English accent on education

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 March, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 March, 1994, 12:00am

BEING Chinese myself, I hasten to echo my support for Steve Tauroza (South China Morning Post, February 26).

I do not know why some other people prefer to teach English through Chinese. In fact, there are a few drawbacks to learning in this way.

Firstly, students will only be supplied with the Chinese meaning for an English word. This does not help them understand the exact meaning of the English word in the English language.

Secondly, on writing a piece of composition, students will try to think and apply a word in its Chinese meaning to their writing. This does not and will not improve their writing skills in English, as they will be grouping sentences under the influence of the Chinese meanings.

Lastly, on cramming the Chinese meaning of an English word, they will fail to appreciate the use of the word, a phrase or a sentence in its English sense.

In order to enhance proficiency in English, I am in support of ''Teach English through English''.

Only by illustrating to the students how a word is used, preferably by giving examples, can they come to appreciate the proper use of the English language.

It does not and will not help if they are only given an English equivalent for an English word.

It is important that lively examples be quoted, whenever possible.

It is time teachers tell their students that English is a beautiful international language.

TANG LAI MAN New Territories