BUKIT LANJAN: Stop talking, act fast to raise proficiency of English in Malaysia

How one Chinese firm uses A.I. to teach English

Start-up Liulishuo has created personalized English courses powered by artificial intelligence
Published 9:29 PM ET Mon, 8 Jan 2018 Updated 1:19 AM ET Tue, 9 Jan 2018CNBC.com
Chinese education start-up Liulishuo has developed what it calls the world's first artificial intelligence English teacher. After years spent gathering data on Chinese people speaking English, the firm employed deep learning to create personalized English courses powered by AI. Available on the firm's mobile app, the courses were launched in 2016 and boast around 50 million registered users. AI teaching can triple learning efficiency, CEO and Founder Yi Wang told CNBC on the sidelines of the Morgan Stanley Tech, Media & Telecom conference in Beijing. Schools have long suffered from a short supply of highly qualified teachers, he said, but now "technology, especially AI and mobile internet, has enabled us to extract the best out of the best teachers." "We're seeing a tidal shift here," he added … for more, go to https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/08/liulishuos-english-teacher-is-powered-by-artificial-intelligence.html 
English in China today KINGSLEY BOLTON AND DAVID GRADDOL The current popularity of English in China is unprecendented, and has been fuelled by the recent political and social development of Chinese society Introduction According to a 2010 China Daily article, the number of English learners in China is now around 400 million, approximately one third of China’s population (see also Wei and Su, this issue). The importance of English in the state education system has been supplemented by the rapid growth of privately-run language schools and training institutes across the country in recent years. The same article quoted a comment by Ms Xiao Yan, the public relations manager of the Wall Street English language school chain, who gave her explanation for the current popularity of English in the following terms: … for more, go to http://www3.ntu.edu.sg/home/kbolton/pdf/(2012)%20Bolton%20and%20Graddol.pdf

 BUKIT LANJAN: Stop talking, act fast to raise proficiency of English in Malaysia

The lamenting of the deteriorating standard of Malaysians’ written and spoken English is but the sound of a broken record.

Much have been debated and uttered by politicians for decades but there appears to be no political will to do the right thing.

“It has been all talk but no concrete action or significant change in the country’s education system and policies,” Gerakan Deputy Speaker Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff said.

Look at a Facebook posting by Chan Boon Yee and digest his comments:

 Chan Boon Yee 
Gone were the days of the yore when we had students who were proficient in the English language.
In the pre-independent 1950s and the early 1960s the then federation of Malaya had the highest standard of English proficiency in the world.
Most of these are now in their declining years or have passed on.
Teachers trained at the Kirkby Lodge in Liverpool and the Bransford Lodge in Wolves were English specialists when they graduated.Our primary and secondary students in the National type English medium schools profited immensely from their teaching of the rudiments of good English usage.
Now we are in dearth of such good English teachers as most of the teachers were products of an educational system entirely in the BM medium.They are mostly below the 50s and are not adept in the teaching of English.
If we do not have good and competent English teachers at our disposal do not expect our students to be proficient in English.
I have seen English teachers in national schools teaching English as merely reading from the textbook and then explain to them in BM.This also happens in the national type Chinese schools.
We need to have a clear cut policy when it comes to English.It should not be politicised or being used as a political tool by irresponsible politicians.

“We all agree that English is the global language of communication - both written and spoken. Why then are we not trying or doing anything about our education system to raise the standard and proficiency of English among Malaysians and their children?

“And a strong command of English is the key to our children’s education to understand key subjects like Science and Mathematics.

“And, we all also agree that quality and competent human capital is the foundation for a country’s continuous socio-economic growth,” he added.

10 Chinese Cities with the Best English
By That's, November 18, 2016
Education First (EF) has researched a global survey ranking English-speaking proficiency among different nations, listing the results in its annual English Proficiency Index (EPI). This year, China ranked in the middle of the list at 39th with a score of 50.94/100 and a “low” proficiency grade. Here's a look at the top ten Chinese cities for English-language speaking skills, according to EF's 2016 EPI rankings … for more, go to http://www.thatsmags.com/shanghai/post/16387/shanghai-has-the-highest-english-proficiency-in-china

Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest N.37 Bukit Lanjan in the coming 14th General Election (GE14), said: “China is a good example why English proficiency can help in a country’s socio-economic growth.

“Look at the Chinese professionals and English news anchors in their television stations. They are just simply more impressive than Malaysians,” he added.

Syed Razak said: “China is today a nation with a population of 1.4 billion. Some 400 million Chinese nationals are learning English … that’s about 30% of the population.

“Look how advanced China is today, in terms of science and technology, and economy. Can you imagine what China will be like in the future with at least 80% of the population learning English?”

Syed Razak reminded all that China was very much poorer and backward when Malaysia secured Merdeka (Independence) in 1957.

“Where are we today, compared with China? Have we really progressed?” he asked.

Syed Razak said elected lawmakers from both sides of the political divide “must stop talking and make bold decisions to aggressively reform the country’s education policies and system”.

“This must be done fast before it is too late. Our neighbours have overtaken or are catching up with us fast, in education, science and technology and economy,” he added.



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