Poor English a result of the system
THINK the basic problem lies with the teachers. There is no sincere effort among them to master the language themselves in order to be able to teach with confidence.
In the 1970’s when teachers who were trained to teach in the English language had to revert to Bahasa Malaysia. I was one of them, and we took great efforts to do so. Other colleagues who could not master the language took the right step - they resigned.
As I drove to school, I would listen to “Learn a Word a Day” over the radio every day and ensured I used that word in my conversations that day. This helped me to add new words to my vocabulary.
I also requested to teach in a “weak class” (classes were streamed in those days) so that I could gain confidence in the language. I was never shy to ask my Malay colleagues for help. I improved so much that my headmistress allowed me to teach Geography and History in Bahasa Malaysia in Form 4.
Before I retired in the 1990s, I was asked to observe and report on English Language trainee teachers. Even then, I could see the deterioration in the standard from year to year.
I can only say one thing - the system is the cause for this deterioration
(PUAN CHELLA,Kuala Lumpur The Star 11/07/09)