ASIATEFL 2014 & my first visit to Kuching

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I was glad that I had the opportunity to be part of 12th AsiaTEFL 2014 & 23rd MELTA International Conference 2014 held in Kuching, Sarawak. I have been attending MELTA conference on annual basis but I had to give it a miss last year due to my final examination. Boy, was I glad I decided to attend this year’s conference as there were amazing presenters and engaging topics of presentations that were lined up for all the conference participants. There was such a huge turnout for the conference ( I reckon there was more than 1500 presenters & participants!) at the Borneo Convention Centre. This year’s theme is Developing Sustainable Quality in English Language Education: Evolving Policies, Innovating Practices, Transforming Learning. Although H.R.H. Raja Zarith Sofiah binti Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah, the Royal Patron for MELTA was unable to officiate this year’s conference due to unforeseen circumstances, HRH Raja Nazhatul Shima Sultan Idris Shah graced the event with her eloquent speech on the significance of upholding English Language standard at global scale and pursuing ongoing professionalism in English Language teaching. YB Datuk Mary Yap, Deputy Minister of Education Malaysia shared the ongoing government initiatives to upgrade the standards of English in the nation.

I presented on the second day of the conference, sharing my project on Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL) for Malaysian Schools : Stakeholder’s View. I was glad that it turned out well and it was great getting positive feedbacks and various views on the implementation of MALL in school from a pragmatic perspective. Although I’m an advocate of the use of e-learning and digital technologies in learning, I strongly believe that technology is still just a tool and can never replace a teacher’s role. However, a great teacher is someone who is able to utilize and optimize any resource and tool to engage the learners. With the dawn of 21st century learning, it’s either you sync or sink, teachers may not be the maestros of all the gadgets in the market but those who are able to use the right tools, learn, unlearn and relearn, adapt and adopt the right paradigm and pedagogical approach in teaching and learning. The perk of attending any conference is reuniting with old buddies and I’m so glad I met my ex coursemates, Dyan and Siaw Wee after 13 years! How time flies!
Processed with Moldiv

I had the chance to go on a river cruise along Sungai Sarawak and it was such a breathtaking experience. As this is my first trip to Kuching, I tried and tested some suggestions given by my friends (as well as googling for tips & info) on interesting highlights of this wonderful city. I tried Laksa Sarawak and it’s so delicious, even bought few packets of the Laksa Sarawak paste so I can cook it at home…hope I can recreate the recipe as well as the one I tasted here..simply nyaman! (delicious in local dialect)

For those interested, enclosed is my presentation that I’ve uploaded on my Slideshare.



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