This posting was prepared last week but a more personal matter took precedence. I regret for the delay.
From NST 18-6-2012
The front page of NST of 18th June carried an eye-catching headline, “Undergrads to boost their English skills”.
It seems that from September a new system will help to prepare local undergrads for the working world. According to the report, essentially, students will learn English according to three tiers –
English for Employment,
Intensive English and
This was reported to be a ‘strategic plan to enhance proficiency in English among public university students’.
Then it went on to report that ‘university faculties can also opt to conduct the “English For Specific Discipline” subject to enhance students’ comprehension of their field of study’.
It went on to talk about ‘classroom learning’ and ‘beyond classroom learning’.
And so on , and so forth ……..
Towards the end the report went on to say, ‘all these roadmaps are designed to boost students’ confidence in communicating in English.
“Subsequently, this will heighten their competency level and create holistic human capital.”
At the end I had to ask myself what I was reading about. Do we now realise the inadequacy of the standard of English in our education system? Must we devise ‘roadmaps’ like the famous ‘roadmaps’ towards peace in the Middle East?
This is indeed a very futuristic and fantastic plan which aims to prepare a graduate for the working world. I never knew there were so many parts and categories in learning English. I was never taught that English for Employment. During the thirty years of my working life I used the same English to say good morning to all levels of office colleagues, used the same language in conversation at the bus stops, and used the same in the board room – of course, minus the four-letter word and those associated with it. I was stumped only on one occasion when a fashionable English lady begged to excuse herself from our dinner table ‘to powder her nose’. That seemingly innocent phrase prompted me to give a furtive glance at her face wondering what had gone wrong with the powder on her nose! I should have attended a course in English for Social Occasions. That phrase is not unlike the Malay expression ‘ Saya rasa hendak kesungai ( I would like to go to the river).’
And here I am drawing a long sigh, unable to make head or tail of the newspaper report. Perhaps some enlightened visitors may be able to tell Pakcik in a simple English language what the ‘roadmaps’ are all about.
Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan