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DeShong not pleased with use of English in schools

DeShong not pleased with use of English in schools


Luis DeShong, Acting Deputy Chief Education Officer has commended the government for their policy of Universal Secondary Education. But he has made clear his ministry’s dissatisfaction with one aspect of the education system.

DeShong made his Ministry’s position known last Friday at the final of the Karib Cable Word up Spelling Competition.

He pointed out that the Ministry “is not entirely pleased with the quality of the use of English throughout the school system here.”{{more}}

DeShong underlined the importance of English as “vital way of communicating in our schools and also in public life.”

The education officer encouraged the study of English so as to gain confidence in their studies and in the world beyond.

“They can develop their ability to evaluate the way the language is used, and learn to analyse all the complex features,” DeShong went on.

DeShong is of the view that students can develop skills in “speaking, listening, reading and writing,” and according to him, those attributes would enable them “to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with others effectively.”

“Our students can also learn to become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry, and drama, and develop the ability to make articulate and perceptive comments about the texts which they use in class,” he added.

One who places great emphasis on the importance of spelling correctly, DeShong stated: “It can help them to understand and appreciate how language works by looking at its patterns, structures and origins.”

The Ministry is making efforts to address the situation and he urged teachers to “make every effort to ensure that you integrate the skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing” in lesson planning and delivery.”

“You have to get them to listen to understand and respond critically to others, to participate effectively as members of different groups and to evaluate their own and others’ contributions,” DeShong explained.

The Education Officer wants students to be taught “how the language varies, how English is developed, the changes over time, the borrowings from other languages and also origins of words.

DeShong is not overlooking the impact of electronic communication on written language, and its direct relationship to spelling. He wants teachers to get students to “increase their knowledge of regular patterns of spelling, word families, roots of words and derivations, including stem, prefix, suffix and inflection.”

DeShong also wants teachers to instill in students to “learn to spell increasingly complex polysyllabic words that do not conform to regular patterns.

He used the opportunity to encourage “principals and teachers to work assiduously towards helping students to improve their levels of literacy.”

For DeShong, it is a matter of urgency for us “to do what is necessary to place high on the national agenda this issue of improvement in the overall command of English.”