PETALING JAYA: The authorities need to do a serious review of the English language teaching system that is being used, said Malaysian English Language Teaching Association (Melta) president Assoc Prof Dr Ganakumaran Subramaniam.
“The Education Ministry needs to carry out a comprehensive research with students and ask them why they are having difficulty learning the language,” he said.
Dr Ganakumaran said another question that could be raised was why some students were able to grasp the language, adding that it did not matter if they were from rural or urban areas.
“There are students in an urban setting that find it difficult to become proficient in the language.
“It’s not the environment alone as there are many other factors outside the school environment. One of them could be ‘the tone’ being set for acquiring English proficiency outside the classroom,” he said.
He explained that a “positive or negative tone” was the message being sent on the importance of mastering and not just learning the language.
“Melta is willing to undertake a national study to support the Education Ministry to find out why this is happening,” he added.
Dr Ganakumaran was commenting on a statement by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Tuesday that “something is not right” when students are still struggling with the English language when they enter universities.
Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said English proficiency was low among Malaysian students because they lacked exposure to it once lessons were over.
She also said that teachers themselves needed to be proficient in the language.
“If they’re not proficient and interested, they won’t inspire the students,” she said, adding that language learning could not take place just within the designated lesson hours. The STAR Home News Nation Education December 12, 2014.