Each day, a learner would constantly divide the 24 hours between corporeal, religious and secular activities. In the constraint of time, learning a foreign language could come across as a hefty investment to a serious tertiary student. Understandably, a considerable amount of time is required to develop another kind of linguistic intelligence. Converting the learning framework from periodic learning mentality to seamless interactivity experience may lead to a renewal of interest in foreign language education. In e-learning, a learner of Malay language is able to process language content in many ways. And periodic practice of foreign language learning is possible with the incorporation of digital platform. Web log, for example, sustains interactive learning anywhere in accordance to the learner's convenience. Dynamic interactivity including sentence construction, expressing written ideas in paragraphs, online exchange with fellow course mates, reading aloud and comprehending silently online Malay texts on the computer screen both in and outside NUS campus.
This Malay language learning project is underlined by the belief that formal learning is no longer a limited privilege in the four classroom walls. Long distance education via YouTube and other virtual platforms has become commonplace across the intensely wired environments of Asian Info Tigers including Singapore. The pattern of teaching and learning has set unprecedented changes in the learning landscape of 21 st century education. The ability to learn on the move is becoming more and more relevant to all types of learning, e.g. mobile tertiary learning has been a selling point of a local private institution. In the seamless wired environment of NUS, Malay language education integrates learning in real and virtual worlds cross-cutting book and Web 2.0 spaces. Malay language learners are instructed to exploit Wordpress.com for their linguistic development at their convenience. The open access digital provider is productively exploited for writing, commenting, and uploading visual contents online to individual web logs. Malay language is, thus, better acquired through additional online interactive experience.
As a result from tapping into the seamless linguistic environs, conventional face-to-face delivery of Malay is emancipated to online language application befitting a dynamic nonlinear timeline. Learning in blended spaces extends and enriches the learners' initial mastery of mono-modal or word-based Malay literacy with multimodal Malay intelligences or holistic literacy. Such multimodal intelligences come in handy as nothing is written at the workplace or a crime scene. Fresh graduates, especially those who are interested in investigation could make use of non-linguistic cues and other semiotics when they have their work cut out for them.
Language blogging projects of LAM1201 (Malay 1) and LAM3201 (Malay 3) were carried out in Sem. 2 of 2008/09. Web-based language literacy in both modules required the creation and implementation multimodal digital illustrations. Blogging literacy as a methodology in semiotic-rich Web 2.0 accentuated Malay language learning for both cohorts. Creating digital embedding concurred with learning as doing advocated by John Dewey, the late philosopher of education. Digital imageries in the forms of photographs, pictures and video clips were uploaded to the Malay blogs as part of online language learning. Malay narratives were written based on the digital content in level-1 Malay. For level-3 Malay, on the other hand, the description of the digital form came in a poetic Malay quatrain also known as pantun .
The tacit multimodal association between creating and narrating the digital forms became a doing-learning online correlation. Tapping on to other modes of intelligence to accentuate Malay linguistic intelligence was proven enjoyable in the learners' online journey. The End-of-Semester student responses were positive. In the feedback, the learners of Malay 1 expressed explicit interest toward developing Malay linguistic intelligence with visual content in Web logs. A self-initiated learner created and uploaded a Malay musical video clip in YouTube, a telling sign that the multimodal language learning has relevant function. The Malay lyrics rendered with rhythmic aptitude, tonal accuracy, and apt facial expressions suggested that language learning with digital technology was conducive to holistic human intelligence. In contrast, no written response was provided by level 3 learners. However, a score of 3.885 and 3.983 for increased interest in the subject, and application of knowledge learned in the subject, respectively was derived from the numerical inputs. Both scores were well within the faculty average score range of the two criteria.
Malay Literacy, Blogging, Multimodality, Digital Interactivity, Learning Systems
Sew, J.W. (2010). Persembahan@Media.Com Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaya Press.
Sew, J.W. (2010). Blogging Malay in Foreign Language Education. ICT2010 Singapore: Inspired Solutions, Empowered Learning. 30 June to 2 July 2010 [Accepted conference paper]
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Sew, J.W. (2009). Semiotik Persembahan Wacana. Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaya Press.
Lecture and tutorial competencies at three levels of Malay proficiency: LAM1201, LAM2201, & LAM3301 at Center for Language Studies (CLS)
Abstract Committee of the biannual CLS International Conference since 2008
Multimodal intelligences in digital Malay literacy
Pedagogy performing in real world Malay literacy
Color nomenclatures in Cantonese, Hokkien, Malay Mandarin, Tamil & Teochew.
TIMES Higher Education-QS World University Ranking
Language and Intercultural Communication
California Linguistic Notes
e-FLT (Electronic-Journal of Foreign Language Teaching)
Who's Who in Humanities Higher Education (Academic Keys 2009, Storrs, Connecticut) Who's Who in the World (Marquis 2010, New Providence, New Jersey, 27 th Edition)