Thursday, March 21, 2019 | ePaper

Academic learning not enough for conceptualising good English

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Reza Mahmud :
'Education is the backbone of a nation' and it is also a reality that English language dominates the global knowledge. But unfortunately, weakness in English among our students is making the nation less bright. Huge potentials to get scholarship in world famous universities are being untouched by our students only due to weakness in English.
In an interview with The New Nation, ATM Mahmud, the Managing Director of ATM's entrepreneurs, expressed these views in his Malibagh office recently. Mahmud is a former IELTS trainer of Fiscal Economics and Economic Management (FEEM) Course of the Ministry of Finance. He studied BSc at Bangalore University, India. Later on, he established ATM's Entrepreneurs Ltd, which imparts sophisticate trainings on IELTS, SAT, GMAT, GREE, TOEFL, PTE and phonetic English to the learners.
Mahmud said most of the teachers in our school and colleges are reluctant to care of the students learning proper English.
Our curriculum has some lacks in providing proper English according to the context and age which made our generation seriously weak in English. Though in recent years, a good part of our English textbooks are proving fundamental learning of English, but problem is that, most of our teachers in village and urban areas are habituated to follow guidebooks instead of textbooks.
As a result, basic knowledge in English among our students is very shaky.  It is pushing our students towards darkness.  Mahmud said grammar-translation method studied at our schools and colleges sometimes makes the lessons clumsy. Some market-oriented grammar books prescribed by the teachers in our schools and colleges are not up to mark.
Mahmud added, our students are frequently learning from translation books that 'I eat rice' or 'Rice is eaten by me'. But in some context that may not be evaluated as practical English. It is also a major reason that's why our students are being deprived of learning conceptual meaning of using a language like English with due usage. If you say that 'I eat rice' in England or America, the people of that regions may be surprised first, even then they may laugh. The accurate English for that context is 'I have my meal'.
In the same way, our beginners are learning 'The class will be started at 9:00AM'. But the same sentence for the English speaking nations may be, 'The class will start at 9 in the morning',
There are many more examples of wrong and inactive English examples that we are learning these days. Our most English grammar and textbooks are examples of British colonial ages for long. English is now properly upgraded not only in the English speaking countries but also in countries, like Sri Lanka, Nepal and other non-English speaking countries.  
Most of our school and college teachers are providing lessons only with definitions and many grammatical varieties to memorise. But the students are not learning application of English.    As a result, most of our students become weaker in English. It makes them less competitive in the field of scholarship in world's famous universities.  Our students even who secured first class first positions in our top universities failed to get full scholarship from eminent universities of Europe and North America only for this reason.
Many of our scholarship seeking students achieve eligibilities in other subjects, but failed to achieve sufficient scores in IELTS, SAT, GMAT, GREE, TOEFL, PTE only for their weak knowledge in English. And eventually our country is losing huge opportunities to get world standard scholars.  Our meritorious students cannot deliver desirable service to the nation though they were supposed to do.
ATM Mahmud asked the students not to be disappointed. He said the youths should learn English from the reliable sources.   He suggested the government to arrange training for the trainers of the teachers' of the UK or United States or Canada or Australia.
The curriculum and textbooks also need some upgradation. Here the experts can be chosen from the overseas writers like in the UK or USA. Our leaders should realise that it is education, which demand highest importance to build a brilliant nation.

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