‘English-only’ policy not necessarily ideal: The Economist 《經濟學人》:「全英語」不見得適合所有科目

Thu, Mar 21, 2019 - Page 15

To promote the “bilingual country” policy, the Ministry of Education proposed late last year that certain subjects be taught in English only, to boost students’ English ability. According to a report recently published in the Economist, however, an “English-only” policy for all subjects may not necessarily benefit children’s learning, and may sometimes even be detrimental to it.

“Teaching children in English is fine if that is what they speak at home and their parents are fluent in it,” said the report. “But that is not the case in most public and low-cost private schools. Children are taught in a language they don’t understand by teachers whose English is poor. The children learn neither English nor anything else.”

The magazine reported that in a study conducted in 12 schools in Cameroon, those taught in their mother tongue did better than those taught in English in all subjects. As it suggested, English should indeed be seen as an important subject, but not necessarily the language of instruction at school.

(Eddy Chang, Taipei Times)