一番大事な科目は英語?

塾の講師をしていたころ、高校生が言ってきました。「先生、やっぱ英語が一番大事っすよねえ。物理とか勉強してるやつ、ばかみたいっすよ。あんなの役に立たねえじゃん」。その生徒が誇らしげに小鼻をふくらませた瞬間、熱血先生と言われていた私の強烈な張り手が、アメフト部主将の巨体を吹き飛ばしました。

ガタン、ガラガラガシャン

「なにするんすかーっ!」

「いいか、英語なんてのはなあ、中身を伝えるための箱にすぎないんだ。そもそも、日本語が国際語だったら必要ない科目なんだぞ。英語しか得意でないというお前に、物理ができる子を見下すほどの中身はあるのか?」

「だって、これからは国際化の時代っていうじゃないですか」

「だって言うな!!そんな受け売りみたいなことを言ってるやつにかぎって、海外とは縁がないんだ。普通にコミュニケーションをとるだけなら、中学英語で十分。それより中身を作ってほしいね。英語は入試で重要、っていう点は否定できないが」

「でも英語ができないと、就職に不利だって親が・・・」

「横並びで英語っていうのも、おかしな話だね。いろんな分野のスペシャリストが集まってこそ、組織の強みが生かされるってもんだ。自分の専門性を伸ばしていくことを最優先すべきだろう。会社もバカじゃないから、英語しかできませんでは厳しいぞ」

「小学校で英語を必修化するっていう話もあるみたいっすけど、間違いなんすかね?」

「必修化はまずいな。中学に入る前から英語嫌いになったら、元も子もないじゃないか。そんなひまがあったら国語、国語!すべての科目の基礎なんだから。まるでどっかの知事みたいな意見になってしまったけど、学年が上がるにつれて数学や理科を理解できなくなるのも、教科書を読むのに必要な読解力が身についてないからなんだ」

「でも先生、息子さんをノバキッズに通わせてるらしいじゃないっすか」

「・・・えへっ。だってこれからは国際化の時代だし・・・」

* 実話に大幅な脚色を加えています


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