Workshop on Teaching Literature for English Language teachers

Forty-eight secondary school teachers, teacher trainees and interested individuals from 29 schools and from as far as Muar attended the first of a series of workshops to be held on the teaching of English literary texts in the second cycle for Form 1 students at the Kuala Lumpur Regional Office in Cheras.

SELC Dean Assoc Prof Dr Malachi Edwin Vethamani.

SELC Dean Assoc Prof Dr Malachi Edwin Vethamani.

The workshop was organised by WOU’s Centre for Professional Development and Continuing Education (PACE) and the School of Education, Languages and Communications.

U K Menon, the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Strategy, Planning and Continuing Education (SPACE), said that PACE decided to conduct a series of workshops for English Language teachers on teaching literature as there were many requests for this training programme. He added, “We have an expert in the field of teaching literature in the person of Assoc Prof Dr Malachi Edwin Vethamani and it was only fitting that WOU should rise to the occasion to support the Ministry of Education in their efforts to creating a reading culture among young Malaysians.”

SELC dean Assoc Prof Dr Malachi Edwin Vethamani and Too Wei Keong, a lecturer from the Multimedia University in Cyberjaya, conducted the one-day workshop.

Lecturer Too Wei Keong.

Lecturer Too Wei Keong.

The workshop comprised four sessions which dealt with the teaching of two poems, one short story and a graphic novel. Teachers first read the texts and then were introduced to various activities they could carry out with their students.

It was lively with much active participation and positive response from the participants. Nirmala Subramaniam from SMK Tunku Ampuan Najihah commented that she found “the approach presented for teaching short stories and novels using a point of entry approach interesting and different from the conventional approach of teaching chapter by chapter”. Another teacher, Daphne Rosaline from SMK (P) Methodist, said the sessions were “very practical as it showed us how to teach the poems and short story”.

The teachers at the workshop.

The teachers at the workshop.

Among those who attended were two participants representing a group of teacher trainees from a local public university. They said their course mates could not afford the fees and they had used the class fund to attend the workshop. They hope to go back and share the notes with their course mates.