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Thursday September 12, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Thursday September 12, 2013 MYT 7:27:14 AM
PETALING JAYA: Parents have expressed concerns over the proficiency level of their children’s English teachers following a revelation that two-thirds of the teachers in the country are “incapable” or unfit” to teach the subject.
A parent, known only as Chan, said her nine-year-old daughter regularly complained about her English teacher making fundamental mistakes in the classroom.
“Once, her teacher repeatedly referred to a cow as a ‘he’. When my daughter pointed out the mistakes, she was reprimanded. Now, she just keeps quiet in class and laughs about such incidents at home.
“I speak English to my children and try to encourage them to read as much as possible during their leisure time but I feel sorry for those who don’t have parental guidance at home,” said the lawyer.
Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh had said on Tuesday that two-thirds of English language teachers in the country were “incapable” or “unfit” to teach the subject in schools.
Although he did not state the number of such teachers, Idris said the ministry had already taken measures to address the matter and was considering sending them abroad to take up Teaching of English as a Second Language (TESL) courses.
Businessman Imran Malik claimed that his son’s secondary school English teacher had actively discouraged his interest in the subject.
“My son speaks excellent Bahasa Malaysia and English but I noticed that his performance in the latter slipped when he started secondary school.
“When I asked him about it, I found out that when he corrected the teacher’s pronunciation or grammar, he was made fun of and told that he was trying to be too ‘Westernised’.
“This teacher may be one bad apple but that’s all it takes to put students off,” he said.
Parent S. Rajashree believed her daughter’s teacher was proficient but “not committed”.
“My daughter told me that instead of explaining what a metaphor means, her teacher made the class memorise a list of metaphors found in short stories and poems in the syllabus.
“The teacher’s reason for doing this was that this was the only way students could do well in the examinations. Maybe, it’s hard to teach a class of students with varying language proficiency but this is not the way,” she said.
Another parent, Yip, whose daughter is studying in a vernacular school, said her English teacher had resorted to rote-learning.
“My daughter has a good grasp of the language so I was surprised when she started complaining about her English homework.
“Then, I realised she was being made to memorise entire essays in preparation for her UPSR examination,” he said, adding that he spent almost RM300 a month on English tuition classes and exercise books.
Tags / Keywords:
Education, English teachers, idris jusoh
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