Getting it "Straights": Kedah schoolkids boost English grasp with NST

NUR SHAZWANA MANSOR

YAN: SMK Guar Chempedak 2 (SMKGC2) in Gurun here has come up with an innovative approach to boost students’ grasp of the English language.

Under the Highly Immersive Programme using New Straits Times (Hipster) Reading programme, 500 students from Form One to Form Five will carry a copy of the NST newspaper with them on a daily basis.

The students will not only be using NST in their English classes and other subjects, but will also take the newspaper home to share with family members.

SMKGC2 principal Abd Hamid Md Isa said the main objective of the one-year subscription programme was to improve the school’s performance in the English language and to inculcate a reading habit.

He said the school chose NST for the programme as the newspaper offered reading materials covering a range of current issues and features.

“Besides School Times and other academic-related materials in NST, we will use articles covering a range of issues to encourage students to read.

“We are not just talking about improving students’ English skills for exams, but, more importantly, we want them to get used to the language to improve their marketability in the job market.

“That is our long-term vision for this programme.”

He said the initiative was in line with the Education Ministry’s aspiration to improve students’ grasp of the English language.

“Our aim is also to encourage students to speak English. That is why we will use the newspaper as reference for other subjects.

“As a new school that opened last year, we feel it is imperative for SMKGC2 to establish its own identity and we have decided to come up with this programme,” he said after the launch of the programme by NST education editor Hazlina Aziz yesterday.

Under the programme, Hamid said, each student would get a copy of NST every Tuesday at the cost of RM3 per month.

The newspaper would be used for activities throughout the week.

Hamid thanked the students’ parents for supporting the programme.

In conjunction with the programme’s launch yesterday, Hazlina held a workshop for 37 English teachers from 22 secondary schools in Kuala Muda and Yan.