This English Teacher’s England Very Powderful

this english teacher’s england very powderful

How often do we get the chance to tell a teacher “You are wrong”?

One shocked mum from Malaysia got a surprise when her daughter received a poor Tahap Penguasaan rating (measure of language mastery in government schools).

Her daughter was given TP 4, which is just slightly above average, and definitely not the kind of score one would expect from a child who used to score As in English exams.

On top of that, the young girl had also won best reader awards since preschool. Pretty hard to believe someone like that had such mediocre mastery of the language.

The mother marched over to the school to find out more from the teacher and received a handwritten note by the teacher, explaining his decision.

this english teacher’s england very powderful

Photo: Facebook (Malaysia Education Info)

Taken aback by the letter, the mum posted it in a Malaysia Education Info Facebook group, where it has since received plenty of attention.

The errors were outstanding. 

To start things off, he said he wanted to explain his “sentense”. Yup, you read that right. He followed it up by saying he wanted to explain more about why the young student “has difficulty in understanding the language". Honestly, we think she would have more difficulty in understanding his note.

He also said “I no doubt to agree that (the student) can speak English well”, but what he really meant was her "English of knowledge not for communication" because “Communication English is diffirent from knowledge English." 

The “explanation” leaves us with more questions than answers.

Netizens got a great laugh out of it, on top of being shocked, of course. Many said an overhaul of the education system was needed, while yet another Facebook user suggested the mother tell her child to use simpler words and speak slower - maybe the teacher will finally catch up.

There were a few opposing views, however. One netizens said that when the Ministry of Education decided to make the move from standard exams to formative assessments, TP is used to indicate the level of every subskill a student should master in a subject. As an example, she listed listening, speaking, reading and writing as some of the subskills, with the total per subject amounting to about 31 subskills. That’s...quite a number for one subject.

She elaborated that the final score, which is what parents receive, are dependent on the total accumulated score of the student’s subskills. This would mean the assessment just might be fair despite the teacher’s proficiency level. She explained that many teachers might be unable to explain the formative assessment clearly, with the situation made worse by misinformed parents and guardians.

But when you want to feed someone, shouldn’t you prepare food first? In the same way one should be equipped with knowledge before trying to teach?

By: Celestine Foo