Is The Standard of English Being Lowered in Schools?

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In my opinion the teaching and advancement of the English language taught in most Victorian schools in Australia, is being unknowingly or unwillingly massacred by English teachers. With a certain amount of evidence gained as an English tutor, I feel I can justify my argument on this point. In the last few years, an unprecedented number of Asian students from countries such as Vietnam, SriLanka, China and India have caused teachers in both Primary and Secondary schools to lower their standard on this vital subject. In saying this I do not intend to accuse teachers of abandoning their professional criteria, actually, I understand the impossible task they are faced with in their classrooms. The obstacles the teaching profession faces with this influx of second language speakers is far too great, for them to maintain the rigid rules in the teaching of English.

As it is only natural, the majority of these students come from families who; either do not speak English at all, to some who have only a basic knowledge of the language. Bearing this in mind, the children of these families struggle greatly in English thus resulting in very low marks, yet on the other hand they excel in Math Science. Unlike humanities subject which require understanding of vocabulary, comprehension and analysis, the science subjects are easily understood and mastered as its language is universal. On the other hand English grammar is without any doubt one of the more difficult of the Western languages: result, very high marks in Math Science and very low scores in Language.

Schools have attempted to rectify this situation by increasing the level of literacy at the primary level and lower secondary level but the situation is once more frustrated by many other negative factors. Placed in these classes are also the students with learning difficulties which is a totally different category. Unfortunately mixing the two groups retards the learning of the language to a very high degree as they are two totally different types of teaching.

When the majority of Asian background students reach their senior years, his/her English is still well behind the required level. By this time English teachers have no option by to give the student a pass in the subject knowing very well that he/she will do well in Math Science and gain a place at one of the Universities. I honestly believe that teachers have no other option but to do this because by this time it is too late to teach the basics of the language as students need to full fill the requirements set out by the Education Department and governing bodies.

But what is the end result? Here we have students who have achieved perfect study scores in scientific subjects, yet their English score is only at best Year 10 level.   One result which I see very clearly is an emerging professional group without control of the language that can be use to the advantage of the ruling class of the host country.


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