Good English will get us far

Sunday August 12, 2012

http://thestar.com.my/education/story.asp?file=/2012/8/12/education/11767335&sec=education

LET’S HEAR IT

I STRONGLY believe that schools should teach Mathematics and Science in English for a number of reasons.

To begin with, these subjects are taught in English in universities locally and globally. Scientific findings and research papers are usually published in English and our students can grasp their contents if they are strong in the language. In fact, tonnes of good reading material are written in English.

When it comes to job prospects, vacancies in the government sector are rather limited, so graduates look for employment with national and international companies. No matter what their academic achievements, those proficient in English will find themselves more marketable.

Another challenge we have to deal with is teachers. Are they up to it? Will they get out of their comfort zone and learn from scratch if they have to, in order to be competent in teaching Maths and Science in English for the good of our students?

I hope all those concerned can have an open debate about this, as well as sit down for a heart-to-heart discussion.

Those who don’t have the chance to study Maths and Science in English at school will find the subjects daunting when they pursue higher education.

I believe that proficiency in English helps us stay relevant, knowledgeable, competitive and on the cutting-edge,

I am an Iban. If we were to expect others to use and respect our language, we Ibans must first get the world to recognise us by doing well politically, socially and economically.

The same goes for other languages. Take the Japanese language, for example. Why is this language being taught in many schools and universities around the world?

The reason is because the Japanese people have created so many wonderful things that the world has no choice but to learn from them.

How did the Japanese become so successful in innovation? A key factor is their long collaboration with the Americans in technology. How did they understand each other? Through language or miming? I bet you know the answer.

The Japanese mindset is like this: They can make anything out of nothing. If you teach them to make something, they can make everything out of that something.

For example, they learnt from the Americans how to make the engine. Gradually, they came up with their own engine which was better than the American engine.

With this kind of mindset, Malaysians can advance in every field of endeavour. But first, we need to have a good command of the English language.

CONCERNED TEACHER