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  Abstracts

Day 1: 16 May 2017, Tuesday

Teaching of Reading: The Effects of Students' Interest Level on their Reading Comprehension Performance
Nurullashkeen bt Mohd Anis, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UNITAR)

This paper explored the reading interest of secondary school students on variety reading topics and the effects of students’ reading interest level on their reading comprehension performance among secondary school students. Reading is one of the most important language skills as one can be extremely good in mathematics but if the said person has poor reading skills, he or she may misinterpret the questions and still fails to answer the questions correctly. It is undeniable that reading is everywhere in our life from reading the instruction manual of a new washing machine to reading the sign boards on the streets. Thus, it is important that we find a way to help improve reading skills. Context support method concerns with using materials that are of students’ interest in teaching reading which can serve as an intrinsic motivation to the students and encourage them to complete tasks of higher difficulty level. 36 students from a selected secondary school in Tambun were chosen based on a convenient sampling. A survey was conducted in order to find out the students’ reading interest. A pre-test and post-test on reading comprehension was also conducted. The pre-test consists of reading comprehension exercise on a topic deemed least interesting to the students whereas in the post-test, a reading comprehension exercise on a topic deemed most interesting to the students was conducted to compare the effects of different interest level on their reading comprehension performance. The results have shown that students’ reading interest does vary individually and students do perform better when they have high interest towards the topic in the reading comprehension.
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Request Strategies in Libyan PG Students' E-mails to Faculty
Ergaya Ali Gerair Alsout, University of Malaya (UM)

This study investigated the request strategies with varying levels of directness employed by Libyan PG students in their e-requests to faculty. Internal and external request modifications used by the Libyan PG students to mitigate and modify their e-requests were also identified. The participants in this study were 20 Libyan PG students at four Malaysian universities. Content analysis was used to analyze the request strategies and the modifications. Results showed that the students tend to utilize more direct strategies in their e-requests, especially, want statements, imperatives, direct questions, and performative statements. It was also found that most of the students were bare of lexical/phrasal modifications, but were overused the external one. The results of the present study are expected to provide more insight into the nature of e-requests from cross-cultural and interlanguage perspectives. Thus, it is implicated that awareness of e-mail conventions in terms of their pragmatic functions and linguistic expressions used to realize the request speech act, and how these linguistic forms vary according to the social context are important to be raised especially for non-native English students.
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Implementation of Language Policy: Impacts in Teaching and Learning
P Kangathevi A/P Ponnudorai, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)

A new policy which is called ‘Upholding the Malay Language and Strengthening Command of English’ (Memartabatkan Bahasa Malaysia Memperkukuh Bahasa Inggeris) or known as MBMMBI policy was introduced for Year 1 to Form 5 students, replacing ‘Teaching and Learning of Science and Mathematics in English’ (PPSMI) policy by the Malaysian Cabinet in July 2009. This MBMMBI policy has been implemented phase by phase since 2010. The change from PPSMI to MBMMBI is expected to produce Malaysians who are fluent and assertive in both Malay (BM) and English languages. As a result, in 2011, KSSR has been implemented in Science and Mathematics using BM in the National Schools (SK) and vernacular languages in the National-Typed Schools  (SJK). This study focuses on vernacular school teachers’ perspectives regarding the issue of the implementation of MBMMBI policy whereby the aim was. Results from the study indicated that the teachers are taking a positive perspective in upholding the Malay language or vernacular languages and at the same time strengthening the command of the English language for their students’ future. Though, a few senior or experienced teachers were concern on the maintenance of vernacular languages in teaching low proficiency students.
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