A new way to learn English

New Straits Times - - News -

PU­TRA­JAYA: The Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry will in­tro­duce the Cam­bridge Ac­ces­si­ble Tests (CATs) pro­gramme to help stu­dents in ru­ral ar­eas im­prove their English pro­fi­ciency.

Its min­is­ter, Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, said CATs was a sup­ple­men­tary way to learn English on­line.

“Our work­ing com­mit­tee will run the pi­lot project in the next six months. It will in­volve about 40 pri­mary and sec­ondary schools.

“Our fo­cus is on help­ing stu­dents in ru­ral schools im­prove their English, as most of them are weak in this sub­ject and have lit­tle ex­po­sure to the lan­guage.

“The de­sign for CATs is ready, but it will be im­ple­mented by year’s end so that the com­mit­tee could iden­tify the schools for this pi­lot project, and see its ef­fec­tive­ness,” he said at the English Lan­guage Ed­u­ca­tion Im­ple­men­ta­tion Strat­egy To­wards Stu­dents’ Pro­fi­ciency event yes­ter­day.

Mahdzir said the new on­line pro­gramme would be fully im­ple­mented in all ru­ral schools within one to two years.

He said the com­mit­tee, led by Ed­u­ca­tion di­rec­tor-gen­eral Tan Sri Dr Khair Mo­hamed Yu­sof, would mon­i­tor the im­ple­men­ta­tion of CATs, which was de­vel­oped in co­op­er­a­tion with Cam­bridge Malaysian Ed­u­ca­tion and De­vel­op­ment Trust.

“The teach­ers will mon­i­tor the stu­dents’ CATs per­for­mance. The teach­ers will be sent to English lan­guage train­ing cen­tres to un­dergo train­ing.”

The min­istry’s English Lan­guage Teach­ing Cen­tre di­rec­tor Dr Mo­hamed Abu Bakar said stu­dents could learn English via CATs dur­ing and af­ter school.

“CATs fea­ture nine lev­els of English lan­guage pro­fi­ciency at the pri­mary and sec­ondary school lev­els. When pupils have com­pleted the pri­mary school lev­els, they will con­tinue to the sec­ondary school level.”

Mo­hamed said the min­istry would work with state ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ments to iden­tify which schools would pi­lot the pro­gramme.

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