One of my neighbours in Melbourne is Tommy Soh. He and his wife Marina dropped by for lunch yesterday, and we chatted about many things. He asked a lot of questions about Genashtim, in particular our EPiC Online program. What he had to say about how we run our business is so profound that I asked him to write it down for me, which is attached herewith. Click Here.
With 43 years in Singapore Airlines, Tommy Soh has trained and mentored a large number of pilots and captains. As a trainer for trainers in a prestigious organization like Singapore Airlines, he is at the pinnacle of his game. He was also among the first pilots in the world to captain the A380. He has read about 200 books on training, and is in the process of writing one himself.
It is so heart-warming to be assured by someone like him for what we are doing.
Such natural disasters are very tragic and disruptive. This article (click here) talks about a typhoon taking down a prominent online learning system.
It is tempting to say that online learning is vulnerable and unreliable. But a bad storm could wipe a physical education institution, or even a whole town, which could take years to recover.
Nevertheless, that is why in Genashtim, we have chosen an entirely cloud-based platform to operate from. We are hosted on 3 separate domains, and additionally have our data and programs backed-up in 3 different locations in 3 countries. Our operations are entirely distributed, making disruptions easy to avoid at very short notice. In spite of having quite a significant proportion of our resources in the Philippines, not one single session of EPiC Online or Mandarin eSpeak, or any of our other services was affected during this recent typhoon Glenda (Rammasun), and even not with super typhoon Haiyan in 2013.
This rather interesting article on 26th June 2014 (The Malaysian Insider) has 3 key points:-
1. Graduates with distinction in English, cannot speak the language
2. The sorrows of the education system in Malaysia
3. The attitude of the Generation Y
I think much has been said about the sorrows of the education system in Malaysia, and I don’t feel qualified to add anything new. The attitude of the Generation Y is an entire topic on its own which is perhaps best dealt with in a different forum. But I did write an article about this in a People Management magazine some years ago click here.
As for graduates with distinction in English, not being able to speak the language, we should not be surprised. This is not a phenomenon that is unique to Malaysia. In 2009, the Ministry of Education in Japan declared that English has to be taught in English in schools from 2013 – click here
Today in 2014, there is no more talk about this. The reality is that most teachers who teach English in Japan cannot actually speak English. And this is probably similar in many countries.
I wanted to hire an English teacher in China in 2010. Henry had a degree in English from a Chinese university, and had written an English book of poetry. He had taught English to thousands of Chinese students over 18 years. He was even the author of the “learn English” section of a local newspaper. But he could not be interviewed in English!
Hence any language education has to include an appropriate level of practice of usage of the language in conversation. Confidence in using the language and conversational proficiency can best be achieved by speaking with different people in different situations. That is why our language coaching programs EPiC Online and Mandarin eSpeak are designed the way they are – with rotating coaches, not selected by the students.
For information about our online English learning services, visit www.epiclanguage.com, and for our online Chinese language learning services, visit www.mandarin-espeak.com.