We share here Rifqi Aqil and Nur Sara’s video. They are our school’s Rakan Bahasa 2020 who produced this video for the NewsMaker Videos Competition as part of the Bulan Bahasa Melayu celebrations this year. This video was uploaded to the Majlis Bahasa Melayu Singapura Facebook Page last Monday.
The content of the video was inspired by an article in the Berita Harian newspaper written more than a decade ago when both Rifqi and Sara was about four years old. The article entitled Perteguh ‘Jati Diri’ Makanan Kita appeared in the Berita Harian on Saturday, 11 April 2009. This enlightening article was written by a senior Berita Harian writer Mohd Noor A Rahman who has gracefully provided us the original article below for our reference.
The issue highlighted by the writer is something that would not catch our attention as we go about in our fast-paced living. However, both Rifqi and Sara have decided to do a bit of research to see if there are really makanan Melayu yang sudah atau menghadapi risiko hilangnya kemelayuannya? While their findings are evocative, they do polarised opinions when we discussed this issue with our upper secondary students.
Among them, there are those who somewhat agree and disagree while a considerable number see this as a non-issue. These preliminary dip-stick survey findings are unexpected and we are keen to know more why our students feel this way. It would also be interesting to see whether there are any generational differences in opinion if we were to ask teachers and older members of the community for their opinions too. Interesting.
In short, this video and the article together with the issue that surrounds them have the potential to be a learning resource. They can be a topic for a student research project. However, we are thinking of something bigger than that that will galvanize all our Secondary 3 classes taking the Express syllabus next year.
The activity that we have in mind will be conducted as part of our Mother Tongue Fortnight Programme next year. In this way, our programme will shift away from traditionally exposing students to the Malay customs and culture to discussing critically their existential challenges in the coming decades. We have started this shift this year with an activity that has a similar intent.
Besides the activity will also help achieve an academic target. That is to get our students master the P.E.E.L. (Point, Elaborate, Example & Link Back) technique when presenting their arguments in an expository writing and during an oral presentation. The activity can be designed as a precursor to teaching the P.E.E.L. technique or as a reinforcement activity after teaching the technique.
In brief, the activity will take the form of a two-staged debate over an online platform and that will be followed up with a face-to-face debate. The online platform that we are considering is a simple discussion board. The online debate will engage every student to research and contribute their arguments but presenting them using the P.E.E.L. format. Their arguments will serve well as secondary resources for the selected team of four best debating members from the same class to use in the next stage of face-to-face debate. In this way, the success of the team can be contributed to everyone’s effort from the same class.
Another interesting feature of this two-staged debate is its three standpoints. In other words, three classes or teams can participate. They will argue one of the following standpoints: agree, disagree or this is a non-issue of the topic Adakah Makanan Melayu Sudah Hilang Kemelayuannya? Interesting isn’t it?
And we have our two Secondary 3 Express classes and one Secondary 3 Normal Academic (Out of Stream) in mind for this activity next year. We look forward to sharing our learning journey conducting this activity in a post next year. Hopefully, our students will benefit tremendously from this activity.