Exploring collaboration in English Language classes

The Thai delegation from Srithammaratsuksa School expressed interest in sending students and teachers for the Holiday English Camp in WOU, following a study visit to the main campus today..

 The delegation arriving at the main campus.

The delegation arriving at the main campus.

WOU hosted the visitors, comprising 39 teachers and four administrators, who wanted to learn about the Malaysian university system and curriculum.  The delegation was led by Saengjan Mitrakul, Director of the school, and Juthaporn Taokham, Assistant Director of Academic Affairs and Educational Quality Development of the school’s English Programme.

 The visitors pose with the University staff.

The visitors pose with the University staff.

They were briefed about WOU’s academic programmes, course delivery and learning support, particularly the University’s learning management system (LMS), WawasanLearn, by School of Education, Languages & Communications (SELC) lecturers Sean Ooi Li Hsien and Arathai Din Eak.

Ooi shared about the various programme disciplines, how tutorial classes are conducted, and the 24/7 digital access granted to students to the main library. He assured that all WOU programmes are recognised by the Malaysian Ministry of Education.

 Ooi shares about the University and its programmes.

Ooi shares about the University and its programmes.

Arathai meanwhile talked at length on the learning management system that keeps students connected to the University and their studies. She also highlighted the single course registration and the Holiday English Class, which piqued the interest of the delegation. She added that WOU, through the Centre for Professional Development & Continuing Education (PACE), had recently organised a 10-day English language workshop for Silpakorn University undergraduates.

She mentioned other training workshops conducted by SELC academics, namely English for Working Professionals, Innovative Pedagogy for Teachers, Research Methodology, and Effective Supervisor Training.

 Arathai explains about the University's learning management system.

Arathai explains about the University's learning management system.

Many questions were raised by the delegation, including on tutorials, assignment submissions and WOU’s graduation rate. To a query on students’ accessibility to the LMS, Ooi explained that this online platform is available throughout the semester until the final exam, and that they use data analytics to gauge which students had never logged in and consequently follow-up with calls.  

Juthaporn said the school would probably want to collaborate on the English classes and asked for details on the fees, duration, and such.  “How can we possibly work together as we need to improve the English of our teachers and our students? I can see you are flexible. We can plan together.” She aimed to tie up with WOU on the training of their students and Thai teachers in English next year.

 Juthaporn (2nd from right) expresses interest in the Holiday English classes.

Juthaporn (2nd from right) expresses interest in the Holiday English classes.

The delegation was further informed that WOU provides experiential learning field trips to destinations like the Batik Factory and heritage sites to expose them to the local culture, as part of the class.

In his closing remarks, Dean of SELC, Prof Santhiram Raman, said, “Our classes are very interactive. We can customise the courses according the needs of your institution, e.g. Teaching Pedagogies, ELT of Secondary School Teachers, etc.”

 Prof Santhiram delivers his closing remarks.

Prof Santhiram delivers his closing remarks.

Srithammaratsuksa School is a private Christian co-educational institution in Nakon Si Thammarat, Thailand, with 5,200 students from nursery to upper secondary (Grade 12).  

Promoting a love for Malaysia at Family Day

The WOU-DISTED Family Day 2018 saw over 200 staff, family members and guests along with the full-time students of both institutions lending support to make the event a lively and harmonious affair.

 Part of the crowd at the Family Day.

Part of the crowd at the Family Day.

The gathering at the WOU main campus today was aptly themed ‘Celebrating Diversity’ to reflect the multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural Malaysia. The theme was also in line with the national-level Merdeka Month launched recently by the Prime Minister and the call to fly the Jalur Gemilang. In fact, a few of the activities and performances at the event featured the Malaysian flag.

 (Seated from left)  Member of WOU Board of Governors (BoG), Tan Sri Dr Chin Fook Weng, former Vice Chancellor Dato' Dr Ho Sinn Chye, Acting Vice Chancellor Prof Zoraini Wati Abas, and BoG Chairman Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon.

(Seated from left)  Member of WOU Board of Governors (BoG), Tan Sri Dr Chin Fook Weng, former Vice Chancellor Dato' Dr Ho Sinn Chye, Acting Vice Chancellor Prof Zoraini Wati Abas, and BoG Chairman Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon.

The Family Day kicked off with a zumba session led by Penang Regional Centre (PGRC) marketing and admissions officer Robin Cheah Kai Yang. Among those spotted moving to the beat of the music was WOU’s Board of Governors Chairman Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon.

 The WOU staff belt out two patriotic songs.

The WOU staff belt out two patriotic songs.

A group of talented WOU staff then rendered two patriotic songs with much gusto as they waved the Jalur Gemilang. They sang ‘Setia’ and ‘Tanggal 31’, the latter a famous number by the late Sudirman Arshad.

 Robin Cheah (far right) and the full-time students give a thrilling diabolo performance.

Robin Cheah (far right) and the full-time students give a thrilling diabolo performance.

WOU’s full-time students were also actively involved. Five of them together with Robin Cheah (PGRC) entertained the crowd with their Chinese diabolo routine while Asswni Mariappan and Nerroshini Manoraj performed an Indian pop dance.

 Nerroshini (left) and Asswni strike an attractive pose as they dance.

Nerroshini (left) and Asswni strike an attractive pose as they dance.

Acting Vice Chancellor Prof Zoraini Wati Abas took to the stage to officially open the Family Day, after which the doubles kayak race commenced with a simple launch by Dr Koh.

 Dr Koh Tsu Koon launches the kayak race.

Dr Koh Tsu Koon launches the kayak race.

Eight teams participated in the kayak race stretching a total distance of about 150m. Team E’s dynamic duo of PGRC marketing and admissions officer Sasikanth Mariappan and library assistant Mohd Yusuf Hanafiah clocked 4 min 18 sec to emerge champions. Team B comprising senior administrative executive K Ranjini and lecturer Kevin Tan Pooi Soo from the School of Humanities & Social Sciences came in second at 4 min 33 sec. Third was Team C with Robin Cheah and WOU alumni Bobby Chan Yaou Hooi at a close 4 min 37 sec.

 Mohd Yusuf (left) and Sasikanth emerge as champions.

Mohd Yusuf (left) and Sasikanth emerge as champions.

The top 3 winners received shopping vouchers worth RM100, RM70 and RM50 respectively from former WOU Vice Chancellor Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye, while the other 5 remaining kayaking teams received a RM20 voucher consolation prize.

 Dato' Dr Ho (centre) with the participants of the kayak race.

Dato' Dr Ho (centre) with the participants of the kayak race.

Kids were meanwhile kept occupied throughout by a clown giving out balloons and a children’s colouring contest with over 20 of them participating. The first prize, a compendium of 15 games and crayons, was won by Shivani and the second, a 24-pieces oil pastel set and plastic box file, went to Nur Ayriss Myahana Amar. 

 Regional Operations and MARCOM Director K H Chong presents a lucky draw prize- an aluminium baseball stick torchlight - to his son.

Regional Operations and MARCOM Director K H Chong presents a lucky draw prize- an aluminium baseball stick torchlight - to his son.

The climax was the lucky draw prizes, with a total 135, including umbrellas, bath towels, torchlights, travel luggage organiser bags, foldable storage bags, vacuum flasks, car boot organisers, car vacuum cleaners, ice cooler boxes, hair dryers, photo frames and microwave plastic containers, up for grabs. The first prize, an air fryer, was won by School of Education, Languages & Communications lecturer Dr Por Fei Ping.

 Prof Zoraini presents the first prize, an air fryer, to Dr Por (right).

Prof Zoraini presents the first prize, an air fryer, to Dr Por (right).