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Friday 19-Jan-2018
【Oh!爸媽】母語非英語成為優勢

這樣「阿媽係女人」的言論,好像講來都多餘,英語在國際舞台的重要性,就更加不必在此多贅。不過隨著時代變遷,英國的教育亦都與時並進,不少學校不再只將英語視作唯一受重視的語言,反而愈來愈注重其他外語的學習。想當年我們去英國讀書,留學生都會急急把自己的母語、文化、身份收埋放低,專心主攻英語及英國文化,希望盡快適應英國的一套。

可是隨著時代改變,近年來愈來愈多擁有國際視野的英國學校,開始發現海外生的母語其實是寶貴資產,更可成為本地學生接觸其他語言的大好機會,推動他們學習外語。今時今日去到英國,留學生已經不必亦不應為自己母語不是英語而感到羞愧,甚至反而應該視為一種優勢。


聯合世界書院 United World College (UWC)

努力將學生的環球背景轉化成學習良機,俵俵者有聯合世界書院 United World College (UWC)。

這是一個國際學校組織,全球共有17間分校提供lB預科課程,它在英國威爾斯的Atlantic College,成立於1962年,是組織內歷史最悠久的學校。 這一間國際學校,每年有約三百六十個來自九十多個國家及地區的學生在此受教育,大多數學生的母語都不是英文,校園內可以聽到超過五十三種的語言及方言。

校長 Peter Howe覺得學生的文化語言背景差異,固然對教學構成一定挑戰,然而運用得宜,也可以是學生互相學習的大好機會,轉挑戰為良機。校內學生無論英語是其第一、第二或第三語言,學校都會致力優化大家的英語之餘,同時亦鼓勵英語為母語的學生去接觸學習身邊其他同學的母語和文化。校長Peter Howe更提示英國學界,既然全英國的課室內可以聽到超過三百種語言,與其將英國一百三十萬母語並非英語的學生視為負擔,何不將這數字化作一百三十萬個讓英國學生學習第二或第三第四語言的機會?能夠擁有如此胸懷和視野,這位校長當然不是泛泛之輩,來自加拿大的他到Atlantic College走馬上任前,已是荷蘭和意大利的聯合世界書院的領導核心人物,他本身就是lB的合作創辦人,在教育界乃地位舉足輕重的重量級人馬。

 


Queen Ethelburga’s College

另一間非常積極擁抱學校多元文化和語言的學校,是北部約克郡的名校Queen Ethelburga’s College(QE)。此校英國本地學生佔五成,每年有三百位來自海外學生加入學校大家庭,營造了一個認識多元文化及語言的理想環境。執行校長Dan Machin稱,英國有些學校只得一成國際學生,且這些國際學生都長年留在同聲同氣的小圈子,在校內彷彿備受孤立。

幸而在QE,由於沒有一個國藉佔學生的大多數,不同背景的同學仔都有機會融合交流,就自然造成了一個國際化的學習環境。他形容在校內猶如置身倫敦的職場,同學大有機會和來自世界各地的人合作,提早為他們將來投身國際化的就業市場打好基礎。

資訊發達的年代,世界愈來愈細國界愈來愈模糊,認識不同文化語言始終是促進交流的重要條件。

根據英國文化協會的調查,未來英國最重要的十大外語,首位是西班牙語,其次是亞拉伯語,法語排行第三,普通話則在第四位,比起德語(第五位)、俄語(第八位)及日語(第十位)排名都要高。所以我不忘要提醒香港的同學仔,去到英國學好英語梗係重要,但亦不要放棄接觸學習其他外語的機會,更加不要把中文忘記,因為我們的語言文化,在外國實在是一個優勢、一個不應埋沒的本錢。

 

網上圖片

作者:Samuel Chan

電郵:Smschan1@gmail.com

個人專頁:www.facebook.com/ukchitchat

圖片:互聯網

其他文章:

【Samuel Chan】留學英國私校是首選

【Samuel Chan】為何選婿要選個欖球高手?

 
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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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Mabel Chan is the Principal Consultant of Britannia. Having studied in both the UK and the US, she is an expert in school matching for overseas education. She writes education columns for Sing Tao Daily and The Standard, and answers questions arising from parents and students patiently.

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