Published on 25 Mar 2024

Learning Journey to Teachers’ Training programmes by Institut Pendidikan Guru (Teachers’ Training College)

Over the recess week (4th-7th March 2024), a group of 16 lecturers and student teachers from NIE’s Asian Languages & Cultures Academic Group, Tamil Department embarked on a 4-day long educational trip to Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh, Malaysia. The trip aimed to deepen our understanding and foster collaboration in Tamil language education between Singapore and Malaysia.

Key objectives of this learning journey are:

  • To learn more about Malaysian Tamil Education in Tamil Schools, Teacher Training for the Tamil teachers, Tamil Academics, and Education Research Programmes in Universities
  • Acquiring a deeper insight on teaching Tamil as a first and second language in Malaysia
  • Foster team bonding and understand the nature of Malaysian Tamil education.

Our learning journey commenced with a visit to Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil Medium School, Rawang which offered insights into the functioning of a Tamil medium school in Malaysia. Furthermore, we observed a primary six lesson taught by their own teacher and subsequently our NIE student teachers were also given an opportunity to conduct their own lesson to the same cohort, showcasing NIE's teaching prowess.

The educational odyssey continued with us attending the 'International Tamil Symposium exploring the Dimensions of Language and Linguistics' at the Universiti Malaya (UM) on the second day. Together with the UM’s Faculty of Language and Linguistics Studies, we delved deep into teaching and learning Tamil as the first and second language level. We participated in discussions led by UM’s teaching staffs and students and presented research papers on Tamil language pedagogy in Singapore. In the second part of our visit to UM, we had a fruitful dialogue session with their Indian Studies Department, exploring potential collaborations in teaching and research between UM and NIE.

On the third day, we visited Sultan Idris Educational University and Institut Pendidikan Guru (IPG), a well-known teachers’ training college in Ipoh which provided invaluable insights into teacher training in Malaysia. The exchanges on syllabi, pedagogies, and resource sharing fostered mutual learning and collaboration.

Amidst professional engagements, leisure moments were also cherished as we visited several landmarks in Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh, allowing us to immerse in Malaysia's rich heritage and culture.

Overall, we found the experience to have been an eye-opening and enriching one. This trip not only broadened our horizons but also nurtured bonds and paved the way for future inter-institutional collaborations, promising a brighter future for Tamil language education in Singapore and Malaysia.

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