VITAL START: 32-hour basic English and Mandarin courses benefit 40 students keen to pick up these sought-after languages
MUHAMMAD Fadzillah Rusman, a Form Five student at SMK (2) Taman Rinting, Masai, was among 40 participants of English and Mandarin language courses organised by the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda).
Fadzillah, who was at the course's closing-cum-certificate of participation presentation ceremony at Irda's headquarters in Danga Bay here, said: "I enjoyed participating in the course and I'm now more confident in speaking and writing basic English."
Fadzillah and his three sisters were among the students, housewives and private as well as public sector employees who took part in the 32-hour course which was organised jointly with Kolej Komuniti (southern zone).
The participants (20 each for English and Mandarin), comprised participants from the Pasir Gudang, Gelang Patah and Nusajaya vicinities.
Besides the participation certificates, a special award was presented to the most successful participants from each of the courses which had been held on Sundays (four hours per session) over two months.
Conducted by language specialists Anawiyah Salleh (for English) and Azlen Sugito (for Mandarin), the modules presented by both facilitators were designed to be simple, enjoyable and easy to understand.
Anawiyah confessed that initially, the participants were not confident conversing in basic English.
"Nevertheless, midway through the course, many of them were brave enough to interact with confidence albeit at a slow pace," said the senior English lecturer from Temenggong Ibrahim Teachers Institute here.
The Best Mandarin participant, Intan Syafinaz Abdul Majid, owed her success to her teacher whose techniques she found to be simple yet effective.
"With her guidance, I can dictate the words with the correct pronunciation," said the 38-year-old executive with a private firm.
Kolej Komuniti lifelong learning department head, Kamarudin Rashidi, said English and Mandarin are sought-after languages notably in the information and communication technology field.
"I urge members of the community, especially young students, to enhance their skills in both these languages," he said.
"Proficiency in these languages will help the individual's career in the business sector and allow them to interact confidently with colleagues from different backgrounds."
For a minimal fee of RM20, each participant was able to take part in language lessons in a conducive venue, and have their meals.