Scandis, Dutch, Germans & Poles speak better English than us!

In Humour, Media on 29/10/2012 at 6:41 am

In the light of the ongoing PSLE debate, I tot I should draw readers attention to this chart.

It is no surprise that our constructive, nation-building, 30-pieces-of silver media did not reproduce this chart. But I’m surprised that our alternate media too did not, despite a very anti-PAP blog being given this (by me).

  1. i am not a linguist, but i believe many european languages have similar roots, perhaps that is one reason why they are better at it than us?

  2. […] Mind: Understanding why PSLE needs to be changed… – Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: Scandis, Dutch, Germans & Poles speak better English than us! – The Void Decker: Have you been reading this, Minister […]

  3. Roots is overrated. A lot of Indian languages also belong to the same family of Indo- European languages, see so the same roots, India should be ahead by that logic. I say language proficiency depends on education.

    • Hello. The Germanic languages (of which English is one) are closer in time and space. The English (angeles and Saxons) lived in Germany a thousand years agoThe Indians went South from central Asia a long time ago. In fact there is a view that the Indians made up up Ang moh connection because of their ang moh yua kee attitude.

  4. Wow – the top all dominated by the Scandinavians. Looks like they are accomplished cunning linguists.

  5. The data that they use comes from entry and assessment tests that people who enroll in their courses take. This sort of certification is not needed by those Singaporeans who can use their A-level GP scores to apply to study or work abroad. Add to that the number of foreign students here who’d probably enrol for these courses and you get a somewhat skewed picture. That’s not to say our command of English is great – pronunciation across the board is poor, and there are countless advertisements, signs, notices and announcements in public places that’d make grammar nazis foam at the mouth.

  6. […] Mind: Understanding why PSLE needs to be changed… – Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: Scandis, Dutch, Germans & Poles speak better English than us! – The Void Decker: Have you been reading this, Minister […]

  7. English is Effectively our national language but only a second language for all these other countries. So we are comparing our first language against their second language and coming out quite inferior.
    This is because in Singapore, the teaching of English is not well done. My son was taught English in kindergarten by a Chinese language teacher. In primary three, the class had to correct the teachers spelling time and again.
    We strive for two equal languages and end up master of none as can be seen from the majority of Singaporeans who are neither perfect in English nor Chinese
    The psle weightings where the second language has slightly higher weightage than the first language reflects this indecisiveness
    In a globalised world, our children will be disadvantaged. When they interview for a job in either English or second language, they will be inferior to other countries which has focused on English or Chinese or etc. Interviews are not conducted in two languages.
    The inability to articulate yourself perfectly has repercussions on work performance, social functioning, and even relationships between people and family and loved ones as communication is affected and misunderstandings arise. Our national happiness is affected.

    Not everyone can master two languages well and the psle scoring system should reflect this. Monolinguals can be just as capable and language ability is separate to some extent from academic excellence. Just like artistic, musical, and emotional talents.
    If we want to unify Singapore, we should focus on English as the national language and place our emphasis there. Our success in the past was based on our superior English to some extent. Now that advantage has eroded because of the focus on two languages for everyone.
    Please get some good English teachers in before it’s too late, and import some English talent into the education system. Please refocus on one strong national language as the unifying language for Singapore and that should be English.

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