I really enjoyed this video clip on TED by Patricia Ryan. She makes a good point in that we should not insist on just using English since it will stop the spread of ideas in other languages. A great example was mentioning that if Albert Einstein had to take the TOEFL test, he may never had been able to be a successful physicist. Watch the video below, it is very interesting.
I have been involved in education for over ten years now in the US, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and Vietnam, so I can agree with her. One thing I noticed was that the top students were not the ones who can speak English, did not want to study in the UK or US, nor did they aspire to live in another country. They were the ones who wanted to study at top schools such as Moscow State University. They were the ones “forced” on government programs, such as the Bolashak program from Kazakhstan, to study overseas even though they had limited English skills. They were the ones whose parent’s “forced” them to study overseas. These students were strong in computer science, economists, art, music, you name it. They were creative and some of the most intelligent people I ever met.
They foremost had to learn English but this was not their limiting factors into becoming great bachelor, master or PhD students. They were not the Freedom Support Act high school students, nor were they Muskies or Fulbrighters. They were truly bright and we know who they are. I will have more later about this topic in regards to international schools in a later post.