PUTRAJAYA: A new online English language teaching and learning method, the Cambridge Accessible Tests (CATs), will soon be introduced with a focus on rural students.
Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid said the pioneer programme would start by year-end, involving about 40 rural primary and secondary schools, and was expected to be fully implemented in one or two years.
He said the programme was developed in cooperation with the Cambridge Malaysia Education and Development Trust (CMEDT). He added that a working committee headed by education director-general Khair Mohamed Yusof would be formed to monitor the implementation of CATs.
“I think this is a very good programme for students, especially those in the rural areas who are less exposed to the English language,” he told a press conference after an explanation session on the English Language Education Implementation Strategy Towards Students’ Proficiency here today.
Mahdzir said the CATs design was developed by CMEDT and was ready for use. He added English language teachers had been trained at the English Language Training Centre (ELTC) at the education ministry to implement the programme.
Meanwhile, ELTC director Dr Mohamed Abu Bakar said CATs functioned as an additional English language teaching and learning method involving nine levels of mastery at the primary and secondary school levels.
“Students’ English language proficiency will be tested from one level to another, and if they can master all the nine levels, that means their proficiency is very good.
“When students have completed the nine levels of learning in primary school, they will start again from the first level in secondary school,” he said.
He added that the implementation of CATs could raise the number of students passing English in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination from 79.4% in 2016 to the targeted 81% by 2020. -FMT