Thursday, April 7, 2011

Malaysia most proficient in English in Asia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia came out tops for English proficiency among Asian countries where English is not the mother tongue.

In the Education First English Proficiency Index (EF EPI) 2011 report released on March 30, Malaysia overtook Hong Kong (at second place), South Korea (third place) and Japan (fourth place).

Malaysia is the only Asian country rated as "high proficiency" for the English proficiency level in the report. All the countries were rated at five different levels -- very high proficiency, high proficiency, moderate proficiency, low proficiency and very low proficiency.

Malaysia is also ranked ninth place globally.

Education First, a global education centre, conducted online English tests on 2.3 million working adults globally from year 2007 to 2009. English proficiency was tested in four categories -- grammar, vocabulary, reading and listening.

The EP EPI measures the average English proficiency of an entire country and compares English skill levels between countries. It was the first index of its kind to give countries a standardised measure of English competency in adults.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong was happy with the results but said there was still room for improvement.

"Although we topped other Asian countries, we are still in the ninth place globally.

"I believed with the ministry increasing the period for English language in schools, it will help our students to improve their command in English," he told the New Straits Times yesterday.

Asked whether the ranking will bring back the teaching of Mathematics and Science in English (PPSMI), he said the ministry would look into the possibility.

On Monday, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek had said that PPSMI should be allowed to continue especially in selected urban schools where adequate qualified teachers were available.

He added that teaching both subjects in English was crucial if the country wishes to move towards a developed nation status.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, said that the government would study the possibility of using two mediums of instruction in the teaching of Science and Mathematics in schools.

Last July, the Cabinet decided the medium of instruction for Mathematics and Science would revert to Bahasa Malaysia in national schools and mother-tongue languages in national-type schools from next year onwards.

New Straits Times, 7th April 2011

Proficiency in languages will open doors to knowledge.

Anyone reading this blog who knows more than 2 languages, please tell me how do you do it because you have the advantage amongst all the rest who knew only 1 language!

I am sure those who wants the Malays to be left behind will propagate championing the Malay language but knowing more than 1 language will take you places.

Becoming proficient in other languages does not make you less Malay, less patriotic or not being a true Malaysian anymore.

You will have an edge for being better than the rest, you will be admired for being able to master other languages which will open you doors of opportunities anywhere you go.

Just look at Mahathir Lokman for example; he can speak fluent French, English, and 3 more languages which makes him a hit when there are events that require a emcee who can speak in other languages.