PROGRAMME 1: NILAM READING PROGRAM
NILAM is an intensive reading program planned for all pupils in the school. Based on the first word in the Holy Koran “Iqra” the motto of this program “Nadi Ilmu Amalan Membaca” or “Reading is the Heartbeat of Knowledge” is introduced. This program is being carried out in collaboration with the school library.
To provide all pupils with an easy access to English reading materials that is usually difficult to find at pupils’ home. This could be the first step to inculcate reading habit among children as well as to encourage pupils’ interest in reading English.
1. To inculcate reading habit among children as well as to encourage pupils interest in reading English through providing them with an easy access to English reading materials with guidance from teacher and parents.
2. To sustain the interest of reading among children through various activities and rewards/ incentive for pupils who read the most (maybe up to the national level).
3. To enhance pupils’ mastery of vocabulary and grammar besides gaining new knowledge from the book or articles read.
DURATION OF PROGRAMME
This program will be run throughout the year. It begins from 20th January 2011 until 31st October 2011. It will be done in 32 weeks.
All pupils from year 1 to year 6.
Level 1 – Year 1 to year 3: Must be read at least a book a week to achieve 30 books.
Level 2 – Year 4 to year 6: Must be read at least 2 books a week to achieve 60 books.
REPORT ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROGRAMME
The program was designed to run throughout the year. It was officially launched by Mr. Hj.Mohd Ramli bin Idris, the headmaster of SK Seri Inas,Bakai on 20th January 2011. The opening ceremony was conducted in a simple ceremony at the school assembly site.
This program will expire at the end of October will. The program is divided into three parts, namely the number of books read, the new words and a synopsis. However, the results of the first three months of 2011 were very rewarding. On average, each pupil has read a total of 10 books for the level one and 17 books for the level 2. This shows the program runs smoothly and able to get the attention of pupils.
During this program pupils have been able to produce their own individual list of new words from the books they read. The vocabulary list has been very useful to the pupils as a reference to provide further understanding in their reading.
STRENGTHS OF THE PROGRAMME
Strength 1: Improving dictionary browsing skills.
Up till now most pupils have been successfully producing their own individual vocabulary list. They got new words from the books they read. If they don’t understand any word in the book they would find the meaning in dictionary and add the words into the vocabulary list. Whilst producing their own vocabulary books they know how share it with their friends. This would also trains and enhances pupils’ skill in searching words or meaning in the dictionary.
Strength 2: Develop pupils’ interests in studying English.
This program has received a good response from pupils. Pupils are seen showing commitment to progress in English. The encouraging response has sparked a new atmosphere in this school. Each pupils is also now to trying to read as many books as they can. Pupils are also encouraged to compete among themselves. Teachers are also helping the children to do creative reflection of the book such as drawing and handicraft inspired from the book they read. Pupils really enjoy this program. Indirectly, this program has motivated pupils to move and master the English language.
Strength 3: Good co-operation from teachers and school administration.
Not only among the teachers of English, co-operation of the library and all the teachers also have an impact on the implementation of this NILAM program. With the support of all teachers, the English committee’s duty to manage the program has been lighten. Class teachers and librarians have also agreed that there should be some library books to be placed in each class. These books will also be changed every two weeks. With this facility the students would no longer need to be in the library but they can get the books easily in their own classroom. Some teachers and administrators are also contributing to this program by donating some reading materials to the library.
WEAKNESSES OF THE PROGRAMME
Weaknesses 1: Books lent may get lost or damaged.
Since this programme has been running, quite a number of books were reported lost and some are badly damaged. This is due to some factors such as:
a) The borrowers are Year 1 or 2 pupils who are naturally keen to draw, colour or tear the pages.
b) The pupil librarians are not capable to handle and record books borrowed correctly causing some books went out unrecorded.
c) Some pupils did not fill the borrowing record when borrowing books placed in their own classrooms.
Weaknesses 2: Most pupils don’t have dictionary at home.
Teachers found that only about 40% pupils have their own dictionary. The other 60% needs to go to the library to use the dictionary. Unfortunately the dictionaries cannot be taken out from the library. They are just for domestic use as the numbers are insufficient. So pupils need to share or wait for their turn to use the dictionary. They would also face difficulties when reading at home without a dictionary yet time is limited to have access to it in school.
Weaknesses 3: Teachers don’t have enough time to cater to pupils individually.
Mediocre and lower achievement pupils desperately need help from the teachers when reading and doing the reflections on the books. These pupils need guidance from the teachers so they can enjoy reading and not feeling left out. However, most teachers find it straining to cater to this large number of pupils as teachers have many other responsibilities at school. Therefore we can find few pupils who are just scratching on the reading record because they don’t know what to do and no people to help them.
SUGGESTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Some drawbacks have been identified in carrying out this program. Therefore we feel that there should be some measures should be taken in improving the implementation of this program. Below are some suggestions and recommendations that may be helpful.
1) Short and continuous briefing and meeting among all teachers especially the non-optionists or other subjects’ teacher can be carried out to explain the progress of the program. This would promote and make this program opened to other teachers for them to offer help.
2) All teachers should help the pupils in their reading and reflection not only the subject teachers. This would ensure that weaker learners could progress in this program. Teachers can also allocate around ten to fifteen minutes in their lesson to carry out NILAM activity as a whole class activity. With this all pupils regardless their levels would read the same selected materials and do the same activities. This would save teachers’ time yet all level of pupils is catered.
3) Provide general vocabulary list to all pupils. Teachers can come out with many copies of laminated vocabulary list to be borrowed by the pupils especially those without dictionaries.
4) Frequently reminding pupils about their responsibility to take care the books they borrow. Fining may be enforced where necessary. Librarians should also be trained more often in handling and recording library items.
5) Besides only filling in the reading record, teachers should also encourage pupils to do more creative reflections on the book the read. Activities such as drawing, impersonating and storytelling would develop pupils’ creativity and thinking skill. Fun activities like this would also be fancied by these young readers thus denying the old stigma that reading is boring.
In conclusion, I feel that NILAM program is an effective program to inculcate and sustain reading habit in young children. Pupils would get new knowledge from their reading besides naturally encouraging vocabulary building in them. Various reading genres and creative activities would also meet the needs, interest and level of the pupils. The creative activities would appeal to the pupils’ senses too. This would naturally help pupils to develop their language skills and general knowledge and then to be applied in the classroom and their daily lives. Parents and teachers should join in hands together in supporting this program. All teachers should always motivate pupils’ reading culture by offering help and guidance especially to the weaker ones. Government and corporate bodies could also contribute to this program by donating books and dictionaries. Parents must always support this effort by making sure that their children are reading at home and if they can, buy them extra reading materials or educational games to assist their learning. Parents should set a good example to the children by always sparing some time reading together because everything; including reading habit starts at home. With this I hope that this program will continue and become more successful in future.