Friday, July 9, 2010

MUET Is About (Language) Skills

According to the MUET Regulations, Test Specifications and Test Format booklet furnished by the MPM (or the Malaysian Examinations Council) the Test aims to measure the English language proficiency of candidates planning to pursue tertiary studies at Malaysian universities.

Grammar per se, it is not taught as a subject matter in MUET. It might be taught sporadically, here and there, where the need arises, as we go along. The English embodied in MUET is an entity raring to go into action. A widely accepted fact is that grammar itself had been, directly or subtly, taught in class for so many years before pre-university (in school, let's say ... eleven years?)

MUET is about skills: listening skills, speaking skills, reading skills and writing skills. Yeah, skills and ... skills and ... skills ...

Grammar is used in the execution of language skills. Wrong grammar, the skills go a-limping, wrong grammar - the skills kaput. Wrong grammar, (heh, heh, heh ...) people will laugh at you!

Examples of Language Skills Imparted in MUET:-

Skills: recalling information; recognising main ideas; distinguishing fact from opinion
"In reality, listening is used far more that any other single language skill in normal life. On average, we can expect to listen twice as much as we speak, four times more than we read and five times more than we write." - Rivers 1981: Weaver 1972

Speaking Skills: using grammatically correct language; using language appropriate for the intended purpose and audience; using varied vocabulary and expressions;
"The secret of successful speakers? Passion and compassion with a purpose." - Lily Walters

Reading Skills: skimming and scanning; understanding linear an non-linear texts; understanding language functions;
point to ponder:
"Being able to read is ... a skill that every learner must develop over time and with great deal of practice." - David E. Eskey.

Writing Skills: using correct grammar; using clear, varied sentences; using appropriate markers and linking devices.
"Writing skills can be developed through practice. True ease in writing comes from art, not chance." - Gloria M Russo

Have you got the skills?

Note: Quotations sourced from Cynthia Richards et. al. 2008

Should you want to know more MUET skills, well ... look at the tabs up there and choose the "syllabus" tab and click.  The syllabus also lists out the skills in MUET. 

Happy reading!