Will you get on board but miss the boat?

It’s no longer a valid question as to why English has to be the international lingua franca. That idea is passe….wayyy past its sell-by date. The question now is, “Is playing catch-up in English the answer in achieving egalitarian equality in all major fields in play?”

Truth be told, I did not succeed in bending the Time-continuum. I cannot slow-down or prevent the Future I see from affecting the choices Malaysians and Asians are making today. I couldn’t even if I knew of a way to do it!

Seriously though I cannot delay the movement towards what most people define as Future (which, actually is what Now is moving on). The Future is actually Now. And Now is constantly moving towards a Past. By the time your children ‘arrive’ at the future, they will, essentially, be equipped with a mentality suited perfectly for Now but is outdated for that Future they had arrived at. Worse than arriving with a mentality suited for them Now, they might end up arriving in the Future with a mentality from your own Past, that is, if you are one of those parents who insist your children live the life you felt you should’ve had.

How many times have you heard the tagline, “The Future is Here”. How many people really understand the implications of that catchy taggy?

Your children will arrive “in the Future” not prepared for it because they have used their past (what you call, Now) to prepare for a timeframe you thought was the Future. The reason why you thought it was The Future was because you framed that ‘future’ using what you felt you had lost out on Now. If you listen to most parents, they like to say, “I didn’t have those opportunities back then.” Adults are framing their perception or sense of losing out in the Now based on decisions they made in their relative Past. So, Imagine this : A parent realizes Now and looks back to his/her past (10-25 years ago). The parent thinks, if only they had done things differently then. Hang on to this thought, OK? The parent is now looking at life 20 YEARS AGO.

So, when parents make decisions about their children’s future, isn’t it actually framed by their perception of their past? These children then spend the next 15-25 years trying to live out their parents’ expectations or pursuing methods and ideas their parents had arrived at based on information from their parents’ past! However, parents will insist that they know better than their children. If their children refuse to go to school, for instance, and saying schooling is useless, parents will insist that they found out too late how a Master’s Degree would’ve helped in their current position!

Maybe an imagery will make it easier.
– The tram-way has been built. It took some time but finally, you notice it. You notice the first few locomotives speed past you. They are victorious. Your feet are sore with blisters, the weight of worries on your back weigh down heavier and heavier on you. The station the locomotive had arrived at was erected months ago. You still had no idea the boomstown is now a city. The passengers had disembarked and are integrating well into the new structures of civilisation and enjoying affluence and freedom unlike what entire civilisations have ever experienced before. You decided, what the heck, I’m getting on the tram-way myself. The first few among you got run over by the locomotive! You tell the tales to your children, you may not live long enough to enjoy the prosperity you’ve only heard whispers of. You tell them, “When you see a station, wait there and persevere. Get a ticket on board. Don’t miss the train….otherwise….”

So you put everything you got into seeing that your children get a ticket on board. The time comes, your children get on and arrive at the City of Dreams. – They end up doing work that no one else wanted with menial wages. They live in shabby conditions. They try to change their luck and dabbled in gambling and end up in debt. They lose their shabby dwellings and end up in the streets, with loansharks waiting for them at every corner.

Well, that narration is an exaggeration but the tram-way is actually the illussion of schooling. The locomotive you’re willing to sacrifice to get a ticket to board, is the learning of English.

Here is what I think parents and teachers will be forced to say 10 years from now when it’s too late for you.

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1 Comment

Filed under Education 2.0 for 2020, Future of Education

One response to “Will you get on board but miss the boat?

  1. brian-barker

    It certainly is valid to question English as the world’s lingua franca.I live in London and if anyone says to me “everyone speaks English” my answer is “Listen and look around you”. If people in London do not speak English then the whole question of a global language is completely open.The promulgation of English as the world’s “lingua franca” is impractical and linguistically undemocratic. I say this as a native English speaker!Impractical because communication should be for all and not only for an educational or political elite. That is how English is used internationally at the moment.Undemocratic because minority languages are under attack worldwide due to the encroachment of majority ethnic languages. Even Mandarin Chinese is attempting to dominate as well. The long-term solution must be found and a non-national language, which places all ethnic languages on an equal footing is essential.An interesting video can be seen at http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=_YHALnLV9XU Professor Piron was a former translator with the United NationsA glimpse of the global language,Esperanto, can be seen at http://www.lernu.net

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