Our Student Makes History!

21 04 2010

Ashley receiving her Kumon Bandar Sunway Completer Tribute Video*

Ashley Lim Xian En, nine years old, is Malaysia’s youngest English completer to date. She passed the English Completer’s test in October 2009, while she was only 8years and 10 months old.

Kumon HQ staff recently interviewed her and mummy, and here are their thoughts.

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What kind of stories do you usually read?

I like to read fairy tales, mysteries and adventures like Harry Potter.

In your journey to completion, which section of the English worksheets seemed to be the most challenging?

I think it is the sections with critical writing and the Shakespeare plays.

What happened if you didn’t understand them?

Mommy will patiently explain the passages to me and sometimes my instructor will give me a very big book to check words I don’t understand. It’s the dictionary.

You set your own study plan at the higher levels and you did not plan any repetitions. Why did you feel there was no need for repetitions?

Because I read the passages again and again, like 100 times, and when I don’t understand it, my Instructor or mommy will explain it to me. So if I already know the answers, why should I repeat?

Why did you want so much to complete the programme?

I wanted to complete it since the first time my instructor told me about the completion test. I want to complete it even more after joining the High Achievers Camp (HAC) in 2008. I have seen a lot of completers at the event and I wanted to be like them.

After completing the programme, what do you think is the major change in you or what have you learned throughout the journey?

I think I have learned a lot of Old English and I can now understand it better. Completing the programme has also exposed me to more books for reading. I think the major change in me is relishing poetry; previously I would fall asleep upon seeing poems. I begin to like it now.

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Kumon HQ staff also spent some time to interview Ashely’s mum, Florence. Below is an extract of the interview. She shares how we can play a more meaningful role in supporting our children’s journeys in Kumon.

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Would you like to share how you guided Ashley through the difficult higher levels of Kumon worksheets?

I actually studied the contents before she did the work so that when she has problems attempting it, I could explain it to her. For example, when there are literature pieces which I was unfamiliar with, I would look into it and learn it myself. Sometimes, I would also ask the instructor for tips on how to guide Ashley.

Young children usually encounter challenges in deciphering the meaning of words used in literature especially in poems or plays. How did you explain ‘challenging’ terms to her?

Erm, I would actually link it to the facts of life or link it to our daily life. Like for the term ‘adultery’, I used mommy and daddy as an example, and then explained it to her. I mean the scenes in literature are the real life situations that she may encounter in future so why not prepare her and let her understand it now?

Five years have passed since she first enrolled in Kumon and Ashley has successfully become Malaysia’s youngest English completer. How do you feel about this?

Phew. At last. (smiles happily). It is a good headstart and this will let her have the chance to experience the feeling of being able to achieve and complete something she has started.

There were also times when Ashley felt like quitting. What do you think kept her going and how did you help her stay motivated?

Well, first of all, I think it is Ashley’s own desire and determination to achieve something that she wanted. As for me playing the parent’s role, I would have a good talk with her and allow her to let out all her difficulties, get the anger out and start again. Basically it is a norm in life where we would fall and as a parent, I have to help her get up again. So it’s a process of falling and picking up again.

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Instructor’s note: I will be publishing the interview that Kumon HQ staff conducted with me in a later post.

* Every Kumon Bandar Sunway Completer gets a personalised tribute video made by me. We’ve had 2 Kumon Completers so far, and we are looking forward to see another 2 students becoming Completers in 2010!





What Kumon aims to achieve

26 09 2008

Mention Kumon, and many people will associate it with Maths. Some would have seen their friend’s or relative’s children doing their Maths homework very rapidly. But although many people have heard of Kumon, not many know of its true benefits.

In a nutshell, Kumon focuses on: Read the rest of this entry »








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