in 2016. Her works have also been widely featured at local and international levels, in various news media and academic publications.
In addition to her inspiring teaching approaches and innovations, Teacher Dilla is also well-known for her loveable and congenial personality. Following her posts on social media is pure fun - her love for K-Pop hunks is infectious, and so is her wicked and often self-deprecating sense of humour (e.g. she doesn't see herself as a tech-savvy teacher because she sometimes gets logged out of her own e-mail and can't figure out the password). But underneath the jokes and the trademark "why-so-serious" attitude is a visionary educator - an educator who takes pleasure in breaking stereotypes, to challenge the norms, and to constantly improve herself. She cares deeply not just about education, but also about the teaching profession (she wants to be "a primary school teacher with a PhD" because she wants people "to stop looking down at teachers").
Teacher Dilla has recently received the Hadiah Latihan Persekutuan, a scholarship award from the Malaysia Ministry of Education to sponsor her doctoral research on children's literature at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. GD-ELT is lucky to have been blessed with the precious opportunity to get up close and personal with this very inspiring educator.
by Abdul Aziz bin Arsyad
The Blog editorial team has recently launched a new series known as Interviews with Going Digital ELT (GD-ELT Inspirers). This series will be featuring outstanding English Language educators who have made significant contributions in the field of digital technology in language education in Malaysia. These educators have gone above and beyond their calls of duty to provide meaningful learning experiences for their students. They have also helped and inspired fellow teachers from all over Malaysia and around the world with their determination, selflessness, ingenuity, and generosity in sharing their knowledge with others.
The GD-ELT Inspirer featured in this issue is the amazing Audrey Koh Sui Ean, who is well-known not only in the field of ELT but also through her involvement in charities and various humanitarian causes. In this interview with our team member Abdul Aziz Arsyad, Audrey talked about how she has turned stumbling blocks into stepping stones, and offered tips and advice on how other teachers can do the same.
by Cynthia C. James
Interviews with Going Digital ELT (GD-ELT) Inspirers is a new series on this blog, created specifically to acknowledge outstanding English Language educators who have made significant contributions in the field of digital technology in language education in Malaysia. These educators have gone above and beyond their calls of duty to provide meaningful learning experiences for their students. They have also helped and inspired fellow teachers from all over Malaysia and around the world with their determination, selflessness, ingenuity, and generosity in sharing their knowledge with others.
The GD-ELT Inspirer featured in this issue is none other than Dr Sirhajwan Idek from Keningau Vocational College, Sabah, Malaysia. In this interview with our team member Cynthia C. James, Dr Sirhajwan talked about his latest projects, his teaching philosophy, his views on teaching during the pandemic, and most of all, what inspires him and keeps him going.
A digital storytelling project to motivate reluctant writers and to enhance narrative writing skills among primary ESL pupils
by Felicity F. Malanggin
Most of the year 6 pupils in SK Kota Marudu 2 performed poorly in their writing tests because they disliked writing. The lack of motivation also contributed to their reluctance to write. This project will look into how digital storytelling can help ignite pupils’ interests in story-writing and improve their performances in story-writing tests. The tools used for developing digital storytelling had to be limited to offline resources with Microsoft PowerPoint as the main platform due to constraints involving the availability of hardware and software as well as poor Internet connectivity.
by Cynthia C. James
I have plenty of experiences with low-resource classrooms - as a student, a teacher, and someone who works with and alongside teachers. In this post, I would like to share how all these experiences have shaped my thinking about technology integration practices in the classroom, and my belief about what matters. To borrow Clandinin's (2013) term, this is my 'narrative beginning.' I am sharing my reflections on how it all started, and how I came to be part of the Going Digital community.
by Leong Siew Lee @ Iris
Nowadays and more than ever, teachers are expected to integrate digital technology in their classroom practices to help students learn better, faster, and more effectively. Fortunately, I was introduced to some Web 2.0 tools during a series of trainings organised by the Going Digital community. Through these trainings, I learned how to adopt these technology practices in my English language lessons. Using Web 2.0 tools to prepare my Form 6 students for the Malaysian University English Test (MUET) has produced encouraging results. Through this experience, I also learned that in order for my teaching to remain relevant in this age and time, it is necessary for me to understand the students’ needs and to keep myself updated with the latest technology tools and its application in language education. In this article, I aim to share a few useful Web 2.0 tools which I have utilised in my MUET classroom.
by Connie Bernard Maskilone
My Form 5 students were always bored and lacking in enthusiasm when completing their tasks for the School-Based Oral Assessment (SBOA). This project was conducted as an intervention to encourage the Form 5 students of SMK Tebobon, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah to do their SBOA in fun and creative ways. Through observations and brainstorming of ideas conducted in the classroom, I discovered that the students were not interested in doing the oral test the ‘old’ ways. In this article, I would share how an Instagram video-making project can act as an intervention to make SBOA more engaging and interesting. The students’ performances in the progress test showed tremendous improvement, and the students were also able to complete their videos and scripts within the time frame given. The findings from this project suggest that the video-making and Instagram project was able to improve the students’ speaking skills and engage reluctant speakers to converse in the targeted language.
by Tok Fen Fen
The call to emigrate from analog to digital was answered when our PLC organised a series of Going Digital workshops. Being a digital immigrant, the decision to venture into the unknown with 28 Form 5 students was made. This article aims to present the possibility of a newly emigrated digital-teacher to actually introduce and carry out an online classroom project and the students’ responses. A programme called PowToon was introduced to the students. PowToon is an online programme that allows its users to create animated videos and presentations. A period of 2 weeks was used to carry out this project and the results were extremely encouraging. It was found that with technology, classroom time was more student-centred and students became more autonomous in the course of completing their project. Reflections from the students collected at the end of the project suggest that the use of digital technology is welcomed and the teacher’s limited knowledge in technology should not be a hindrance.