Posted on June 10, 2012, Sunday
SIBU: The Sarawak Teachers’ Union (STU) has called for the services of foreign English language experts and consultants to be extended to teacher-training institutions.
STU president William Ghani Bina said this is so that more locals can be trained in the proper use and teaching of the language in the long term.
“Local language teachers will become more apt in the English language and pronunciation would come naturally as they need not think about how to pronounce certain words or even in communication given the multilingual setting in the Malaysian context,” he said.
For example, he said, training a Penan English language teacher who later returns to the community to teach the language would be a good motivator for Penan children.
“This is because the teacher knows the culture of the community better and the children would feel more comfortable.”
He pointed out that the culture of the school should revolve around that of the people.
Local teachers would also be better exposed to the thinking of native English speakers and their culture, he said.
Ghani added that Sarawak is not short of people who can be trained to impart the English language more effectively.
He noted that currently the native speakers are mainly helping Primary 1 and 2 teachers.
“They are more into the teaching of phonetics and grammar and helping teachers prepare their teaching aids, including how to teach the language effectively,” said Ghani.
He also highlighted the fact that in Peninsular Malaysia, one foreign expert takes care of three schools, while in Sarawak there is one for every five schools.
Last year, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the Education Ministry would hire 370 foreign English language experts to monitor the teaching of the language in Malaysian schools.