As part of our training course in the Financial Sector Talent Enrichment Programme (FSTEP) under the Institute of Banks in Malaysia or IBBM, we had to undergo a one-month intensive English course with the British Council.
Some people beamed with delight upon hearing that and told me how lucky I was to get a chance participating in such programme by the British Council. Yeah, maybe. But all I could think of was how dreadfully boring it would be - learning grammar, vocabulary etc all over again.
Anyway, we were divided into five groups according to our level of proficiency - lower intermediate, intermediate, upper intermediate and two classes of advanced students. I won't tell you which class I belonged to *winks*.
True, we had to learn the basic things in English - pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, tenses etc. Besides that, there were also writing skills session, presentations (individual & group), group discussions, communication and listening classes and many other activities deemed necessary for our work later on.
By the end of the first week, I had to admit I was wrong in assuming the English classes would be one dull and arduous month for all of us. Although we had our textbook provided by the British Council, we only referred to it once or twice every day as our activities are mostly done through presentations, games, casual conversations and sometimes event treasure hunt all over the FSTEP area! Fun as it may sound, all was done for our learning benefit and not merely to kill time.
Our trainers weren't your typical school English teachers, mind you. They were fun, open-minded, flexible to our suggestions/ requests and nonetheless, very knowledgeable in their teaching. For my class, we had two trainers and both were absolutely fun to work with. Miss Jackie Clarke and Miss Iman Sasso, you guys were fabulous.
If you can't tell from the photos, we had so much fun during our one-month intensive English course and needless to say, gained a lot more by the end of the course. Hopefully, the remaining 4-5 months of technical financial class after this would be as delightful as this one.