Elemantra Academy’s Principal Master Tutor, Dr Elmi Zulkarnain Osman reckons online Malay Language learning can be fun, as long as you follow one important rule. Hint: It all depends on the Malay tutor and the Malay language student.

Every educator has had to adapt to this strange new world we find ourselves in, faced with a pandemic on one hand and social isolation on the other. And the Malay tuition industry is no exception. Malay tuition classes have pivoted to online settings. The days of talking to a Malay tutor face-to-face feel like a lifetime ago. 

Malay tutors are trying their hardest to make the virtual classroom come to life. Even though you might be hundreds, sometimes even thousands of kilometres away from your Mother Tongue tutor, it’s easy to forget that there’s a global pandemic. As long as you don’t have any internet issues, most of the time, the difference is negligible between an online Malay class and the real deal.

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Essentially, learning Bahasa Melayu can be fun. If you let it. Like any technology, Zoom has a number of features which are ideal for online Malay tuition. And Malay tutors are making the most of it. With a simple click of a button, Malay tutors can break the class up into different groups to engender discussions. If you need help or want to present to the class, you can just share your screen with the Malay tutor and the rest of the Malay language students. The mute feature keeps your full attention on whoever’s speaking, without having any annoying background noise.

Malay tutors like Dr Elmi Zulkarnain also recognise that people in their classes might be struggling. He often use his class as an opportunity to check in on everyone. Instead of calling the roll, he made his Malay students share how there were coping during Circuit Breaker lockdown. Everyone spoke candidly about their situations — including Dr Elmi.

Mother Tongue tutors are trying their hardest, but they need your help. At the end of the day, an engaging class all depends on the students. Just remember one thing – students only get out of something as much as they give. 

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