JOHOR BARU: It was an eye-opener for a group of 98 school principals when they took part in the New Straits Times-Newspaper in Education (NST-NIE) workshop.
Jointly organised by the Johor Baru District Office and Johor English Language Teaching Association (Jelta), this was the first time that the workshop included a large group of decision makers.
Jelta chairman Vincent D'Silva, who also facilitated the workshop said the event allowed teachers to discover the treasure trove of knowledge one could obtain from the newly-revamped New Straits Times.
He said using the newspaper in lessons allowed for students to master the four crucial skills in English learning: listening, reading, writing and speaking.
D’Silva showed the principals how every section of the NST can be used as a teaching material.
"Newspapers provide teachers with an economical, effective and exciting teaching aid as it easily provides materials for English language teaching, journalism,business, science, mathematics, history, life skills or social studies," he said.
Johor Baru District Principals Council chairman Sari'at Mokmin said the NST was an effective teaching tool to encourage discussions in class.
"The newspaper can help improve the teaching and learning in the English classroom.
"More importantly, NST has evolved with the times and its content is richer and is much more vibrant now and it is a useful resource to have in any classroom," said Sari'at.
Chong Sook Chin, 34, from SJKC Ping Ming said the five-hour workshop was thought-provoking as it gave her tips on ways to attract her students' interest in class.
“The workshop was different and activities were interactive enough to keep us on our toes. I will adopt this in my classroom and I'm looking
forward for more similar workshops,” she said.
Sekolah Pendidikan Khas Princess Elizabeth principal Azmi Osman, 45, was initially sceptical about attending the NST-NIE workshop as he wondered if it could benefit his visually-impaired students.
“I usually opt to skip such workshops as most of them do not cater to the needs of special children. However, the NST-NIE workshop led by Vincent gave me a different perspective that language can be mastered not only through reading but by hearing as well," he said, referring to the benefits of reading aloud articles in the NST.