Category Archives: Tips in English & BM

Good alif-ba-ta, good English

“I nak speak English..tapi takut salah sebut..malu.”

“Lidah dah keras laa..”

As English coaches, we’ve heard these scripts one too many, especially when conducting courses for adults. Of course, such script is uttered jokingly and we will end up laughing and poking fun at one another.

Anyway, there’s no way one’s tongue can be ‘keras’ or ‘pendek’ – ‘bercabang’ maybe!

So now, is there a way to beautify our pronunciation when learning another language? Mandarin, Tamil, Spanish, Japanese, etc.

In other words, how can we pronounce words like a native speaker? Surely we cannot sound EXACTLY like them, but it is very possible to be ‘quite’ like them. Near-native speakers.

The best way to practice is (for Muslims who recite Quran daily) is to keep reciting Quran with good tajwid and through proper makhraj (tempat keluar bunyi huruf).

Why? From alif until ya’, our mouth is conditioned to produce sounds from various places and tongue positions and vibrations. We have ‘ha’ pedas, ‘ha’ bulat and kha.

We have ‘thaa’ and ‘siin’.

We have ‘alif’ and ‘ain’.

Even the thickness and thinness of ‘ra’ also varies according to ‘baris’ right?

In a nutshell, be grateful that we are Muslims. Through proper makhraj training, we can be good not only at English, but any other language in the world. Bravo!

ps:  SPOKEN ENGLISH PLAYSHOP for EDUCATORS at ADNI PreSchool.  How fortunate for the kids to get such ‘sporting’ and Muslimah teachers there!

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Catch “Loghat”, Catch English

dsc00935_2Our last two days of 2008 were spent with 30 ‘sporting’ staff of MIROS (Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research) – English@Work One-Day Course.

We have just polished our Spoken English for Adults module and incorporated a new approach of catching English. A very simple one too!

*If you want to be good at another language, you must train yourself to catch local dialects first.”

Dalam kata lain, adakah anda selesa bertutur dalam loghat-loghat Bahasa Melayu yang lain?

Misalnya, anda orang Johor tetapi boleh faham dan boleh ‘kecek Kelate’ (walaupun orang kata bunyi seperti orang Siam, tidak mengapa.)

Anda orang KL tetapi boleh bersembang seperti oghang utagha naaa…tuudyaaa…

Don’t you agree if we say that the ability to communicate in different dialects is an asset?

dsc00939Now, back to our new module – to make catching English a fun process, the MIROSians trained their tongue to sing a Malay nursery rhyme in different Malay dialects (Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu, Perak, Negeri Sembilan, etc.)We said FUN, right?

To make the learning process ‘double-fun’, in the next activity, we sang English nursery rhymes in those local dialects! Please..try this at home!

Kesimpulannya:

Loghat merupakan satu cabang bahasa. Alangkah indahnya bila kita, warga Malaysia, mahir bertutur dalam pelbagai loghat daerah dan negeri! Ia mengeratkan silaturrahim, menjadikan perbualan lebih rancak dan ‘happening’, membuka minda dan hati kita untuk menghargai keunikan budaya masing-masing.

Latih diri kita menjadi lebih selamba menggunakan loghat negeri orang. Lebih banyak loghat yang kita kuasai, lebih mudah kita menangkap Bahasa Inggeris kerana strategi dan prosesnya adalah sama:

USE IT! Learn a language, use the language. Learn a dialect, use the dialect.

Respect!

dsc00937p/s: Our one-day course ended at 4:30 pm….and right after we said goodbye to participants, we got another invitation for the following day for the same group! Talk about rezeki..Ya Waasi’..Ya Ghanii..Ya Wahhaab.

What’s the lyric? Lagu tu ka…

Salam to all. Has this ever happened to you before? You listen to a song and start to sing along. However, you are not sure of the lyrics and make up your own words.

For example, I (Coach Sha) was into Guns N’Roses ages ago. Of course my favourite song includes Sweet Child O’Mine. Guess what? I always thought the lyrics were Sweet Charlemagne.

How did this happen? When I was in high school (not High School Musical) in Texas, I had to study World History. While reading, I came across King Charlemagne’s name.  I was not sure of the pronunciation, so ‘pandai-pandai reka sebutan sendiri’.  (we all do this right?)

Wah..sangat ilmiah Coach Sha ini sehingga dalam lagu rock pun dimasukkan unsur sejarah.

Charlemagne (pronounced /ˈʃɑrlɨmeɪn/; Latin: Carolus Magnus or Karolus Magnus, meaning Charles the Great) (742 – 28 January 814) was King of the Franks from 768 to his death. He expanded the Frankish kingdoms into a Frankish Empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy.

Another song was ‘How Deep is Your Love’ (Take That did the cover version for this Bee Gee’s song).

I thought the words were..  “Artificial Love.” Cinta palsu.. logik kan?

Ada lagi… Avril Lavigne’s ‘Complicated’: Dengar macam “watching your back, like new Cadillac” tetapi sebenarnya “watching your back, like you can’t relax.”  Macam mana boleh jadi Cadillac?  My logic was the guy in the song was so worried with what people think of him, kejap-kejap tengok belakang..seolah-olah bila kita beli baru..kejap-kejap tengok untuk pastikan kereta selamat.  (What a long explanation, man!)

Coach Ridz pun pernah terjerat juga dalam kes ‘la..lagu tu ka…’  One particular song was BPR’s “Seribu tahun takkan mungkin.”

Heard:  Lima tahun… mencerminkan rindu…

Actual lyrics:  Di matamu…mencerminkan rindu..

The point is:

Bila kita dengar sesuatu dalam bahasa asing dan tidak pasti perkataan yang sebenar, otak akan memerah segala vocab yang ada dalam kepala kita dan cari yang bunyi yang paling dekat dan maksud yang agak logik.

Frasa Child O’Mine bukan sesuatu yang familiar buat Coach Sha semasa di bangku sekolah dulu. Lainlah kalau Child OF Mine. Tapi dalam lagu tersebut, Axl Rose tidak sebut “sweet child OF mine” kan? Begitu formal bunyinya.

Lantas, otak Coach Sha memikirkan apakah perkataan yang paling logik yang boleh digandingkan dengan ‘sweet’, membawa maksud yang agak logik dan bunyi yang hampir serupa.

Kesimpulannya, kita mentafsir apa yang didengar berdasarkan tahap penguasaan vocabulary kita.  Lebih banyak perkataan yang kita kuasai, lebih senang otak mencari ‘match’ antara bunyi dan perkataan.

Bukan itu sahaja, pengetahuan am juga banyak membantu…dan menjadikan pentafsiran lirik lagu lebih menarik dan kadangkala melucukan!

So keep reading and keep listening because these skills are INPUT.  Banyak INPUT, banyak OUTPUT.

Lagu tu na………..


Effective Communication for Educators

Saturday, October 11, 2008 (11 Syawal 1429)

We arrived at SMK Seri Tasik, Bandar Tasik Permaisuri at around 10:40 am for a 2-hour playshop:  “Effective Communication for Educators”.

It was an action-packed program – talk, talk, play!  Training is all about that, right?  It’s about getting the message across through activities, instead of lengthy lectures.

We apply the WRESTLing concept but from another angle.  

TO BE AN EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATOR, ONE MUST WRESTLE.

In other words, as teachers, we have to be strong at all this four skills – writing, reading, speaking/talking and listening.  

Listening and reading are INPUT while speaking and writing are OUTPUT.  

Without effective communication instructions and messages can easily be misunderstood and confusing.

Some tips:

 

  • Show excitement
  • Be approachable
  • Be aware of non-verbal cues
  • Use simple language
  • Be a good listener
  • Be an avid reader
Note:  Coach Ridz and Coach Sha thank Tuan Fadzli Yusof and our heartiest appreciation goes to Pn. Rashidah (Counselor) and of course, Pn. Jamaliah (Principal).
Lazatnya jamuan hari raya selepas program!

Tip-tip Menangkap Sebutan

Last week Coach Sha stepped into HandyPro studio again for another two sessions of VO (voice over) for TV Pendidikan new series.  Simply put, the voice you’d hear on the show would be…her voice.

When reading text, especially ones filled with technical and scientific terms, preparation is a must.

Here Coach Sha will share some tips on how to catch pronunciation.

Tip Sure Boleh! Menangkap Sebutan Bahasa Inggeris

1.  Baca teks dengan kuat (bukanlah sekuat hati, tetapi sekadar dapat didengar oleh telinga sendiri.)  Untuk dapatkan ‘feel’ dan supaya tidak diganggu oleh bunyi sekeliling, tutup kedua-dua telinga dengan jari atau tangan.  Ibarat memakai ‘headphone’.

2.  Bila kita membaca di dalam hati, kita tidak begitu peka terhadap sebutan.  Kita baca untuk faham dan ‘enjoy’.  Tetapi, apabila kita melafazkan perkataan B. Inggeris satu-persatu, mata, lidah, telinga dan otak betul-betul berfungsi. 

  • Mata melihat perkataan dan tanda baca (penting untuk intonasi).
  • Lidah/mulut mengeluarkan bunyi perkataan (organ yang paling kuat bekerja untuk VO).
  • Telinga mendengar sedap atau tidak (tepat atau tidak) bunyi yang dihasilkan.
  • Otak tentu sekali berfikir – Dalam B. Inggeris banyak perkataan yang sama ejaan tapi lain bunyinya.  Contoh:  ‘present’ – Hmm..PREHzen ataupun priZEN?  Ayat dan jalan cerita pastinya membantu.

3.  Apabila bingung dan buntu dan was-was tentang sebutan yang betul, apa lagi..rujuk la kamus.  Kamus terbaik untuk membantu sebutan ialah online dictionary ataupun kamus dalam bentuk CD.  

Pendek kata, kamus yang boleh ‘bersuara’.   (Melainkan kita mahir dengan ejaan fonetik, kamus English-English sudah memadai.  Tetapi kebanyakan kita cepat pening dan kalut melihat simbol-simbol macam ulat tu kan?)

Contoh online dictionaryhttp://dictionary.reference.com

Taipkan perkataan, klik pada sebutan, dengar dan mimik.  Mudah sahaja!  

Tetapi dalam banyak-banyak petua, petua seterusnya yang paling membantu:

Baca, baca, baca dan dengar, dengar, dengar betul-betul.  

Lagi kerap kita baca, lagi bertambah vocab kita.  Subhanallah!  Ilmu yang dikurniakan Allah SWT amat luas dan berjuta-juta cabangnya.  Reading widens your horizon.

Lagi kerap kita dengar B. Inggeris, lagi terdedah telinga kita kepada sebutan, loghat dan dialek Inggeris yang berbeza.  Biasakan telinga mendengar dan mulut mengulang.

So, keep reading and let the words out from your mouth.  You can do it, InshaAllah!

ORAL TEST? Orally! Oral B? Oh really…

salam alayk..
coach..it’s me fatimah..from ampac..i kinda have problem with my oral test..
it’s not that i never did one..it’s just that..before this the teacher chose the topic for us..and now..we had to do it on our own..i’m stuck on chosing the topic..i dunno what to talk about..
i hope you can help me..thx

THE ANSWER:

Thanks for asking gal,
Well, the simplest way to find a topic is….(drum roll please)
1. Choose something that you are passionate about.
What is the one thing that you like to talk about with your friends and families or even strangers. Something that you will read on if you find one. Something that excites you. Most of the time people would relate passion with hobbies. Your hobbies can also be your passion but not entirely because some people have hobbies that they are not passionate about. They just do it because they don’t have anything else to do.
Passion is more like the sun. without it your life will be dark. Like Lord Sauron or Lord Voldemort. When you speak about your passion, your eyes will go wide and your heart pumping fast. Ever had that experience?
Anyway, do you know what your passion is? It can be people (family, friends or a ‘special friend’), or situations /events/happenings (picnic, birthday party, kenduri) or things (computers, handphones) or animals (pets, wild) or anything else under the sun… and beyond.


2. Finding topic that you know a lot about.
Something that doesn’t require you to dig too much. The information is at your fingertips.
You know them by heart. Should there be an exam pertaining the subject you’ll get the perfect score.
For example, your school, your country, your kampung, your favourite artiste or even YOURSELF. :-)) (try not to be Narcissistic ok?)

You should be able to give the details without having a second thought.


3. You can also try a topic that you would like to know more about.

Something you never knew much but it intrigues you to want to know more. Something new that’s been going on or even something old but has been suppressed in your mind all this while. Is there something you wish you know more of? When the name Barrack Obama came up, presidential hopeful of USA, it intrigued me to want to know more about
this potential presidential candidate. A black American President? So I went googling and got more than what I needed. Spark your curiousity.
This will make you do your research more and when you really look for something you will ultimately find them.


Hope that will do. Do let us know if you need more… Just say it..”Give me MORE!” 3x

With love and kisses…muahahaha

Your cute coaches.

WWE Tips 1(BM version): Seronok Belajar B.I.

Memang seronok bila kita selesa, yakin dan fasih berbahasa Inggeris.  Bertambah seronok bila kita mudah faham bila membaca dan mendengar perkataan dan ayat-ayat dalam Bahasa Inggeris.  Keseronokan berlipat ganda bila kita mahir dalam keempat-empat kemahiran sekaligus – membaca, menulis, mendengar dan bertutur.

Percayalah, sesiapa sahaja layak dan mampu menjadikan Bahasa Inggeris sebagai bahasa kedua mereka.  Maknanya, tidak kira latar belakang keluarga, di sekolah mana kita belajar, di mana kita tinggal, berapa usia kita, setiap orang yang belajar bahasa boleh kuasai bahasa tersebut.

Kami datang dari latar belakang keluarga yang berbeza.  Ayah dan ibu Coach Sha berkelulusan Masters dan PhD dan pernah berkhidmat di universiti tempatan.  Allahyarham bapa Coach Ridz pula bersekolah sehingga Darjah Enam  sahaja manakala ibu beliau tidak pernah mendapat pendidikan formal.  Persoalannya di sini, adakah tahap pendidikan ibu bapa kita penentu kejayaan kita untuk mahir dalam Bahasa Inggeris?  Memang faktor keluarga boleh membantu, tetapi semestinya bukan penentu.  Setuju bukan?

Kami juga datang dari sistem persekolahan yang berbeza.  Coach Sha berkesempatan bersekolah menengah di Texas, Amerika Syarikat  selama empat tahun (tingkatan tiga hingga enam).  Sebab itulah bila Coach Sha bertutur dalam Bahasa Inggeris, kadang-kadang terkeluar loghat koboi Texas dengan tidak sengaja.  Samalah seperti orang Kedah, orang Kelantan, orang Negeri, orang Terengganu di Malaysia, orang di Amerika pun ada loghat masing-masing.

Coach Ridz pula mendapat pendidikan menengah beliau di sekolah pondok, Madrasah al-Masriyyah di Bukit Mertajam.  Terkejut ustazah dan cikgu Coach Ridz bila kami pergi menziarahi mereka di sekolah.  Tak sangka, ingatkan nak jadi ustaz tapi jadi jurulatih Bahasa Inggeris pula.

Pokoknya di sini, kami ingin tekankan bahawa setiap orang boleh selesa, yakin dan fasih menggunakan Bahasa Inggeris dalam pembelajaran dan kehidupan.  Apakah rahsianya?

Jadikan proses pembelajaran bahasa itu sesuatu yang menyeronokkan.  Mulai sekarang, lafazkan, “Seronok belajar Bahasa Inggeris!”  Ayuh, kita mulakan!

RAHSIA 1: BE LIKE A KID AGAIN

Untuk menangkap bahasa Inggeris dengan berkesan, kita mesti sanggup jadi seperti kanak-kanak semula. Perangai yang ada pada anak kecil, harus kembali dalam jiwa kita yang kini sudah remaja dan dewasa.

Tidak kira sama ada anda pelajar tahun enam atau tingkatan enam, berumur tiga belas atau tiga puluh tahun, anda mesti hidupkan kembali sifat budak-budak dalam diri sendiri.

Alangkah indahnya zaman budak-budak dulu. Bila makan, mereka makan betul-betul. Bila tidur, mereka tidur betul-betul. Bila main, mereka main betul-betul. Hasilnya, kanak-kanak dapat kepuasan dalam apa yang mereka lakukan.

Inilah yang patut kita hidupkan kembali walaupun sudah bergelar remaja dan dewasa. Bila belajar, belajar betul-betul. Jangan main-main. Tapi jangan salah faham pula. Bukan maknanya bila belajar tidak boleh berseronok langsung. Mesti serius dan berkerut dahi sahaja. Jauh sekali!

Bila belajar Bahasa Inggeris, speak sungguh-sungguh, listen dengan khusyuk, read rajin-rajin dan write banyak-banyak. Inilah rahsia pertama menangkap Bahasa Inggeris. Cipta keseronokan dalam proses pembelajaran. Jangan belajar setakat cukup makan atau ala kadar saja. Boleh kan?

Pasang niat untuk seronok belajar kerana

Bila hati seronok,

Badan penuh tenaga,

Kita jadi kuat,

Kita rasa hebat,

Buat sesuatu pun betul-betul buat,

Dan InshaAllah, hasil lah yang kita akan dapat.

WWE 2: Change Daily Script

Salam to all!

The question today is, “Are you willing to change?” If you say, “YES!” we salute you.

Now, talking about change, that “YES” is the first thing we’ll change today. Be different. Be unique. Be adventurous.

Starting today, no more YES, YES, YES. Understand? (Ooops.. did I hear yes again?)

Like the song in the last post (SK Sg. Bunyi ESB), we will all make our Spoken English more stylish by saying:

  • ABSOLUTELY
  • CERTAINLY
  • OF COURSE
  • SURE
  • YOU BET

You will be making your conversation more colourful..hot and spicy too!  So, remember, whenever your mouth wants to say YES, quickly change to…one of the above.

p/s:  One more tip:  Stick to ONE word for three days (or even one week).  For example, this week, you’ll use OF COURSE only.  After you’ve become comfortable with it, next week, use a new one.  That’s the trick!

All the best.

A good language learner is willing…

to be like a kid again!

No matter how ‘senior’ you are (fifty or fifteen) in order to learn another language effectively, get ready to be like a kid again.

Why is this ‘muy, muy importante?’

(1) Kids get excited!!

When was the last time you felt excited? What happened to your eyes, did they shrink or grow bigger? Bigger, of course.

What happened to your heart, did it pump slower or faster?

Dup, dup..dup, dup…dup, dup. You bet it pumped faster.

Say this out loud: “As a start, I must get excited!”

Say it and believe it. We must get excited. We want to be excited. We like to feel excited.

What’s the connection between getting excited and learning English?

When we get excited…

We feel good.

We have fun.

We become stronger.

We have full energy.

We do all out.

We get RESULTS!

So, why wait?  Come on and be like a kid again.  Think happy thoughts and seize the moment.  Enjoy using English!  (to be continued..)

A reply to bro Tarmizi’s question

“i want to speak english with my friends but their do not know how to speak ennglish! what i can do for them?”

Good question bro and congrats for making the choice to upgrade yourself to learn to speak english.
It’s very simple actually, but your friend must get excited too.
This is how you should start.
1. Keep on speaking even if your friends are not. If they are school students about your age then they should be able to understand. Unless they are from another planet. 🙂 Because when you speak with your friends, you speak normal stuff right? Daily stuff. Things that happen everyday. eg. places you went, people you met, things you did.
If they are supportive friends they will respect your choice to speak and they will try to listen and when they listen, they can understand. Use body language too ok?

2. If they want to try, encourage them to use basic daily dialogues like:
what’s up?”
“let’s go man!”
“where are u going?”
“let’s eat!”
Start with these and many more of your own choice and once you guys can say these comfortably then English will be easy to you and your friends.

3. Keep a jotter with you to write down phrases that you want to change to English. In your conversation, whenever there are phrases or words that you want to know in English, write them down and get help from experts eg, your teacher. This can help expand and increase your vocabulary. You will learn new words and phrases and that’s POWER.

4. Listen more to English when you are together. Radio, MP3 or anything that’s in English. The key to good writing is extensive reading. You read more, you will automatically write more. Same with speaking, listen more and speaking will be easier. More input, more output. The more you feed your brain with listening, the more you can speak in English. Your brain is like a fuel tank, if you do not pump in enough fuel, it can never go far.

Remember to be SELAMBA. Just speak English little by little. be comfortable using it and you’ll be confident. You will be fluent sooner or later.