This Highly Immersive Programme (HIP) Toolkit has been designed to support the creation of a highly immersive English language environment in schools that will enhance students learning and use of the English Language. The toolkit has been designed with the involvement of teachers, administrators, ELT experts and school leaders.
The HIP Toolkit provides an overview of the programme and its relation to the Malaysia Education Blueprint. Four fundamental factors that ensure the success and sustainability of HIP in schools are described. These fundamental factors emphasize on the role of the whole school approach taken in this programme. A school-based self-assessment tool is also included in this toolkit to help schools continuously evaluate their progress and identify areas that they would like to focus on in creating an immersive environment in the school. A guidebook comprising a menu of activities for in-class, out-of-class, extra class and outreach components is also made available to help schools create an immersive environment in English language teaching and learning. Each activity in the guidebook is outlined in detail with easy-to-follow instructions. The activities are existing examples obtained from schools throughout the country from both rural and urban schools. These activities may be customized or adapted by the schools to meet their needs and their students’ varying abilities. The guidebook also includes relevant circulars and guidelines on HIP implementation in schools.
OVERVIEW OF THE HIGHLY IMMERSIVE PROGRAMME (HIP)
The Highly Immersive Programme (HIP) is a programme introduced under the MBMMBI policy that will improve the English proficiency of students through increased exposure to English. It also aims to inculcate positive behaviours towards the learning and usage of the English language. HIP is aligned with student aspirations highlighted in the Malaysia Education Blueprint (MEB) 2013-2025 and supports five shifts of the MEB as follows:
- Provide equal access to quality education of an international standard.
- Ensure every child is proficient in Bahasa Malaysia and English Language and is encouraged to learn an additional language.
- Develop values-driven Malaysians.
- Establish partnership with parents, community and private sector.
- Empower JPNs, PPDs and schools to customize solutions based on needs.
HIP is not a new programme since it reinforces the 1999 circular (Pekeliling Aktiviti Sokongan Bahasa Inggeris di Sekolah 1999) which states that all schools should organise English language support activities for students to increase their exposure time to the language. HIP complements the National Education Philosophy which asserts that;
“Education in Malaysia is an ongoing effort towards further developing the potential of individuals in a holistic and integrated manner, so as to produce individuals who are intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, and physically balanced and harmonious, based on a firm belief in and devotion to God. Such an effort is designed to produce Malaysian citizens who are knowledgeable and competent, who possess high moral standards, and who are responsible and capable of achieving high levels of personal wellbeing as well as being able to contribute to the harmony and betterment of the family, the society, and the nation at large.”
(The National Education Philosophy, 1996)
In accordance to the National Education Philosophy (1996), education in Malaysia aims at producing learners who are holistic and competitive in the 21st century. This requires creating individuals who are equipped to meet the demands of the globalised economy where English is used as the international means of communication. In order to ensure that every individual is competent in the use of English, there is a need to initiate a highly immersive English-rich environment in schools. In ensuring better students’ outcomes, partnership between schools, parents and communities are equally crucial in accelerating English proficiency amongst Malaysian students. Evidently, partnerships between parents and communities have proven to elevate the development of English proficiency beyond the school environment.
HIP allows a highly immersive language-rich environment to be developed for the students. In such an environment, students are deliberately and recurrently exposed to the English language through a variety of activities of high-quality linguistic input both within and beyond the classroom (Bunce, 1995). HIP also aims to engage and empower School Heads, teachers, students, parents and community to emulate codified best practices in enhancing English proficiency and to scale up and escalate these practices via sharing, learning and support. The outcomes targeted by HIP for all schools and students include increased self-assessed levels of English immersiveness of schools, positive acceptance towards the importance of learning and mastering English and increased overall proficiency of the English Language.
HIP is based on a whole school approach, which involves School Heads, teachers, students, parents and community. The approach is to empower schools, by the schools and for the schools. Schools will be provided with a toolkit to guide them towards a more purposeful planning of activities, based on their local context and capabilities. A support mechanism is also emplaced at district, state and national level to encourage schools to share, learn and support each other on the implementation of HIP activities.
THE FUNDAMENTAL FACTORS
The success of the Highly Immersive Programme (HIP) largely depends on the combination of four fundamental factors below:
- School Head
- Parents and Community
The above factors are highlighted based on evidenced practices in model schools that have succeeded in developing a highly immersive environment for English language learning for its students. Each factor plays a critical and supportive role in the learning process of students and is crucial to the improvement of students’ learning outcomes. The roles of each factor above are described as below.
The School Head acts as an anchor leading the school in actively creating a Highly Immersive English Language environment. The School Head is both a leader and constant motivator who takes responsibility for the English language performance in the school. The School Head strategically plans for the implementation and sustainability of language programmes within the school and ensures that these English Language programmes are organised effectively in order to make an impact on student outcomes in a positive manner. The School Head also creates a communication network with parents and community, by getting them to contribute towards the successful organizing of relevant language programmes within the school.
The English Language teachers play a vital role in the implementation of all English Language programmes within the school. The teachers support the School Head in creating a bilingual rich environment. The teachers act as excellent role models of language use and build an immersive English environment for students by constantly and systematically exposing them to English language use and activities both in and outside the language classroom. The English teachers conduct effective teaching and learning by adopting best practices based on the needs of students. Teachers of other subjects are equal key-players in organizing and implementing English programmes, events and activities within and outside the school. They assist in creating tools and aids required for the effective implementation of ELT activities.
The student is the main beneficiary of the programme. His or her role is to take charge of his/her personal learning process and development. The student develops a sense of ownership in the learning of English through volunteerism and active participation in English language activities organised by the school. This attribute will enable the student to build confidence and motivation in the language use, leading to enhanced language proficiency in the long run. The student will constantly seek support from teachers, parents and community in achieving the above goals. The student provides feedback to ensure continuous improvement of HIP in school.
Parents and Community
Parents and Community play the role of supporters who contribute in creating an English environment. Their expertise and continuous support are sought after to ensure the effectiveness and the sustainability of the programme. They work hand-in-hand with the School Head and the teachers in support of all English language activities organised by the school.
THE SELF-ASSESSMENT TOOL
The self-assessment tool for the Highly Immersive Programme (HIP) allows schools to reflect on their immersive levels in English. The self-assessment tool is to be administered three times in the same year. It is first administered in the beginning of the HIP programme to establish the current level of immersiveness that a school has. It is then re-administered in the middle of the programme and at the end of the programme to determine the immersive level achieved by the school. Respondents are encouraged to express their honest views when attempting the items within the tool.
The self-assessment tool is rated on a point Likert scale with the following values:
- Not at all
- Very Often
The self-assessment tool is to be completed by the following groups of people within the school:
- The School Head
- 20% of the total teacher population (Note: selection of teachers should be from different subject areas)
- 20% of the total student population (Note: Selection of students should include those who are able to understand and answer the items given)
- Minimum ten (10) parents/school community to a maximum of 15 parents/school community
Sections of the tool
- The section for the School Head consists of four (4) constructs labelled C1, C2, C3, C4
- The section for the teachers consist of three (3) constructs labelled C1, C2, C3
- The section for students consist of three (3) constructs labelled C1, C2, C3
- The section for parents and community consist of three (3) constructs labelled C1, C2, C3
Respondents are to answer all constructs within their section.
How to use the self-assessment tool
Make enough copies of the self-assessment tool. Where possible use different coloured papers for the different groups of respondents.
- Fix an appropriate venue, date and time for all respondents (School Head, teachers, students and parents/school community) to complete the self-assessment tool.
- Make sure that each item in the self-assessment tool is answered.
- The whole process of answering the self-assessment tool should take approximately 40 minutes.
- School Head will ensure that the different groups of respondents completing the self-assessment tool do not discuss their responses.
- Once completed the self-assessment tool is collected by an officer in- charge of HIP within the school.
- The school then analyses the self-assessment tool as briefed during the orientation workshop for HIP.
The Analysis Guide
Use the following guidelines when analyzing the self-assessment tool:
i. Calculate the total score of each construct (C) based on the sample provided below.
ii. Repeat the procedure for the other constructs within the instrument.
iii. Total the scores from each construct to get an overall score for each respondent.
iv. Then calculate the total and mean score for each group of people (teachers, students, parents and community).
v. Add the score from the School Head and mean scores of teachers, students and parents to get a total score for the whole school.
The sample below shows the calculation of total and mean scores from a school.
vi. Use the total school score to identify the level of immersiveness that the school has achieved. The following descriptions help the school identify its level of immersiveness.
Descriptions for Levels of Immersiveness:
vii. Once a school has identified its level of immersiveness, the school community (School Head, teachers, students and parents/school community) works cooperatively to devise a strategic plan on how the level of immersiveness in English can be raised for the school.
viii. The school relooks the results of the various sections of the assessment tool and through discussion identifies areas that require most immediate attention. Use the template below for the purpose of identifying areas for improvement.
Sample areas identified by a school
ix. Once the school has identified the area that requires attention, the school then develops a strategic plan. The school then carries out the plan and monitors its progress.
x. The school is required to fill in a reporting template to record its students’ performance. The reporting template will be provided online by the State Language Officer. A sample of this online reporting template is provided in page 14. For states without easy access to the online platform, an offline copy of the reporting template will be provided by the State Language Officer.
- This template is prepared by the ELO and its link is shared with schools and ELTC. Schools will be able to view their entries.
- ELTC as the secretariat will be able to view entries from all schools using the link provided by the JPN.
- Follow the reporting timeline as indicated in the HIP Activity Implementation Timeline Template (pg. 16-17).
Target for Student Involvement
|30% of total population||60% of total population||
100% (total population)
THE HIP GUIDE BOOK
The HIP Guide Book provides suggestions and assists School Heads, teachers, students, parents and community to implement activities that could create a highly immersive environment for English language.
The Guide Book is a compilation of hands-on activities that schools can adapt and adopt to enhance English language proficiency. It consists of four categories of activities that can be used both in and out of class, during extra class and for outreach programmes. The activities in the toolkit are developed based on parameters such as cost required for each activity, ease of implementation and other requirements of the particular activity. Schools can refer to these parameters and select activities that are more suited to their current level of readiness and resources.
The aim of in-class activities is to enhance the students’ engagement during English language lessons. A repertoire of best practices on fun learning activities has been documented to support a non-threatening environment for students to use English creatively during lessons. This will boost students’ confidence and motivation in using English.
The out-of-class activities are aimed to maximise the acquisition of English language through the creation of an immersive English language environment outside the classroom. The activities should be carried out in a fun learning environment that builds the confidence of students to use the language frequently. This will create a positive behavioural change in the school towards learning English. The out-of-class activities encourage active participation from the parents and community.
The suggested activities for extra classes are geared towards providing remedial as well as enrichment activities that cater to the individual needs of students to attain a better level of proficiency. The extra classes activities aim to put in place a support mechanism such as peer learning and greater involvement from parents and community.
The outreach programmes aim to increase the English immersiveness in schools through community outreach and various collaborations. These programmes require the development of strong linkages between the schools and other stakeholders such as universities, non-governmental organisations and corporate bodies. These stakeholders assist schools in implementing HIP activities in terms of finance, expertise and sponsorship.
Highly Immersive Programme (HIP)
HIP aims to engage and empower the School Head, teachers, students as well as parents and the surrounding community to create a highly immersive English environment in all primary and secondary schools in the country. The Ministry of Education has developed a toolkit from which you can choose a variety of activities to assist your school in increasing its English level of immersiveness and thus by definition improve student outcomes in general. To assist you in choosing the relevant activities from the toolkit, we have provided you with a self-assessment tool which is to be administered to the School Head, teachers, selected students, their parents and the community.
The Self-Assessment Tool
The purpose of this questionnaire is to allow the school community to reflect on the English level of immersiveness within the school.
It is estimated that the questionnaires will take no more than thirty minutes of your time. You are urged to give your true and honest views and opinions on the level of English immersiveness in your school. Your participation is much appreciated.