Thursday, April 7, 2011

Is Malaysia No 1 in English Proficiency Among Asian Countries?

 The Korean Herald/ANN report picked up by MSN News in their own report "Malaysia Boleh Cakap" (5/4/2011) had mentioned that Malaysia was ranked No1 in English proficiency among the Asian countries by Education First, a global education center.

This must be the joke of the day. If Education First Full Rankings had ranked Singapore as the No1 in English proficiency among Asian countries where English is not the mother tongue, I would have no difficulty in believing it. As it is, Singapore was not even included in Education First's survey. Maybe that was why Singapore was not ranked No 1.
Pic by Ordinary Malaysian


Malaysians do not need to kid themselves. We know that our proficiency, let alone mastery, of the English language has long seen gone down the drain ever since English Language was no longer made compulsory to pass local examinations more than two decades ago.

That is why there are constant calls for the government to do something to arrest the decline in the standard of English among our students.

Today, we have graduates who can't even string together a decent sentence in English and who find it hard to land a job in the private sector.
While other countries like Korea itself and even China, the world's second largest economy, are realising the importance of the English language as the international language of commerce and science and their students are all scrambling to learn and master the English language, here in Malaysia we are trying to shy away from it.

English language. like so may other subjects here, is considered a sensitive thing to talk about and there is therefore a lack of political will to do something about it.

If the Education First ranking of Malaysia as No1 in English proficiency among the Asian countries is correct, then I can only say that we are the first among the worst which is not a compliment.

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