Such a hot topic, sure got plenty of views. The first one by swifz on "freedom of choice" has been aptly answered by Smoking Gun. My other replies in purple. -------------------
SS - PLEASE do not look down on those who cannot speak coherent English, it doesn't mean that you are smarter and superior than they are, it just shows that you don't understand what is 山外有山，天外有天。 p/s: Zhang Xin Yu & JJ probably cannot speak coherent English as well, you still like them, don;t you? Is it because of their looks or just double standard ?
I do not look down on people who do not know English. My mum does not know English, but I am certain her choices and options in life would be enhanced if she did. No, I don't look down on my mum. We are all victims and creatures of our surroundings, environment and conditions - if you were born during the war period, you'd be lucky to get any kind of education. I am not against learning Chinese or Malay, go do it by all means... but for heaven's sake, learn English as a priority. I have explained why Science & Maths are so important to be taught in English - its the business, finance and research language of the world. What kind of parents are you to deny your kids, why curtail your child's options. By all means, study history in Chinese, or even Social Studies, or even Ethics, or even Asian History, go and learn calligraphy even ... but do not be blinkered into NOT studying English as a priority. SS, you are barking up the wrong tree when you use the girls knowledge of English as a predetermination of liking or not liking someone, that is so shallow and unnecessary.
I am not looking down on anyone, I am just scolding them and hope they will consider the broader picture. If after all that, you still want to drop English in those two subjects, then go ahead... as they say in cantonese, "you want to die, why should I stop you from dying..." (lei ngoi sei, ngor ngm bei lei sei meh) ... but before I make that statement, I hope to at least shout in anger about the consequences and bigger issues surrounding the matter. If after all that, you still want to "kill" yourself, then go ahead by all means.
Thanks to "random" for replying to SS' queries.
lol SS wtf is wrong with you?
If you are so adverse to profanities you should stop reading the post instead of emphasizing the use of the word FUCKING (there's already a disclaimer put out)
This is not about looking down on anyone.. this post is about arguing the point that those who study Science and Maths in English will have a competitive edge in the real world.
Please don't bring your inferiority complex here.
kinwing said... How about Taiwan of which population is only as big as us? So the English standard of most of the Taiwanese is not as good as us but they are integrated with the world well. There is another case from the former British colonial, Hong Kong. I think normal Hong Kong people do not master English very well, at least at the same level with Malaysian. But their competitiveness is much better than us!!! So I think mastering English is not a rocket science of making a person smarter just because he/she knows how to read reports in English. It is the determination of becoming success and attitude are the keys. By the way. I was chinese educated all the way from the primary (Sekolah Cina Kebangsaan), secondary (Chinese Independent High School, SUWA) to tertiary (New Era College, created by a Chinese association, i.e. Dong Jiao Zhong) education. And I only started to seriously learn about English when I was at college. Still I was able to manage to keep up the English standard though I can't say I am mastering it perfectly.
Kin, you are right in citing Taiwan as their population is 22m, but you should also know that there is a huge gravitation of their students to do their degrees in the US. Mastering English DOES NOT make a person smarter, thats not my point at all. Your kids will have an equal chance of being an asshole or a lazy bum or an under achieving good-for-nothing even with English.
At least next time, ask for bribe also can ask in English la...
... oh btw, there are plenty of retired teachers who have an excellent command of English that you can tap on a part time basis. They will be more than happy to help out, just double their last pay scale.
And finally, a sobering commentary from an actual English teacher ....
The best way to learn and master the English language is to learn and master the English language itself. Learning Science and Mathematics in English will, by itself, not improve one's standard of English. I should know because I actually teach English.
I can tell you that the best way for anyone to improve their English language skill is to read more books and magazines, and to speak it as much as possible. Forcing children to learn Science and Mathematics in English, when they don't yet have a grasp of the language itself, is of no significant advantage.
The Japanese, Taiwanese and South Koreans are technologically more advanced than us, but the average Japanese, Taiwanese and South Korean can barely hold a decent conversation in English. I should know because I have met Japs, Taiwanese and South Koreans, and talking to them is a real chore at times.
When I was but a wee lad, I studied Science and Maths in Bahasa Malaysia, and I do not believe that I have been disadvantaged in anyway as a result. What I did do was read lots of Beano, Dandy, Spiderman, the Star, NST, WW2 comics, and anything else I could get my hands on, besides watching English language programs on TV and radio. I also spoke English all the time with my schoolmates. Now this is where Malaysian children today are different from us grown-ups; they are more likely to speak their mother tongues instead of English. The Chinese kids will watch HK serials and movies and speak Cantonese or Mandarin with their peers, the Malay kids will stick to BM and the Indian kids will likely be speaking Tamil.
If the idea behind the teaching of Science and Maths in English is so that the children can be immersed in the English language, then you'd have to make English the standard medium of instruction, displacing Bahasa Malaysia. This means everything; Geography, History etc. I doubt if this will happen.
Another logistical stumbling block is the lack of Malaysian TEACHERS who can actually teach English, let alone Science and Maths in English.
In conclusion, the only realistic way forward is to get more English teachers into Malaysia to teach English to Malaysian children, and to encourage Malaysian children to read more books, listen to English-language radio, and speak more English.
p/s photo: Linda Chung Kar Yan