Overwhelming Response To Teachers' Newspaper Conference

Singapore, 15 March 2005 The conference can take a maximum of 500 participants but 700 teachers signed up for it. The organisers had to turn away some 200 of them. And even on the eve of the conference, phone enquiries are still coming in from teachers asking for "one more space, please".

This is the happy situation faced by the organisers of the teachers conference "Making News: Teach All About It! Newspapers for an Integrated Curriculum" to be held on 16 March 2005 at the Grand Hyatt Singapore and
co-organised by the Press Foundation of Singapore and the English Language and Literature Teachers Association of Singapore.

Said Mrs Sng Ngoi May, General Manager of the Press Foundation of Singapore: "This is the second teacher's conference sponsored by the Press Foundation of Singapore. The first conference was in November 2003. We
targeted 300 participants then and we had over 400 attending. This time, we targeted 400 participants, and we received such an overwhelming response that we had to close registrations two weeks early and turn away almost 200!"

This one-day hands-on and interactive conference aims to encourage more teachers to use the daily newspapers as an effective instructional tool. It will bring together together education experts and journalists who will share their views and tips on the usefulness of newspapers in engaging students.

The conference will have two plenary sessions. The first, Connecting The Classroom With the World Through Newspapers, will focus on how newspapers can be used as a “living textbook” to help students make connections with the real world and the communities in which they live.

The panel speakers for this session are:

  • Ms Bertha Henson, Supervising Editor (Home), The Straits Times
  • Ms Lee Kuan Fung, Editor of student supplement Popcorn and Mr Lim Fang Wei, Correspondent, Lianhe Zaobao, and Mr Bernard Choo Chee Wee, Associate Editor for Friday Weekly/Thumbs Up & Coordinator for the Newspapers in Education for Zaobao Popcorn/Friday Weekly/Thumbs Up
  • Mr Mohd Zulkifli Rahmat, Deputy Editor, Berita Harian
  • Mr Noor Mohd Abdul Aziz, Deputy Editor, Tamil Murasu

This plenary session will be chaired by Associate Professor Kirpal Singh of English Literature, School of Economics and Social Sciences from the Singapore Management University.

Well-known Singapore author, Catherine Lim, will deliver the second plenary session, The Sheherazade Impulse: Drawing Inspiration From Newspapers. Ms Lim, who has written articles on sociolinguistics and the problematics of writing fiction in Singaporean English, was a lecturer at the Regional Language Centre (RELC) before becoming a full-time writer. She has authored various collections of short stories and several novels, including The Bondmaid, The Serpent’s Tooth and Following the Wrong God Home.

Apart from the plenary sessions, there are 16 workshops on the use of newspapers in specific subject areas. For example, there will be workshops on how to engage students through the use of English and vernacular
newspapers, how the electronic media can enhance or limit gifted learners, and the use of information technology to make newspaper and storybook reading come alive. Workshops using the Malay and Chinese mother tongues will also be conducted.

The Press Foundation of Singapore is a charity organisation which was set up in early 2003 with an initial $20 million contribution from Singapore Press Holdings. Its core objective is to help build a lifelong learning society.

For those who missed this teachers conference and are interested in the next one, please contact Ms Tammy Chua at Tel: 6338 2321 or email tammy@splanner.com.sg by 18 March 2005.

Issued by Press Foundation of Singapore Ltd Co. Regn. No: 200300910M

You and your reporter, photographer/camera crew are cordially invited to the opening of the conference in the Grand Ballroom, Level 2 of Grand Hyatt Singapore. Conference starts at 9am, guests and media are to be seated by 8.55am. Please RSVP to Juliana Chong at Tel: 6319 1895, HP 97328943 or email:julianac@sph.com.sg to reserve a seat at this event.

For more information and one-on-one interviews with conference/workshop speakers, please contact:

Ms Juliana Chong
Press Foundation of Singapore Limited
Tel: 6319 1895
Email: julianac@sph.com.sg

Ms Lena Loh
Conference Secretariat
Tel: 6338 2321 Fax: 6339 1372
Mobile: 9875 2991
Email: lena@splanner.com.sg

About the Press Foundation of Singapore
The Press Foundation of Singapore, a registered charity and an Institution of Public Character, was set up in January 2003 to help build a lifelong learning community that embraces language enrichment, creativity, diversity, healthy living and sports. The first contribution of $20 million to the Foundation came from media group Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. For more information about the Foundation, please visit its website athttp://www.pressfoundation.org.sg.

About the English Language & Literature Teachers Association (Singapore)
ELLTA(S) aims to provide language teachers with networking opportunities, not just with individuals, but with schools, tertiary colleges and publishers. They seek always to publicise good teaching practices and current research findings and provide opportunities for members to exchange views and to engage in professional dialogue. For more information about ELLTA(S), please visit its website at http://www.elltas.org.


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