24th July, 2012
KOTA KINABALU: Mastering the English language in this era of globalization is critical, especially for students at the primary school level in the state in order for them to understand and speak the language well.
Assistant Minister of Resource Development and Information Technology, Datuk Jainab Ahmad, said she hopes more students will have the ability to understand and speak English which is a universal language.
She said not many primary school students in the state could master the English language well, and even more disappointing a lot of them do not understand the language at all.
“Mastering the English language is becoming even more important in recent times. Learning the language in the classroom is not sufficient for one to master the language well.
“The students need to practice speaking the English language in daily life. Do not be ashamed or afraid to speak the English language, learn from the experience. Because if you always speak in English language, over time your proficiency in the language will improve,” she said.
Jainab said this when officiating at the Royal Group English Programme in Sepanggar, near here, on Sunday. For this programme, three schools were selected to learn the English language for free.
Jainab, who is also ADUN for Karambunai, noted that other than during English lessons, not many students read English books let alone converse in the language.
“English for them, rarely becomes a medium of communication. They do not watch English programmes on television, except those with subtitles, and the newspapers and magazines that they read are only those in the Malay language,” she said.
“There’s no denying the Malay language plays a part in our lives and will always be the official language, however, the reality we have to accept is that the English language is the main medium of communication in commerce and science throughout the world,” she said.
Therefore, Jainab is calling on the parents and teachers to collectively help improve their command of the English language and as far as possible endeavour to get their children to use the language as often as possible in their daily lives.