The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Preparatory Course offered at Wawasan Open University ended on a high note with the presentation of certificates to 14 students today.
WOU Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye presented the certificates of completion during a simple ceremony at the main campus. The RM850 course fee for nine WOU staff was sponsored by the University under the Human Resources Development Fund. They included Angelynne Soh and Eunice Ooi from Human Resources, Teh Lee Mei and Tan Chinq Wei from Registry, Dimper Kour from Quality Assurance and External Relations Directorate.
At the ceremony, three students – WOU Lecturer Chong Fook Suan’s daughter, Quan Ling, 17, from SMK Heng Ee; Abirami Kasi, a teacher of special children, who is pursuing her Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Psychology at WOU; and Dimper Kour – shared how the course had personally benefited them.
The 36-hour duration course, starting from June 18th, was conducted over nine weeks by Jasmine Emmanuel, Senior Lecturer with WOU’s School of Foundation and Liberal Studies.
The course aimed to help students prepare for IELTS, an international English proficiency test that a person wishing to go overseas for post-secondary studies, or others intending to work or migrate to United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK, would require. The IELTS score is even sometimes used by local employers to gauge an employee’s proficiency.
The class followed a core course book with supplementary materials, namely audio and YouTube presentations, relevant websites, and past year exam papers to develop the students’ reading, writing, listening and speaking skills by exposing them to proper vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation.
Class activities required the students to scan and grasp the main points in academic-style texts, including magazines, newspapers and journal-type articles. They listened to songs and sang along to get the right pronunciation. They learnt new vocabulary and were encouraged to share their opinion in a variety of topics, such as science and technology, environment, education, economic issues, human rights, and crime. The students were taught how to write an academic essay and to express themselves more fluently and accurately.
Jasmine said that the course was an enriching experience for both the students and her. “We learnt more than English. There was open communication as people shared with each other. The students also learnt good social behaviour when they reached out to two fellow students who had experienced a personal loss. They developed a higher order of creative and critical thinking.”
The IELTS, accepted by over 6,000 academic institutions in more than 130 countries worldwide, is often taken for higher education and immigration purposes.