By: Junz Wong
DAP hailed the move by the Sabah Education Department to dedicate every Tuesday as the English Day.
DAP Sabah Secretary Junz Wong applauded Education Director Datuk Jame Alip for making the programme inclusive and comprehensive involving all levels of the stakeholders.
"We fully support this program and hope that all parents would fully support this worthy initiative by practising English with their children on this particular day." Junz said
He explained that in order for one to master English, he / she must be dedicated to practicing English every chance he / she gets.
By just learning English in the classroom on a limited period per week is definitely not good enough as the language has to be immersed for one to be proficient. It is not learning for the sake of passing exams. Junz elaborated
English is the dominant language of communication in an increasingly globalized world, it is to the peril of the nation and the future generations if we are not pragmatic in the fast changing horizon.
We have to acknowledge that science and technology are evolving at breakneck speed. We cannot wait for our Dewan Bahasa Dan Pustaka (DBP) to translate these advances into Bahasa Malaysia. By the time other countries are already ten steps ahead of us.
We will also lose out in the marketing of our Made-in-Malaysia products and services if our industries fail to keep up with trends around the world in product innovation and development.
This means our unemployment will exarcebate as we become less competitive.
Junz who is also ADUN LIKAS shared his experience as student in Singapore back in his high school time.
The school would made one student from each class to do a 5-minutes public spontaneous English speaking on every Friday assembly.
By 52 weeks, every student in every class would have gotten their chance and spoke spontaneously on any topics he / she felt comfortable with.
The schools also would give special compliments like a badge to be worn on the students' uniforms based on the number of novels they read. These novels were all specially selected by the principals.
These are just some of the suggestions which I believe it's good strategies to get the interests of our students to master English in an more innovative ways.
It is our hope that the weekly English Day will be observed by the civil service in its totality if we want to make Malaysia a destination of choice whether for investment, tourism or centre of technology.
"We have to take note that other countries that were once proud of their own languages, like Japan, China, English has been elevated and widely pursued by their citizens." Junz concluded.