I went to the boys's school this morning to buy their workbook and exercise books. In Year 5 list of books for Irsyad, there's this optional revision set of books that you can buy. I was interested to buy at first until I see the contents. The Science and Math books which are in English have translation after every para and every question! I checked every page to be sure. Of course, I decided not to purchase the set. How are they going to learn in English if they have translation all the way? It will only confuse them.
While the English/Malay medium for Math and Science debate is still hot in the air, and even long before that, I have taken my stand. I'm for the English medium. I believe kids should be exposed to another language other than their mother tounge. It's essential since we live an a multicultural society and it would be a preparation for them to go global. There's nothing wrong learning. It does not make you less Malay/ Chinese/ Indian if you learn another language. And it doesn't mean that you are abondoning your mother tongue! It is best to teach a language at an early learning stage while their grasp of the language is still at a basic level. So their ability to absorb is better.
So I strongly believe teaching Math and Science in English one great way for them to learn the English language. Not necessarily to master it. After all, once they got to colege, most of the resources will be in English, even in local colleges. And most of the materials they search on the net will be in English. It will make a vast different once they got out of school.
Some narrow minded people think that learning/ mastering English makes you another person altogether, straying you away from your own people. What piece of crap! And there's also another group who thinks so highly of themselves just because they can only speak English and stuttered in their own mother tongue. And these I would call morons!
There's also another point that we should look into while talking about language. Instead of emphasizing just the language, what they should look into is communication itself. They should introduce communications subject to teach kids how to communicate, not just speak or being spoken to. They should be taught public speaking to boost their confidence, to be brave enough to speak up and thus to be able to interact to other people.
There're a lot of things that we have to do to improve the language and communication skills of our kids. In school, there should be a better curriculum than it has now, to emphasize more on the development of the chidlren in all aspects.. not just passing the academic subject! At home, parents have to be more involved with their children, communicate with them not simply instruct them.