Wed, Sep 07, 2005 - Page 8 News List

Don't use US as EFL model

By John Coomber

I have two concerns with your article ("Youth English programs need re-evaluation: experts," Sept. 3, page 2). The first concerns David Dai's apparent belief that the English as a foreign language (EFL) curriculum in Taiwan should take as its model the US system.

This is perplexing. By the time an American child goes to school, she/he has probably already had years of intensive English listening and speaking practice, which is clearly not the case with the vast majority of students in Taiwan. Expecting students in an EFL environment to achieve language skills similar to those of native speakers would appear overly optimistic.

Secondly, yes, by all means de-emphasize testing and seek ways to make learning more enjoyable. But would it not be better to pursue such a policy for all subjects at school?

John Coomber

Richmond, Canada

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