Thursday, April 28, 2011


By G.K. Cheryl Brenda

Source: Sxc hu
A banking group promotes proficiency in English among primary schoolchildren by sponsoring the NiE and Step Up pullouts to 65 schools nationwide.

AS THE global language for trade and commerce, proficiency in English is an essential requirement in the workforce today, and it is important for students to master the language to be competitive globally.

“Having mastery of the English language prepares students for the rapidly changing globalised world,” said EON Bank Bhd senior executive vice president and Group Business and Investment Banking head Peter Y C Chow. Chow, who presented a sponsorship worth RM68,640 towards The Star’s Newspaper-in-Education (NiE) pullouts at SK Cheras Indah, Kuala Lumpur recently, said it was the group’s mission to develop youth to be better equipped for the future. “We hope to change the world through our youth,” he added.

The Star deputy group chief editor (I) David Yeoh received the mock cheque on behalf of the newspaper. Under the sponsorship, 65 schools nationwide will receive the NiE and Step Up pullouts throughout the year. NiE is an English language supplement catered to primary and secondary school students, while Step Up is designed specifically for students in Chinese primary schools. Chow said newspapers were an excellent tool for improving the command of students’ English. He added that NiE fostered learning in a fun manner and this could increase and sustain students’ interest in the language.

Chow also said English was the lingua franca of the banking industry, adding that having a good grasp of the language was essential as it was the medium of instruction for international and global transactions.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

GLOBAL TALENT WAR continues: English as An Edge in Business


In this issue, we will provide an exclusive insight into the importance of English as a primary Lingua Franca, and a comparison of Malaysian candidates’ English Language Assessment (ELA) results against results from other ASEAN countries.

1. How are we compared to other countries?
  Find out how Malaysian candidates fared in the English Language Assessment (ELA), which measures levels of comprehension and understanding in English.
2. Cross Industry Highlights
  We provide an Insight into ELA results across Industries, based on junior, senior and manager levels, and across various industries.
3. Why is it important to hire jobseekers with a good command of English?
  The effects of globalization in the Information Technology age makes English an important Lingua Franca in Asia.

Link from

Saturday, April 16, 2011

'I got laughed at for speaking English'

by K.G. KRISHNAN, Malay Mail.
Underprivileged kids face challenges when using newly-acquired language skills.
It is easy to understand why many Malaysian students face difficulties when it comes to the English language, be it written or in conversations.

"The environment in school doesn't allow us to ask many questions and converse in English among our peers," said Esmanizam Amir, 15, one of the students undergoing the English Access Microscholarship Programme at the ELS Language Centre here.

The programme has been operating in Malaysia since March with 80 students from four schools in the Klang Valley taking part. Students spend two hours per lesson at ELS twice a week, and are taught to read, write and converse in English.

Although many have only recently started to show improvement, they are helped by the centre's conducive environment and the interesting structure of the programme using multimedia tools in the learning process. When asked whether they had the chance to practise their verbal skills in school, student Nor Khairunnisa, 15, said it was not easy as other students find it strange when they tried to speak English.

"I got laughed at sometimes and my friends thought I was arrogant for trying to speak in English. I'm trying to improve but it is not easy when there aren't many people you can speak the language with."

Even representatives from ELS faced difficulties convincing schools to participate in the programme as they were apprehensive about what it could do for students when the local schools could not. "One of the biggest challenges in countries where English is not a popular second language is the ability to access English on a day-to-day basis," said US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Academic Programmes Alina Romanowski.
"Because of its conversational structure, the students also develop confidence and the courage to speak in English. The only way to improve is to keep speaking it!"

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Top jobs only for those who know the language well


It does not matter if you are top of your class or have a string of degrees, that dream job will not be yours unless you can speak and write well in English.

Feedback from local and international employers shows that verbal and written communication skills in English remain the most sought-after attribute in prospective employees.

According to a recent Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) survey, it is the most important trait employers look for when recruiting graduates.

The MEF Salary Survey for Executives 2010 revealed that 68% of the companies surveyed named communication skills as the top quality required in job applicants, followed by working experience (67%), interpersonal skills (56.2%) and passion and commitment (55.7%). MEF executive director Shamsuddin Bardan said globalisation had changed the nature of jobs, making communication skills, specifically in English, a valuable asset for today's worker.He added that this was an essential criterion even for professions traditionally seen as “backroom” staff such as engineers, technical personnel and scientists. “It is especially so for those working in multinationals and bigger firms,” he said. “Today, our clients are worldwide. In factories, for instance, engineers are a different breed from the past,” said Shamsuddin.
“Now, they have to be involved in various aspects of business and interact with clients.”
Shamsuddin expressed concern that many local graduates today could not speak or write proper English, saying this was a reason why they faced difficulties getting jobs in the private sector.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


by Kathleen Marcos

Most experts agree that the earlier a child is introduced to a second language, the greater the chances are that the child will become truly proficient in the language. A February 1996 Newsweek article made the claim that "A child taught a second language after the age of 10 or so is unlikely ever to speak it like a native." This statement is supported by linguists and has been proven in extensive research studies.

In addition to developing a lifelong ability to communicate with more people, children may derive other benefits from early language instruction, including improved overall school performance and superior problem-solving skills. Knowing a second language ultimately provides a competitive advantage in the work force by opening up additional job opportunities.

What Are the Benefits of Knowing a Second Language?
Students of foreign languages score statistically higher on standardized tests conducted in English. In its 1992 report, College Bound Seniors: The 1992 Profile of SAT and Achievement Test Takers, the College Entrance Examination Board reported that students who averaged 4 or more years of foreign language study scored higher on the verbal section of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) than those who had studied 4 or more years in any other subject area. In addition, the average mathematics score for individuals who had taken 4 or more years of foreign language study was identical to the score of those who had studied the same number of years of mathematics. These findings are consistent with College Board profiles for previous years. 
Students of foreign languages have access to a greater number of career possibilities and develop a deeper understanding of their own and other cultures. Some evidence also suggests that children who receive second language instruction are more creative and better at solving complex problems. The benefits to society are many. Americans fluent in other languages enhance our economic competitiveness abroad, improve global communication, and maintain our political and security interests.