Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Assalamualaikum and Hello Dr Burn,

There are 5 issues that were debunked by Professor David Crystal that I might or might not agree with. The first concern is,

  •        Is texting is done only by kids?

In this situation, I would totally agree with him which it is not true that texting is only done by kids. In fact, in Malaysian context, it is common thing to see adult texting via their smartphone while walking, eating, working and even driving! It is not a fair statement to say that only kid did texting using their phone. I've tried to look for any related literature review to support the notion, however I couldn't find any statement that said the amount of texting between kids/adult are not much different with one another. In fact, some of the information found are contradict with my statement  as for instance, it is stated that a ‘ survey found that both text messaging and phone calling on cell phones usage leveled off for the adult population as a whole. Text messaging users send or receive an average of 41.5 messages on a typical day, with the median user sending or receiving 10 texts daily. Vice versa for the teenage users, the exchange an average of 109.5 messages on a normal day that works out to more than 3,200 texts per month.’

  •       Are kids fill their text messages with abbreviations?

The answer is YES. Most of the kids used abbreviations in their messages and sometimes it can’t be understood by the receiver. I myself been in there situation where I hardly get the meaning of the text that the sender intend to deliver. Luckily, in term of second language texting, all the abbreviations are still making sense and it is indeed used by worldwide. As for instance, ‘gtg’ refers to ‘got to go’; ‘afk’ refers to ‘away from keyboard’. But in term of the first language (Malaysian context), it is worst! Guess what ‘aew pown trakw’ means? Answer: ‘Aku pon taktau’. Sadly, yes.  

  •       Are these abbreviations that the kids use in their text messages are invented by them?

In this situation, I once again disagree with Professor Davis Crystal which I do believe that most of the abbreviations in texting are invented by kids.  The words such as 2moro (tomorrow), 2nite (tonight), 2u2 (to you too) and AMBW (all my best wishes) are basically made up by them. It is uncommon words to be used back then, but now it is an acceptable ‘technology culture’ in our society.

  •        Is it true because of the use of abbreviation, they don’t know how to spell correctly?

The forth statement is a true notion in my point of view. I am not quite agree with the statement given by him which he said ‘ the more you text, the better your literacy scores and the earlier you get your mobile phone, the better your literacy scores’ . It is because, somehow the way they texting to each other affect their way of writing. I did come across several essays written by my students that used words such as ‘btw’ and they even write the 'and' word  as ‘n’.In fact, to be honest, it is a very common issue that need to be overcome by the English teachers. Moreover, based on  British Broadcasting Company (March 4, 2003) reports that 'text messaging has long been blamed for declining standards of spelling and grammar, particularly in paper and pencil writing'. In this situation, it is indirectly affect the way they write their essays (even sentences) in attempting the tasks given by teachers or even during the examination which answered myth number 5. I have different opinion compared to the Professor David Crystal which he debunked the notion given. It may not be that obvious in the westerner’s culture, but here in Malaysia, it did affect their performance especially in term of writing skill.  In addition,The Times Daily newspaper cites a recent report, "Writing, Technology and Teens," which found that the cell phone text-based abbreviated communications teens use are showing up in more formal writing.

Next, I do agree that texting is a good medium for learning or in using English language. However, note to be taken that there must be guidelines, assistance from the educators to ensure that the words use in texting are appropriate and did help them to improve their English. If they were given 100% freedom, it is hard to control the use of words and the impact of it to the students. Educators need to always become the facilitators in order to make sure that the intended goal will be achieved. As proposed by Crystal (2011) himself, as he said, ‘we need to know how to build on the strengths of SMS language and its creative potentials. Cell phones have a lot of expressive potential apart from their basic communicative functions.'

Regarding the conflict between the issue of social and the educational issue, I would say that it is the mixture of both issues. In term of the educational issue, like what is mentioned above, we can see there are lots of lacking to our educational system due to the effect of texting itself. On the other hand, in term of social issue, kids are becoming too attached with the technology/texting. They are holding their phone where ever they go, whatever they do and anytime they want too, including texting while studying or when their teachers/educators talking in front of the class.  Indirectly, it will affect their behavior and attitude as a person also as a student specifically.

Thank you 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Assalamualaikum and Hello Dr Burn,

The use of wireless mobile technology such as tablet, Smartphone and laptop  in education is making teaching and learning experience become more flexible where students can learn from anywhere and at anytime. In fact, research shows that mobile devices can be more easily integrated across the curriculum than desktops (Moseley & Higgins, 1999). This is possible since many students already have mobile devices as it is not as complex as desktop computers. Additional research shows gains in students’ motivation, analytical and organizational skills and comprehension, writing, grammar skills, and originality.

For the purpose of this task, I’ll choose Smartphone as the best mobile technology to be used by students in ESL classroom. Each one of the mobile technology listed; Smartphone, tablet and laptop has their own advantages and weaknesses.  However, in my point of view, Smartphone is a great choice to be used for teachers and students in an ESL classroom as one of the tools to enhance the teaching and learning experience. Apart from it is not as big as laptop and tablet, nowadays students can get a Smartphone as low as RM200! Note to be taken that not all students capable to buy a laptop or a tablet, but generally they are capable to buy a Smartphone since there are a lot of choices given to buyers to be choose on. In current situation, it is quite normal to see all students in one classroom to have a Smartphone, but it is quite uncommon to have every student to have their own tablet or laptop, especially for students in sub urban and rural areas.

There are a lot of applications that can be used by using Smartphone in ESL classroom. One of the applications that can be used is known as ‘Rosetta Course’. The good thing about this application is that, you can choose your level by choosing the option given which are; beginner, intermediate, advance. If you choose to have a beginner level, it actually really treats the ‘learners’ as a blank slate as it teaches the learner from the basic form to a more complex form. It may sound irrelevant for those who have a strong foundation in English, but take into consideration for those students that are really weak in English. Thus, teacher can adjust the level based on the students’ proficiency.

The other application that can be practice in an ESL classroom is known as ‘FluentU’. It is indeed an interesting application as it promotes a very fun and interactive way of learning to the learners. As for instance, there are numbers of music videos and movies provided for learners to watch on. Uniquely, all the videos are also provide with English subtitles to allow learners to watch, listen and read at the same time. Learners can indirectly learn the correct way of pronunciation when they listen to the audio and read the subtitles at a time. Other than that, learners can also attempt several level of quizzes provided to see their performance or ability in English. The most important element here is that, it will easily able to attract students’ attention to it as it really meet most of the students’ interest by providing current music videos and movies.

In the nutshell, mobile technology can be a great tool to be used to in ESL classroom. However, teachers need to always aware on how to ensure that the lessons created are suitable with the target students in term of the location of the school;( urban, sub- urban, rural), level of proficiency; (low, intermediate, advance) as well as their family background or SES (poor, average, rich). 

Thank you.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

                Alternative learning method such as online learning, hybrid learning and flipped classroom are a good medium in enhancing teaching and learning process for both educators and students. Undeniable it did promote enormous advantages to the education system if its turn out like what it supposed to be. It is also changing continuously and it represents a great opportunity to spark students’ interest towards the lessons. In fact, it is an easy and productive method to achieve knowledge in almost every field such as education, medical, accounting, engineering and so on. It is also a great way in replacing traditional style of teaching and learning to a more modern and interactive way apart from it proves to be a great alternative as students have the chance to study in their own time and especially for free. Though these type of alternative learning, students don't have to come to class anymore and get the face-to-face experiences like the typical way of learning and teaching. It will benefits students who stay far from their school or university. However, there is slight difference between these three methods as mentioned by researcher:

“Flipped Learning has been compared to online, blended, and distance learning because of the screen cast or video components, but, there are clear differences. Online education, for example, occurs only remotely, and the teacher and student are never face-to-face (Oblinger & Oblinger, 2005). Virtual class meetings, assignments, and lectures happen online through a course management website usually, but not always, asynchronously. Sometimes the lectures and other activities are augmented by group chats or other means of facilitating collaboration and peer instruction.

“Blended classes also have an online element, but that usually occurs during class time along with direct student-teacher contact (Allen, Seaman, & Garrett, 2007).”

                However, despite all the benefits mentioned above, the implementation of online learning, hybrid learning, and flipped classroom are quite hard to be done here, in Malaysia. There are only small amount of location that offers all the facilities needed in order to implement this method into the institution such as schools and universities. Unfortunately, most of schools and universities in our country did not able to equip all the element needed such as the program of ‘online learning, flipped classroom, hybrid learning’ itself! There are only several institutions who offer this type of learning to the learners and most of it offered by private institutions.

                Since I've presented about ‘flipped classroom’ on previous class, I will discuss several issues more in depth about it. As mentioned before during our presentation, flipped classroom is a method of blended learning and teaching which students learn about the target topic by watching video lectures in advance before come to class. The videos was prepared by their educators and it is like an ‘imagery classroom’ since they listen to a real lecture but in a more relax and informal atmosphere. They can watch the video anywhere and any time (as long as before they come to class) they want and once they entered their ‘real classroom’ they are all prepared and have the basic idea about what they should aspect on that day. In fact, there will no lecture given in the classroom. Instead, more interactive activities such as presentation, Q&A session were done in classroom with educators, and for students to discuss and solve questions. It will indirectly enhance their creative and critical thinking skills in the target area.

              Vice versa, in conventional classroom, lecture is given in the classroom while homework will be given for students to attempt to once they get back home. In this situation, students will have chance to understand more in depth about the topic since they are prepared right from entering the classroom and they’ll have ample of time to ask anything that are not clear to their educator in the classroom. In addition, it also provide convenient schedule for both learners and educators. Due to the emphasis on students becoming the agents of their own learning rather than the object of  instruction, the Flipped Classroom can enable educators to make the shift from teacher-driven instruction to a more student-centered learning.
               Alternative  learning is indeed still  relatively young methods in our education system that promising a rich future of breakthroughs. New models of teaching are already emerging that have the potential to take flipped classroom to even greater accomplishments. However, note to be taken, it will not turn out to be like what it is expected if there is no changes in term of attitude of the students, educators, parents, culture in our education as well as our Ministry of Education itself!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Assalamualaikum and Hello Dr Burn,

We are moving to the 21st  century where everything is keep changing and constantly moving. Technology is one part of it and it influences the pattern of our educational system from time to time. 

We can see the implications either from the positive side as well as the negative side of it. One of the positive sides that can be seen is from the perspective of the teaching materials/ teaching aids provided by the educators itself. Several years ago, educators do not really have opportunity and chance to diverse their teaching method as technology is not really being applied in the education system. Chalk and talk is the common method used by educators back then in delivering their lessons.

However, nowadays there is no boundary for educators to inculcate the use of technology in their teaching approach. The good side of it, students is able to experience a more interesting teaching and learning condition as they are exposed to a variety of teaching and learning method. Instead of just listen to the teacher, they can also watch the slides or even videos shown in the classroom. Indirectly, it will enhance their understanding about the topic discussed. In fact, it will also meet the needs of different learning styles among students. Some students might prefer to watch the materials that is being discuss  instead of just listen to what the teacher is saying. 

Vice versa, from the negative point of view, not to mention students nowadays do not have the same attitude compared to the older generation of students. They become lazier as they know that they can access to everything that they wish for just by click and type it on the internet. They don’t have the courtesy to read anymore and sometimes just wait for teachers to spoon feed everything. Plagiarism is another aspect that needs to take into consideration. Since everything is so easy to access, they tend to just copy and paste without even do a research or reading about it.  Lastly, students also learned inappropriate words as for instance taboo words from the internet. Worst, they even use some of the words in their academic writing without even bother to search for the actually meaning.

In term of education field, there’s a lot of changes occurred due to rapid movement in technology. Policy in education is one of the aspects that keep changing from time to time until some of the teachers can’t get into the right track. It is due to the fact that the Ministry of Education keep changing and altering all the policies exist in order to cater the needs for 21st century of education. It is indeed a good practice in making sure that our education system is competitive in the eyes of the world. However, there are some issues occurred as for instance in term of workload as well as confusion among the teachers themselves about all the new policies that have been introduced. 

Consequently, most of the changes can’t be use as teachers themselves don’t know how to work on it. Other than that, the ministry should also provide funds and facilities such as computers/laptops and internet at each and every school if they really want all the policies/programs that was introduced to be carry out.

Above is my opinion regarding this issue which we have discussed in the previous class. I might be wrong as I am still new in the teaching career. However, this is what I observed in 4 months being an English teacher.

Thank you for your time.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Hello Dr Burn!

Here goes my ‘research proposal’ for last week’s task.

If I were given a chance to conduct a research that related to Computer Assisted Language Teaching and Learning, I would conduct a research to evaluate the implication on reading fluency in using songs video as one of the teaching tools. First, to be clear, reading fluency  is  defined  as  efficient, effective decoding  skills along with accurate,  rapid,  expressive,  prosodic  oral  reading  that  allow  students  to  comprehend  texts ,(Pikulski,  2006). Basically, the aim of this research would be to determine if there are any significant differences in reading fluency with and without using songs video as one of the teaching tool in ESL classroom.

The participants that will be involved in this research are students from the school where I am currently teaching, which is Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Sertik, Karak, Pahang. There are 50 participants aged 14 years old (Form 2) from two different classes that will be used as the participants in this research.

Both classes will be using different treatment in this research. One class will only learn reading skill using the conventional way, which is to read out loud from a printed text, 'barking to a text'. On the other hand, the other class will be learning reading skill using the traditional way as well as with the integration of songs video complete with lyric that will be shown during the lesson. The treatment will be held for 2 months for both classes. The same person/teacher will teach both classes to ensure that he/she aware of the different method that will be applied for both classes.

After 2 months of treatment, participants will sits for an examination that was designed specifically for the purpose of this research. It is not a written test but it is more towards interview test where participants needs to read several materials provided to determine their reading fluency after involved in the 2 months treatment. However, participants will be first put in the same room to ensure that the evaluator will see no difference among the participants and to avoid bias. As for instance, if the evaluator aware the kind of treatment used for each participant, they might tend to give their own judgement or perception that will indirectly affect the result of the interview, yet the research itself.

In the nutshell, in my opinion, songs video is actually a great tool to be used to in the classroom in order to enhance and strengthen reading fluency among students. Teaching reading skill doesn't mean that educators can only use the conventional way of teaching, instead there are many ways that can be used in order to attract students’ attention towards the lessons.

That is all for now,

Thank you.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Assalamualaikum and Hello Dr Burn!

Based on (Chaffey ,2012) and( Rueda-Sabater, Derosby, 2011), digital natives refers to people who have been raised on the Internet since late 1990 that will relate to the internet in markedly different ways than do most of today’s adults. Members of these web-savvy ‘Net generations’ will tend to view the Internet as an extender of their own cognitive capabilities and as a portal to a virtual experience.

While on the other side of the note, Based on (Prensky 2001), he defined Non- Digital Native as a person born or brought up before the widespread use of Digital Technology. Chances are many Digital Immigrants will find managing on line privacy a daunting prospect.

Digital native from infancy have been exposed to massive technology’s ability and other technological advancements. In this situation, the focus is regarding the impact of it to our education system. In addition, there is a huge gap between the digital natives and Non- digital natives in the way they perceive, think, learn, interact and managing their learning style in their teaching and learning experience. As for example, digital native students can always look for information using internet, connect with each other using social media such as Skype, whatsapp, facebook, etc. Meanwhile, the Non-digital native students might not be able to do so.

Born in a digital native era somehow make me feel how lucky I am to be able to use all these technologies compared to the older generation. In fact, I can’t barely recall how my life is without technology and internet for sure (haha). Grown up with constant connectivity and limitless personal choice indirectly affect my lifestyle as a person as well as an educator. Fortunately, our era (my students and I) are not much different. I can still relate to what they are saying compared to the seniors teachers who sometimes can’t even understand a thing. However, like what you said in the previous class, to become a technology-savvy, is not impossible yet it is possible! We just need to learn and try to acquire the knowledge needed as we are now in the era where everything is constantly move and more challenging compared to before.

In this aspect, I would say that it is mostly impossible to find a student that know nothing about technology. Yes, it is undeniable that there are small amount of students that might not really ‘technology-savvy’ (at my own school for example), indeed. But as a whole, students nowadays are all technology literate.

Educators need to acknowledge their students' ability in technology and try to apply more students cantered learning as we are now moving to the 21st century of education. It is important to meet their needs and inculcate the use or technology in our lesson.

Thanks for your time!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Assalamualaikum and Hello again Dr  Burn!
The three theories on technology and language education that we have discussed in the previous class which are The Sociocultural Approach, The New Literacies Studies and Multimodality, are an eye opener for us as educators. All the three concepts are indeed important in order for teachers to maximize the usage of technology in their lessons yet still give a huge impact for learners as well as the educators. Personally I am not really sure if I would integrate all the three theories into my lessons as it is quite hard to apply and implement it into the classroom .However, I would try my very best to enhance the way I’m handling my classes after listened and learned about this three important theories.  
The sociocultural Approach emphasizes more on interaction as part of social terms and the importance of virtual environment. As for examples, it will provides many opportunities for learners to interact, to study in collaboration and to understand the target language with the help of technological devices and special designed tools such as virtual meeting programs, notice boards and even all types of social media to interact such as email, Skype, twitter, as well as Facebook. In fact, Lamy and Hampel (2007) emphasize the importance of computer conferencing which allows to connect learners and teachers by offering them new possibilities to practice the target language in a more authentic/ less anxiety environment. It is an ideal atmosphere foe learners to learn the target language, however as mentioned above it is quite hard to implement it in my classroom, which is the sub-urban school.
Multimodality challenges readers to consider a relatively new educational concept and focus on the variety types of information transmission such as via visual, digital, audio, gestural, as well as linguistic design. For instance, information can be transmitted visually through a still photo or video and accompanied by aural linguistic input in the target language. In this situation, it will greatly enhance learners understanding about the lesson.
In the nutshell, it is crucial for educators to construct lessons that meet their students need and interest. Therefore, in tasks and activities that were designed earlier, it should have enough opportunities for learners to become more autonomous and more on students cantered instead of teachers have absolute power in the classroom. This will help them to feel self relevant, successful and self motivated in learning. It also should provide learners to take their own learning responsibilities. On the other note, learning environment should be designed to provide any guidance when they need. Educators need to be the facilitators still.  
Thank you for your time.