Topic: Responsibility – Freedom of expression (Integrating Civic Awareness in English lesson)
Proficiency level: B1 – B2 (Independent user: Intermediate-Upper intermediate)
Integrated skill: Speaking
Teaching materials: Dictionary, mahjong paper, marker pen, Article 10 of the Malaysian Constitution
a) Brainstorm in groups
b) Express feelings, opinions, and dissatisfaction through the proper channels
Teacher writes ‘freedom of speech’ on the board and asks students what do they know about this concept. Teacher writes students’ responses on the board.
*A note on this part: I had to translate ‘freedom of speech’ to Malay then only I could elicit a response from them.
1. Give handouts of the Malaysian Constitution (Article 10) to students and tell the students to read through it for 5-10 minutes.
*A note on this step: For this level of proficiency, provide the Constitution both in English and Malay. Teach students that the Malaysian Constitution forbids any open criticism toward the ‘3R’ – royalty, race, and religion.
2. Divide students into five groups according to context that they will explain about in terms of free speech – Family, School, Society, Country, and Global.
3. Remind students to refer to the Article 10 of the Malaysian Constitution before making suggestions.
4. Students give suggestions on how to express feelings, opinions and dissatisfaction through proper channels according to the contexts given.
5. Teacher checks students’ work for grammatical errors.
6. Every group presents their discussions to the class and encourage the other groups to ask questions.
*A Note on this step: Provide chunks to students such as ‘For free speech in terms of societal/family/global etc context, we think…’, ‘As citizens, we must…’, ‘As individuals, we can…’.
There was a slight difficulty for some of the groups to generate examples and ideas. For my class, it was for the groups that did the global and societal context. I had to give them examples of issues related to the context but I let them decide on their own on the platform and the appropriate manner on how they should express their opinions, feelings, or dissatisfaction as long as their suggestion do not imply any breaking of the law.
Below are pictures of my students’ work. This was before I corrected their grammar and prior to them doing their presentation: