The English Picture Books on Intercultural Awareness of Malaysian Kindergateners

By Vijayaletchumy Subramaniam, Normaliza Abd Rahim, Nik Rafidah Nik Affendi, Arbaie Sujud, Noor Aina Dani and Mohd. Sahandri Gani Hamzah.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This research is carried out for the purpose of developing intercultural awareness, which should be one of the major aims of teaching English to young learners, along with learning how to speak or listen. Our presentation will report that reading picture-books in a foreign language to young children (5-6 years old) is effective in developing their consciousness about different languages or cultures. We had kindergartners read English picture-books more than three times a week, both in their kindergartens and at home, with some adults around them, and have found that this method helped them to be aware that there are many different sounds, words, and rhythms. This awareness may lead them to further consciousness of the existence of different cultures, and of different people belonging to them. This kind of intercultural awareness is important particularly in a mono-lingual society like Malaysia, where children are normally not exposed to different languages other than their mother tongue. Analysis of our interviews and questionnaires indicates that children who read English picture-books with CDs both in kindergartens and at home more than three times a week could develop an interest in and positive attitudes towards different languages and the people speaking them, and also the deeper culture on which they are based.

Keywords: English Picture Books, Cultural Awareness

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp.441-450. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.245MB).

Dr. Vijayaletchumy Subramaniam

Senior Lecturer, Malay Language, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Vijayaletchumy Subramaniam is a lecturer at the Malay Department, Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, University Putra Malaysia. She completed her doctoral research on ‘Dyslexia from The Aspect of Reading Bahasa Melayu’ in 2003 at the Language Centre, University Putra Malaysia. She has an interest in issues in intercultural discourse and communication. She is particularly interested in the relation ship between language, communication and society. Currently supervising Masters and Ph.D students in mastering the qualitative research in Malay Linguistic and the Teaching and Learning of Malay Language.

Prof Dr. Normaliza Abd Rahim

Senior Lecturer, Department of Malay Language, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Dr. Normaliza Abd Rahim is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia.

Dr. Nik Rafidah Nik Affendi

Lecturer, Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Dr. Nik Rafidah Nik Affendi is a lecturer at Universiti Putra Malaysia.

Dr. Arbaie Sujud

Lecturer, Head of Department, Department of Malay Language,Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication,, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Dr. Arbaie Sujud is a senior lecturer at Universiti Putra Malaysia. Currently he is the head of Malay Language Department. He teaches literature and multimedia and interested in research and development.

Dr. Noor Aina Dani

Lecturer, Department of Malay Language, Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Dr. Noor Aina Dani is an Associate Professor at Universiti Putra Malaysia. Her expertise is on Psycholinguistics.

Prof. Mohd. Sahandri Gani Hamzah

Assoc. Prof, Faculty of Educational Studies, UPM, Serdang, Selangor, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

DR. MOHD. SAHANDRI GANI B. HAMZAH NRIC No: 560405-11-5013 Current Position: Associate Professor Gred SSM: DS 53 Academic Qualification: Bachelor of Education in Agricultural Science (Hons) University Putra Malaysia (1981) Master of Education (Supervision and Measurement in Education) National University of Malaysia (1995) Ph.D (Research and Evaluation in Educational Practice) National University of Malaysia (1998) Office Address: Faculty of Educational Studies University Putra Malaysia Serdang 43400, Selangor. PREVIOUS AND CURRENT RESPONSIBILITY i. Planning and developing of school education policy draft. ii. Planning, coordinating and developing proposal paper for restructuring of State Education Division, School Division and Ministry of Education. iii. Coordinating and managing activities related to education policy change for all State Education Division. iv. Briefing and Workshops related to National Educational Policy Change. v. Analysis of education policies for Ministry of Education Malaysia reference. vi. Conduct research related to enforcement of current and future policies. vii. Education Quality Control especially related to MS ISO viii. Planning and conducting MS ISO Seminar and producing seminar prosiding for National Seminar on MS ISO ix. Coordinating and checking of rules and enforcement of rules related to school curriculum and extra curriculum x. Coordinating and implementing of joint program between British Council and UNICEF xi. Associate Profesor related responsbilities xii. Lecturer (Testing and Measurement, Research Methodology and Statistical Analysis) xiii. Lecturer (Experimental research) Ph.D student. xiv. Head of Research team: Malaysia Primary School Food Program xv. Head of research Team: Level of Motivation for Technical Education Department officers and its subsidiaries. xvi. Secretariat Head for MARA officers: Evaluation of competencies level course WORK EXPERIENCE i. Teacher (Agricultural Science, Integrated Science and General Science) 1981-1987. ii. Agricultural Science Curriculum Planning Committee Kelantan Education State Division (1982 -1987). iii. Agricultural Science Examination Questions Panel for Kelantan State Division (1982 - 1987) iv. Federal School Inspectorate (January 1988 - June 1993) Area of expertise: a) Agricultural Science b) Living Skills c) Science for Primary School d) Administration & School Leadership e) School Financial Management f) Chairman of National School Project (1991 - 1993) v Lecturer, Kota Bharu Teacher Education College (May 1995 July 1997) vi Assistant Director Kelantan Technology Education Centre (August 1998-August 2000) vii Assistant Director, Education Policy Planning and Research Department, Ministry of Education Malaysia (September 2001 - March 2002) viii Chief Assistant Director Unit Penyelidikan Bahagian Perancangan dan Penyelidikan Dasar Pendidikan ix School Division Unit Head (February 2005 – August 2006) x Associate Professor (Lecturer) xi Coordinator for “Testing and measurement” course for Master Degree and Ph.D program.

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