English Education at Universities

The importance of English can be ignored by no one. The preference of people is mostly English as a second language. Some learn English in the countries where it is spoken as a native language and some try to learn it in own countries at schools or special courses. However, where it is learned is not really important. The important one is gaining ability to use English effectively. To reach this aim, although some people are disagree with this opinion, education language should be English instead of native language at universities.

Those who are counter of English education at universities claim that students cannot understand the courses well when courses are in English. They think that students can understand courses well only if courses are presented in native language because they can follow the lecturer easily and they can take notes simultaneously. Furthermore, after 12 years native language education, students cannot adopt easily to English courses. Being familiar with English courses requires some time and it affects the success of students. Although opponents of this view have some points, they are not correct exactly. That students cannot understand the courses cannot be associated with English completely. To begin with, students of universities giving English education learn English very well in preparatory classes before taking major courses. In these classes, some practices are done such as note-taking, writing academic paragraphs, speaking activities. In these practices, students are made ready to take their major courses. In the end of preparatory classes, students have a proficiency exam which evaluates students whether they are ready to take major courses or not. Secondly, since everything is English in preparatory classes, students struggle to adopt to it just in preparatory classes not in license classes. Therefore, they start to be familiar with it even in preparatory classes. That is, unsuccess of students is generally related with students, not English education.

English education is useful because there are lots of books which have not been translated yet. Due to this situation, doing research, students meet a lot of English sources. Raymundo says: “Research shows that 80% of the amount of Internet web content is in the English language and that content relating to business written in the English language largely comprises this figure.” (Raymundo, 2007, para.6) Firstly, students can benefit from these books only if they are familiar with English books. Otherwise, they are compelled to understand the English books. Students of universities giving English education have enough experiments to understand and interpret English books. Secondly, students doing research in both English and native language have expanded scale. While those doing research only in native language have restricted area, those doing research in both language can utilize many books. The fact is valid for not only books but also internet and magazines.

The supporters of English education think that it is necessary not only to learn it well but also to learn technical English. Students getting native language education cannot learn technical English even if they are well in standard English. However, English education students learn both standard English and technical English which is very important for business life and finding a work in abroad. First of all, technical English is very necessary in business life. Native language education students cannot know some technical expressions such as “friction force, absolute value” even if they know standard English. Disburg claims that the ability of understanding technical documentation which are in English has vital importance since they include instructions and descriptions, usage, continuity and repair of the technical products. Because there is a high increase in economic globalization, people whose native language is whether English or not write their documentations in English. (Disburg, 2007, para.1) Secondly, thanks to knowledge of technical English, one can find a work in abroad easier. Some people want to work in abroad. These people, however, should be perfect in both standard English and technical English to communicate with people in there and solve some technical problems related with job, respectively. It is possible only with English education which is taken at university.

To conclude, universities should prefer English instead of native language as an education language. Thereby, students who use it in many areas effectively can be created. It is very significant in the globalizing world. Books, journals, content in the internet are mostly in English. Without knowing English, successful in academic or business life is too difficult.

Disburg, K. (2007). Advantages and disadvantages with Simplified Technical English. Retrieved May 10, 2010, from http://www.essays.se/essay/1c99ba84db/