Thursday, January 9, 2014

5 1/2 YEARS!

Sigh, finally, I got the will, energy and time to carry on with my blog. Will just update with recent things then, so that I can list down my thoughts and keep track of my life :)

Recently I went back to Melaka for the holidays which is very easy to remember. (School holidays). Anyway, whenever anyone asks me : "You studying is it?"

Then I'll answer with a smile: "Yes". Followed by their curious face and a reply: "Oh, where?" To which I'll reply: "In Ipoh!". And most probably I'll get an answer like, "Oh, that's very far." "Where in Ipoh?" Then I'll simply reply, "Well, a place not really that famous; Institut Pendidikan Guru Kampus Ipoh."

Some will be looking in the sky as if the answers lie in the clouds or ceiling or even in their memories. However, they'll most probably say, "Hmm..." Then I'll continue to explain saying "You know the Lost World of Tambun?"

"Yes! Yes!" Then I'll say, "Just nearby there" Then they'll say "ooohh...."

Then it comes...... "How long have you studied there?"
"3 years and a half."
"Oh, that means you're going to end soon?"
Then I'll say, "Well, if 2 more years is soon then..... yeah, I'll end soon."

They'll do a little mental calculation and ask with a gobsmacked face, "5 and a half years? Just for teaching?" Then I'll coolly reply saying that it is a degree course and that these days the minimum requirement for being a teacher is a degree. Then we'll be considered professionals in our field.

All in all, yea.... this teaching course is a really long one and due to its ups and downs, these 5 and a half years can be excruciating and slow. There are of course times when I feel like time flies and I end up enjoying the things I do and slowly think about the future and what/where I would see myself in the future. Sigh, there are many things that dwells in this noggin of mine, however, I'm a man of not a few words and I'd prefer to talk about it. So, basically, I do not have the patience to carry on typing. Nonetheless, I will always keep the sweetest of memories near to my heart and the worst as far away as possible because in life, one must strive in chaos :)

Yesterday was one of those times where I would love to remember. My Class Early-Year Lunch. A few pictures will I put together...
This is only half of my class though

the other half who were not indulging in the food section

Well, first-world stuff.

We are who we are




I told them before the shot, "muka tengah berak!" (Passing motion face)

our current class rep

Well, hopefully we'll continue on as a strong class together in times of hardship and turmoil.

Til the next time,

English-teacher-to-be,
Eugene WCW

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Unprofessional Boom!


The ecstasy in fire manipulation,
leads one to think;
of the stupidity in an explosion,
will of course push to the brink,
the poor surrounding relation.



Monday, April 9, 2012

Some problems in pronunciation ^^ (Malaysia)

This might be boring but if your interested just read XD an assignment that i did that resulted in my own satisfaction

Topic 3 / Question 2
Non-native speakers of English (NNS) often have problems with pronunciation. Discuss the problem areas and suggest ways to overcome these problems identified. Provide relevant examples to illustrate your answer.
The English Language is internationally known as the global language whereby its influence has reached to every corner of the earth. Currently, it is obvious that through Western hegemony, the influence of the English language is now commonly used for international matters in the field of economy and trade, human rights and entertainment as well. Having strong influences have resulted in the English Language being compulsory subjects in schools like in Malaysia. Malaysia is one of the countries where the English Language has left its mark through past colonisation and current entertainment which makes Malaysians as non-native speakers of the English Language thus giving birth to Malaysian English. The official Malaysian English is slightly phonologically varied but internationally intelligible. Being non-native speakers (NNS) of the English Language, many often have problems with the pronunciation of certain words. These problems have sprouted due to the majority of Malaysians preferring the unofficial Malaysian English where it is more varied than the official Malaysian English making it sound accented and different from the Received Pronunciation that Malaysians learn in schools. Three problem areas of this issue will be discussed. They are namely problems of segmentals, suprasegmentals and the mesolectally practiced pronunciation by the majority. Further into the discussion, there will be suggested ways in overcoming these problems identified through education and application.
The first problem area of non-native speakers in the English language is basically the phonological feature of segmentals. In Malaysian English, “there is a general tendency to reduce contoidal clusters to one or two elements less than necessary in Malaysian English” (Baskaran, 2005). This means there are reductions in grouping of contoids with the Malaysian English (ME) compared to the Received Pronunciation (RP) e.g.:
Reduction from three to two phonemes:
- Glimpse /glɪmps/ pronounced as /glɪms/.
Reduction from two to one phoneme:
- Always /ɔ:lweɪs/ pronounced as /ɔ:weɪs/.
These problems are mostly due to the simplification of pronunciation in everyday conversation and also that there are no contoidal clusters within the mother tongue language of certain ethnicities in Malaysia. Another result of this practice of simplification in pronunciation of the English Language is the devoicing of voiced fricatives. Some examples are based between two phonemes like /v/ and /f/, /z/ and /s/, and /ʒ/ and /ʃ/.
Examples:
- move /mu:v/ pronounced as /mu:f/
- is /ɪz/ is pronounced as /ɪs/
- usual /juʒuəl/ pronounced as /juʃuəl/
The problem areas are due to the subtle differences in pronunciation as it is very slightly easier to pronounce than the original. The words do not undergo semantic change but nonetheless, when pronounced, the obvious accent is there. Many of the simplification of these words are also due to the non-existent phonemes within the language of the mother tongue for the non-native speakers of the English language. In other words, many contoids are new to the Malaysian English speaker and due to this, the unfamiliar phonemes are approximated to the nearest similar sound in accordance to the user’s ethnic language system.
e.g. For the Malay Malaysian English speaker’s approximants
- /f/ would be approximated as /p/,
as fan /fæn/ would be pronounced as /pæn/.
For the Chinese Malaysian English speaker’s approximants
- /r/ as /l/, as ready /redɪ/ would be pronounced as /le/.
- /z/ as /dʒ/, as zebra /zɪbrə/ would be pronounced as /dʒɪbra:/
For the Tamil Malaysian English speaker’s approximants
- /v/ as /w/, as never /nevə/ pronounced as /newə/
- Deletion of /h/ like house /hʌʊs/ pronounced as /ʌʊs/
The other problem area of NNS would be the suprasegmentals or more specifically, the stress positions in pronouncing. If an English word has a primary stress on the first syllable, it is common to hear a NNS stressing on the other syllable instead. This is similar to even in polysyllabic words.
e.g. exercise /’eksəsʌɪz/ stressed as /eksə’sʌɪz/
In addition, the Malaysian English speaker (NNS) “tends to confuse the stress positions that differentiate homophonous words that have varying morphemic functions.” (Baskaran, 2005) Stress has the ability to differentiate a certain English morpheme that can be nouns, verbs or adjectives.
e.g. Received Pronunciation
Noun
Verb
Digest /’dʌɪdʒest/
/dʌɪ’dʒest/
Import /’ɪmpɔ:t/
/ɪm’pɔ:t/
Permit /’pə:mɪt/
/pə:’mɪt/
Due to this differentiation, NNS often get mixed up in the stress positions and they eventually pronounce the incorrect form of word within a sentence without noticing it. A native speaker of the English Language however would notice this and find it weird that the NNS pronounces as if meaning something else.
The third area problem would be the mesolectally practiced pronunciation by the majority. This means that the style of pronunciation of a certain word by NNS have been carried on from generation to generation, even though incorrect. It is that the majority of Malaysians, more towards the users of the unofficial Malaysian English at the mesolectal level, pronounces a certain word by assumption, the rest follows. Some of these assumptions are based on the confusion with the prior knowledge of a different spelling and pronouncing system, specifically the Malay Language, as it is the main language of Malaysia. Another factor that contributes to the practice of incorrect pronunciation of English words is the lack of knowledge on the Received Pronunciation. In experiencing that the majority pronounces a certain word as they do, the younger generation assumes that that is the correct pronunciation without further investigations.
e.g.
- Privacy /prɪvəsɪ/ is assumed to be /prʌɪvəsɪ/
- Salmon /sæmən/ is assumed to be /sælmən/ or /sʌlmən/
- Tortoise /tɔ:təs/ is assumed to be /tɔ:tɪs/ or /tɔ:tɔ:ɪs/
However, to curb with these problems in pronunciation for the NNS of the English Language in Malaysia, English teachers are of paramount importance when it comes to educating the students. Three suggestions that can be used for educating NNS are through language drilling, classroom activities and listening activities.
Language drilling can be administered to beginner learners of English. Firstly, choral drilling where the teacher models the word, phrase or sentence using clear pronunciation for the whole class to repeat. The teacher is to correct any unclear pronunciations and provide sufficient repetition and visual support using the whiteboard. As the drilling progresses, the teacher is able to go to the next level by half-class drilling whereby a form of dialogue will happen between the two halves of the class. By pronouncing in unison, students will be able to listen to the pronunciation of the majority and will follow. Teachers should correct any inaccurateness in pronunciation. Then, the teacher can proceed to row-to-row drilling after the students have been used to the drilling exercise. This is suitable for mini dialogues where the first row reads a question and the next row reads the answer. When the pronunciation of the whole class is rather satisfactory, teachers can then administer chain drilling where the teacher instructs two individual students to stand and dialogue based on a text and the teacher is to give support and encouragement and correct any errors in pronunciation where necessary.
Classroom activities should be engaging and simple for students to truly understand and feel confident in application. One classroom activity that meets these criteria is hearing and saying differences between vowels and between consonants or in other words, minimal pair activity. Through comparison between two words which have different meaning but only one sound changed, can break it down to the extent where students can properly differentiate and understand the difference between the minimal pairs. The activity is simple as the students are required only to identify whether the two words are different or same by marking ‘D’ or ‘S’ respectively. This activity also helps student distinguish between:
e.g.
Vowels
- short and long vowels like /ɪ/ versus /i:/, (bid / bead)
- // versus /æ/, (rain / ran)
- /e/ versus /ɒ/, (step / stop)
- /ʌ/ versus /əʊ/, (nut / note)
Consonants
- /b/ versus /d/, (brown / drown)
- /θ/ versus /s/, (thank / sank)
- // versus /ʃ/, (cheat / sheet)
- /p/ versus /f/, (four / pour)
Through this simple activity, NNS that have problems in those areas will slowly realise their mistakes and improve. The main focus of minimal pairs is the ability to “discriminate between sounds” (Hewings, 2004)
The last suggestion would be educating NNS through the method of listening activities. The main method of exposing students to spoken English is through the use of taped material which can range from “topics of advertisements, news broadcasts, poetry reading, plays, English songs with lyrics, speeches, telephone conversations and all manner of spoken language” (Harmer, 1998). The second main reason for teaching listening to NNS for pronunciation improvement purposes is because through listening, students would subconsciously acquire the language and its special features. By understanding and experiencing the correct form of pronunciation, NNS should be able to apply whatever that has been heard during this activity. As students listen, students should be given questions in order to respond to the content of listening. Question like, ‘Do you agree?’, ‘What did the man say to express happiness?’ etc.
In conclusion, Non-Native Speakers of the English Language that have problems in pronunciation can be educated and corrected through classroom activities which will provide a clear picture for NNS to distinguish, differentiate, and also understand the mistakes that they made. After repetition and practice, NNS would be able to master the pronunciation and apply them in everyday conversation with confidence and fluency. Pronunciation is more important than grammar when it comes to understanding someone. Therefore, pronunciation should be well-taught and NNS of English in Malaysia, would have no problems in pronunciation and able to differentiate between the Received Pronunciation and Malaysian English pronunciation.


References


Baskaran, L. M. (2005). Malaysian English - The Preamble. In L. M. Baskaran, A Malaysian English Primer (pp. 17-37). Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaya Press.
Harmer, J. (1998). How To Teach Listening. In J. Harmer, How to Teach English (pp. 97-100). Edinburgh Gate: Addison Wesley Longman Limited.
Hewings, M. (2004). Sounds: Vowels, consonants and consonant clusters. In M. Hewings, Pronunciation Practice Activities (pp. 51-52). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bridge of Life


Bridge of Life

Hold fast to dreams,
Cling on like it's the essence of life;
Without it, life is without sight;
Without it, life is without goals;
Without it, life is without meaning;
And without Him, life is without life.

In this long journey, we all need one another;
Who else if not for our friend.
Bridges are built in life together,
What good is a bridge been put to an end?
A bridge formed just for joy not to cease;
A bridge formed just for brotherhood;
A bridge formed just for lasting peace;
Why destroy a bridge God made good?


BM:

Jambatan Hidup

Genggam kuat pada cita-cita,
umpama genggam kuat pada nyawa,
Kerana tanpanya, hidup seperti buta;
Kerana tanpanya, hidup tak ke mana-mana;
Kerana tanpanya, hidup tak bermakna;
Dan jikalau tanpa-Nya, hidup tak bernyawa.

Perjalanan hidup perlukan bantuan;
Apa lagi sekiranya tidak dari kawan;
hidup selalu kita bina jambatan,
Apa guna jambatan yang dimusnahkan?
Jambatan yang wujud hanya untuk kedamaian,
Jambatan yang wujud hanya untuk hubungan,
Jambatan yang wujud hanya untuk kesejahteraan;
Apa guna musnahkan jambatan ciptaan Tuhan?


Eugene Wong Chen Wei


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Honey Lemon Juice of Life


second after second,
minute after minute,
hour after hour,
day after day,
five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes in a year,
Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow,
Creeps in a petty pace from day to day,
Isn't that long?
WAIT!!!
Hold On!!!
Tired of waiting?
Life's like that,
ups and downs throughout existence

All of our yesterdays have lighted fools,
if we believe that way.
the way to dusty death,
would mean a beginning of eternal life,
when you have simple optimism and determination to live a life worth living for God;

Life's like a brief candle,
When the wind tries to blow you out,
friends are there to cover for you,
When the wax is finishing,
family and friends are always there to replace new wax.

When life gives you Lemons!!!
You make lemon juice!!!
Don't throw away the lemons,
Optimism is just like honey,
sweet as it sugar-coats most things,
not so much though,
we don't want diabetes now XD

When everything is down,
you look up,
hope is frail;
but it's hard to kill.

Knowledge is power but with great power comes great responsibilities,
Ignorance is bliss but very dangerous.

Life's like that;
If your lemon juice is sour and hard to swallow,
add some honey and life will be just nice.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Music The Heard Manifestation of Feelings

Wow, I totally forgot about blogs and anything to do with it..

Now after two years full of experiences and joy, I (without writing it down in my blog) return!!

I'll start slow and no rushing... I'd like to talk about music and all that it is.
"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life"
- Berthold Auerbech

Music is one of the best things created by God. When our day is mounted with work, anxiety, stress and unnecessary burden, music at the end of the day (be it singing, hearing to songs or just playing an instrument) eases the mind and keeps us sane. Music will definitely refresh us.

You want to hear me out, you want to know my feelings? Well, music is what feelings really sound like and you will be able to understand how I feel and others too through song.

"Music happens to be an art form that transcends language"
- Herbie Hancock

English, Mandarin, Malay, Indian, Bidayuh, Iban, Kadazan, Dusun and every other language...... all becomes one through music. There won't be any barriers or failures as music is a language itself that unites people all over the world.

"Music can change the world as it can change people"
- Bono

Music in any way is very influential. Even if you hear a disliked song many times again and again, you will tend to like it. Music is often used for spreading good wil, love, faith, hope and grace through songs and musical dramas/movies. Music speaks by herself and inspires.

"The pause is as important as a note."
- Truman Fisher

In a chaotic and fast life, because of technology and development that we live in, we often forget to spend time to ourselves and with God. Even silence can be as beautiful as another calming song after a day of rustle and bustle. Like I said, music can keep you sane XD
The sound of silence will make us appreciate the beauty and art that music has to offer and it will allow our ears to be more attuned to the sound of music.

Let's not get confused with music and noise, music is actually a well-composed arrangements of balanced frequencies to produce a controlled tune, whereas noise is just chaotic and messy production of frequencies. In other words, noise is like an annoying woman screaming at you over trifles :)

"There is nothing in the world so much like prayer as music is."
- William P Merrill
Music, if well-composed and in order will sound tremendously beautiful. This also shows that the Creator of music should be well-composed and in order. God is tremendously beautiful. When different sounds come together in that orderly manner, a symphony of wonders gives life!!!

We can thank the Creator of music through music. Music was created for His glory.

The Israelites were instructed to "play music before God with all their might, with singing, on harps, n stringed instruments, on tambourines, on cymbals and with trumpets"
(1 Chronicles 13:8)
We can sing our love to God instead of just saying it.

Music gives life to our words as they are another manifestation of our feelings

So let us "sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; talk of His wondrous works!" (1 Chronicles 16:9)


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

ARSE ( A Random Act of Stupidity Exists)

SIGH...... I'm not used to this blog thing, I hope I can keep it updated as best as I can.

I Eugene Wong, is known to have a tendency to convert everything into a joke. According to my friend Lee Yee Chang. You can see in one of his latest posts on -isms. fishdumplingtastesgood.blogspot.com.

To keep my blog a little more active, here are some random stuffs of stupidity, fatitity, and lardicious things. A Random Act of Stupidity Exists

1. Kok Siu is the most random shit that I have ever laid eyes upon. Just imagine..... a hall, a group of people showed up for a drama practice. noise..... started with whispers, chitter-chatter, more noise..... there was a female teacher in their midst, trying to utter a word but to no avail. Kok Siu felt pity or just a surge of stupidity rushed through his mind. He stood up walk towards the middle of the hall's stage and took a deep breath. I was sitting at a corner witnessing this deed of pure idiocy.... He summoned a voice so loud that it shook even the teacher that was trying to convey a message. OOOIII!!!!! SHADDAAP LLAAH!!!!!

As if a thousand manly banshees were shouting at once. He got everybody's attention in the hall. Everybody stared at him and for a few seconds, he did something that untill today kept me smiling at random intervals. He quickly arranged his hair by stroking his hair in arrogance from the front through the parting of his hair until the back..... and just turned and approached his seat. The entire hall was laughing . I was literally tearing because of that. These are the things that needs to be seen to believe.

2. Have you ever seen a man driving a car while he is engaged on the phone? many I believe... How about SMS-ing? I believe u have.

Now picture this, riding a bicycle while on the phone is dangerous...... It is from the pure act of stupidity that will make a cyclist to ride a bike and SMS at the same time!!!! Who in the right mind would do such a thing? especially in Melaka Raya where the roads are busy!!!!

This miraculously happened to my blessed friend Noel martin Smith!!!!!! SMS-ing his girlfriend and stupidly rammed the back of a car. The moment Noel opened his eyes after the impact, he was on the back screen of the car, the phone in one hand and the ENTIRE car BUMPER on the other, the odds of that happening is so rare man!!!! SIGH....... He was laughing the next day.

Here's a joke..... Do you know that a fish................................ CAN'T DRINK WATER?!!! hahaha

I'll keep updated more. this is just to fill up place.
Untill then