Johor takes the lead to improve English language proficiency & AI skills among school teachers

Primary school teachers in Johor all for improving English language proficiency & AI skills

JOHOR BAHRU, March 29: More than 400 primary school teachers in Johor got acquainted with the latest apps to improve their teaching of English and acquire skills in AI at a workshop here last Wednesday

The workshop was through a collaboration between the Johor education department (JPN), Johor English Language Teachers Association (Jelta) and University Book Store Malaysia (UBSM).

Keith Thong, group managing director of UBSM, said the workshop was a success following positive feedback from the teachers.

“It is just the beginning,” he said, adding that UBSM has an array of software and resource persons to ramp up a better appreciation of these useful apps and techniques.

Keith Thong on the usefulness of AI-Assisted apps

The teachers were exposed to professional hybrid English Language Teaching (ELT) learning resources that are commonly used by schools besides showcasing the efficacy of those applications from case studies around the world.

“The teachers were shown the benefits of reading with role-playing, an approach that promotes inclusivity and positive engagement with their students,” said Thong. “When the children have a role or stake in their classroom, this makes learning and playing into a personal and meaningful learning experience.”

Thong explained that these personalised learning experiences mattered a lot as each individual is different from another.

At the workshop, UBSM also demonstrated its range of bespoke AI-Assisted reading programmes commonly used in private and international schools around the world, which revealed how readers can eventually blossom to become creators as well and go as far as their creative imagination allows them.

Thong disclosed that the teachers were also shown how to apply creative colouring resources to “make one’s classroom more magical”.

The participants were also given a brief tutorial on how Generative AI could increase their productivity, shorten their work flows and enrich their knowledge base within a short time frame.

“We had actually brought AI learning to schools in Johor before everyone else,” said Thong in reference to a recent announcement by Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek that primary school pupils will be taught the basics of artificial intelligence (AI) starting from 2027.

Resource persons Franklin Styne & Alastair Cameron (3rd & 4th from left) at a school in Taman Seri Pulai

He said his team later interacted with members of the Library Prefects’ Board of a school in Taman Seri Pulai.

“We were pleasantly surprised to find that the prefects were ahead of the curve as they were already using AI in their school homework,” he revealed.”This development certainly calls for teachers to be ahead of the game as well.”

Thong said UBSM hoped to expand its tutorials to more states and schools in its mission to help ensure better employability for students who have a better command of the English language through advanced AI-Assisted language applications.

Proficiency in English is often considered crucial for better employability due to its role in facilitating global communication, accessing information and opportunities, building networks, and developing valuable skills sought after by employers in various industries.

Keith Thong can be contacted at, or 0122146838.