Why we should learn English Language to make a difference

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By  Mr. Mang Sian Tuang

Introduction

One day, while giving lecture in one of my classes, I asked my students about their opinion regarding the use of English as the medium of instruction in the classroom.  One of them gave me his opinion as this, “Sir, we do not need English here in Myanmar, especially for theology students.”  Somehow, this answer is half correct if we only see ourselves to serve with our own ways and means somewhere in a village for the rest of our lives.

In today’s rapid change in the government and the internationalization of our country, Myanmar, it is impossible to deny and ignore English language any longer since it is the most and widest spoken language in the world. English has been playing important role in learning. That being said and having realized that the important of English for all the three major and minor departments of our school, we have been trying hard to make English language not only as the medium of instruction in the classroom but also be the most spoken language within MUAS campus.


Three Reasons Why MUAS students should Learn English Skills

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The first reason for why we have been implementing the use English language as the medium of instruction at MUAS is that it is essentially important for the students in accessing information in such as doing their research, homework etc…which are unavoidable related with English language. All important information and sources are available in English, both in book and in internet webpages.  As a result, the student who knows English has better achievement at his/her project than the one who doesn’t know English well.  In other word, every student needs to know English to access and collect information in order to accomplish whatever task given to them.

Secondly, it (English Knowledge and Skills) help students find a high quality jobs after their graduation.  Especially, this is true and applicable more to Business and Education students.  In business life, the most important common and widest spoken language is obviously English. Good English skills are necessary in order to run and expand business especially with foreigners and in other countries. Moreover, good English Skills are important for teachers, staffs, and faculties in institutions as well.  Compared to the past decades, in Myanmar, there are private schools visibly increasing in numbers.  One of the qualities they have been searching for is ‘good English skills.’

Thirdly, it (English Knowledge and Skills) enables students to communicate with the rest of the world. Communication is a must to do as long as we are healthy and normal person.  We are social social being as created by God.  And God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”[1] “Man was not made to dwell in solitude; he was to be a social being.”[2]  God doesn’t want us to zipped our mouth and sit somewhere like a stone.  He wants us to interact, share our opinions, and help each other.  Especially being Adventists, we are under one international family body as the Seventh-day Adventist Church.  According to the latest statistic available, we have 19,126,438[3] brothers and sisters all over the world.  We need to communicate with our brethren in other countries.  Not only in educational purpose but also in our spiritual and social matters we should have English skills in order to have fellowship with our international family members.

Knowing the importance of English Language for our students, we have started some English Language Development Activity Programs, facilitating a higher level of English language usage at MUAS since this school year of 2016-2017.  The followings are a few improvement to mentioned:

  1. Extra-curriculum classes of Remedial Level I & II in order to enhance the English Knowledge and Skills for our new students who did not successfully pass the placement test.
  2. We set aside English speaking days : Mondays, Wednesday s, and Fridays.
  3. We also conduct English Worship services for Prayer Meetings, Vespers and Sabbath Services for those who really want to develop their English skills. Some argued that why separated worship services?  Why not use English in the Church?  It’s simply because not everyone in MUAS church is neither interested nor understand English.
  4. We also conduct free English Language Activity Program from Monday to Thursday, 5 – 6 P.M for those who’d like to practice their English Skills.
  5. The English Language Program Night has been organized and was conducted on February 13, 2017. (This program is conducted every year).

 

From the Pen of Spirit of Prophecy

“Never rest satisfied with a low standard. In attending school, be sure that you have in view a noble, holy object.  Go because you desire to fit yourselves for service in some part of the Lord’s vineyard.  Do all that you can to attain this object.  You can do more for yourselves than anyone can do for you.  And if you do all that you can for yourselves, what a burden you will lift from the principal and the teachers!  {MYP 184.2}

Before attempting to study the higher branches of literary knowledge, be sure that you thoroughly understand the simple rules of English grammar, and have learned to read and write and spell correctly. . . .  {MYP 184.3}

Do not spend time in learning that which will be of little use to you in your afterlife.  Instead of reaching out for a knowledge of the classics, learn first to speak the English language correctly.  Learn how to keep accounts.  Gain a knowledge of those lines of study that will help you to be useful wherever you are.–“Counsels to Teachers, Parents, and Students,” pp. 218, 219.  {MYP 184.4}.” [4]

*Note: Interview and Survey has been being done among the MUAS school family.  Based on the result, there will be positive improvement in the next school year.  Expect something better Next Year.

Keep it up, moving forward we, MUASians.  Never forget you can do best for you than others.

References

[1] Genesis 2:18 (KJV)

[2] Ellen G. White, “Mind, Character, and Personality”. Vol.1,  1977.  Nashville, TN: Southern Publishing Association, 1977.  161 pp.

[3] https://www.adventist.org/en/information/statistics/article/go/-/seventh-day-adventist-world-church-statistics-2015/

[4] Ellen G. White,  “Mind, Character, and Personality”. Vol.1,  1977.  Nashville161 pp.

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