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Hi. I am Professor Puan Sri Dr. Rohaty Mohd Majzub. Currently I am a Professor in Faculty of Education.I love to interact with everyone and learn something new. I believe in meeting a new friend everyday.However at times i am disheartened when other bloggers used my website to advertise their websites on google or abuse my website by changing the content of my articles.This is an unprofessional act. I hope this will stop. Thanks to those who participate in this website.I really appreciate your time and ideas.You are invited to visit my other websites: http://rohaty.edu.my http://rohaty-school-readiness.com http://rohaty.keciciran.edu.my

SELAMAT HARI RAYA AIDIL FITRI & SALAM TO ALL

I am looking forward to share my personal and professional knowledge and experiences related to social-educational issues and challenges locally and internationally. I believe that much can be generated and learn cross culturally deriving from the varied diversity found in the education systems. Thus i welcome any thoughts, ideas, opinion and feedback on any educational issue which can contribute to both understanding theories and building educational implications. Issues can be very controversial but we have to address them open mindedly and creatively.My present interests are in child development, adolescent psychology,educational governance and policies and the science and art of teaching and research.Once again you are most welcome!!!!


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

TO BE OR NOT TO BE ??? THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE ISSUE

I must say the debate on the use of English has been dragging for too long . Every one has his or her opinion depending from where one comes from and what values one uphold. In philosophy i remembered there is actually nothing right or wrong depending on how one substantiates one's stance. If it is logical its ok provided one does not hurt oneself or the welfare of others.Thats why my late colleague and esteemed lecturer, Prof Hassan Langgulung says "well you either be a philosopher or be a good housewife" Well that might be too simplistic. I may be biased indeed because i was brought up in English medium . Infact i went straight to English medium school. Well what do i have to say? I will say that it is ok to make English compulsory to pass SPM.
Why ?because i believe in the utility value of English .I believe English is international. Apologies i am not saying BM is of lower status or value. From my experience i have seen students who are good in English are the ones who did English for special purposes and who have to read English texts for academic references. To develop your language proficiency you have to read widely and if the references are up to date in English you must read. No way to avoid that. Do not mistrust me. I love BM too. I had excellent grades in BM . I can express myself well in BM. I am creative in BM. I compose poems in BM. One therefore has to have the best of both world and be articulate in both. What makes you a better scholar? definitely if you are multi lingual and you know several languages. Infact at the kindergarten you must teach two languages and an extra foreign language like Japanese or Arabic. We have to be open minded about this knowledge seeking in a knowledge based society .Use all avenues to grap all the knowledge. If i am younger you bet i will learn four or five languages. You must trust yourself and trust others to trust themselves to learn. Learn for the sake of learning and learn for the sake of kbnowledge

13 comments:

  1. I think retaining the teaching of Science and Maths in English will not cause Malay language to lose favour among the people. Over emphasizing the importance of Malay language at the expanse of other matters in education curriculum might cause the people to move further from appreciating the true beauty and elegance of this language.

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  2. I think that people should learn in English. You're not going to lose your roots just because you practice another language!

    If we keep on "looking down" to the students in rural areas, how are they supposed to progress? I know teachers too need to brush up on their language skills and there are plans to overcome that.

    Any sort of planning would take time, and nothing will be achieved in a day.

    But a step has to be taken. And that step has to be done now and stop expecting instant results. This is not Maggi Mee. It's a learning process, it has to take time. People, be more supportive and stop making claims that we would lose our roots. It has never gone, it's always within us.

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  3. I feel this should be an issue of the utility of learning a second language rather than politics. I agree with you that learning ANY language is useful, especially if it helps you to communicate better with people. One wouldn't laugh at a tour agent who wanted to improve his Italian, if his tourists are mainly from Italy. What more a language that happens to be the international language of commerce, international relations & many other areas. I have been told by Medicine Beyond Borders that Malaysian doctors are favoured by this international relief organisation because we are multilingual. Therefore, it appears that multilinguistic skills do give us an edge. I feel we shouldn't see the different languages in Malaysia as necessarily competitive - pushing for better English standards does not mean that other languages will be ignored. Perhaps even English could be seen as an integrating language - which may lead to better integration between rural & urban students. So let us focus on what is better for our students' futures rather than politics.

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  4. Dr Khoo Kok Siong (PTK5)June 13, 2009 at 12:56 AM

    English is everywhere. It has been most people's default second language in the world. As we can expect from the globalization, we've to face the fact that English is gradually permeating to our daily activities. No doubt about that. I've the same opinion with Sara (you're not going to lose your roots just because you practice another language). I was grew up in Chinese medium but compelled myself to learn English. I'm certain that by knowing more than one language can bring instant merits to individual. For this reason and for our young generation, I'm agreed that English is a "must pass" subject in SPM.

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  5. I grew up as kampung boy..the kampung people does not realise the important of english language for their children. Most of the English Teachers in my kampung does not performing well to teach their students because lack of motivating factors such as school conditions and unmotivated students. So i do not agree to make English as compulsary or must pass in SPM. This cause unjustice to those in kampung. Perhaps the Education Ministry can improve the school's facilities first before make the English must past in SPM. We must thing carefully before imposing any rule to our kids especially those in kampung.

    Dr. Jasri Jamal (PTK 5)

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  6. Dr Abdul Razak AhmadJune 17, 2009 at 9:29 PM

    Dr Abdul Razak Ahmad (PTK5)

    In my opinion, not all the students can use English language fluently because of various factors. Therefore, the ministry should reconsider the policy of all students should pass in their English in order to get the certificate. I could not imagine what will happen to those students that come from disadvataged families. I think the best thing to do right now is to revise the method of teaching English to make it more more interesting and the students could master the language better. Second, do new approaches (pilot project) for rural students to find ways to solve the problems acquring the English language. Third, give extra training for teachers who teach the students in rural areas. Fourt, give incentives to teachers in rural areas. Fifth, add more period of teaching English in schools. Sixth, make sure to teach English in easy way and fun and focus on basic grammar, writing and communication skills. Do not pressure so much on students learning English the hard way. Seventh, change the English assessment from examination to more flexible ways of writing. In conclusion, we could help our students to master English language using many ways, not just making the policy and pressure the students more.

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  7. Would a compulsory pass in English for SPM make a difference to the standard of English? Yes, students might take English seriously. But I think the more urgent issue that has to be tackled is the standard of teaching of English. A lot of our English teachers have sub-standard proficiency in English. I have heard many horror stories of English teachers who can't pronounce properly, who make errors in grammar etc. How many students have they ruined by their poor knowledge? I think if we were to ask our English teachers to sit for MUET, not many of them would get Band 5 or 6 (the higher bands). Wong Fook
    Fei (PTK 5 - Kumpulan 13)

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  8. Dr Mazita Ami (PTK 5)June 22, 2009 at 6:10 AM

    Proficiency in English is important. We cannot escape from the fact that English is an international language. For us to remain globally competitive we must master more than one language. However language is not an easy subject to teach and to learn if one is not passionate about it. There's nothing to be ashamed of when we make grammatical mistakes because even the native English speakers do the same. But being able to read and use it fluently is the objective. English literature should be introduced back in schools. Even Bahasa Sastera for that matter to inculcate a love for languages. Persevering to teach Maths and Science in English should also be encouraged because we lack good reading materials in BM for those subjects. There's not enough effort to translate great works into BM. The transition period may be long but I think it'll be worth it in the end. Besides our curriculum still presents Maths and Science in a bilingual manner. So maybe, just maybe, BM can grow at the same time to become the language of science.

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  9. Amir rabu(PTK 5)June 24, 2009 at 2:50 AM

    In my opinion, in this modern days we must be able to understand English. It is one way to make yourself being heard. English will not make you forget who you are. It is just another language to communicate with more people and nations. However, this language sometimes is not well spoken for some people because of lacking exposure and practice. This can be overcome by making learning English more fun. To implement compulsory to pass English in SPM have to deeply studied. Do not make our teens as a subject for another experiment. May be its need transition time and careful plan. Therefore in this time to make English as compulsory to pass is not suitable but it is not impossible in the future- Amir Rabu (PTK5)

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  10. En. Ahmad Ali Seman (PTK 5)June 24, 2009 at 11:02 PM

    In my opinion, if English is a compulsory pass subject in this very short time, we will be flooded with students with "A" result but without the ability to communicate fluently. Compulsory pass for English language is not the solution. We will end up with an exam-oriented educational culture (written only) in which students learn things only because they are going to be in the exam. There is a need for the education system to both supports spoken and written English. Looking at the current standard of English in certain students, the government should consider taking at least some time to improve the standard of English before implementing it as a compulsory subject to pass SPM. Why not look back at the rural areas. There are students where they would have nothing to do with English in their life, and probably receive not much quality education from their teachers, partly due to a pretty run down education system in those areas. Shall we put so many burdens onto the students? Why not we look at how teachers in rural areas handle their student? What about the facilities? Are there enough reading materials? Unlike in the cities, I believe the qualities of education are far better than the qualities of education in the rural areas. We have to aware these two significant conditions and work into reducing this social and educational gap first before considering English as a compulsory subject! However, I believe that English will one day be a compulsory pass subject is Malaysia in order to allow Malaysians to interact with foreigners internationally in a way which is productive, but it is just should not be in this very short time. There are a lot of thing to be consider. For now, what I think is the most effective for the government aware is that there is only one way to master the English Language:- “Reading and understanding books.”

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  11. Muhd Helmi Azmi-PTK 5June 27, 2009 at 4:49 PM

    The quality of primary school teacher need to be improved first before making such changes. There are certain quaters that will be heavily affected by this move, namely the rural student. However, I think the rural students will make great advancement in english proficiency given that their baseline english proficiency is a lot lower compared to the urban kids.
    Dr Muhd Helmi-PTK 5

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  12. azhar abdul halim PTK5June 29, 2009 at 7:58 AM

    As an international language, we have to be able communicate in English fluently. As a kampung boy like brother Jasri, I performing my English class in `Kelantanese English` such as "i go walk-walk, eating-eating wind with my friends". So I agreed English as a compulsory subject but not by using English in Math & Science. It is not proper way to strengthen English among our students.

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  13. English. another interesting subject to be discussed here. there is nothing wrong with English, and all this objection and oppression are applied on our people mentalities themselves..the fear that they will lost their identities is totally unacceptable.they are so afraid of their own shadows, and deny the fact that the language is important nowadays..English is a language of the world, and in order to compete with other races, we have to fluent ourselves with English first.. i used to go to the bookstores, and guess what found? Math and Science reference books, written purely in English..if the students happen to further their studies overseas, it is the English itself they should learn and make familiar with...what if someone talks badly about you, and you just smile then...it will makes you look dumb...the point here is to open up your mind, and accept the challenge and the fact that you can't keep yourself away from learning this language, either for the purpose of communication or also for the sake of education itself.

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