Sunday, June 14, 2009

Teach Syains & Madds In Engris, You Im-be-ci-les

* this posting is filled with profanities because it reflects my anger, and profanities are used as a means for clarity and emphasis, not justifying my usage, just explaining

Why I chose to use "imbeciles", if your English is so poor, you don't even what demeaning things the rest of the world is saying to you, about you. Why some parents and so called special interest groups are so intent on pushing for Science & Maths to be NOT taught in English is beyond me.... its as if our children's command of English is SO FUCKING GOOD now that we can afford to "gostan"...

1) Just 3 fucking subjects in English, is that too fucking much... English, Science & Maths ... you have the other 6,7 or 8 fucking subjects in Malay, Chinese or even Tamil already. If 6,7 or 8 subjects are not enough to "maintain" the culture, knowledge, usage and competency of the said languages... I don't know what will.

2) How many published scientific papers in Malay and Chinese... hah??!! We study these subjects in English because we can access the latest scientific paper, progress, medical developments, ideas, technologies... because they are mainly in English. We study English not to kowtow to the Brits or Americans but because its the most widely adopted language business, finance, science and technology.

3) We are only 26 million ... as a small population, we cannot exert the usage of our language to other countries. If you are big enough, have sustainable domestic demand, then can say "fuck care" to the rest of the world's investments ... then by all means do everything in your own language - just like the Thais or Japanese or even the Chinese. Still, I see most Chinese students from China struggling like mad when they try to complete their Masters or Phds in English language. Maybe they could have been so much better and productive if they had mastered English when they were younger.

4) Its all about options, if all you know is Malay... the choice of employment for your children: Malaysia and maybe Indonesia. If its Malay & English ... its probably three quarters of the entire fucking globe... how many jobs available in Malaysia & Indonesia, now compare that to how many jobs in 75% of the world. If your kid can only master Chinese & Malay, his/her options are Malaysia, Indonesia, China and Taiwan ... If my kid has only English - its again 75% of the fucking world baby. DO NOT LIMIT THE OPTIONS & OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUR KIDS - when your kids have these options and opportunities, it will naturally mean better things for Malaysia and Malaysians - the ability to be integrated to the global economy is paramount in securing the future of Malaysia.

5) Do you fear that your children will end up leaving the country and working, living, contributing somewhere else? How attractive a country is is dependent on how "valuable and knowledgeable" your people are? Do not be blinded to think that brain drain will be greater if they study more English, that is so narrow minded. In order to ensure that our country move up the value chain, our infra and knowledge workers need to be continually improved.

6) Some are saying we should not do Science & Maths in English because our teachers are incompetent in that language. That is like saying we will stop fighting dengue mozzies because our equipment are not good enough. Do not be so silly, address the issue, if there are obstacles, deal with the obstacles, ... not forget the issue. If the teachers need training, supply the training, get in some part time instructors to fill the gaps - there are plenty of graduates who have completed TEFL or other similar papers, go check with British Council.

I cannot tell you how many graduates I have interviewed who have basically taken themselves out of the short list within 30 seconds because they cannot speak coherent English. This experience is not unique, my many friends in various industries can testify to that. So how, they will have to go back to apply to government departments and Chinaman companies ONLY - not that that's bad in itself, but its such a waste to limit your potential and marketability.

p/s photo: Zhang Xin Yu


Eric How, said...

Agree with your view. But can the rest? (Mostly)
Not an easy task to reach that goal. "Teach Syains & Madds In Engris"

swifz said...

Totally disagree with you. There is no freedom when you impose your will on others. This is like when you think kissing corrupts the mind. So no kissing in the movies. This is like thinking that dressing short skirt invites rape, so you ban short skirt. What is right what is wrong? Are you more wise to decide this?

I always believe in freedom and the strength of diversity. Let every one teach using their way. The parents will decide what is best for their children. Learning different methods ensure that if one method fails, we can count on other methods to survive. It is just like planting rice, you don't have the whole country planting the same species because if a disease strike that species, the whole country will die of hunger.

If parents think that English have its strength, then they will send their children to English school and other type of school will slowly lose out the students. The idea is that we let the parents to make the decision. This is what free economy means. It is not good to have the government control every aspect of our life. This makes us become like communist.

Freedom of choice!!!!!!

AnakMelaka said...

Hear Hear!

Time to choose - either progress like Turkey or start Taliban culture like Pakistan!

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 Wing

SmokingGun said...

We elect a govt as a steward for this generation and to lay the foundations for the next. Which includes debatable education policies such as this even though some quarters may debunk the wisdom of teaching the two subjects in English.

The reasons for objections cited include absurd reasons such as national pride, losing one's Malaysianness, etc, which Dali has so eloquently argued otherwise.

Freedom and strength in diversity is an aspiration and good ideal.. but it will only prosper within well defined and stipulated boundaries, or structures.. Especially in small developing nations like Malaysia, with a substantial rural population, there is a need for the government to act as a shepherd. Total freedom is suicidal.

Parents that are illiterate or monolingual, will tend to perpetuate the cycle, as they are keeping within own comfort zones.. meaning that their children and future generations shall find it difficult to break out of. Govt are supposed to be there for the people, and they are given the mandate to lead them... not for the people to lead them... The poor parent often makes uninformed decisions (often wrong ones), and if it was left on their own, most kids would be out of school..
(The rich wouldnt even bother cos it doesnt affect them.. All their kids are overseas studying anyway)

Malaysia is a small country.. and the language is relatively new.. it would take a herculean effort to translate all the existing scientific texts out there, not to mention the new dissertations and journals appearing everyday in English (and Chinese/Japanese). Better to teach our young to fish (English/Chn/Jap/German/whatever) than to feed them everyday (translate into BM)

This policy has already been in place for a few years already.. if i am not wrong, the statistics has not shown that the overall grades has been affected. It is just politicizing and posturing by certain quarters. The more this issue rages on (which it has gone on for a long while, and has seen some fiery and racist overtones), the more I believe that the future of this country is shrouded with bigotism and close mindedness.. already the livelihoods of many are threatened by the recessionary clouds that hang over us now.. but we seek to deflect this and argue to overturn policies that will reverse our progress and undermine our competitiveness...(its no longer our "cheap" labor..and no, we are not that high up the value chain to be supreme innovators... its our English speaking workforce, stupid..!)

And you wonder, why so many middle-class folk think bout migrating...

SS said...

Dali, I do not know what actually make you so angry, is it because Science & Maths to be NOT taught in English in PRIMARY schools ? or SECONDARY schools and Universities ?

If you are referring to PRIMARY school, I do not understand why you want to deny other ppl's right to learn S&M in their mother tongue. You seriously think Primary school student can learn English & S&M at the sam time. Why force Chinese & Tamil students to learn S&M in 2 languages (yes , 2 languages now, if you do not already know, thanks to MCA & MIC). You are right that there are still 6,7, 8 subjects FUCKING subjects in Malay, Chinese or even Tamil BUT teachers just do not have time for these FUCKING (your word not mine) subjects, thanks to MCA & MIC again for the same reason above.
If we are keen to improve the English for our students why not increase the English teaching time in PRIMARY school, isn't it how we shld learn our English? Since when we can learn to improve our English thru S&M and NOT thru grammar teaching? Oh yeah, another thing, those FUCKING (your word, not mine) 6,7,8 subjects are not exam. subjects in UPSR so you think student will care to learn those non-exam. subject ?

On the other hand, if you are referring to SECONDARY & Uni. go ahead to change whatever FUCKING (mine word) subjects to English because by that time those who study S&M in their mother tonguehave already built up stronger foundation on S&M (using their mother tongue in PRIMARY school ) at the same time have better understanding in English (if we really teach good English in PRIMARY)

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 ?

random said...

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.

Arn said...

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.

SS said...

Dear random,

So sorry, I forgot to put up a disclaimer. I didn't know that if one put up a disclaimer then he/she can use the word FUCKING without being hammer by others.

The teaching of Science and Maths in English should be carry out once the student has built up the strong foundation using their MOTHER TONGUE (B. Malaysia, English, Mandarin, Tamil) in PRIMARY school.

For national SECONDARY school and beyond, Science & Maths should be taught in English, but if one decide to further their Secondary in other private school that is their choices. Why deny their right ?

vanitycottage said...

totally agree with your view on teaching science & maths in english.
take my case for instances, born in a non-english speaking family but have self master english the hard way through trials and errors and laughs by classmates but it makes me remember the english hard to avoid any embarrassment in future.
moreover, 90% of the science and maths books are in english (except those translated). Please bear in mind in order to translate those books to either B.Malaysia or chinese comes with a cost. why pay for more when you actually can read it directly from original english books?During my university times, most of the subjects were taught in B.Malaysia by lecturer but those reference books are in english and our exam is in B.Malaysia.Do you feel isn't it weird?we have to do double job by translating the meaning to B.Malaysia according to our understanding. Its really stupid isn't it...Moreover, we are now into a globalization world and it does not means the more english speaking you are the more american or britains you are!!!its actually helps in communication and understanding among each and every different culture and characters of a society better and thus towards a peaceful human nation.
Back to english teaching, recently I took CFA Level 1 exam and imagine how many books and subjects we need to read and understand and the most important is everything is in english!! FYI, CFA is a global recognize designation and need to compete with global candidates to pass the level. Some of the subjects and terms are things I learnt in University but unfortunately its english in CFA and B.Malaysia in local university. Therefore, I need to re-learn it again!!
By the way, its not saying teaching in B.Malaysia and chinese is not good but we need to face the reality my dear friends..when there is a time books of science and maths is written in B.Malaysia and chinese and scientists and innovators creates new products using B.Malaysia and chinese..but not now!!So, please don't ruin next generation futures by our stupid ego to educate them in B.Malaysia or chinese. By the way,do you thinks its possible for a chinese or B.Malaysia educated scientist, lawyer or doctors to communicate with other country conterparts in B.Malaysia or chinese?think again my friend..isn't it we are ego?
Anyway, learning chinese and B.Malaysia and maybe tamil as language will enhance our marketability and shows we are living in a diversity culture countries with mutual respects!!!Please don't just live within own society or we can call it 'kampung'..!!we need to be daredevil leave our comfort zone and create a 'dare to try' and risk taker society!!

wizardteo said...

I'm not just totally agreed with you but also same view as you, today I feel good to see your writing that so logical and right about the english... short skirt invites rape?, can teach them karate/jujitsu, teach the boy n man the right moral attitudes when they learn not to use "it owns stick to measure" now it think of a story of the frog. embraseement?pls forgive me if i had make some ppl angry.

see said...

Wow, Dali, the pandora's box open again. Nothing more sensitive when it comes to mother tongue. Perhaps should go back to status quo ie allow English & Maths in mother tongue & forget about English so it will help those with good grasp of English will have upper hand in terms of employability....hehehe...whoops! now will get profanities for being selfish