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Imported English books right move
Published on: Saturday, November 11, 2017

I APPLAUD the Education Ministry’s decision to use imported English books for schools beginning next year.

Teachers will need to be trained sufficiently so that they can deliver the lessons effectively, however.

I am confident that in a few short years, our students will be proficient in the language just like in the old days.

As a child of the ‘50s where the only English books we were instructed in were imported ones, I am sorry to say that the current local English books leave a lot to be desired.

If you look carefully, which I always do, you can spot quite a few mistakes in these books so I am not surprised that many schoolchildren find English a very difficult subject indeed. Thus, on my frequent travels to Britain, I would always buy English books for my grandchildren, and I would always make sure their parents instruct them accordingly.

Please do not worry that these imported books may be “culturally inappropriate”.

Please don’t change anything because all this is knowledge that will benefit students.

I grew up in a remote kampung in Johor and went to a government English school in the town.

From the imported books, I not only learned grammar, reading, writing and speaking but also about the four seasons, festivals, buildings, how other people lived, how they interacted, the Ps and Qs, good habits, and etc.

None of us rural students had any problem with that.

Children have a large capacity for absorbing knowledge as long as it is taught properly.

Let’s not underestimate them and deprive them of learning about another culture that brings to life the main topic – English.


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