Facebook Twitter Google Plus Vimeo Youtube Feed Feedburner

ROS LBoard 1

Rural folk opening up to English, says Page

 | September 14, 2017

'They are no longer making fun of people who speak it.'

Azimah: Slowly, the rural folk are realising the importance of English and no longer making fun of people who speak it.

Azimah: Slowly, the rural folk are realising the importance of English and no longer making fun of people who speak it.

PETALING JAYA: A parents’ group has commended those living in rural areas for realising the importance of being proficient in the English language.

This comes in the wake of a report by the Indian news channel Zee News that a 22-year-old man was beaten up by five men for speaking in fluent English with his friend in New Delhi.

Speaking to FMT, Parent Action Group for Education (Page) chairman Noor Azimah Rahim acknowledged that in the past, Malaysians heard speaking English were looked upon with some disdain, especially by rural folk.

However, she said, the situation had changed. “Slowly, the rural folk are realising the importance of English and no longer making fun of people who speak it.”

She said one of the reasons for this change was that they now knew proficiency in English could further one’s social development and career.

“People realise that there are so many unemployed graduates because these graduates lack proficiency in the English language. Even those who are not furthering their education know that conversational English is important if they want a better quality of life.

“It’s a mistake to underestimate rural folk because they know very well what is important when looking for a better job and a better standard of living.

“And, of course, parents want their children to have better lives than theirs.”

She said the use of English used to be taboo in rural areas because it was considered to be a reminder of the time when Malaya was an English colony.

“Previously, those who spoke the English language were seen as yearning for a return to colonialism,” she said. “However, I believe the nation has matured and we realise that English, like Mandarin, is a universal language.”

But not everybody shares Azimah’s enthusiasm for English. Last March, Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali questioned Malaysians’ apparent obsession with mastering the language.

Ibrahim says there is no need for the country to be obsessed with mastering English.

Ibrahim says there is no need for the country to be obsessed with mastering English.

Although he acknowledged the importance of English, Ibrahim said there was no need for the country to be obsessed with mastering it.

He said the Germans, French and the people of several other countries had managed to progress even though their mastery of English was low.

“If we enforce the use of Bahasa Malaysia and make proficiency in it necessary for people to get jobs, we too can progress,” he said.

“Why are we so obsessed? It’s as if we cannot survive without English. It’s as if life cannot go on without English.”

Perkasa: Can we implement Cambridge Accessible Tests properly?

Number of unemployed public university graduates to soar

The spiralling problem of English teaching

Why English and general knowledge are important


Comments

Readers are required to have a valid Facebook account to comment on this story. We welcome your opinions to allow a healthy debate. We want our readers to be responsible while commenting and to consider how their views could be received by others. Please be polite and do not use swear words or crude or sexual language or defamatory words. FMT also holds the right to remove comments that violate the letter or spirit of the general commenting rules.

The views expressed in the contents are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of FMT.

Comments