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Monday 25-Dec-2017
【蘋果日報】為甚麼香港只有一個David Tang

許多香港學生去英國讀寄宿學校,由高中課程開始讀,考IGCSE。

 

IGCSE最多可以報十科。香港的小朋友以數理化見長,許多不願意順便修讀英國文學。

 

其實IGCSE兼修Eng Lit,不論你將來讀大學選醫科還是電子工程,只有好處,沒有壞處。

 

IGCSE英國文學,是令一個香港小朋友進入英國文化的快速軌道。英國文學課程包括一個莎士比亞劇本,不是「羅密歐與茱麗葉」就是「馬克白」。一個香港中學生來到英國不止要英文文法學得正確,還是融入英國社會環境,與英國人各階層交上朋友。IGCSE的英國文學科就是最佳文化課程。

 

即使不去英國讀書,一生人讀通兩、三個莎士比亞劇本,記熟三五個金句,對行走世界江湖也有好處。至少英國讀大學,如果不想每個月都只與中港同學去附近曼徹斯特和伯明翰泡唐人街飲茶,融入主流社會,就要明白一般英國人對莎劇都有基本的知識。

 

修讀一、兩年英國文學會令你英文進步,更重要的是令將來你與英國的學者和上流人物交談,人家不會覺得你是個悶蛋。香港蘭桂坊留英學生之神鄧永鏘雖然讀倫敦大學,英國文學卻如數家珍,每年一度的書展他請來英國名家,以主持人的身份時時搶鏡頭。他的英國大作家朋友一提到莎士比亞,我們鄧爵士即刻搶咪,補唸出一段「李爾王」的著名獨白,台上的賓客面露苦笑,觀眾席上的香港人亢奮拍手,覺得我們鄧爵士像「葉問」裡的甄子丹,英文精過鬼佬,以文學典故的點數,擊倒他遠道請來的英國文學VIP。

 

這樣的殊榮,又豈是只Phy、Chem、Bio、Maths全部A Star讀醫科而end up一生在醫院為貧窮市民睇急症而可以享受得到?

 

即使將來要與這一科告別,讀英國文學會令一個高中學生適應環境,融入寄宿學校的生活。讀了這一科,品味英詩和小說的音韻和情節,你會明白為甚麼英國人看見你宿舍房間堆滿半牆壁的台灣和日本杯麵,只是略一揚眉說:What a Spectacular Chinese Kitchen,而只有你一個人聽出這句話並非恭維,也不是對中國飲食文化的讚歎。

 

在英國與有教育的英國人說英語,彼此初見交談,就像兩名俠客,陌路相逢,彼此在語言中佈陣。對不同的階級說不同程度的英文,用不同質素的詞彙。學成之後,如果要你形容一個盲目追求GDP的國家毫無底線的貪婪,你就懂得引用小說家D.H. Lawrence:

 

And as the marrow is eaten out of a man's bones and the soul out of his belly, contending with the strange rapacity of savage life, the lower stage of creation, he cannot make the effort any more.

 

這句話有一個英文生字,叫做Rapacity,意思是「貪婪」,但Rapacity又不完全等同Greed。兩者之間有何分別?在甚麼場合你手捧一杯紅酒,著一件西裝,在打煲呔的時候,宴會室裡的牆壁掛著幾幅Turner的原版油畫,你對劍橋畢業的那位太古CEO講述來遠東做生意的經驗。拋出這句D.H. Lawrence,然後字正腔圓地說出這個Rapacity,我認為他會留給你電郵,兩個月後與你聯絡,問你有沒有興趣轉工。

 

這就是英國文學帶來的利潤和花紅,只是一切不會賬面上,而是在課堂和畢業證書之外。否則,香港為甚麼有千百個寫英文Memo文法正確,自稱去過牛津受訓(記住,只是Training course) 的政務官,而David Tang,卻只有一名?

 

 

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原文:https://hk.news.appledaily.com/local/realtime/article/20171225/57618125

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Samuel Chan, the winner of Alumni Awards 2017, is the founder of Britannia. He had studied in the UK since the age of 9 for 15 years and achieved his master degree in International Political Economy at University of Warwick. Now he shares his experiences and professional advice in education columns in Hong Kong’s major newspapers.

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