kheru2006 (kheru2006) wrote,
kheru2006
kheru2006

English language: System needs overhaul

I READ with interest the letters by Hassan Talib and Dorothy Chong, "Bring back English-medium schools" and "Children misled" (NST, Aug 15). I am happy many people are calling for a stop to the rot in education.

First, if we were to bring back English-medium schools, I am sure every parent would want to enrol his child in these schools. Therefore, we need to look into the problem of over-enrolment.


Second, where are we going to find the pool of English-educated teachers to teach in English? Definitely, we would have to rope in the retirees.


Third, are the administrators of education going to be the present lot, many of whom can't speak simple English? 

Fourth, bringing back English-medium schools would be similar to creating international schools in our education system. 

I am a product of an English-medium school in the 1960s. My parents, although illiterate, were farsighted enough to see the benefits of enrolling three of their children in such schools.


The other two, who went to a vernacular Chinese school, had a completely different nurturing. 

The three of us were deemed outspoken, blunt, bold and defiant to the extent of being rude. I suppose it was the result of our English-speaking background.

Although we had no one to converse in English with at home, we took to the language like ducks to water and had no qualms about speaking the language wherever we went.


Once, we were even told by our parents to stop speaking in English as people would think we were speaking ill of them since they could not understand the language. Imagine, we were told to stop using the language outside of school. 

Despite that, we survived and are fiercely independent adults today. My two other siblings, however, are more introverted. 

Which is the reason I don't believe in teaching English using another language; the same goes for Bahasa Malaysia and Mandarin. 

In order to get the hang of a language, we need English educators for English, Bahasa Malaysia educators for Bahasa and Mandarin teachers for Mandarin. As we can see, our education system has produced generations of bilingual speakers.

The entire system is in need of a complete overhaul.

LIM BEE HOON, Batu Pahat, Johor letters@nst.com.my

Source: 
The NST Home Letters to the Editor 2011/09/19
Tags: education, english, language, teachers
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