Monday, May 28, 2007

my opinion

Dear Editor,


I would like to share my opinion about the article "Teaching other classes in English not very practical" posted on 2007/4/7


Huang Yen-Chia 黃彥嘉




I agree that speaking English in classes should help lift Taiwan's general level of English proficiency. To ask students to communicate in English in English-related subjects, or where English is needed, such as hotel management or international trade, is perfectly acceptable as well as expected. However, I personally believe that to ask that of students in other class subjects is virtually unrealistic.

Of course all occupations require some English, but only to a limited extent. So what about those who don't need to use English? To ask those students to use English as their main form of communication in all classes is basically torture. Most have given up on English. By instructing them to spend so many hours listening and speaking it is intimidating and demeaning. That kind of stress will only lead to loss of faith in oneself. Is that what we really want our future generation to be like?

Also, we must also take into consideration - for an island so small, we have too many universities. Almost anybody can go to university. If we could somewhat return to basics, in which only those who are bright enough, who work hard enough, or who are serious enough can get a university degree. Maybe then, our government funding can be centered solely on those students.

However, Taiwan being as it is now, perhaps if schools instituted English conversation classes as "required" classes, along with requiring all students to pass internationally acclaimed exams such as the TOEFL or TOEIC in order to get their diplomas, maybe then students will take their education more seriously. If students are serious about their education, only then will Taiwan have hope. And maybe we shall be pleasantly surprised to see Taiwan's general English proficiency and skills gradually lift and soar

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