I find it very interesting and troublesome that most of the science students these days in our beloved country, is torn between our native tongue, and the commonly used language in communicating with the rest in the world of science, English.
You see, be it that even though there is some educational decree already being implemented to the system that all science subjects should and will be teach in English, its quite illuminating when you find out the actual numbers of academician that is actually doing it. Of course I meant after you left the educational world where you’re still wearing uniform. After all, they haven’t got much of a choice if the text book is printed in a certain so called fixed language.
Now, now the story is different when you move into undergraduate level or above. We all know that reading materials majority are in our second language and supposedly should be taught that way too in lectures. Perhaps, this all has already been implemented in private institution, but what about the public ones.?
I for one do not understand why lecturers still choose to translate their materials into our native tongue and teach it in class when they’ve been told to use the first language in science, second in their blood.
I got pretty used to it in the beginning, after having to translate everything I've learn in form 4 and form 5 which is in Malay to English after entering form 6. And then I thought when it comes to uni, it will be the same. The truth is, some of my subjects are still taught in Malay. Which is a wee bit of difficult seeing that we’ve been working on language translation more than actually learning sciences. Is it somehow these comfy lecturers are so used to what they’ve been teaching all these while in their prepared ancient notes that they find it ridiculously difficult to switch everything in a short notice.? Perhaps yes, and okay we’re students, younger perhaps easier to adapt when situation changes. But then, who are the so called professionals then.?
Okay, forget that. On top of everything, what I can’t stand most, is lecturer teaching in Malay with notes in English and exam in Malay. Or teaching in English with English notes but Malay exam. Or teach in Malay with Malay notes and English exam. Or teach in Malay, notes in English, quiz in English and exam in Malay. You name the combination..
It make me felt like a walking translation dictionary, if we’re good with language than of course it doesn’t matter. The problem is most of us isn’t. If you say translating everyday word that we use in most of our daily conversation of course it’s not such a big issue. But when you’re wrecking your brain in the meaning of scientific terms itself , changing it into another language is no easy task.
Not to mention exactly how many subjects required that. For me, reading Malay notes and writing them in English is okay. But reading English notes and writing them in Malay is in fact quite problematic. I can’t even do a decent Malay presentation in front of class because I can’t figure out whats the Malay word for this and that. Shoot me.
Some reckon its good for our language capability, extra flexible but still, I find it an extra burden to deal with besides swallowing the text books and squashing piles of notes into my already concentrated brain full of rubbish in such a short period. As if we've got nothing to do with our spare time.