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Why do learners fail to understand clearly what they read in English? Why do they have problems to express their ideas in written English? Why do learners have little interest to read English novels or magazines? Basically, the three questions above share a similar answer that is they lack English vocabulary. This is indeed an "ancient" issue among many Malaysian ESL learners.

There are a few serious questions here. What have you, the English teacher, done to enrich your intermediate and weak learners' vocabulary? Do you have an effective and ongoing vocabulary enrichment programme? Do you encourage your learners to enrich their vocabulary systematically? If your answer is yes, Congratulations! However, if it is 'No', then, it is high time for you to reflect on your role as an English Language teacher who should always try his or her best to widen learners' vocabulary systematically, effectively and consistently.

For sure, there is no one single way to enrich learners' vocabulary. Any method or programme is fine as long as learners can engage themselves in a vocabulary enrichment programme systematically, effectively and consistently (these three words are repeated as they reflect the three important criteria of a good vocabulary enrichment programme). Here, I would like to offer e-VOLTS (Enrichment of Vocabulary on Long Term Scheme) which I developed in 2015. Actually, I implemented this vocabulary enrichment programme in 2009 but the name e-VOLTS was created in 2015.

In this vocabulary enrichment programme, I embrace the Frontier System concept, developed by Prof. Dr. Johnson O'Conner (1920). Please click here to understand more about e-VOLTS, the Frontier System and how it should be implemented. So far, I can see positive results especially among committed ESL learners. No doubt, there are some lazy learners who refuse to enrich their vocabulary on ongoing basis. Well, that is normal. Having some learners who cannot discipline themselves well to enrich their vocabulary is one stark reality and challenge when you implement e-VOLTS. Frankly speaking, I am not worried about this small group of learners too much. What is more crucial will be the majority of learners who are committed to e-VOLTS.

Teachers, trust me. There are many learners out there who want to improve their vocabulary but they do not know how. They are hardworking and love learning English but they have nobody to guide them well. Those learners will be excited when you introduce e-VOLTS to them (or any effective vocabulary enrichment programme). To me, it is a waste if those learners are not guided properly to enrich their vocabulary.

This year, because of the learners' discipline issue in implementing e-VOLTS, I have created e-VOLTS POP (2018) which stands for Enrichment of Vocabulary on Long Term Scheme: Power of Parents. This time, I get the parents involved. Why? Parents will play the roles of a motivator, supervisor and "discipline master" at home. They are going help us (English teachers) to make sure their children learn 5-10 new words per day. Please click here (Kertas Konsep, Bahan Edaran) for more details about e-VOLTS POP. I always believe there are parents who will make sure their children learn 5-10 new words per day at home. I know I cannot get all parents to do that but even if 10% of the parents play their roles well, that is a success!!! This year could be 10%, next year 20% and hopefully the percentage gets bigger and bigger in future, in shaa Allah. Moreover, e-VOLTS POP also contributes another Highly Immersive Programme (Outreach) to my school, SMK Taman Mutiara.

Teachers, I know you also want the best for your learners and school. You have been working days and nights to achieve your ETR. Why don't you implement one systematic, effective and ongoing vocabulary enrichment programme for all your learners (Forms 1-5) ? If you like e-VOLTS or e-VOLTS POP, by all means, please take it. Adopt and adapt it as you wish. Trust me, when our learners' vocabulary becomes wider and wider, they will be able to understand what they read better and they will be able to express themselves better either in written or spoken English, in shaa Allah. If these are a reality, definitely, our ETR or KPI in public examinations can be achieved well too.

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