LAST weekend, I had the opportunity to join the Mega Trenglish Camp for another year.
This programme has been carried out for four consecutive years, thanks to the Terengganu government, the state Education Department and Yayasan Terengganu, as well as Petronas as the main sponsor.
A total of 240 third and fourth formers joined the camp. This educational programme had the mood of a “summer camp” as participants took part in activities, made new friends, gained knowledge, embraced differences, discovered talents and learned new skills using English.
This camp had successfully developed and strengthened the 4Cs — communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking — in the participants as they actively engaged in activities and sessions that were mentally and physically challenging. The TreXplorace activity, for example, tested their ability to work effectively in groups as they strove to complete different tasks at eight stations.
This activity was more than just about racing and making strenuous efforts to be the champion, as it also taught students about managing stress and time, setting goals, making calculated decisions, planning strategies, as well as moving forward despite the odds. As the programme aimed at developing students’ potential and making them enthusiastic English users, debate and speech competitions were held. The debate competition taught students how to discuss and disagree professionally without being carried away by emotions. They also learnt about teamwork, confidence, patience, and passion, as well as quick, rational and critical thinking. As for the speech contest, students had a chance to showcase their talents and make audiences proud of their impressive, vivacious and intriguing performances.
For a sharing session with prominent figures, three speakers were invited, including a motivator, a singer (Anis Suraya), as well as a television host (Ally Iskandar). It was a fruitful session as the speakers shared their experiences, opinions and secrets of success. The students’ strong interest in the discussions showed when many volunteered to ask questions about studies, careers and tips on how to unleash confidence.
Before they called it a day, students wrote in journals and expressed their feelings and thoughts about previous activities. This exercise helped students relieve stress and encourage them to write for pleasure.
Not only had the students found new friends and spent their weekends with beneficial activities, but they also had learnt to be creative thinkers, attentive listeners, reflective writers, eloquent speakers, effective leaders, cooperative teammates, intellectual debaters and talented performers. Most of all, they learnt about believing in themselves and being positive.
When one learns the English language without purpose or only for the sake of fulfilling academic requirements, the language may end up being the person’s “frenemy”. But if one really understands the importance of mastering the language, English can be his sweetheart.
MUHAMAD SOLAHUDIN RAMLI
Source: NST Online