KOTA KINABALU: English Language Teaching (ELT) professionals play a crucial role in equipping students with the necessary communication skills to excel in the workplace.
Sabah Education and Innovation Minister, Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob said ELT professionals therefore needed a certain degree of autonomy in exercising their professional judgement about what and how to teach.
He said this in his forward address on the 6th Malaysian International Conference on Academic Strategies in English Language Teaching (My_Caselt) and the 3rd Language Invention, Innovation & Design (LIID) Exposition 2019 to be held here on Aug 21 and 22.
“To produce innovative graduates, educators must be innovative too and in this global era, ELT professionals have a number of innovative tools at their disposal to enhance the teaching and learning process.
“It is imperative that they adopt a liberal mindset that encourages exploration of novel ideas and out-of-the-box thinking when conducting classes, training, consultancy and research.
“However, for teachers serving in the rural areas, particularly in Sabah, they are faced with the challenge of implementing creative and innovative teaching methods with limited resources,” said Yusof, who is co-patron of My_Caselt 2019.
He said they had to be extremely creative in their teaching methods to sustain the interest of millennials.
“Malaysia’s vision to transform from a middle to high-income advanced nation is heavily dependent on the ability of its people to initiate, employ and exploit innovative ideas to drive and sustain economic growth.
“This requires a shift towards work processes that utilise technology and new practices to produce goods and services at lower costs and minimal time,” he said.
He noted that one of the initiatives in the Malaysian Education Blueprint was the development of an innovation ecosystem which sought to equip graduates with the aspiration and ability to come up with new, creative ways of doing things and solving problems.
“Graduates can no longer be job seekers, instead they should be job creators in a global village, where English is the lingua franca,” he said.
The My_Caselt 2019 and LIID 2019 are organised by Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) through its Academy of Language Studies, Shah Alam and UiTM Sabah branch.
Meanwhile, UiTM vice-chancellor, Emeritus Professor Ir. Dr Mohd Azraai Kassim, who is also co-patron of My_Caselt 2019, said My_Caselt and LIID 2019 are unique and dedicated platforms for sharing current practices and new perspectives.
“This event provides opportunities for multi-disciplinary collaborations to create impactful research and innovations for the world,” he said, adding that over the years, the conference served as a platform for global synergies across multilingual and multicultural language learning environments. — Bernama