Sharing our expertise to widen participation in English Language learning
2014 was an unforgettable year for us. It was the year EMS was given the privilege of reaching out to a group of young Malaysian school learners to deliver intensive English lessons for them outside school hours. This was made possible by the US Embassy in Malaysia under its highly acclaimed English Access Micro scholarship Program (Access).
Funded by the US State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the program was established in 2004 to provide after-school English language training to talented non-elite students aged between 13 and 20. Access provides opportunities for school learners around the world to gain a foundation of English skills, aimed at opening doors for them to improve their academic and career prospects in the future.
EMS was the first language centre in Kuala Lumpur chosen to collaborate with the US Embassy to deliver the 2014-2015 Access program to a group of learners from economically disadvantaged communities in the city. As a result, over thirty selected students from the SMK Taman Kosas school in Ampang in the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, attended our after-school classes and intensive sessions held at the EMS language Centre.
We found the engagement with young learners most rewarding. They were enthusiastic from the word go and participated fully in our custom-made classes which were designed to meet their specific learning needs and goals. All four communication skills were covered and the highly interactive lessons encouraged students to adopt a more active role in their learning. In meeting one of the goals of Access, we included activities which helped raise awareness of the American culture and values.
By the time the program ended in 2015, the students were brimming with confidence. There was no doubt that they valued their participation in Access to EMS. Overall, they agreed that they had thoroughly enjoyed their lessons and indicated that the English learning experience at EMS had equipped them with a fresh set of communication skills which stimulated their interest in the English language further!