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Does every student need to learn English so hard?

Popularity 10Viewed 2614 times 2015-7-15 14:24 |System category:News| English, learn

Although I am a crazy English language pursuer, I don’t think every student in China should learn English so hard as they should today. Or to some extent I think English should be completely canceled for some certain students who have special talents but don’t love English at all. Sounds mad, right? But I have my word: schools need to teach students English in general but shouldn’t ask everyone to learn English so hard.

Since the UK built its colonies in many parts of the world more than 100 years ago, English has been spread wildly to nearly every part of the world. Now it becomes the only language we know the most popular, most widely used, most common throughout the world. It seems if you don’t learn English, you lag behind others or will be laughed at by others who know it. 

For me, this phenomenon looks very ridiculous!

English has so far been globalized, and it helps people communicate with one another much better than ever. However, it shouldn’t be one important standard to judge a person’s ability or to be treated as a reference to decide whether a student deserves better education. 

In my time at school, many of classmates didn’t like English or even hate it because their English marks were always low and didn’t think this was useful for them, but many of them had very good marks in other subjects such as math, physics, chemistry, biology and so on. However, they never had access to better education in high school or at college and university because of their low English marks which dragged their whole marks. I was lucky and that time I was haughty about my English, but my match, physics and math were very poor. Yet I was admitted to accept better education. Sounds like a dream.

Now the condition seems to be changing, but parents and the whole society seem to be seriously infected by this social disease. Students still work as hard as you can imagine to learn this subject (in fact, English is only a language), memorizing ridiculously long words (feeblemindedness, biotransformation, chemiluminescence) and ridiculously complicated grammar rules (future perfect continuous tense, past future perfect continuous tense, subjective mood and its changes). After many years of study and training, they still cannot speak decent English or write a well-formed English sentence. So much time has been invested, but not so appreciable results are seen. What a waste of time! 

All these examples are not saying we shouldn’t learn English, but they mean we should learn English reasonably and set reasonable standards. Everyone should learn English because this is the trend of our time and many industries need it; but not everyone should learn it as hard as they do now to have no time to learn other more important things such as math, history, chemistry and so on. In fact, some are willing to learn it and can learn it quickly and well, while others are not or even oppose it but they are excellent in other areas. But if more students and graduates can learn it for their future jobs, that will be much better, because you have an aim and can choose a certain field. Then, your time will not be wasted. 

However, English training centers always highlight the importance of English although the fact is not what they tell to their customers, because the more students they have, the more money they will get. If you really think you need it, learn it with all kinds of methods including training centers (I don’t suggest most people do it); but if you are affected or attracted by others including trainers, you had better be careful. I know you have precious time to learn other things rather than English itself. 

Finally I think I need to repeat my view: students need to learn English but not every student needs to learn it as hard as they do today. If you learn it for your future job, that’s the best; if you learn it for better communication, that’s better; if you learn it for showing you don’t lag behind, that’s good; if you learn it for fun, that’s fun; if you learn it only for examinations, that’s just acceptable but not okay; and if you learn it and feel terrible, that’s bad and you had better drop it. So, some worry about their marks, and I think the examination system should be changed now. 

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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