CENTRE FOR LANGUAGE COMPETENCIES
The proposed restructuring of the CEFLAGS has gone through five (5) major meetings at the university level. First meeting was the 199th University Senate Meeting, No. 3/2021 dated 15th March 2021 has approved the Proposed Restructuring of the Functions Under the Vice Chancellor of Academic and International (TNCAA) where CEFLAGS was positioned as the Centre of Excellence of the Faculty of Languages and Communication. It was proposed at that time that there were two (2) new units in FBK, namely the Language Proficiency Unit and the Language Excellence Unit.
The second meeting was through JKPU meeting No.11/2021 dated 8th July 2021 where CEFLAGS moved to FBK as a Centre of Excellence. CEFLAGS was positioned as a unit under the Deputy Dean (Academic and International) or Deputy Dean (Research and Innovation). It was created similar to the Centre of Pedagogical Research and Innovation (CPRI) under the Faculty of Human Development, by maintaining the functions of administrative positions and general course offerings by CEFLAGS.
The 3rd proposal through the JKPU meeting No.17/2021 dated 1st November 2021 stipulates the outcome of the FBK merger where CEFLAGS had agreed that only one Deputy Registrar (N48) to be retained and appointed to lead FBK as a whole. Thus, the Assistant Registrar (N44) from the PBPU was abolished after this merger was done.
The University Board of Directors Meeting (LPU) No.139/2022 dated 27th January 2022 proposed the restructuring of CEFLAGS, as well as renaming it to HiCOE in FBK (name maintained, but PTJ position changed). While JKPU meeting No. 5/2022 approved the amendment of the name of the Language Proficiency Unit to the Centre for Language Proficienciis and Language Excellence Unit to the Centre of Excellence in Language Education .
The Centre for Language Proficiencies, FBK takes a step-by-step’s move in becoming what they are today. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) are online courses that target unlimited learning and open access over the Internet. MOOC is seen to benefit the Malaysian higher education system as MOOC can improve students’ enrolment, the quality of teaching, internationalize higher education institutions and reduce the cost of teaching.
In response to the government’s call towards digital education and life-long learning, the centre has been entrusted to create language courses offered in MOOC methods on a large scale. As of January 2023, over 200 learning videos have been produced, covering nine (9) languages, namely Malay, English, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, Spanish, German, and French. There are three (3) levels for each language, which are seen to meet the needs students in language proficiency.
With the concept of in-house production and training, in line with the university’s label as University No. 1 Education, the development of MOOC method education conducted by the Centre for Language Proficiency is not just material development, but the principle of soft skills, which allows the instructors to develop their own MOOC courses. With the organisation of various preparatory courses for the instructors, it helps in the process of designing teaching materials to ensure that the materials produced are interesting and of good quality. Several workshops and courses were conducted focuses on the development of professional image, skills in front of the camera, teaching and materials development skills, as well as knowledge related to the use of the MOOC platform itself.
MUET is an English fluency test designed to measure English language ability among students who intend to pursue a bachelor’s degree at Public and Private Institutions of Higher Learning in Malaysia. In preparation for MUET, Form 6 students in secondary schools are adequately prepared for MUET.
Currently, students who wish to apply for a bachelor’s degree need to sit for MUET and graduate with at least Band 1. There are also some areas of study that impose high requirements, for example to qualify a candidate to apply for the Teaching English as a Second Language, medical and legal programmes where the candidates need to get at least Band 4. This high benchmark requires students to study hard to achieve at least the Band 4 to qualify them for the programme. Hence, they desperately need guidance and assistance to pass MUET to qualify them to apply and be admitted to the prgramme they are interested in.
The general objective of this programme is to help UPSI students and Form 6 students achieve good results in MUET by:
i. providing intensive learning to improve English language skills, namely listening, speaking, reading and writing skills;
Ii. offering knowledge sharing and tips from experienced teachers as MUET inspectors; And
Iii. exposing students with the technique of answering MUET questions to enable them to answer questions appropriately.
The MUET Intensive Course is a new programme designed to help the Centre for Language Proficiencies generate its own income. This programme is also believed to receive the response from MUET candidates consisting of UPSI students and Form 6 students who are in the vicinity of Mualim District and Hulu Selangor District.
With this course, it is hoped that UPSI students especially, will receive good exposure and guidance from skilled and experienced instructors as they do not get any exposure before sitting the MUET test.
UPSI has quality infrastructure, as well as being able to increase the motivation of the participants as the programme is conducted at a prestigious Public University using existing expertise.
The implementation of the MUET Intensive Course will indirectly enhance UPSI’s image as an Educational Institution capable of practicing quality T&L practices in various levels of stu