Teachers and students weak in English, Putrajaya study shows


Eileen Ng, TMI

A study by Putrajaya on English proficiency among students and teachers found that a majority of them had a weak command of the language, Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan (pic) told Parliament today.

Kamalanathan said the study conducted by the Cambridge English Language Assessment on the teaching and learning of English in Malaysian schools found that a majority of the students did not improve their basic level of English, with their main weakness being conversational skills.

“The teachers are weak in speaking skills to improve on their pedagogy knowledge. They are also burdened with administrative work,” he told Datuk Mansor Othman (PKR-Nibong Tebal).

Carried out last year, the study was conducted in 476 schools, involving 31,000 students and 1,000 teachers.

In the study, teachers and students were tested, given questionnaires and had face-to-face interviews to gauge their English proficiency during the baseline project by the Cambridge group.

It was reported earlier in The Star that among the findings of the study were that 37% of English teachers in primary schools had high English proficiency and 85% of students were keen on learning the subject, while more than 97% of English teachers were interested in their field.