RECENTLY, I attended the Mega Trenglish Camp (MTC) organised by Yayasan Terengganu in collaboration with the state government and state Education Department. This three-day programme was sponsored by Petronas and participated by 210 Form Four students from 40 schools in the state.
This programme has been conducted for three consecutive years and has benefited hundreds of students. The goal is to improve students’ level of proficiency in the language, and communication, leadership, social and interpersonal skills. Participants are also encouraged to interact with each other and learn about different cultural practices and beliefs.
The first day kicked off with an ice-breaker and a special forum with prominent figures, including a university professor, a motivational speaker and radio announcer Halim Othman. It was indeed a useful and meaningful session as the panellists shared their experiences, tips, advice and suggestions on how to improve on one’s spoken and written English.
The sharing session started to take effect when students asked questions and expressed their thoughts in English. They overcame their fear, and used English to communicate, albeit haltingly, but it was a good start.
The English debate that was held encouraged healthy competition among the students, while testing their speaking and critical thinking skills. Students learnt to cooperate, set strategies, share and develop ideas in their effort to produce strong arguments to convince the judges. This intellectual session helped students open their minds, broaden their knowledge, become percipient thinkers and respectful of others’ opinions.
The treasure hunt that was held challenged students’ ability to work as a team, to think carefully and quickly, and decide rationally.
The musical drama competition held on the second day showcased the individual and group talent in acting, singing and dancing.
Not only did the participants entertain the audience with comedic and dramatic performances, it also proved that learning English could be fun. The drama production teams learnt about teamwork and hard work, and, most importantly, there were good messages, values and life lessons from the witty lines written, acted and sung.
Other highlights were group storytelling, band and multicultural dance performances.
The camp was a success, thanks to the Terengganu Hired English Personnel (T-HELP) who facilitated the programme with the support from English teachers and Petronas officers.
MTC is a beneficial programme that helps students lead, learn, love and laugh. They also build courage, confidence and camaraderie with other learners.
Muhamad Solahudin Ramli