POSITIVE RESULTS: Teacher says students are confident about speaking in English now
KUANTAN: AFTER three months teaching at SMK Teluk Chempedak, near here, Lauren Parsons is happy to see that her students are now more confident about conversing in English.
The 23-year-old American from Frederic, Maryland, believed that the approach she had used, including playing Scrabble and encouraging the students to participate in public speaking, had made them more comfortable with the language.
"I also encourage them to read English books and newspapers, especially the New Straits Times, as it would allow them to have a good grasp of the language," said Parsons, who holds a Master's in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from the College of Notre Dame in Maryland.
Parsons said initially, most of the students were shy to speak in English or greet her.
"I am anxious to see my students' performance in a theatre competition at SMK Tengku Afzan on Saturday.
"This is a good opportunity for them to show off their talent and employ what they have learnt in the past few months," said Parsons, who is one of 16 Fulbright English teaching assistants (ETAs) from the United States who are placed in 16 schools in Pahang.
Parsons, who developed a passion for teaching English when she spent a semester in Rome, Italy, said she had meals with her students during recess so that they would be comfortable with her.
Since their arrival in Malaysia on Jan 20, the ETAs have met the country's leaders and those responsible for coming up with the programme.
This year, the number of ETAs has tripled based on the commitment of US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to expand people-to-people exchange programmes between the two countries.