2015年11月24日 星期二

什麼時候要開始學英語? When Should We Study English?

One of my coworkers goes to a lot of meetings.  He goes to meetings in Taipei, meetings in Kaohsiung, even meetings in Jinmen.  When he comes back from these meetings, he usually leaves the handbook from the meeting on his desk.  When I have a spare moment I'll look through them.  我的一位同事常出席許多的會議.  他會去台北, 高雄, 甚至也會去金門開會.  他回來之後常把會議手冊放在他的桌上.  當我有空的時候會看一下這些手冊.

The Chinese text below was taken from the 英語語言管理操作手冊 (English Language User's Manual), put out by the Global Education Association in Taiwan.  The Chinese was written by Chen Chao-ming 陳超明, and the English translation was written by me.  下列的文章原來在台灣全球化教育推廣協會的"英語語言管理操作手冊"裡面.  以下的中文是陳超明寫的, 英文翻譯的部份是我寫的.




When: 什麼時候開始學英語?  如何學?
When Should We Study English?  How Should We Study?

學生, 家長, 老師, 校長的難題 Problems for Students, Parents, Teachers, and Principals

小成目前就讀小學一年級, 哥哥小威就讀小學三年級, 剛開始進入學習階段.  如同許多家長, 小成, 小威的爸媽認為英文很重要, 在孩子很小, 甚至幼推園的時候, 就送去雙語幼推園及補習班學英語, 希望贏在起跑點.  他們的煩惱是進入學校後, 孩子的英語學習該如何接續?  那麼小開始學英語, 真的有效嗎? 真的贏別人嗎?  Shiao Chung is in the first grade, his brother Shiao Wei is in the third grade, and their student life has just begun.  Like many parents, Shiao Chung and Shiao Wei's mother and father think that English is very important.  Their children have attended a bilingual kindergarten and also an English cram school from very early on, in the hope that an early start will ensure their later academic success.  After these parents carry their concerns into a [public] school, how can their children's English study be accommodated?  Is it effective to study English so young?  Will they [the children] really surpass other students?

小學六年級的小華, 即將進入國中, 因為英文程度不太好, 時常跟不上老師上課的進度, 學習成效也不及同班同學, 結果在課堂上常常當"客人".  老師為他安排補救教學, 但小華本身對英文沒有興趣: 校長希望老師讓學生在小學畢業後, 能有基本的英語能力, 好跟國中的英語課程接軌, 可是英語補救教學的學習成效似乎不甚理想, 小華好像也上得不起勁, 老師, 校長都不知道該如何處理!  Shiao Hua is in the sixth grade, about to enter junior high school.  Her English level is not very high, and during English class she has trouble keeping up.  Her grades are also below those of her classmates, and she is more like a "guest" in her class.  Her teacher has assigned her to a remedial class, but she has no interest in English.  The principal hopes that the teacher can instill some English ability in the students before they graduate from elementary school, so that they can participate in their junior high school English classes.  The English remedial classes don't seem so effective however, and Shiao Hua doesn't seem so enthusiastic with regard to studying [English].  Both the teacher and the principal don't know what to do!

雅婷目前就讀國中, 正在準備會考.  雅婷很緊張, 成續不甚理想, 模擬考分數數下子在B級, 一下子在C級.  雅婷媽媽正考慮送他去補習班, 但要上單字課還是文法課?  該去雙語補習班專攻英文?  還是去全課的升學補習班?  抑或加強英文其實不重要, 選擇其他課就好?  Ya Ting studied in a junior high school, and now she is preparing for the comprehensive examination [at the end of junior high].  Ya Ting is very worried.  Her grades aren't as good as she hoped they'd be, and her scores are sometimes B-level, sometimes C-level.  Ya Ting's mother is thinking about putting her in a cram school, but should it be vocabulary class or grammar class?  Should she [Ya Ting] go to a dual language cram school to learn English?  Or should she go to a more general cram school?  Or is strengthening her English not that important?  Maybe she should choose another kind of class?

國強從小英語能力很強, 小學時, 爸爸曾到新加坡工作一年, 也帶著他去.  在新加坡的英文學校學習一年, 國強培養出閱讀英文故事書的習慣, 也敢開口講英語, 然而四年級回到學校後, 發現同學都還在跟字母, 發音及單字拼命, 國強覺得上英語課好無聊!  Chiang Guo has been good at English from a young age.  When he was in elementary school, his father went to work in Singapore for a year, and brought Chiang Guo to live with him.  In his Singaporean English school he studied for a year, and there Chiang Guo learned to read English story books.  He is very eager to speak English.  Yet when he came back to his elementary school in the fourth grade, he discovered that his classmates were still learning the alphabet, phonics, and basic words.  Chiang Guo feels that attending English class is very boring!

以上這些例子, 都是台灣現今國小及國中學生, 家長, 老師, 校長所面臨的英語學習難題.  我們可以看得出來, 大多數家長對於孩子的英語學習狀況都非常關心, 學校老師與校長也都很重視英語學習.  The above are all examples of problems that students, parents, and principals face in modern Taiwanese elementary and junior high schools with regard to English study.  As we can see, most parents are concerned about their child's English learning situation, and both teachers and principals are concerned about English language education.

家長的願景 The Parents' Perspective

父母心中最大的疑問, 不外乎孩子應該什麼時候開始學英文?  如何引起孩子學習英文的興趣?  再者, 應該送孩子去哪裡學英文?  應跟著學校走?  還是去補習班或安排家教?  In the hearts of many parents the greatest uncertainty is not only when their children should begin learning English, it is also how they can increase their child's interest in learning it.  Moreover, where should they send their child to learn English?  Should they follow their school's lead?  Or should they put their child in a cram school, or even a private [home] class?

多數家長都希望孩子具備英文能力, 能溝通, 考好學校, 將基礎打好, 將來能去國外留學, 進外商工作.  然而, 很多家長對於孩子的學習成效是沒有概念的, "英文好"的定義是什麼?  會講幾句英文?  還是會讀英文小說?  國中畢業後, 孩子的英語能力應該在什麼程度?  是以學校成續來評量?  還是要以國中會考成續來判定?  抑或有其他的標準?  矛盾的是, 國中會考現在又強調非升學指標, 種種疑問都讓家長們對於孩子英語學習的未來不是那麼清楚.  Most parents hope their children will have some English ability, that they will be able to communicate and test well, and that they will have a solid foundation [in English], so that later they can study or work overseas.  Many parents, however, have no conception of how effective their child's English education really is, or what it means to have "good English."  How many sentences should they be able to say?  Should they be able to read an English novel?  And after they graduate from junior high school, how much English should they know?  Are their grades in school an [accurate] measure of this?  Or is this decided by their score on the comprehensive examination at the end of junior high school?  Should some other standard be applied?  More confusing still, the comprehensive examination at the end of junior high school also puts an emphasis on quotas, so that for these parents the future, as it relates to their child's English study, is not so clear.

校長老師對英語課程的想像 What Principals and Teachers Expect from the English Curriculum

對國小校長來說, 建構學校語言學習的願景, 最重要的當然是讓孩子具備基本英文能力, 並擁有學習英文的動機和興趣: 至於國中校長, 當然期望該校學生會考成續都能夠達到A, B級, 不會有C級成續.  As for elementary school principals and their visions of building up [improving] English study [in their schools], of course the most important thing is to teach basic English skills, to motivate children to learn English, and to increase their interest in learning English.  As for the junior high school principal, of course it is their hope that their students can test at the A and B levels on their big test, and not at the C level.

然而, 國小校長所面臨的最大困難, 在教師來源不穩定, 許多學校沒有專識英語教師, 英語教師的識缺, 有時甚至得由不同料的教師來代理.  此外, 國中小的能力分班亦面臨著極大桃戰.  有的學生補習, 有的沒有, 程度不一定狀況下, 能力分班卻是困難重重: 即使教育當局充許分組學習, 但教師不足, 資源有限, 如何分組?  倘若分班, 同班同學的能力仍有落差: 不進行分班, 又該如何進行差異化學習?  However, the biggest difficulty that the elementary school principal faces is the varying quality of teachers [in their schools], and [the fact that] many schools do not have a qualified English teacher.  [Due to] this lack of expertise, they sometimes employ teachers of questionable quality.  Aside from this, there is also the struggle regarding ability grouping within junior high and elementary schools.  Some students go to cram school, and some don't.  [Student's] levels of achievement are not always obvious, and grouping them by ability is very difficult.  Even educational authorities are divided into several factions over this issue.  If there aren't enough teachers, and if resources are limited, how should such groups be created?  If such placement is not attempted, and if students in the same class are allowed to fall behind, how can we then address the learning differences between them? 

每位老師都希望學生有良好的英語能力, 但也面臨著許多困境: 第一, 課程繁重, 班級眾多, 尤其是代課老師, 往往對課程的準備無法負擔且不夠完整: 再者, 班上學生的英語文程度差異性大, 該如何解決分組學習的困境?  更何況, 家長常要求老師多教授考試內容, 也使得老師教學受到約束.  趕進度的壓力, 對學校及家長需有所交代的壓力, 都是現今英語教學的難題.  Every teacher wants their students to have a high level of English ability, but they also face several difficulties.  Chief among these difficulties is the fact that their course loads are heavy, they have many classes, and they are often working as substitute teachers.  Often they don't have enough time to prepare, and they cannot complete their courses of study.  What is more, the levels of English ability within a single class vary widely.  How then can we solve this problem of grouping them by English ability?  And alongside this issue, parents often pressure teachers and professors over the content of tests, and place other such restraints upon the teacher.  There is increasing pressure for improvement, and students and parents want accountability.  This is the difficulty that modern schools face with regard to teaching English.

Related Entries 相關的文章:

Nine Years
Commun Englash Mastakes 常見的英文錯誤
Intro 自我介紹 7
Far Glory Amusement Park 遠雄海洋公園 

Related Links 相關的網站:

台灣全球化教育推廣協會 
104國中會考英語科閱讀試題解答 (Sample of junior high school comprehensive test - English section)

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