A.K.U.G.U.R.U. actually means 'I am a Teacher' (Aku guru in Bahasa Malaysia). It contains all the items related to my profession as a secondary school English teacher which includes my English lessons, my interests, my passion for Liverpool FC, and also my family affairs. Hope you enjoy your reading!

(The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of information taken from this blog.)


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Friday, November 17, 2017

Day Before 1119 2017

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Allergy or Allergic? Choosing Suitable Word Type

My students often choose wrong words when writing their essay. They use adjectives when they should be using nouns, or vice versa. Health vs healthy; important vs importance; the list goes on and on. 

Consider these examples (taken from their essays):

1. Justin Bieber's successful has shown that with hobby, he became famous. 
2. They just think about the comfortable of their children and forget the most important thing which is love between parents and children.

In the first example, the student use successful (berjaya) instead of success (kejayaan) while in the second example (taken from another student), the student choose the word comfortable (selesa) in the place of comfort (keselesaan). In both cases, they do not know they should be using a NOUN instead of an ADJECTIVE. 

Now, before I go further, let's watch a clip from the movie Big Hero 6. 

The words I want to focus on are ALLERGIC and ALLERGY. Let us see where Baymax uses these words:

Here Baymax says: You ARE not allergic to Bacitracin. The verb ARE is used here to show Hiro's attribute, which is NOT ALLERGIC (an adjective) to Bacitracin. We use ADJECTIVES to describe people's attributes, therefore we put an adjective here instead of a noun. In Bahasa, it roughly means: 'alah kepada'.

Here, however, Baymax says: You do HAVE a mild allergy to peanuts. The verb HAVE is used here to show that Hiro has something (a noun). That THING must be a noun, whether it is a concrete noun or an abstract noun. Allergy is an abstract noun showing condition where a person is allergic to something. In Bahasa, it means 'alahan'

Well, students. Please choose carefully. Do you really mean 'alah kepada' or 'alahan'? That is the million-dollar question.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Drafting for Narrative Essay - Don't Neglect It!

I always tell my students to draft their essay before writing it up. They just have to use up to 5 minutes only before writing the essay for around 50 minutes. Use the final 5 minutes to check for mistakes. 

The drafting for a narrative essay is quite simple. Here is an example on how to do it. The essay is quite short because it is used for weak classes.

Write about a boy who succeeded after hardship. End your story with “… he thanked God for his success.”

Poor boy – naughty – failed exam – father sick – regretted – studied hard – passed exam

The Essay:
Amran bin Kasimin was a poor boy. He lived in Kampung Jejulok. His father only worked as a farmer. He worked at Pak Kassim’s orchard. (21 words)

However, Amran was a very naughty boy. He always bullied his friends at school. He was also lazy. He was always sleeping inside the classroom, especially when Mr. Haris was teaching History. (31 words)

In August, Amran failed his trial examination. He did not score in all his subjects. He even got 25 marks for his Bahasa Melayu paper. Puan Radhiah was angry at him. He never failed his Bahasa Melayu paper before. (36 words)

One month before the SPM, his father was sick. He could not work at Pak Kassim’s orchard anymore. Therefore, they could not get money for their living. Amran could only eat rice with egg everyday. Sometimes, they did not have any food. (41 words)         

Amran regretted his attitude. He did not become naughty anymore. He also hated being lazy. He listened carefully to Mr. Haris when he was teaching. He studied hard in every subject. He studied Bahasa Melayu again. Puan Radhiah was not angry at him anymore. She liked Amran very much now. He was his best student. (52 words)

Amran’s father got better and better everyday. He was happy with Amran’s attitude. He sometimes helped his father at Pak Kassim’s orchard. At night, he studied before he slept. At school, Amran studied with his friends. He always studied with Azrul, Hafiz and Faizal in the evening. They were very happy together. (51 words)

In November, Amran and his friends sat for the SPM examination. It was a very important examination for everybody. “If you pass SPM, you will get good job,” the principal said in the assembly. Amran remembered the speech very much. (40 words)

In March the next year, the SPM results were announced. Amran went to school with Azrul, Hafiz and Faizal to see the results. He passed the examination with good grades. His friends passed the examination too. Amran and his friends were excited. He thanked God for his success. (48 words)

(300 words)

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Changes in Reported Speech

When you are writing a narrative essay, remember that what happened was already far away. Thus, there are certain changes you must make in order for it to be logical. 

Here is a sample essay (taken from the Internet) using the changes:

Everyone has been embarrassed at one time or another. It is that moment in time when you wish the earth would open up and swallow you. The anxiety and discomfort felt during that time which may only last a few seconds feels like time has stood still.
I remember so well when I had my most embarrassing moment. I was in Form 4 and it was during the school recess. The minute the bell rang for recess, I rushed to the toilet because I had been controlling my urges since class started. I didn’t want to miss class because the lesson taught that morning was to include tips for the forthcoming examination.
Without realising, I had rushed to the girls’ toilet. The prolonged control and an upset stomach made worse by two glasses of cold milk in the morning made me grunt and groan in what I thought was the privacy of the cubicle. I thought I heard giggling outside and wondered why the giggles sounded unusually near. A few minutes later I came out the cubicle and discovered my horror that I had entered the girls’ toilet. To make matters worse, the few girls standing outside didn’t even turn away when I came out. Instead they looked down at me, then only they turned quickly away. Horror of horrors, I had forgotten to zip up! No beetroot could have matched the colour of my face at this point in time!

The news of my predicament spread like wild fire throughout school. I was truly the talk of the town. I felt like I could either walk around feeling perpetually self-conscious and embarrassed or I could turn the situation round, perhaps even to my advantage. I remembered my mother’s words that ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’. So I decided to make fun of myself, to laugh at myself too. It works. Everyone got bored after a while and nobody teased me after that.
It was indeed an eye-opening experience for me. I have learnt that when people laugh at you, you should laugh along.

(350 words)

Owh.. and you can also use this sample to practise writing on how many pages your 350-word essay would be!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Anime Mania

Take my advice - don't start watching them or you'll be stucked.

I have just finished watching 'Ace of Diamond', an anime about baseball. Initially, I wasn't planning on watching any cartoon and wasting my precious time away from my tasks, but one day, I accidentally watched it when my brother switched it on television and I ended up finishing all the 126 episodes! 

I also found out that he has a lot of other animes too, most of them about sports. Among others are:

Baby Steps - an anime about tennis.

Haikyu - an anime about volleyball.

Slam Dunk - an anime about basketball. 

This makes me wonder, if Japan has a lot of animes on sports, does it have an anime on chess? Apparently not. Maybe chess is not a popular sport among Japanese people. However, they do have board games, and one of the animes is Hikaru no Go, an anime about the game Go. 

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Interesting Twist is A Must!

A twist would make your plot interesting, no doubt about that! Keep your reader, especially your examiner, guessing where your story will go and how will it end. Even using the same question, I do get some interesting suggestions in class. Here is an example of making your reader guessing about the outcome.

I was walking down the stairs when I heard a scary sound coming from the kitchen. It was past midnight. I was curious to know what happened, but I was too scared. Nevertheless, I tiptoed towards the kitchen because I was afraid somebody or something that made the sound knew I was there. I tried to peek into the kitchen but I could not see anything because it was dark without the lights on.

Suddenly, the sound mysteriously disappeared. My heart beat heavily. With heavy steps, I went into the kitchen, reached for the switch and turned on the lights. I checked under the dinner table, peered under the sink and opened the cabinets but there was nothing. Out of the blue, I heard a knock on the kitchen door. I became frightened again.

I was running towards my bedroom when my I-Phone rang. An unknown number appeared on the screen. I let it ring for sometime before I answered it.  I just kept quiet to listen to his or her voice. However, I did not hear any sound coming from the other side. Nervously, I said, “Hello, is anybody there?” There was silence. Angrily, I hung up. A few seconds later, the phone rang again. Furiously, I shouted, “What do you want?” That ‘thing’ replied my question by laughing maniacally. I was shocked and the phone fell from my shaking hands. It landed on the floor with the screen facing up. I looked at the phone anxiously. It looked like a tiger ready to pounce at me. I remembered a scene from The Ring where something horrible crept out from a television. I was afraid that the ‘thing’ would creep out from my phone!

All of a sudden, there was a message coming in. I braved myself to pick up the phone. I opened the message and read it. All my curiosity turned into a joy when I saw what was written. It said: HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Then, my parents and my siblings came in from the kitchen door with a big birthday cake in their hands singing the birthday song merrily.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

SAPS Insecure?

Yes! I have finished my marking for PKBS 2. I have promised myself that I would not drag this marking towards the holidays, I did just that, today, amidst being involved in a lot of tasks, which include, among others, playing football.

Now, I am sitting in front of my laptop, getting ready to key in the marks. However, to my surprise, the online website for SAPS is blocked by my Kaspersky! This has never happened before and should have never happened as it is a government website.

Tell me, if this continues, how may I key in the marks?

Friday, May 12, 2017

2 Things I Do Differently From Others

Sometimes I don't really understand why certain people do certain things differently. When I do something in certain way, I have my own reason for doing it in that particular manner. Now these two actions are not comprehensible to me.

1. Putting keys somewhere 'unsafe' in the masjid before getting in the saff. 

This is an extremely incomprehensible action many people do in front of my eyes. I don't know whether it is simply stupid or rather it is the highest level of 'tawakkal'. You get into the masjid, put your key at one of the pillars, then line up in the saff for prayer. My rational thinking is that anybody can easily take the key, find the motorcycle (or car) and speed off. In one case in Penang, the person, already late for prayer, casually threw his key on the stairs outside of the masjid (I was taking ablution by the stairs), got inside and prayed.

 2. Folding the prayer mat inside out.

This is another action which I don't understand the reason. My logic states that I should fold the mat in a way that the outside of the folded mat should be the side where we put on the floor (Side B to make it easy to describe), and the inside should be the side where we pray on (Side A). This is because we do not want Side A to get dirty with, say for example, lizard droppings. However, many people, especially those who sometimes borrow my prayer mat, fold the mat with Side A on the outside. It really got me confused!


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Idioms VS Peribahasa

This morning, my students performed a dialogue consists of idioms and its Malay equivalent (peribahasa). It was for the language programme held every Tuesday morning, replacing the recitation of Yasin. The programme is a good alternative to classroom learning but in order for it to work, the performance must be quite creative. 

The Dialogue:

Fatin: Hai Hajar, apa khabar?

Hajar: Hi, Fatin. I’m in the pink of health, thank you. How about you?

Fatin: Saya sihat, tapi saya sedih sikit. Markah Bahasa Inggeris saya amat rendah.

Hajar: Fatin, don’t worry. You can study harder. Remember, no pain, no gain.

Fatin: Betul, usaha itu tangga kejayaan. Saya akan belajar lebih rajin lagi. Saya akan pastikan takkan pisang berbuah dua kali.

Hajar: Yes, Fatin. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. How about we ask Mr. Azizul for help? We can learn English from him, and at the same time we can learn chess also. It’s like killing two birds with one stone.

Fatin: Bagus cadangan tu. Sambil menyelam, sambil minum air. Sambil belajar Bahasa Inggeris, sambil belajar catur. Saya rasa, jika kita betul-betul mahu, kita boleh menguasai kedua-duanya. Di mana ada kemahuan, di situ ada jalan.

Hajar: Marvellous! Where there is a will, there is a way. I think we also have to increase our vocabulary. Learn a word a day. You know, in for a penny, in for a pound.

Fatin: Saya setuju. Sedikit-sedikit lama-lama jadi bukit. Mari kita pergi berjumpa Cikgu Azizul sekarang. Masa itu emas, tau!

Hajar: Yes, I agree. Time is money. Let’s go!

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Describing a Situation at the Canteen

Today I asked my students to describe a situation at the canteen. I told them you need not write about a story of about a year in order to make it informative and catchy. A lot could happen in the space of 30 minutes too!

Here is a sample I gave them:

Fifteen minutes has passed since the bell rang for recess. Ahmad was still finishing up what was left from his fried noodle made by his mother. His syrup glass was now half empty, or half full, as somebody with more positive attitude might say. Syazwan, on his left, had finished his fried rice five minutes ago. He was indeed a very fast eater.

Ahmad could see that some of the students were still queuing at the counter, impatiently waiting for their food. Ahmad really felt lucky because his mother spared some time to prepare his meal, thus saving him from the trouble that those students were currently having.

The canteen was quite noisy with students chatting over their meals. Some of them were talking about the lesson they had this morning, while others were talking about something else.

“Let’s go, Wan. We better hurry to class now. Mr. Azman will be really upset if we are late,” Ahmad blurted after sipping the last of his refreshing syrup.

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