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.