Was invited to attend a dialogue yesterday on Strengthening the Teaching of English at the Curriculum Development Centre of the Ministry of Education.
30 of us, mostly academics and stakeholders from a wide range of institutions and bodies sat together all morning and into the afternoon to brainstorm practical ways in which the teaching and learning of English in Malaysia could be enhanced, now that the Science and Maths in English idea has been junked. (It had to be, I think, given the low competence in English of so many of the science and maths teachers.)
It was a very positive brainstorming session with ideas on everything from the recruitment and training of teachers to the curriculum to classroom activities to school libraries being shared, and eventually a list of recommendations being drawn up.
Many of us though shared the feeling that all this is ground we've been over many times before : "Weren't we saying this 20/30 years ago? Has anything changed?" was a refrain.
The rational for the change ...
A quick impromptu photo at the end of the day - and thanks Elizabeth Lee, Sunway College Principal, for both the photos and a lift home.
While we were talking about English in one room, another focus group (which includes my friends, authors Utthaya Sankar S.B. and Faisal Tehrani) and talked about the way forward for the Malay language. Things got a little more heated here, I understand! But perhaps someone else can give the details ...