IN March 2013, Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the failure rate of students in English Language in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examinations is 20% every year.
To further assert this worrying situation, there is an 80% chance that a patron in a local restaurant would find grammatical errors in the menu as he or she reads the dishes’ description.
Understanding the repercussions of this situation, Web TV network PopTeeVee announced the premiering of “Englishjer”, a web series that aims to bring English education among youth in a more accessible and easy-going way.
The web series leverages on the popularity of @Englishjer (https://twitter.com/englishjer), a Twitter persona that offers English lessons tinged with humour and popular culture to its almost 60,000 strong followers via Twitter updates
The man behind @Englishjer — Qayyum Jumadi — who is also the writer, producer and host of the web series says that the idea to make the videos is the most logical step because it is visual, and has creative ideas that are sure to enhance the online education experience for his followers in a fun, relatable and unintimidating manner.
The main purpose of Englishjer is to spread the perception that “Ilmu itu Awesome” (knowledge is awesome} and it aspires to shape a better, communicative nation by encouraging the youth to be part of a continuous learning community where no lesson or teacher is too big or too small.
“The ‘Englishjer’ videos are not only relevant but are necessary given how much the youth are accessing and interacting with each other on social media platforms. English is the lingua franca of the Internet and I believe we can harness this to propagate the learning, writing and speaking of English and even education in general for young and the young at heart. After all, ‘English jer, bukan susah pun!’ (It’s only English, it’s not that difficult!),” Qayyum said.
The 90-second long Bahasa Malaysia videos draw distinction between common spelling mistakes in the English language and the host gives relatable Malaysian examples to make the distinctions between the meanings. It is easy to understand and viewers are encouraged to write their comments in the comment box to further discuss the issues that are brought up in the videos.
The show is targeted to those aged 16 to 25 and will benefit those sitting for English examinations or who are simply interested in being more proficient in English.
Episodes are released at 10.30am every Thursday (for 12 weeks) and are hosted on PopTeeVee’s YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/popteevee ). The series ends on Dec 11.
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 16, 2014.