The reintroduction of the English language in the Malaysian education system has been widely discussed in recent times, with many believing that English ‒ especially in Math and Science ‒ can help the country maintain its competitiveness in an increasingly globalised world.
This discussion comes on the heels of Education First’s (EF; an international education company that specializes in language training) recent English Proficiency Index, showing Malaysia’s year-on-year decline in English mastery compared against 100 countries worldwide, at 26th in 2019, from 22nd in 2018 and 13th in 2017.
This challenge is further exacerbated when considering that 64% of employers rank poor english proficiency as the second largest issue with regards to graduate unemployment in Malaysia, as the inadequate standard of English proficiency to write and discuss work matters can hinder communications between colleagues and clients.
While skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving and emotional intelligence are sought after, mastery of the English language is still crucial to enable a more efficient means of communication among colleagues. Realising the importance of having individuals and the upcoming workforce become more adept at English, Emphasis English Academy was founded to aid Malaysians in learning the language.
“English, being the primary medium for communication in multinational conglomerates and large firms in Malaysia, contributes to the graduate’s ability to compete against their global counterparts. I believe that mastering the English language can empower and enable our children for future jobs created by the upcoming digital wave and Industry 4.0. The ability to understand and communicate effectively then ‒ especially when considering technical and ICT terms ‒ will make them viable across the industry as higher value assets to any team,” said Ronan O’Carroll, founder and teacher at English Emphasis Academy.
Believing that each individual learns English language at different rates, Emphasis focuses on helping Malaysian students hone and sharpen their mastery of the English language based on their current proficiency.
Their courses ensure that students are exposed to writing, listening, reading and speech components of the language through both formal and informal means of teaching, laying down the groundwork for them to build on as they continually broaden their understanding of the English language. Ultimately, the goal the brand seeks to achieve is to empower Malaysians with the necessary set of skills that will aid them in better grasping concepts and ideas in English besides just the English language itself.
This is in line with the former interim Education Minister and current interim Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad who has recently mentioned the possibility of reintroducing the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English. He has also expressed how crucial it is that educators are tasked with producing a generation that can master the English language, ensuring students have more opportunities locally and globally.