For 10 years, the MArch in Environmental Design has been topping the taught master’s mark chart of the DABE at the University of Nottingham. “I tell you: this has never been easy” – said my course director, Benson Lau. He actually delivered the line multiple times. At first, it only came to my mind how hard-working the students had been. However, as things are revealed in due course, they echo a piece of truth implied by the Hongkonger-born man that there are wars on untold grounds.
– What is an English man called when he can speak English but cannot read and write well?
– It depends on his level.
– Let’s say, he knows only basics of the basics and has little grammatical knowledge. But he can speak naturally.
– Functionally illiterate (*), I guess.
This was my talk with my English flatmate.
Now, think about replacing the first “English” with “Vietnamese”, or whatever nationality that you can come up with.
If you think you are on the right track by focusing on those so-called English communication skills and stigmatising English grammar, here comes a slap on your face.
(*)illiterate: mù chữ.