No need to ban English classes
Updated: 2013-09-17 09:31
Wang Xuming, former spokesman for the Ministry of Education, has reportedly given a call to cancel English language classes in primary schools in order to strengthen cultural education. This has sparked a public debate, with many people supporting his view and others opposing it. But learning the English language does not harm cultural education, says an article on gmw.cn. Excerpts:
It's true that some schools lay undue emphasis on the learning of the English language, which increases the burden of students and the cost of education. But that does not mean we need to ban English classes, because it's very important for students to have a good working knowledge of the language in today's globalized world.
Moreover, it is important to introduce English in primary school because it's easier for children to learn a new language at a relatively early age. The contradiction between cultural education and learning the English language is not irreconcilable. Children can better understand the relationship between English and Chinese languages if the school syllabus is properly worked out.
Of course, there is no need to lay special emphasis on the English language and neglect the Chinese language. The right balance between the two can be achieved, for example, by reducing the amount of homework and easing the pressure of tests on students.
An average student in China today is judged on the basis of his/her knowledge of the English language. In fact, it helps a candidate to get admitted to a university and even land a job. This forces parents to pressure their children to pay greater attention to English from an early age, increasing their burden. Therefore, the need is for parents to understand that they have to strike the right balance when comes to their children learning English and other subjects.
(China Daily 09/17/2013 page9)