another reason to hire native English teachers
Chua Mui Hoong wrote her piece today explaining the need for native speakers. Her reasons, why not, as long as they are trained and capable. Then why not trained Singaporeans who are capable? If the conditions are capabilities and being trained to do the job, you don't need native speakers. She then argued that with native speakers, you can create a conducive environment for the language to flourish. True, how many do you need to create such an environment? 5 native speakers in a school? Here is her answer and the main problems that our society will have to deal with. 'Students need good speech models. Hiring a few more hundred English lanuguage teachers can help create a good English speaking environment in neighbourhood schools. Students will benefit.' Sure I also agree. Just have 100 native English speaking teachers should be sufficient for a school to provide such an environment. Just a minute, how many teachers are there in a school, 50? How many schools are there? There are 178 primary schools. Just primary schools alone we will need to recruit 17,800 native speakers to provide the environment. And do we still have room for local teachers? If training the teachers is the solution, maybe recruit a few native speaking teachers if we can't find any local teachers good enough. But this will not be able to create the conducive environment as required. Or like some local international schools did, hire a few foreign looking teachers and print their faces on the school magazines, that will give some credibility that the schools are really international and world class with world class foreign looking teachers.