Monday, April 21, 2008
A picture tells a thousand words...
I simply love this picture. This is a picture of a Palestinian Muslim woman carrying an Israeli girl which was taken in the conflict-torn Gaza strip. I used this picture as the concluding picture for the series of picture slide shows in my pre-reading activity when I was teaching the poem The Man He Killed by Thomas Hardy.
In that, I brought to light the on-going conflict between the Israeli and Palestinian sides to contrast against the theme of the futility of war in the poem. Overall, I am glad to say that the presentation was quite a satisfying one with my ever creative partner, Ying Ying who had contributed to the brilliant idea of having a mock press conference in the while-reading activity. We have both loved The Man He Killed by Thomas Hardy and what is better than teaching something that you truly enjoy yourself?
Nevertheless, our lecturer took that opportunity to guide us into a discussion on whether it is appropriate to bring sensitive issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into the classroom, with all due respect to our country being a Muslim country. However, I should also say that this kind of activity can only be applied to a high-level classroom as the students would need to have some previous knowledge on this issue for the pre-reading activity to be effective.
Subsequently, it was the picture which saved the day as it summed up our non-confrontational approach in tackling the 'sensitive' issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Appropriate or not appropriate aside, we also voiced out our opinion on bringing the discussion of current issues into the classroom. Ultimately, being the open-minded TESLians that we are, we concluded that we have no qualms about the discussion of sensitive or current issues in the classroom, hey, after all, our duty is to educate a generation of thinking Malaysians, and not yes-men right? Pn. Noraini also gave her blessing in this as she felt that we could not find a better time to talk with our students about this relevant issues than now. As have been said, better late than never (or pregnant, that's another story with another lecturer...)
Posted by soonchen at 4:02 AM