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Fostering Cross-Cultural Confidence: Transformative Insights from the Speak Up! Program for Military Personnel

GAMBANG, 2 August 2023 - The culmination of an enriching training endeavour offered by the Centre for Modern Languages (CML) on 2 to 3 August 2023 was marked by the conclusion of the Speak Up! programme. 

Attended by 24 participants hailing from the esteemed Markas 4 Briged Mekanize, Kem Batu 10, this transformative event unfolded within the welcoming compound of the Universiti Malaysia Pahang Al-Sultan Abdullah (UMPSA) Library, Gambang Campus. 

Guided by the expertise of Senior Lecturer Dr. Abdullah Adnan with the insightful instruction of Senior Language Teacher Noor Azlinda Zainal Abidin, this training session stands as a testament to the power of collaborative learning and personal development. 

Under the adept coordination of Senior Language Teacher, Nur Syafawati Sabuan who headed the Community Service Unit, Speak Up! 2023 has now achieved its successful completion as it has over the years.

Fostering Cross-Cultural Confidence: Transformative Insights from the Speak Up! Program for Military Personnel

The objective of the course was to help strengthen the confidence level of selected personnel from the army in communicating with the visiting foreign army in joint international exercises.  

In most exercises, the Malaysian Army must work in the same team as their international counterparts. 

In this situation, the ability to communicate well in English is a required skill to ensure smooth team cooperation and coordination. 

For that purpose, the army were exposed to techniques in doing small talks and they were trained to use certain expressions while at the same time being cautious with do’s and don’ts while socialising.  

The trainers also realised that, to a certain extent, the army personnel might be required to give briefings to a large group of audiences which may include international army personnel; hence they were also exposed to the skills to deliver effective presentations. 

In a bid to foster a truly global learning experience, the training session saw the inclusion of two international students who were invited to engage in enlightening conversations with the participants; Younus from Pakistan and Gideon from Gambia. 

This exchange not only facilitated the sharing of valuable information but also provided a platform for exploring cultural differences. 

Through these interactions, participants were able to broaden their horizons, gaining insights that transcended borders and enriching their understanding of diverse perspectives and engaging in cultural exchanges.

To complete the tasks for presentation components, the army personnel were asked to prepare a group presentation and deliver it to all groups at the end of the session. 

Although they were given a very short time to prepare for the presentation materials, they showed a high spirit to complete the task, just as they were trained to be ready to undertake assignments and execute them successfully. 

Fostering Cross-Cultural Confidence: Transformative Insights from the Speak Up! Program for Military Personnel

From four groups, Group 3 emerged as the best group and achieved the wow factor as demanded by the instructors. 

They displayed a degree of mastery of voice quality, appropriate nonverbal skills and presentable information in the slides.

In short, although the army personnel were very busy with their schedules, they managed to participate well and successfully complete tasks assigned to them. 

It is hoped that they are ready to meet any international army personnel in any joint exercises and able to communicate well, thus gaining a good rapport for the Malaysian Army. 

We would like to express our gratitude to CML, UMPSA, the Malaysian Army, and the army liaison officer Captain Nur Suhaili Ahmad Jamili and her team for coordinating a successful programme. 

As August is also the month the Malaysians celebrate our National Day, we humbly would like to thank the Malaysian Army for safeguarding our security day and night.

Thank you for your service! 

By: Dr. Abdullah Adnan Mohamed, Noor Azlinda Zainal Abidin And Nur Syafawati Sabuan, Centre For Modern Languages (CML)

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Admin UMP News