• 19 Mei 2024 | 11 Zulkaedah 1445

Don't be shy to speak English in Terengganu

KUALA NERUS, 15 May - Is it accurate to say that, given the lack of platforms or chances for language usage, English has no place in Terengganu everyday life? Or are there any additional barriers preventing Terengganu residents from using that language in public without encountering hostility from their community?

Head of the English Language Center of the Faculty of Languages and Communication, Dr Hishamuddin Salim responded to that query by saying that Terengganu is always open to learning English.

Despite the availability of practice and usage possibilities, he told the media during a recent interview at UniSZA that there was not enough motivation to learn and utilize the language. This is frequently brought on by anxieties instilled by classmates and the community, who pass judgment on language learners anytime they attempt to speak the language.

"Most of the time, once they encounter criticism and a lack of support from others, their enthusiasm in learning and using the language in their daily lives falls apart. Consequently, there is a growing phobia of even attempting to use the language outside of the classroom.

He went on to say that the community has to start changing the way people think about acquiring a new language—in this case, English—in order to bring about positive changes. He also stresses the need of establishing a more encouraging and friendly atmosphere for language learning.

“They shouldn't be shy about speaking English. And they shouldn't demotivate others who want to learn English. This way, we can create a better and more conducive environment to learn English.”

He highlighted a few initiatives that close the knowledge gap between Terengganu students and possibilities for language study and practice. For example, A Weekend in English (AWIE) is a programme run by the Faculty of Languages and Communication (FBK) at Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin. Its goals are to encourage students to become more interested in the English language and to give them opportunities to communicate in it through enjoyable activities, games, and competitions.

Another example of initiatives such as a collaboration between business community and local colleges, like Universiti Malaysia Terengganu’s partnership with Exxonmobile to address the community’s need for better English. Other than that, Exxonmobile contributed a significant amount of money to support the development of English in Terengganu and operates an English centre in Tok Jiring, Kuala Nerus.

“Radio is another medium via which a native of Terengganu might acquire English language skills. Radio is widely recognised for its function in providing musical entertainment.

“But there’s a time slot on Terengganu FM where they give Terengganu folks a highly participatory way to learn English,” he said

Dr Hisham said that The “Jom belajar bahasa Inggeris” slot concentrated more on using English to communicate with others in our day-to-day life. 

“The time slot typically begins with a sharing session between the student and the tutor over the subject they wish to learn about that day. 

“This is usually followed by a brief exercise to reinforce the lesson’s lessons. By calling the radio station, the audience that pays attention to the lesson could participate in the exercise,” said Dr Hisham.