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Thursday, November 28, 2019

Oxford Fajar English Dictionaries

In our previous post on When to Use a Monolingual or Bilingual Dictionary, we explored the differences between a monolingual and bilingual dictionary and when a student should use either one of them. We also talked about age appropriate dictionaries for students in our first post on What Dictionary To Buy For My Child?

In this post, we will zoom in on monolingual English Dictionaries by Oxford Fajar Malaysia. As we mentioned in our earlier post, it is important to get an age appropriate dictionary because the dictionary is specifically written with an understanding of where students are in their development, and entries in the dictionary include the kind of language they will understand and can relate to.

Here are two best selling English dictionary for students from Oxford Fajar

For Primary School Students - Oxford Essential Dictionary

The Oxford Essential Dictionary is suitable for primary school students. With Oxford 2000 keywords showing the most important words to learn, words and phrases are explained in an easy language.

It includes 400 illustrations to help explain the more difficult words, 500 notes on spelling, grammar and speaking, 1,000 synonyms and opposites and 120 pronunciation boxes aimed at helping students avoid mistakes, learn new words and say them correctly.

It comes with a  CD-ROM containing the full dictionary, Picture Dictionary, exercises, language games, Oxford Genie and NEW iGuide, an interactive tutorial to help students explore dictionary entries.

For Secondary School Students - Oxford Student's Dicionary

The Oxford Student's Dictionary is suitable for secondary school students. With Oxford 3000 keywords showing the most important words to learn, the Academic Word List are clearly marked.
Collocations and thesaurus boxes help to expand student's vocabulary.

It includes 48 study pages to support student's academic writing and a guide to common areas.

There is also a bilingual word list for Science and Mathematics terms which is useful for learners to use English to study other subjects.

As with the Oxford Essential Dictionary, it comes with a CD-ROM
with Oxford Genie, iGuide, Exercises and Videos

Want to own one of these Oxford Fajar English Monolingual Dictionaries?

We have 5 to giveaway to readers, members and followers.

Click here to join our Facebook giveaway. Its simple. All you have to do is Like, Tag and Share and tell us which of these English Dictionaries you would like to have 
1. Oxford Essential Dictionary recommended for primary school students
2. Oxford Student's Dictionary recommended for secondary school students
Good luck!

This post was brought to you by Oxford Fajar Malaysia

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Back To School 2020 Promotions

Have you started your back to school shopping for 2020 yet? The school holidays may have just started but its not too early to start now as many retailers have started their back to school promotions.

Here's a quick look at some of the back to school shopping promotions from local retailers.

1. Back to School promo from Aeon Big (8 Nov - 31 Dec 2019)

There's a 20% discount for school uniforms from unform brands like Canggie, U-Cemerlang, MNK, Unggul and WHH School Classic Attire at Aeon Big. Note also that white shoes are now going cheap with just one more year to go before it is totally phased out in 2021. You can buy 2 pairs of white shoes for RM20 whereas a black pair starts from RM27 per pair. School bags are colourful and there is a big range from RM10.90 to RM188!

Download full Catalogue here: AEON Big Back To School National Catalogue

2. Back to School at Aeon until 5 Jan 2020

Aeon Retail sells Alpha Kids and Canggih brands of uniforms. You can find just about anything including short sleeve shirts, long sleeve blue shirts, long pants, short pants, pinafores, baju melayu at various prices. You can also find J-Kids brand of inner clothing for boys and girls. Bags selection are around RM39 to RM169 and mostly black shoes sold.

Besides uniforms, shoes and bags, you will need stationery, food containers, water tumblers. Do view the catalogue before you go shopping and circle some items that you have in mind to make shopping more organized and faster.

Download the full catalogue here: AEON Back To School Buying Guide

3. Parkson Back To School Exclusives


Uniform brands at parkson include Parkson School Shop and Canggih. Shoe brands include Bata, Pallas, Barbie and Hot Wheels. There are plenty of gift ideas for the little ones with coordinated bags and school stationery with famous cartoon characters.

Download the full catalogue here: Parkson Back To School Exclusives

4. Tesco School Shop (14 Nov - 4 Dec 2019)

A Star and Canggih uniform brands can be found at Tesco. Bag prices range from RM20 to RM200. As with the others, white shoes are going cheap. Note that the back to school promotion at Tesco ends on 4 December 2019.

Download the full catalogue here: Tesco School Shop - Beli Terus Senyum

Hope this compilation helps readers. Always be prepared with a list before you go shopping. Downloading the catalogue to compare prices is a quick way to do research before you spend. Circling the items you would like to get makes your back to school shopping more efficient without too much browsing and lingering around. The cashier lines can get rather long around this time of the year with holiday shopping as well.

Happy Shopping!

Monday, November 25, 2019

Fun Personalized Labels For Back To School 2020

It's that time of the year to start preparing and looking forward to the next year. This is especially exciting for parents with children going to school for the first time in 2020.

It's that time of the year to start shopping for school uniforms, bags, shoes and stationery. It's that time of the year to start wrapping books and labelling them. Gone are the days when we used to wrap books using recycled calendars from the year before. Now we have pre-cut plastic wrappers that make life so much easier. All you need to do is slip them into the books and voila your wrapping is done!

Nowadays we also have lovely, cute and fun personalized labels to label all of your child's stuff from tumblers to pencil cases and pencils, spectacles and even shoes. These school labels come in various sizes and can be personalized with your child's name, colour and favourite design. You can stick them on or iron them onto fabrics with special iron-on labels.

Iron-on labels are good for school uniforms and particularly useful if you send your child to after school care. You can also iron-them onto extra school curricular uniforms or gym clothing.

Pencils and colour pencils often get lost and one of the ways to prevent this is to use small labels to label the colour pencils.

Now, you can design and order your personalized name labels online and have them delivered to your home from Fun Printz. Orders of RM90 and above get free shipping from now till 5th, January 2020. Tip: If you are a first timer and not sure which to get out of the many types of labels available, choose the value packs. They come with different types of labels in a set including Small, Medium and Large labels, Round Shoe Labels, Iron-on Labels and bag tags too.

Have fun labelling!

This post was brought to you by Fun Printz


Want to try these labels for yourself! Fun Printz , has generously offered 12 prize package for 12 of you lucky readers !.To celebrate back-to-school in style; winners will win a Giveaway Label Pack Package! This is a perfect prize to ensure that your kids’ stuff will come home with them.

The labels are high quality labels and will stick strong and last long on most materials. They are waterproof, scratch- resistant, laundry safe and dryer safe too.

12 Lucky winners will receive a set of Giveaway Label Pack which includes the following labels:
  • 8 x Large Name Label
  • 8 x Medium Name Label
  • 15 x Small Name Label
  • 3 Pairs of Round Shoe Label
  • 30 Iron-on Clothing Label
  • 1 Large Bag Tag
Join the giveaway here:

Thursday, November 21, 2019

No more streaming for Form 4 wef 2020 - What To Expect

Guest Post: This post was written by Joanne Lee, a mother of two and an avid member of our Facebook group, The Malaysia Primary School Parents on Facebook. Come join us for more modern-day parenting discussions.

Recently, a new circular slash guide has been released by the Ministry of Education on the topic of the choosing of subjects since Form 4 students will no longer be subjected to streaming based on their PT3 results beginning 2020. If you are like me, you'd want to know the changes that are going to be implemented to carry out such a change that many consider a drastic and big change.

Let's take a look at what is in store for our Form 4 students in 2020.

Going Streamless

Beginning 2020, students in Form 4 can take SIX (6) core subjects, ONE (1) Compulsory Subject, and a maximum of FIVE (5) elective subjects. This means students can take up to a maximum of 12 subjects.

Core Subjects

  • Bahasa Melayu
  • Bahasa Inggeris
  • Sains
  • Matematik
  • Sejarah
  • Pendidikan Islam/Moral

Students must also take up Pendidikan Jasmani dan Pendidikan Kesihatan (from the compulsory subject list).

Elective Subjects

Here are the 6 elective groups available.

Language Group [11]

Here's what you can choose from in the Language Group.
  • Bahasa Arab
  • Bahasa Cina
  • Bahasa Tamil
  • Bahasa Iban
  • Bahasa Kadazandusun
  • Bahasa Semai
  • Bahasa Perancis
  • Bahasa Jepun
  • Bahasa Jerman
  • *Bahasa Korea (beginning year 2021)
  • *Bahasa Cina Komunikasi (beginning year 2021)

Humanities and Art Group [11]

Here's what you can choose from in the Humanities and Arts Group.
  • Prinsip Perakaunan
  • Ekonomi
  • Perniagaan
  • Pendidikan Seni visual
  • Pendidikan Musik
  • Geografi
  • Kesusasteraan Melayu Komunikatif
  • Kesusasteraan Inggeris
  • Kesusasteraan Cina
  • Kesusasteraan Tamil
  • Pengajian Keusahawanan (Sekolah Menengah Teknik only)

Islamic Studies Group [13]

Here's what you can choose from in the Islamic Studies Group.
  • Quran and Sunnah Education
  • Syariah Islamiah
  • Tasawur Islam
  • Usul Al-Din
  • Al-Syariah
  • Al-Lughah Al-Arabiah Al-Mu'asirah
  • Al-Adab wa Al-Balaghah
  • Al-Manahij Al-Ulum Al-Islami
  • Hifz Quran
  • Maharat Quran
  • Turath Dirasat Al-Islamiah
  • Turath Bahasa Arab
  • Turath Al-Quran wa Al-Sunnah

STEM Group [4]

Here's what you can choose from in the STEM Group.
  • Fizik
  • Kimia
  • Biologi
  • Matematik Tambahan

Applied STEM Science and Technology Group [12]

Here's what you can choose from in the Applied STEM Science and Technology Group.
  • Grafik Komunikasi Teknikal
  • Asas Kelestarian
  • Pertanian
  • Sains Rumah Tangga
  • Reka Cipta
  • Sains Komputer
  • Sains Sukan
  • Sains Tambahan (cannot be taken with Core Subject Science)
  • Pengajian Kejuruteraan Awam (Sekolah Menengah Teknik only)
  • Pengajian Kejuruteraan Mekanikal (Sekolah Menengah Teknik only)
  • Pengajian Kejuruteraan Elektrik dan Elektronik (Sekolah Menengah Teknik only)
  • Lukisan Kejuruteraan (Sekolah Menengah Teknik only)

Vocational Subject Group [22]

Here's what you can choose from in the Vocational Subject Group.
  • Pembinaan Domestik
  • Pembuatan Perabot
  • Produksi Reka Tanda
  • Menservis Peralatan Elektrik Domestik
  • Rekaan dan Jahitan Pakaian
  • Katering dan Penyajian
  • Landskap dan Nurseri
  • Tanaman Makanan
  • Reka Bentuk Grafik Digital
  • Produksi Multimedia
  • Pemprosesan Makanan
  • Akuakultur dan Haiwan Rekreasi
  • Pendawaian Domestik
  • Menservis Automoil
  • Gerontologi sas dan Geriatik
  • Penjagaan Muka dan Penggayaan Rambut
  • Asuhan dan Pendidikan Awal Kanak-Kanak
  • Hiasan Dalaman
  • Kerja Paip Domestik
  • Kimpalan Arka dan Gas
  • Menservis Motosikal
  • Menservis Peralatan Penyejukan dan Penyamanan Udara

How to Choose Subjects

Students must take 6 core subjects and 1 compulsory subject. However, there are two exemptions they can apply to their choices.

[1] If you take any TWO Pure Science subjects, you can be exempted from taking Science as a core subject.

[2] If you take any TWO of the following subjects, you can be exempted from taking Islamic Studies as a core subject.
  • Pendidikan al-Quran & al-Sunnah and Pendidikan Syariah Islamiah
  • Turath Dirasat Al-Islamiah and Turath Al-Quran wa Al-Sunnah
  • Usul Al-Din and Al-Syariah

With that in mind let's dive into how to choose the elective subjects.


The STEM Package has 3 options. Bear in mind that these are the minimum packages of subjects you need to take. Once you have chosen the bare minimum subjects, you can top up with other electives from any of the elective groups mentioned above.

Option 1 (Pure Sciences)
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Additional Mathematics
This option makes things straightforward. You end up with 5 core subjects (exempted from taking Science), 1 compulsory subject and 4 elective subjects. In this case, you can still take one more elective e.g. Visual Arts (see below) making the total subjects taken at 11 subjects.

Option 2
  • Take TWO (2) Pure Sciences subjects
  • Take at least ONE (1) elective subject of Applied STEM Science and Technology OR ONE (1) non-STEM elective subject

If you don't want to take all four Pure Sciences, you can take only two Pure Sciences subject and then opt for 1 from the Applied STEM Science and Technology group OR 1 non-STEM elective subject. This is the minimum. You can top up with other electives (maximum of five).

Option 3

  • Take at least TWO (2) elective subjects from Applied STEM Science and Technology OR ONE (1) Vocational Subject

If you do not want to take any of the Pure Sciences, that's doable. You just need to take at least two subjects from the Applied STEM Science and Technology Group OR one vocational subject.

The first example below shows two subjects from Applied STEM Science and Technology Group and one from the Humanities and Arts Group (total: 10 subjects).

The second example shows two elective subjects from Applied STEM Science and Technology Group and one from the Pure Sciences Group (total: 10 subjects).

The third example (above) shows just one elective vocational subject (total: 8 subjects). You can leave it as this or top up with four more electives.

Humanities and Arts Package

Things are not as restrictive if you are not taking the STEM Package. For the Humanities and Arts route, you can take elective subjects from Language, Islamic studies, Humanities and Arts AND/OR ONE (1) STEM elective subject (except Vocational Subjects).

The first example shows the a choice of the 5 core subjects, 1 compulsory subject and 3 elective subjects. The electives are from the Language group and two from the Islamic Studies group.

This second example shows a choice of 3 elective subjects from the Humanities and Art Group.

Finally, the third choice shows three elective subjects from the Humanities and Arts Group, and one from the STEM group.


  • Understandably, while students can make subject choices like what has been explained above, feasibility is dependent on school capabilities, such as availability of teachers, availability of classes, clashing schedules etc.
  • Some of the Vocational Subjects are available only in Sekolah Menengah Teknik.
  • For some of the elective subjects in the language group, students may need to seek classes outside of school, particularly for foreign language elective subjects.

If you want to see the circular in its entirety, please follow this link.

Credit for images in this post: Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia official website: Surat Pekeliling (SPI Bil 6 Tahun 2019 Pelaksanaan KSSM Menengah Atas dan Pakej Mata Pelajaran 2020)

What do you think about this setup?

When to use a Monolingual or Bilingual Dictionary?

Most of our kids in Malaysia have to learn at least two languages in school ie Bahasa Malaysia and English and at times a vernacular language too. Would this make the children confused? What about dictionary usage to help them expand on and learn new vocabulary? Which should we buy? A monolingual dictionary or a bilingual dictionary?

Difference between a monolingual and bilingual dictionary

A monolingual dictionary is one that uses only one language eg fully in Bahasa Malaysia or English whereas a bilingual dictionary translates words from one language to another. The translation can be one way or two way. For example English to Malay and another section for Malay to English.

When to use a monolingual or bilingual dictionary?

So which type of dictionary should you buy and when is the right time to use a monolingual or bilingual dictionary?

Use a bilingual dictionary when starting to learn a language 
When a child or student is new to a language, a monolingual dictionary is not very helpful by itself. Bilingual dictionaries are generally better during the initial stages of learning a language. It may help the learner to understand and solve their terminology problems unless the unfamiliar word has numerous entries.

Use a monolingual dictionary as you become more comfortable with a language
As the learner becomes more confident with the language, a monolingual dictionary will help the student to think in that language. This is very important in language learning. Using a monolingual dictionary at this stage will promote a more rapid expansion of passive vocabulary and language mastery.

These tips were brought to you by Oxford Fajar Malaysia

Giveaway for readers

Win Oxford Fajar’s best selling Kamus Dwibahasa with more than 7 million in Malaysia. (5 winners). Join Giveaway here.

Kamus Dwibahasa Oxford  Fajar is a two-way bilingual dictionary for students. The English-Malay section of this dictionary is derived from Oxford English Minidictionary, Eighth Edition published in the UK. This dictionary also contains many value-added bilingual supplements: List of Idioms, Istilah Sains; Istilah Matematik, Lima Organ Deria. Radas Makmal. Besides that, it is also accompanied by a Companion Website which provides additional material comprising of Language Tips (for both English and Bahasa Malaysia) and bilingual English-Malay ICT terminology for quick reference.

Friday, November 15, 2019

What Dictionary To Buy For My Child?

"What Dictionary To Buy For My Child" is one of the most frequently asked question in our Facebook group for parents with school going children.

Other FAQs on Dictionary include

  • Which is better? e-dictionary or traditional dictionary?
  • What dictionary to buy for SJKC kid?
  • Can you recommend a good dictionary for Std 1, Std 2 and so on
  • Do schools require a print dictionary? If so, what do you recommend?
  • Can you recommend a good Chinese/BM/bilingual/trilingual dictionary?
There are many more FAQs like that in our group. It's a good thing too because parents realize that it is important to build up their children's vocabulary when learning languages. The best way to do that is with a dictionary.

Things you should note when looking for a dictionary and comparing between electronic or traditional dictionary.

  1. Most schools currently do not allow children to bring e-dictionaries to school. It is expensive and may be stolen. It sometimes is loaded with some mini games which can be distracting to a student
  2. Some teachers will recommend parents to buy traditional book dictionaries. The reason why teachers prefer traditional dictionaries is because they want children to have the skill to learn how to look up words in a dictionary. When you use a book dictionary to look up words, it will improve your spelling and lead you to learn more new words.

Traditional Dictionaries vs Electronic Dictionaries

While online digital dictionaries are gaining traction, a good print dictionary is still important in many classrooms and homes. Finding words in an alphabetical order helps with a child’s spelling. In addition, print dictionaries do not have ads! A child will be more focused and engaged in his learning when using print dictionaries

Children Dictionaries Vs Adult Dictionaries

Here's a tip! When buying dictionaries for students, you should look for children's dictionaries. For example, the Oxford dictionaries for children are compiled specially for children. They have age-appropriate entries that are not just abridge versions of adult dictionaries.

Children will benefit most from a dictionary that is specially written with an understanding of where they are in their development, and entries in the dictionary include the kind of language they will understand and can relate to. It will include terms they encounter at school that adults rarely have to use. 

Parents are doing the right thing in asking questions before buying dictionaries because the importance of choosing the right dictionary cannot be overstated.

This post was brought to you by Oxford Fajar Malaysia.

Special Giveaway for 5 Lucky Readers

Tell us the age of your child and Oxford Fajar will giveaway an age appropriate dictionary for your child.

Saturday, November 02, 2019

Madagascar The Musical Tickets Giveaway

Hi there parents,

Deepavali is over, Halloween is over. SPM is starting soon. PT3 results will soon be out. As parents we watch for exam days, holidays and festival dates because the fact is we do have to plan our lives around these dates.

Here's one more date that you can watch out for... Year-end school holidays which starts on the last week of this month. We can also look forward to Madagascar the Musical which is going to be shown from 5-8 December 2019 at the KLCC Plenary Hall.

We are happy to give away 8 pairs of tickets to all our members, readers and followers from our website, blog and Facebook groups. Click on the link below for details and to join the Madagascar The Musical Tickets Giveaway. Hurry, because the giveaway ends on 10th November 2019 at 11.59pm.

Joining is easy. All you need to do is Like, Tag and Share the giveaway or contest post on Facebook and wait to see if you are the lucky winner!

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