To some, they might take a little while to understand the title but for others it’s a piece of cake. If you’re having trouble to understand my title, BLAME YOUR ENGLISH TEACHERS!

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against English teachers – being an English Teacher-To-Be myself. It was that one article in NST’s 14th August 2011 issue that triggered me to write this article. The title in NST reads “Easygoing style firms up students’ English”. I know, you might think that there’s nothing wrong with the title, in fact I do agree with the title. I personally think that students who learn English language or any languages for that matter should be taught in a laid-back environment. So what is it that I disagree about the article? Read the cut out statement below:

“Strictly speaking, the 17 American Fullbright Scholars posted in Terengganu secondary schools as English Teaching Assistants (ETA) are not qualified teachers. Yet, they have been successful in improving the students’ grasp of English …………………..the ETAs have been successful without even a syllabus

Notice the bold words? Yes. That’s what I don’t agree with. Though it might seem to be a good initiative on improving our students’ English language, but it is totally unfair for our very own qualified English teachers. These teachers had learned a lot in classrooms and had undergone intensive trainings for a minimum of four years just to be called “teachers”. All those years of studying Phonetics, Morphology, Socialogy, Literature, Methodology, Syntax which basically are the science of English language mean nothing because at the end of the day, they won’t be picked.

Being a TESL student, I totally disagree with the idea of hiring non-experienced educators to teach our students just because it’s their Mother Tongue language. It is a huge problem now in Malaysia where the English teachers fail to improve our students. If really that’s the case, we should focus on what teachers should learn during their trainings. What teachers or future teachers must learn and focus on is Methodology. The another problem is the method that they use is very old fashioned. They need to learn how to tackle¬†these students. One of the syllabus that must be taught in Methodology subject is how to overcome the student’s shyness and how to make students comfortable with themselves hence the environment should be a very laid-back classroom.

First we have to take a look at what makes our students reluctantly learn the English language. The main reason is simply because they have no interest in that language but they were forced to learn it and our government has put the pressure on both the students as well as the teachers. When students are forced into something that they don’t like, it will not only discourage them to learn that particular subject but that hatred feeling towards the subject will start to grow and blossom.

If you still insist on having the non experienced educators to teach our students, you can do so after school by having extra classes. But please always remember to prioritize our local qualified teachers. Give them a chance. I know we can do it. Whatever happened to the slogan “Malaysia Boleh”?

Signed, sealed, posted,

Dottie.

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