By Hazila Kadir @ Shahar

At times, the COVID-19 pandemic has led educators to lose momentum and excitement to handle students’ programmes outside the class hour. Many still believe that programmes involving students can only be excitingly conducted if they are carried out face to face, with the presence of crowds or spectators, followed by presentation of rewards and prizes that as a conclusion to an event. The arrival of the pandemic however, has changed this norm. At the height of the pandemic, when Movement Control Order (MCO) was tightly implemented, face to face programmes were put on hold for some months.

Perhaps a blessing in disguise, the restrictions to face to face activities have led to the emergence of online activities. Virtual programmes have been organised by global communities since the beginning of the lockdown. Using various platforms such as FB Live, Youtube, Google Meet, Zoom and many more, almost everyone gets the opportunities to participate in various online activities. Tapping on the potential of those platforms, Centre for Language Studies (CLS) in collaboration with the Students’ Representative Council, UTHM Johor have taken the initiative to organise an online programme called ‘e-Funnival’. The main objectives of the programme was to give UTHM students opportunities to participate in activities and hone their language skills.

The term ‘e-Funnival’ was coined by Dr. Hj Azmi Abdul Latiff, Deputy Dean (Research and Innovation) of CLS. ‘e’ means ‘electronic’ and the term ‘Funnival’ is a combination of the words ‘fun’ and ‘carnival’. As the name suggests, the online language carnival involve its’ participants in activities which are fun as well as entertaining and expose them to various online learning environment.

Since early 2021, three e-Funnival activities have been successfully carried out. In February, a talk show entitled Sembang Santai : Tampil Yakin , Aura Terserlah, It was a sharing session on public speaking. The maiden event managed to garner 1k viewers. The presenter was a UTHM Alumni, Mohd Redza Abdul Patah. The talk show drew huge and positive responses from the participants who were inspired by the speaker and asked many questions related to public speaking and oral presentations.

Pencarian Hos Terbilang was the next e-Funnival activity organised in May. Conducted in Bahasa Melayu and English and in two different categories, formal and informal, the competition aimed to search potential candidates to be hosts or master of ceremonies. Out of the eighteen participants, six made it to the final. It was a pleasant surprise to see how talented UTHM students in emceeing events or ceremonies.

In early Sept, another activity called ‘Voice Out Your Thought” was carried out. The event’s goal was to encourage students to share their thoughts on any issues or matters that can inspire people. Eight students participated. There were some interesting topics presented which range from serious matters such as strategies in coping with mental illness and loneliness to simpler matters such as lessons learned from fairy tales. As this event was conducted fully in English, both competitors and viewers were given the opportunity to fully use the language.

It is hoped that e-Funnival will flourish in future with more interesting activities and bigger number of students taking part. Not only it can help students to involve in activities outside normal learning routines, more importantly, e-Funnival can help to unearth students’ hidden talents and develop their confidence in using language for communication.


*Voice Out Your Thoughts


*Sembang Santai Tampil Yakin Aura Terserlah