October 2016

Welcome to the final term of 2016! Read on to find out what’s happening this term.

Your child’s next level

Throughout your child’s course, their teacher has been assessing their progress. After careful consideration the teacher decides which level would best meet the needs of your child based both on age and continuing the development of their English abilities.

You can find out your child’s level at the Parent Teacher meetings on 15 and 16 October, or when you come to register.

Holiday Courses 2016

Get the most out of the school holidays by registering your child for a short holiday programme to improve their confidence.

This year, the British Council is commemorating 400 years since the death of Shakespeare with some exciting and fun holiday courses for children based on the life of Shakespeare and his plays. The holiday courses will make the works of this great British writer accessible to children while helping them improve their skills in English.

Child safety week

This term, we will be marking child safety week with activities in class to raise students’ awareness of potential issues in their safety. Our youngest students will be introduced to ideas about safe touch, while our older students will look at how to stay safe online. Last term, with the increasing popularity of Pokemon Go, some classes looked at the potential problems that the game may create.

Taking photos in the British Council

On the topic of child safety, we would like to remind parents to not take photos of classes in progress. This is both distracting for students and a potential risk for children as other parents have no given their permission for their child to be photographed.

Global Art Competition: Penang Winners

Congratulations to all the children who took part. We were incredibly pleased with the high number of participants and the quality of their work. Unfortunately, we were unable to award all the children and had to choose three finalists for each age category. The decision was extremely difficult, but here they are:

Age category: under 8 years old

1st place: Yap Khai Yuan

2nd place: Gayathiri Pragalathen

3rd place: Amie Ong Yue Hsuen

Age category: 9- 11 years old

1st place: Yap Khai Chuen

2nd place: Sim Yang Ming

3rd place: Teh Yisan

Age category: 12- 15 years old

1st place: Goh Zi Jia

2nd place: John Lim

3rd place: Khairul Hazman

The pictures of the winners for each age category from the Penang centre will enter the Global YL Art Competition 2016 in London. The global winners will be announced sometime in September. Congratulations once again to the winners and we are looking forward to hearing from London!

Primary Plus Online Portal

The activities for Topic 7 are live on the Primary Plus portal and students can log in and start them at any time. The activities are a great way to practise the language covered in class and students can earn badges for completing the activities, then unlock the Shaun the Sheep videos to watch online. 

Changes to the way we use course books

The British Council Young Learner team has been gathering feedback from teachers and students on how course books are used in our Upper Primary, Lower Secondary and Upper Secondary classes. We recommend students in these courses take approximately 2 years to move to the next level (160 learning hours).

Based on the feedback we have received from parents and the research we have done with teachers and students, from next year, all of our UP, LS and US books will be used over a 2 year period, in line with the length of the course. This is to allow teachers to provide more opportunities for students to use their language in class through speaking and writing tasks, and to expose them to more natural English through the use of readers and videos in class. In addition, after feedback from students, we will be integrating basic academic skills development lessons into each term to help students build their skills toward potential future academic studies in English.

Did you know…

  • The British Council is an enthusiastic supporter of STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) in Malaysia. as part of this support, the British Council recently worked with the Newton-Ungku Omar Fund to contribute a 1 hour science show during the Petrosains Science Festival. The show included participants from the Malaysian heat of the Famelab competition and included the international winner, Malaysian geneticist Dr Abhi Veerakumarsivam.
  • The British Council is a member of the Keeping Children Safe network. This is a network of organisations that work with children from around the world. The aim of the network is to provide member organisations with advice and assessment of their child safety procedures so we can be confident that children at British Council centres are safe from harm.
  • As a cultural organisation, the British Council has been a strong partner with the Cooler Lumpur Festival, a diverse festival that seeks to solve the serious challenges facing the world today. As South East Asia’s only festival of ideas, the British Council is privileged to host the festival in co-operation with PopDigital Sdn Bhd and bring together filmmakers, writers, musicians and thinkers from all over the world to share their ideas and generate new ones.

February 2017

Letter from the Director

Happy New Year!

Dear Parents and Students,

Happy New Year and to all new students, welcome to the British Council Penang ! To returning students, welcome back and I hope you are all settling in to your new class/level.

I am pleased to introduce our new Academic Head, Mersedeh Badrian who takes over from Julie Turner. Julie has returned to the UK after spending three years in the Penang centre. Mersedeh comes to us with 9 years of experience in EFL, teaching English to young learners, adults and working professionals. Her most recent post was in the UAE as the Senior Teacher for IELTS. Prior to joining the team in UAE, Mersedeh worked in Kuala Lumpur. She joined the British Council K.L in 2012 as a full-time teacher, teacher-trainer and emoderator on the Pro-ELT project. In this role, she trained over 200 Malaysian primary and secondary state school teachers both face-to-face and online. In the project’s  2nd year, Mersedeh joined as the Senior Teacher and co-managed 16 British Council trainers in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Putrajaya, who trained over 1000 state school teachers. Mersedeh’s specialisms lie in the areas of assessment, IELTS, materials development and syllabus design for both adults and our younger learners.

Three new teachers have also come on board this year and we’d like to say a warm welcome to Adam, Euriska and Hannah. They will be introducing themselves as well.

The Penang Centre continues to grow and we have started the new year with a very high enrolment of young learners. Most classes are full and a lot of students are currently on the waiting list for the April term. Please note the re-registration period for the next intake to ensure that your child’s seat is secure and not given to a waiting student.

We will also continue our efforts in ensuring the safety of your children and that includes strict adherence in the Child Protection Policy. A reminder email will be sent every term on this matter. You will also receive a termly newsletter and in line with our Green policy, it will be sent via email. If you would like a hardcopy, please see our Customer Advisors.

Once again, welcome and to all celebrating the Chinese New Year, here’s wishing you Gong Xi Fa Cai and to the others, Happy Holidays.

Peggy Lim

Director, British Council Penang

Academic Head, Mersedeh Badrian

Meet our new teacher, Adam!

My name’s Adam and I’ve been teaching English for 5 years. Prior to Penang, I was working in Vietnam. I first visited Georgetown on holiday 3 years ago, so I am very happy to be back to work and live here. I can’t wait to start teaching so I can meet and get to know my students. I am also looking forward to exploring Penang and discovering lots of new and wonderful food.

Meet our new teacher, Hannah!

Hi, my name’s Hannah. I’ve been teaching English for 9 years now. After teaching in KL, I appreciate the sea breeze and natural spaces in the city. I’m also a coffee lover and so am looking forward to discovering the Penang coffee scene I love my job because I like meeting new students and learning about new cultures.

Meet our new teacher, Euriska!

Hi, I’m Euriska. In British Council Penang I hope to make positive contributions as well as grow my skills as a teacher. I’m also looking forward to meeting new people, tasting different kinds of food, and basically enjoying the island and country as much as I can. If anyone is interested in playing badminton, please let me know!

What is Primary Plus online?

Primary Plus online offers extra practice to help develop and support your child’s learning.  The content is directly linked to the topics which they study in class.  It records your child’s progress as they work through the activities, so you can also log in and see how they are doing.

How do I access the course?

Go to https://primary-plus-malaysia.english.britishcouncil.org/Login/Login.aspx

You should have already received a username and password, via the email address you registered your child with.  Please check your spam or junk folder if you have not yet received this.

Note: Use the ‘Lost password’ link if you forget your login details.

Where can I get help if I have a technical issue?

Simply click on the “Help” tab in the bottom right corner of the homepage.  Complete the boxes with as much information as possible, and we will get back to you.

We truly hope you enjoy this experience as much as we do! Happy learning!

Useful Young Learner websites

Phonics

http://www.eslkidslab.com/phonics/index.html

http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/mr-thorne-does-phonics-blends/id433873871?mt=8

Reading

http://www.roalddahl.com/

http://www.tlsbooks.com/kindergartenworksheets.htm

Creating stories

www.eduplace.com/tales

Handwriting

http://www.kidzone.ws/prek_wrksht/dynamic.htm

http://www.writingwizard.longcountdown.com/handwriting_practice_worksheet_maker.html

Spelling

www.bbc.co.uk/schools/wordsandpictures/

Listening

http://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/en/listen-and-watch

Vocabulary Games

www.vocabulary.co.il

www.funbrain.com

http://www.visualthesaurus.com/

Vocabulary and grammar games

http://eslgamesworld.com/members/games/ClassroomGames/index.html

http://www.mes-english.com/worksheets/