In conjunction with the 22nd MELTA International Conference held at Pesada, Johor on May 28, 2013, the Malaysian English Language Teaching Association (MELTA) awarded Professor Dr. Malachi Edwin, Dean, Taylor’s University School of Education with the MELTA Special Award. The presentation ceremony was officiated by DYMM Raja Zarith Sofiah Binti Al-marhum Sultan Idris, the Sultanah of Johor and Royal Patron of MELTA.
Being widely recognised as an international leader in English language teacher education, the MELTA Special Award was awarded to Professor Dr. Malachi for his contributions made in support of the MELTA mission for the development of the English language education in Malaysia. Being the highest award given by MELTA, the MELTA Special Award is given to individuals and organisations that have made and sustained meaningful contributions to the English language in Malaysia.
“MELTA hopes that the honour bestowed on one of your finest and highly reputable academics will further enhance the image and reputation of Taylor’s University,” enthused Associate Professor Dr. Ganakumaran Subramaniam, President of MELTA.
Professor Dr. Malachi’s involvement with MELTA began in 1989 when he was elected as a committee member and later as third President for seven years where he continued the work of his predecessor, the late Professor Dr. Hyacinth Gaudart by setting up MELTA Chapters throughout Malaysia, establishing the official MELTA website where members participated in online Special Interest Groups and had access to online research journals; and crafted awards to recognise school teachers. Among his major contributions was the initiation of MELTA-Sasbadi English Language Teaching Series publication which brought both Malaysians and regional researchers to the English Language Teaching community.
Professor Dr. Malachi has been involved in various agencies under the Malaysian Ministry of Education namely the Curriculum Development Centre, Examination Syndicate and the Teacher Training Division. In 2000, he was appointed a member of a special national committee set up by the Minister of Education Malaysia, to review strategies and raise the standard of English language proficiency among Malaysian students. He is also a founding member and Vice President of the Asian Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (Asia TEFL), playing an active role in developing English Language education in Malaysia and Asia. Being actively involved in various British Council projects in Malaysia and overseas, Professor Dr. Malachi co-chaired the 13th Oxford Conference on Teaching Literature in English. Recognised worldwide, Professor Dr. Malachi contributed significantly to teaching English as a second language (TESL), teaching literature in English, Malaysian literature in English and teacher professional development.
“I grew to enjoy teaching after I got into the profession. As I worked with my students, my passion grew for educating the young. The English Language and Literature in English have always been two subjects that I have loved as a student and when I began to teach. I found ways to make my students enjoy the language and read the literary texts. It has been very rewarding first, teaching students and then training teachers to teach. It’s something I will continue doing as it is so much more than a job or a profession for me,” enthused Professor Dr. Malachi Edwin.
The MELTA Special Award was previously won by the late Datuk Razali Ismail, the former Deputy Minister of Education (2009); Dato’ Paul Mony Samuel, the former Secretary General of the Asian Football Confederation (2010); Sasbadi Sdn Bhd (2011) and Professor Dr. Hyacinth Gaudart (2012).