DR Gerard Louis, counselling psychologist and former principal of HELP International School, says: “Make teaching student-centred and activity-based, allowing them to interact with other students and moving them from being passive learners to active participants .
“Use activities such as role play, solving puzzles and creative storytelling as a means to express their thoughts and ideas as well as improve their vocabulary.
“Create a classroom environment that is conducive for learning, without having to instil any sense of fear.
“Teachers who run a student-centred environment understand the term ‘organised chaos’ — manage the noise levels so that it is a healthy level of ‘noise’ as expected when students are excited about what they are doing.
“Learning anything requires a certain level of activity; engage them with two-way interactions.
“Factor a daily period into the timetable when students ‘Drop Everything And Read’.”
Tunku Dara Naquiah Tuanku Ja’afar, chairman of English Speaking Union of Malaysia: “Teachers should allow more time for group discussions and let graduates do more research for thesis or subjects, and request them to explain their theories in front of the class.
“There should be workshops conducted for regular discussions. Also, have a short course on communication skills for all undergraduates, in particular on public speaking, debating and presentation skills.”
Dr Michael Heah, chief executive officer of Corporate Coach Academy and an International Coach Federation master certified coach: “Nurturing should take place in the way of developing their thinking faculties through questions rather than telling or instructing.
“Students should be allowed to take risks without fear of punishment or judgment.
“They should be encouraged to participate in clubs and associations, such as the Toastmasters club.”
Jonathan Dason, secretary-general of Malaysian Students’ Global Alliance: “Showcase other English-speaking nations, such as India and the Philippines, to combat the image of being ‘Mat Salleh’ and humanise the language for students.
“Produce more local content and media in the English language with actors speaking in the Malaysian accent, while maintaining proper grammar and pronunciation. Such content should be promoted as part of our national heritage.
“Encourage group learning and accountability within the education system.
“Also, start making classes public so anyone can sit in on lectures for free and observe the high-level of class participation, which is the key performance index (KPI) for many tertiary educators.
“Highlight success stories of students studying in Malaysia, and create an incentive-based system for the holistic development of students, setting KPIs for institutions to compete for.”