Thursday, March 15, 2007

The English Language

The English Language has become a topic of discussion lately, whatmore with the introduction of PPSMI (Maths and Science in English). There were a lot of debates on this but no, I'm not going to go into that.


We cannot deny the fact that English is important. I see first hand on how graduates fumbled in basic English during interviews. Who cares if you a Degree holder but you cant get your point across, right? Especially in a Mat Salleh company like mine. Itulah punca masalah pengangguran sebenarnya.


Few days ago, I watched Diari AF. I dont know about you but it was a bit embarassing for me to see and hear adults speak English the way they did (most of themla). And they try to cover kelemahan mereka dgn buat joke and dgn menambahkan kegedikkan mereka. Bukan nak look down but takkan la "May I go to the toilet" pun tak pass? My children learnt that masa kindy tau!


I am very lucky that I emphasized on English in the house, way before the implemantation of PPSMI. Mia took her UPSR with Maths and Science in BM. That means that she's starting her PPSMI in Form 1. I have no problem with the rest of the kids as they started PPSMI from scratch - std 1. (Anastassia is in the 1st batch - next year UPSR)


Tapi kesian dgn kids yang tak duduk di bandar. Macamana dengan English mereka? Cikgu2 sendiri pun kebanyakkannya tak mahir in English. (maaf ye cikgu2) The comments in English that I see in my kid's books pun, in broken English.... apa hal tuh. When Mia was in std 5, she and a few others had to argue with the teacher that one particular question (fill in the blank question) was not in a proper English sentence. Kalau sekolah top 10 Malaysia pun macam ni, I dare not think of how the other hundreds of schools are doing!


With the PPSMI jugak, we see parents now choosing English speaking kindergartens over malay owned kindys. I came across a kindy owner trying to convince a parent that the language used in the kindy is English..... although a 2 mins conversation with the teachers there make you wonder how..... takkan nak harapkan owner/principal sorang je yang boleh cakap english kan...


Entahla..... my dream is for my kids to speak English like anak2 TPM kita, like anak arwah Hani Mohsin..... but mmmm.... no money for private schools la.... hehe....

22 comments:

NBK466 said...

Tuh ler...tgk gaya masing2 budak AF yg baru nie...peh cam org2 METROPOLITAN...tetiba simple english pun NYOSSS...

Intan said...

Actually, even people from chinese schools don't speak english that well. When i go shopping, i find that they speak malay better.

anyway, i am happy that my children's malay is a whole lot better than mine... sebab kalau nak suruh tulis dalam bahasa, nanti bunyi terlalu formal pulak! not to mention all those new words with meanings i have absolutely no clue!

come to think about it, the only time i speak totally in malay is when i talk to my maid!

NJ said...

I concur. No matter how patriotic we wanna be, we have to admit English is the global language. I had quite a number of incidents myself where the candidates I was interviewing were all dean lists from local unis, but unfortunately they were to scared to answer the interview questions in English (although I have no doubt they are actually quite competent in English). So how to employ these bright graduates?

Queen Of The House said...

Nak salahkan siapa? Para Menteri yang menukar sistem pelajaran kita ke? Dalam keghairahan untuk memertabatkan bahasa Melayu, mereka lupa akan kepentingan Bahasa Inggeris di alam global ini.

Almost every school day, my number three (son) will come home and relate yet another English faux pas committed by one teacher after another. Usually it has to do with pronounciation but I suspect the teachers' grammar and understanding of the English language are equally atrocious. And my son said, even the teacher yang kononnya paling pandai English pun cakap macam apa aje .... I think if I start compiling a list (a book!) of all the boo-boos my son's teachers make, kejap aje dah panjang berjela list tu. Now my son refers to us everytime the teachers say a new word - I'm glad he does, because honestly, I think my kids' English are better than their teachers'. What a horror.

Kak Elle said...

Helena this is an interesting topic for discussion.I was in KL last month and we met up with my distant relative and they were telling me and my sis that they felt sorry for the children who lives in their neighbourhood.Since both of them speaks and write english(mind you they are in their 60's)and studied in english they decide to help the children with their homeworks in english,the children will go over to their house when they don't understand and it was shocking to us how even the teachers couldn't pronounce the words!!!do u know knee was prounounced as kernee and knock as kernok....they told the children to tell the teacher the correct pronounciation!!there are many more funny stories they told us...and I am glad to say that in sg we get proper education in english.It will take a while for these children to really buckup their english..I feel sorry for them.

sherrina said...

sherrina ni volunteer mengajar di rumah anak yatim di setapak. Mereka belajar di sekolah di kawasan itu. Walaupun di tengah bandar, masalahnya tak jauh beza dengan di luar bandar. Menjadi masalah lebih besar bila guru sendiri tak mencapai standard yg sepatutnya dan pelajar sendiri tak mempunyai asas English yang baik.

Buat masa sekarang sherrina cuma fokus pada subjek2 tersebut dalam BM supaya mereka faham juga camne nak buat pengiraan, jawab soalan dan sambil tu back to basic untuk english.

zino said...

sekejap english sekejap melayu.. tah yg mana satu.. zaman zino dulu dah di titikberatkan english.. maka timbul le english medium dan malay medium..

lepas tu malay medium je.. sekarang ni math n science je english..

pening pening..

loveujordan said...

I setuju macm zino cakap, kejap english, kejap melayu, kejap english....takut nanti dua-dua bahasa tak master.....

I pernah mengajar di Ganu kite ada ramai form 3 students tak tau nak sebut he and she...kisah benar.. kesian kan :(

Helena said...

nbk : hehe.... gaya takleh kalah....

intan : Intan, most chinese, esp those from chinese school have poor command of english. Their thinking is also a bit kampungish....

My bad habit is I'm a rojak speaker. Nasib baik ada maid, dapat speak totally BM.... hehe

nj : yup, its a shame aint it. They have the brains but cant get their brilliant ideas across.

QOTH : Maybe you can start writing a book about it? hehe... List of obnoxious English by Malaysian teachers. (and the teachers can buy yr book for their reference)Hey, not that I blame the teachers, but its just that the Ministry didnt think have the platform well prepared before implementing PPSMI.

kak elle : And four PUSH two is two..... Direct translation, huh? One of the reasons why I sent my children to the best school, at least they have the best teachers, and having said that, I still hear funny stories from my children too... (eg a chinese English teacher insists that Orchard is pronounced as or-chart)(mind you, chinese and indian teachers are also having English problems, although Malay teachers make the bulk)

sherrina : pemahaman itu yang penting, kena buat sikit2 la dulu kan, nanti pening budak2 nih...

zino : yup, I'm lucky that both my parents speak good English. My dad is in fact a walking dictionary, ermm... a walking encyclopedia too... hehe

But I was from the malay meduim era... the reason for my rojakness.... hehe

LUJ : yang risaunya, budak yg boleh pergi jauh dalam maths and science tak dapat berbuat demikian atas faktor bahasa.... sedih kan...

Kak Lady said...

My youngest son is in the English medium kindergarten...so he can speak simple English..jadi bila kat rumah i will always communicate with him in english...

Sejak dari 5 tahun dia dah pandai cakap...'Mummy i want to go to the toilet.'....

Tapi bila cakap Bahasa Melayu...automatically...'Mummy'dah jad 'Ibu'...hehehehe....

edi said...

Saya pernah memberikan tusyen untuk PMR dan UPSR. Pelajar memang menghadapi masalah untuk memahami istilah sains dalam bahasa Inggeris. Ini kerana asas bahasa Inggeris mereka pun lemah. Sepatutnya pihak kementerian memberi penumpuan dulu kepada Bahasa Inggeris sebelum menyerapkannya kedalam Sains dan Matematik. Bagi saya, English hanya boleh di kuasai bergantung pada environment mereka. Jika mereka di ajar tapi tidak dipratikkan, lama kelamaan ia akan hilang

Helena said...

kak lady : hehe... my kids cakap English, American slang... jangan marah.... thx to Disney Channel and Cartoon Network.

edi : thx for dropping by. Pada Helena, the government kata our English lemah. Mereka compare students dari english medium (my parents)and student from malay medium (me). And they decided to change the syllabus to PPSMI.

Tanpa mereka sedari, most tenaga pengajar are from the malay medium, group yg lemah English tadi. Teachers from the English medium, mostly dah pencen, kalau ada pun tinggal sikit aje lagi.

So terjadilah kes orang buta nak mengajar orang buta. Itulah akibatnya implement benda baru dalam keadaan tergesa2.

D said...

Inilah yang diwarwarkan sebagai Wawasan 2020: salah satu dari cabarannya ialah untuk mempertingkatkan sistem pendidikan. tapi bila masuk politik, semua hancur... we need to go ground level.
alahai, don't let me start on this debate over the status of English in Malaysia! I was an English teacher myself - UK graduate. Alhamdulillah, I learnt a lot. I'm not patrionizing Malay teachers who learn locally but it actually affects - A LOT!! Sedih tengok standard guru-guru Malaysia. Yang jadi mangsa: anak-anak kita. Tak payah pergi luar bandar, sekitar KL, PJ, Shah Alam pun cukup... Sungguh menyedihkan.

Darling said...

1 lg masalah skrg ni, english yang dimelayukan.. ni termasuk i le. kekdg terfikir, sms ni boleh merosakkan bahasa (slhkan sms le kunun hehehe)

penah sekali tu my bos tegur ejaan i sebab i pegi eja stail english dalam sms. hahahaha.. sapa suruh dia bg diction n kena type terus.

my bahasa, very de very rojak 1.. susah betul nak ubah.. hehehe

Anonymous said...

It's a shame you ranted about how poorly the English language is spoken in your country but yet your written English is anything but perfect.

Helena said...

d - I paham sangat2....

darling - when smsing is concerned, I will write everything in full.... so macam tulis novel, you.... hehe


dear anonymous, first of all, this is a personal blog, so it's up to me on how I want to pen down my thoughts. Be it perfect English or broken English. I dont entertain anonymous visitors who are negative, sorry.

Darling said...

well helena, if write in full, nnt tak cukup space.. kekeke (sometime i can become so stingy hehe)

rasa2nya helena or d bleh ajar i smola kut.. bagi cuci semua karat2 tu.. >) boleh le ek ek ek..

Helena said...

darling : to tell you the truth, I have problem reading my eldest doter punya sms with her frens (shhh.... jgn cakap dia...hehe)Entah apa2 dia tulis..... Aq is aku... tak ke pening tu?

Or is it I'm getting older? HAHA.

Darling said...

hahahahaha.. sometime they use very de very weird shortform.. like my younger sis, kekdg i tak paham apa yang dia sms.. (am i gettin older too? hahaha)

i think i'm not that bad ar. juz i suka tukarkan word e.g; just ke juz, that ke dat, or ke o, with ke wif, time ke taim, kekdg tu yg ada hujung 'g' semua i dropkan.. n ada a few lg ar.. tu blom campur bahasa i yg sememangnya rojak.. kekeke

ps: kena ambil kelas BM & English semula rasanya ni, hehehe

Helena said...

word ar tu pun selalu buat Helena fenin...hehe

memangla sms ni perosak bahasa....kan? And we are also the culprits!

Darling said...

yea.. kita ni 1 of them le kiranya kan.. iskh! bila dah jadi kebiasaan susah nak hilangkan semua tu..

Amity said...

Great work.