KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 7 — The first batch of 75 Fulbright English Teaching Assistants (ETAs) from United States have arrived in Malaysia to begin their 10-month assignment at schools in Terengganu, Johor, Pahang and Perak.
The ETAs programme, which is administered jointly by the Malaysian-American Commission on Educational Exchange (MACEE) and the Education Ministry, has been expanded to Perak.
The US Embassy in a statement today said the number has also increased to 75 from 50 previously.
“They will be assigned to primary and secondary schools in every district of the selected four states and each of them will have direct, sustained contact with hundreds of students in their schools.
“In addition, the US also provides technical support through visits by English language specialist from the country who will help train teachers and advise on curriculum. They will bring with them the latest teaching materials, provided free of charge by the US Department of State,” it said.
Meanwhile, US Ambassador to Malaysia Datuk Paul W. Jones was proud to welcome the talented young Americans whom he said would dedicate themselves to help teaching English in Malaysia.
“This successful, growing programme is a direct result of President Barack Obama and Malaysia’s Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s commitment to expand people-to-people exchanges and strengthen educational ties.
“This year’s expansion of our English teaching partnership coincides with the 50th anniversary of Fulbright educational exchanges in Malaysia, which has brought Malaysians and Americans together across cultural and linguistic barriers,” he said.
The ETA programme was intended to enrich and enhance English instruction in primary and secondary schools by providing American native speakers who strengthen English language education as well as mutual understanding.
ETAs organise extra-curricular clubs and activities conducted in English while also gaining a deep understanding of Malaysian culture by living and working in towns and cities throughout Terengganu, Johor, Pahang, and Perak.
The objective of this programme was to fulfil the Fulbright programme goal of increasing mutual understanding between Americans and other peoples of the world in order to foster world peace. — Bernama