– The Wildlife Conservation Society Malaysia Program (WCS Malaysia) received the Raja Zarith Sofiah Award for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in English Language Education at the recent Malaysian English Language Teaching Association (MELTA) Conference last week.
WCS Malaysia was recognised for its long-term and sustained efforts supporting English language development in Malaysia, especially with the production of ‘The Next 100: Bridging for a new beginning’. The 228-page manual serves as a guide for educators to teach English using conservation activities as a platform to engage students, encouraging them to use the language and to practice environmentally friendly habits.
The manual contains 24 English and conservation activities designed for teachers, specifically the Fulbright English Teaching Assistants and their mentors, stationed at schools around the country. The manual was co-authored by Dr Melvin Gumal and Ms Sylvia Ng (from WCS Malaysia) and Ms Christina Yin (from Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak Campus), with generous support from the US Embassy. To date, over 400 Fulbright English Teaching Assistants and their mentors have interacted with WCS in this project since 2015. Furthermore, at least 80 mentors, teachers and volunteers from various NGOs such as Teach for Malaysia and Association of Science Technology and Innovation have attended 4-day workshops conducted by WCS and Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak Campus, in Sarawak.
Responding to news of the award, Dr Melvin Gumal said, “WCS Malaysia is most pleased to have received such recognition for our work to have conservation as a platform for teaching English. The award is also a recognition of the support we have received over the years from the many Fulbright English Teaching Assistants and the US Embassy that have worked with us, as well as the many Malaysian mentors that internalise the modules into their daily workings of English.”
Co-author Christina Yin agreed, adding, “It’s heartening to know that students around the country are learning English and conservation through interesting and thought-provoking activities carried out by the ETAs, mentors and teachers. We hope the students and teachers alike will carry the language and the environmentally-friendly habits with them throughout their lives.”
The Raja Zarith Sofiah Award for CSR in English Language Education was first launched at the 22nd MELTA Conference six years ago. The award promotes and recognises contributions to English language education work in Malaysia by either national or international organisations. Raja Zarith Sofiah Sultan Idris Shah, MELTA’s royal patron and the Sultan of Johor’s consort, supports the development of high-quality education practices and upgrading education provisions for the underprivileged and children in rural areas of Malaysia.
Wildlife Conservation Society Malaysia Program is headquartered in Kuching, Sarawak, with offices in Kuala Lumpur, Kahang, Johor and Kuala Rompin in Peninsular Malaysia. Currently, WCS Malaysia works to conserve four priority species – orang-utans, sharks and rays, elephants and tigers. Go to https://malaysia.wcs.org/ for more information on WCS Malaysia and visit its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WCS.Malaysia/ for updates.