Daily Express
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British Council's programme raises confidence in English

Published on: Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Kota Belud: The British Council's English Language Teacher Development Project (ELTDP) has succeeded in raising Malaysian schoolchildren's confidence in using the English language in daily life.

United Kingdom's Senior Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Baroness Sayeeda Hussain Warsi, said the programme has been extended by three years and hopes of a longer partnership between the UK and Malaysia in producing fluent English speakers among Malaysians.

"There is no doubt that English is a universal language and it is predominantly the language of business.

"Therefore, it is important that young children in rural areas such as in this part of Sabah are given the same opportunity to have the confidence to succeed as those elsewhere," she told reporters after visiting SK Piasau, near here, Monday.

The programme has 160 native speaking English educated trainers to train primary school teachers master the language to teach their pupils.

The three-year programme has been implemented since 2011.

Meanwhile, Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan was impressed with the programme which saw the involvement of parents in promoting the use of English language at home.

"This is, of course, very reassuring as we in Malaysia recognise the importance of English as a lingua franca in propelling ourselves forward to greater heights."

He was also happy that SK Piasau had sought to proactively embrace the usage of the English language further by designating one day of the week as English Day, whereby teachers and students were encouraged to only speak English throughout the schooling day.