Could not download file: This paper is available to authorised users only.

DIFFICULTIES AND PROBLEMS OF LEARNING ENGLISH IN EXTREMELY RURAL PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN: IMPLICATIONS FOR MATERIAL DEVELOPMENT

M. Kamarul Kabilan, N. Ahmad, A. Rashid Mohamed

Universiti Sains Malaysia (MALAYSIA)
Malaysia is a fast developing nation that emphasizes on education to produce a knowledgeable workforce, as a commodity to strengthen its economy. In order to achieve this, the Malaysian government wants pupils to have a considerably commendable proficiency of English. Hence, many policies are put into place to enhance the learning of English. For instance, in 2003, English replaced the Malay language as the medium of instruction for the teaching and learning of Mathematics and Science subjects. Nevertheless, many pupils – especially form the rural areas – do not become proficient in English after 13 years of formal learning in schools. Realizing this, the Sabah Foundation, an organization responsible into looking at remedies for the educational deficiencies in Sabah (one of the states in Malaysia), initiated a project with Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) to identify the difficulties and problems of learning English in six rural primary schools in Sabah, and develop learning and teaching materials that are suitable to the context of Sabah; and that can be effectively used by teachers to facilitate pupils’ effective learning of English. This poster presentation will depict findings from the needs analysis that was carried out, including the difficulties and problems faced by the pupils. The main difficulties and problems are the lack of linguistic input, unsupportive school culture and environment, inappropriate reading materials, and meagre teacher commitment. This poster presentation will also showcase ideas for material development that were derived from the findings such as focusing on vocabulary building and encouraging creative and critical use of materials by teachers.