It is my opinion that the Chinese educationist die-hards require a substantial shift in the way they treat the English language as well. While I completely respect their right to their independence and freedom of thought, their resistance to even simple things like teaching Mathematics and Science in English is causing an entire generation of Chinese students to be inept in the language.
I've "complained" often with regards to the quality of English of many of my job applicants, particularly those from Chinese schools background, giving many anecdotes of the candidates writing skills in their application forms and resumes. However, I've just read a post by Rosalind on her blog which I thought was quite funny (in a dark sort of way) :)
In her own words, she was "bitching" about the standards of English amongst the Chinese educated student crowd. They:
1) Cannot speak proper EnglishCurrently, while she is pursuing her degree at a private college:
2) Do not take the initiative to speak English in college (in class) to further improve their conversation skill in that language
3) Think that English speaking or Kebangsaan school students are arrogant and would look down on them
4) Blamed their lecturers when they fail to put their thoughts into words so to deliver a proper (understandable) answer in the exam which in the end will either cause them to get a weak grade or a fail.
5) Prefered not to talk to English speaking students because they do not want to speak to them back in English
...90% of the students in my tutorial are chinese ed students (those typical, never like to speak English at all kinda chinese ed students). These group of people would always be the ones working extra hard to pass their final exams at the end of every semester. When I say extra hard, I meant to say that they have to read their notes repeatedly and then translate it into Mandarin to understand those notes better.How-lah like that? :) While Rosalind may just have generalised a bit with regards to Chinese educated fellow students in her eagerness to "bitch" ;), there's more than a grain of truth in most of what she said.
Lecturers and tutors often find it tough to teach them because they would have to go at a slower pace during lectures and some had to be more lenient when marking the assignments as some of these students are a lil weak in their written English.
I've blogged about "Chinese vs National schools" (part I and part II) and this is one of the main reasons why I'm hesitant about sending my daughter to a Chinese school (although I've not decided yet...). I'm certain that the Chinese education authorities can do much better than this.