LAM2201 Malay 2

Module: LAM2201 Malay 1

Semester taken: AY 2020/21 Semester 2

Lecturer: Mr Sew Jyh Wee (Cikgu Sew)

Tutor: Mr Dulkifli Atrawi (Cikgu Dul)

Textbook: None

What it is about

This is the second part of a two-module series that grants students with a basic proficiency certificate in the Malay language (Bahasa Melayu). At the end of this module, students would be able to hold conversations in Malay, understand intermediate sentence crafting techniques as well as classifiers in the Malay language.

Assessment components

  • Class participation: 10%

  • Listening test: 15%

  • Blogging: 25%

  • Pair work: 20%

  • Online test: 30%


I was initially quite demoralised after getting the results back for LAM1201, as I did not manage to do as well as I hoped due to the bell curve. However, I was mainly looking to attain the language proficiency certificate and since I am already halfway there, I might as well complete it. The class I was in had some of my old classmates, and the makeup of the class is still mostly in the favour of nursing students.

I believed that the bell curve for this module would be less steep, as most of the advantages that people had would only be useful for the first level. I spent the winter holidays revising the Malay language, trying to use it in everyday life with my friend who knows the Malay language, and to potentially learn some new words along the way.


Each week, there are 2x 2-hour lectures. However, the first 2-hour lecture is conducted by Cikgu Sew, who is a Chinese that grew up in Malaysia. He is quite well-versed with the language and his lectures focuses more on the grammar of the language. The second 2-hour lecture slot for the week is conducted by Cikgu Dul, who focuses more on vocabulary and using Malay language.

Taking Cikgu Sew's lessons tend to be rather stressful, as he can suddenly call upon students over the Zoom session and you are expected to speak in 1-2 seconds, before he would shout your name. In addition, you do not have much time to think of an answer, as he expects you to answer his questions immediately. It was quite difficult for me as I tend to have a hard time learning a new language, and sometimes do not know what he is asking. I have had a couple of embarrassing moments in front of the whole class, but hey, it is all part of the learning process. Cikgu Sew's has his own set of PowerPoint slides that he uses for the lesson, and each lesson covers some aspect of the grammar rules in the Malay language.

Cikgu Dul's lessons are less stressful, as he is a very encouraging and supportive teacher. He knows exactly when a student gets stuck and where to correct them, which I felt made the lesson rather pleasant and we would also be able to learn from the mistakes made by others. I tend to notice that people made more mistakes during Cikgu Dul's lessons compared to Cikgu Sew, I guess probably everyone had the same amount of fear as I did. Anyway, Cikgu Dul's lessons are based on the exercises book (buku latihan), and when there are long paragraphs of text, he would spend a lot of time allowing us to read the passages and correcting our pronunciations and enunciations. He tries to get us to speak in a way that sounds more like a native speaker rather than a foreigner, which can be quite funny at times.

Overall, the pace of the lesson is still as fast as in LAM1201. However, having been used to the way the lessons are conducted, plus having a better grasp of the Malay language, it is easier to follow the lessons this time round.

Listening and Online Tests

There is one listening test conducted in Week 6, which involved playing a video and filling in the blanks that appear at random times during the video. Most of the class felt that this component was the most unfair, as there were many technical difficulties that surfaced during the test itself, and that the video was a song. The lectures introduced 3 Malay songs, and it was hinted that one of them would come up as part of the listening test. Even so, it was very difficult to get the answers right, as it was not possible to replay that segment of the song where the blank appears. I am certain some people have cheated in this test, as most were not able to score high, but there were a few outliers that scored almost full marks.

The online test was conducted in Week 12 and covers various types of grammar rules taught in class. It was done via LumiNUS quiz, which was relatively less problematic compared to the listening test. This was a decent test, especially if you invested time revising the content taught in both LAM1201 and in this module.


This component takes the voice recording aspect in LAM1201 to the next level, by getting us to come up with a video on the topic "Pengalaman yang sangat istimewa" (a very special experience). We were required to come up with a script in Malay to illustrate this topic and film a video. The blogging aspect is because the video is required to be placed on a blog, and the content is the script of the video.

This was quite difficult to do, as the deadline is during recess week and there are not many things you can film in such short notice. Thankfully, it was also the Chinese New Year period and it was the first Chinese New Year that occurred during the COVID-19 period. Hence, I came up with some story about how this Chinese New Year was the first time it was celebrated differently, in order to fit the topic of the video. Of course, the crucial parts of the filming were done during the Chinese New Year celebrations, and I managed to finish filming all the parts in a few days time. The editing part took some time, as the transitions and subtitles had to be added in, but overall the video project took up quite some time to be completed, from script to submission.

It is best to have a friend that is knowledgeable in the language to help you vet through the script, as it is a crucial aspect of the grading. The words used must also be appropriate for a particular context, which is probably something that an experience speaker would have more knowledge on.

Oral Pair Work

The final component of the module is an oral test done in pairs. However, this was changed to groups of 3 to 4 people. In this component, members of the group must be conversing with one another about their special experiences, while incorporating a certain proverb in the dialogue. It was essentially the same thing as the blogging component, except that the script is now a dialogue among different people.

I was lucky to have someone that is rather efficient and creative in the team, and we quickly came up with the script. We all had the script vetted before we recorded our voice over. As we did not have much time, we decided to do a voice over using PowerPoint and some animations, instead of filming a full video. We were the only group that did not feature our faces during the video, as other groups either did a proper video recording, or narrated their lines over a Zoom call. I felt that it was unnecessary, as the grading focuses on the content of the dialogue rather than how well the video is done. Narrating lines over a Zoom call would bring additional issues with pronunciation and enunciation.

Overall, we did quite well for this component, but the amount of effort needed is definitely far greater than the 20% of marks that it brings.

Other information

Assignment workload: Heavy, as there is a video recording to be done individually.

Project workload: Also heavy, as there is a video recording to be done in a pair or group.

Readings: None

Recommended if: You are still interested in learning the Malay language after taking LAM1201.

Rating: 4.0/5. The module is better organised compared to LAM1201, but it can be quite stressful as it forces you to learn a new language at a rather fast pace.

Expected grade: B+

Actual grade: A-

Last updated