MIRI: There is no choice but to be more aggressive in using the English language.
Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg said this applies to not just schools and institutions of higher learning and private sector but also to government departments and agencies.
Speaking at the launch of an English language workshop organised by Sarawak Ministry for Education, Science and Technological Research, he said no one can afford not to be able to master English anymore.
“Being able to have a good command of the English language is no longer an option.
“It is a must. This applies to students of all ages from primary to secondary level to those in colleges and universities.
“They must have a good command of English and this applies to all working adults too.
“Regardless of whether in private sectors or government departments, every staff need to be good in English in both written and spoken forms.
“They have no choice because in all the new computer technology and social media application tools, the systems are in English.
“Look at the latest computer apps and smartphone apps, they are in English,” he told the nearly 1,000 participants ranging from students to working adults.
Johari urged teachers in both government and private schools in Sarawak to be more aggressive in using the English language, especially with their students, in order to boost the command of the language.
He said teachers must use English more regularly in the classrooms and outside and they must also get their students to do the same.
“To halt and reverse the declining standard of English usage we must take bolder steps to use English on a wider scale everyday.
“Among teachers and students they must converse more in English and when there are communications in written form with the students they must use English more.
“Use English on wider scale among teachers and between teachers and students and encourage students to converse with fellow students in English even outside the class,” he said.
The three-day workshop saw English language lecturers from numerous bodies holding talks and interactive sessions with the participants.
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