NIE trainees to teach foreign workers english

NIE trainees to teach foreign workers english

Date
Thursday, 12 November 2009

Media Type
TODAY

NIE trainees to teach foreign workers English

SINGAPORE — A group of trainee teachers from the National Institute of Education has been helping foreign workers learn English.

 They make their way to the workers’ dormitory on Pulau Brani two nights a week.

 And one lesson, it seems, is enough for the construction workers, who are working on the Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) project, to pick up simple conversational English.

 How do they do it? Through songs and role play, for example.

 The lessons were initiated by a group of 23 first-year trainee teachers as part of their community service project.

 Through non-governmental organisation Transient Workers Count Too, the teachers were introduced to RWS, who were keen to have their workers learn English.

 “Project Bridge” aims to equip foreign workers with basic English to express common health and work-related issues.

 Ms Jenny Tan, one of the trainee teachers involved in the project, said: “We adopt the translation method. In every lesson, we have a Chinese and Tamil translator.

 Any time the participants are unable to understand the vocabulary or sentence structure we’re teaching, we have a translator to translate into their language.”

 The teachers will conduct the course over three weeks, reaching out to 180 workers.

 Although the numbers may not seem significant for a dormitory with 4,000 workers, Ms Tan said it was a first step to enable some workers to interact with local communities.

 “We hope that ... the workers will be able to apply what we have taught them in their daily lives. And... the teachers will be able to learn their culture and befriend them,” she said.

 But is one lesson sufficient? “Can I have one chicken rice please?” asked Mr Ganesan, a 23 year old foreign worker from India, after his lesson.

Source: TODAY, sph