Last Saturday (11/4/15) morning, English Department officially launched the Mentoring Program. The opening ceremony was held in the Hotspot Area under the Rectorate Building and attended by the faculty members, the students and the mentors blended together in the event. In his opening speech, Dr. Sudiran, the Head of English Department,statedthat this program aimed to address the faculty’sconcern on the students’ poor presentation skill during thesis defense. He further explains that they needed more practice in expressing and presenting their ideas in front of public so as to improve the skill. Therefore, the department initiated the program which was designed to facilitate more opportunities for the students to practice their English.The program kicked off right away after the opening ceremony.
The mentoring program itself is directed to all freshmen who are divided into 20 groups (each consisting of 10-12 students). Each group is facilitated by one-two mentors, selected senior student volunteers who passed all tests to join this program. The mentors were previously trained in a one-day workshop for mentors held on Monday, March 30th, 2015. To help ensuring the standard, mentors are equipped with handouts and lesson plans for all eight mentoring sessions, although their creative ideas and teaching innovation are still expected in each mentoring session to ensure that each meeting is fun and educative.
In this pilot program, the foci are on three aspects: independent study, presentation and debate. Independent study attempts to build students’ awareness and positive attitude towards learning English autonomously, thus complementing their classroom learning. Next, presentation skill is addressed in order to boost students’ confidence to speak English in public. Finally, the debating skill is also taught in order to assist students to present a claim effectively and build convincing arguments and defense to support it.
It is expected that by teaching these skills now, the results would be visible during formal classes in which these skills would be sharpened over and over. Finally, the ultimate goal of this program is to help these freshmen during their senior years when they present their thesis, and to assist them in their future professional career. (NI)