Sunday, May 27, 2007

Responding to "Taiwan parents want English as official 2nd language"

Dear Editor,
I am going to respond to the news "Taiwan parents want English as official 2nd language."
According to findings of a survey that released last year, up to 80% of Taiwanese parents want government to make English the second official language of Taiwan.    However, although this result shows that most of Taiwanese have already recognized that English is very important in Taiwan now, Taiwan students, compare to the other students in Asia, still do not have outstanding TOEFL scores.  Beside that, Taiwanese do not perform well in the TOEIC test as well, which shows that we have many English cram schools in Taiwan and children start to learn English on the 3rd grade of elementary school, but the English ability of Taiwanese are still not improved. 
In my opinion, Taiwanese always lack of competitiveness in English ability, because our English education policy has many flaws.  Many English cram schools are teaching English just for helping people pass the exams.  Therefore, people memorize a mass of vocabulary, and grammar rules, but most of them don't really know how to use it in their daily lives, and they don't even have chances to use it.  Accordingly, Taiwanese do not have good scores on TOEFL, because it divides into many different parts, like speaking, writing and so on.  Even if people have learned abundant of vocabulary and grammar, they don't have fluent English speaking and writing ability, so they still cannot have high score on this kind of professional English exam. 
Therefore, I think, our English education policy cannot just focus on passing exams.  It should be livelier and more useful.  For instance, we can give students not only writing tests, but also oral tests, and they can learn how to use English among themselves other than just "on the paper.", which can not only enhance their English ability but also increase their confidence to speak English.   We can start to do it from now to ensure that our next generation can have higher competitiveness in English ability.
By 陳怡靜  0937365894  高市左營區文莊路72


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