Friday, 25 September 2009

Teaching English as a Second Language in Asia

Recent reports show that taking English language lessons has increased dramatically across South East Asia over recent years. The regions businesses have developed internationally, through greater worldwide contact and globalisation, English is acknowledged as the international language of commerce. A recent survey in France; not renowned for its support of things English, concluded that 80% of the population agreed that outside of your mother tongue, English as a second language was the most useful.

In Singapore at a recent seminar the countries Minister for Education Dr Ng Eng Hen was proud to announce a new strategy to further promote English language learning within schools. Dr Hen said that it was to the countries credit that Singapore chose to adopt English as their common language as long ago as the1960’s which had led to the current situation where the country could compete globally because of its high levels of English literacy.

The minister praised schools like Bukit Panjang Government High School who held monthly public speaking competition. While CHIJ Kellock School, encouraged learning and use of the language with lesson posters in the corridors and a “speak good English” fortnight. This all helped to give students an improved understanding and usage of the language.

The Philippines is experiencing a massive influx of students from South Korea in recent times who want to sign up for ESL courses. The Philippine’s Foreign Office said there had been a 500% increase in Koreans applying for study visas between 2004 and 2008. Most of these were applying to study ESL courses.

The reason for the Philippines appeal being that it is one of the top 10 English speaking countries in the world. It is only two hours flight from the Korean capital Seoul, the cost of living in the Philippines is relatively low and there is always the allure of its tropical weather.

In Malaysia recently it has been reported that they plan to revert to teaching maths and science subjects in the native Bahasa tongue. The government however recognising the importance of English plans to increase its delivery to pupils by employing more teachers and allocating an increase in lesson time each week.

The conclusions you can draw from this is that countries at the highest level are acknowledging and implementing policy to ensure its population are well placed to compete for work internationally. It is a good time to be studying the language as there are an increasing number of ways this can be accomplished with the aid of educational technology on the internet. As there are more learners worldwide, practice becomes easier and with a single common language we all take a step closer to creating a truly global village.

1 comment:

  1. Since the globalization era, English becomes very important. In Indonesia, it also becomes the first priority of foreign language to be learned.Nice regard