Steve Irwin, English Professor

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Malaysia's Education Ministry has some advice for parents who want to raise English-speaking kids: Plant them in front of the tube. That sounds about right, until you consider the proposed lineup:

"We cannot dismiss the role of television," said Education director-general Datuk Dr Ahamad Sipon.
"It is important. Students should watch more television, especially educational English programmes such as Animal Planet."

I've never understood the Asian love affair with Animal Planet, a channel that carries the crushing boredom of the outdoors right into your living room, but I assume it has at least something to do with the lack of any intelligible language.

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  1. It’s boring because they forgot the lesson of PBS nature documentaries: show the beasties doing it if you want the ratings.

  2. I’ve never understood the Asian love affair with Animal Planet,

    You’ve obviously never seen Asian porn…

  3. a channel that carries the crushing boredom of the outdoors right into your living room

    The outdoors are anything but boring. 🙂 Go ice climbing.

  4. Anyway, at least story isn’t about Lebanon. 🙂

  5. Go ice climbing.

    Better yet, rent Into the Void and stay at home.

    As for TV, I give it 100% credit for teaching me English after I moved to Amerika. Nature shows were a good start before I moved on to more challanging programs like The Smurfs.

  6. That should be Touching the Void.

  7. That should be Touching the Void

    Is that Asian porn?

  8. Pavel,

    Not as interesting as doing it yourself.

  9. ‘Anyway, at least story isn’t about Lebanon.’

    Yes, not only is it not about Lebanon, it is not about tobacco, the LA Times or the news media in general.

    For this, we can be thankful, and celebrate this post.

  10. I haven’t seen a Social Security post in a while. They were coming hot and heavy for a while there.

  11. Headline from The Onion:

    ‘Crocodile Hunter’ Guy Same Way In Bed

    Crikey!

  12. I could watch Animal Planet all day.It sure beats that idiot donald Trump.

  13. From the linked article:

    The ministry is concerned over the “average” performance of students in Science and Mathematics taught in English for the past two years, and has devised several new strategies to counter the problem.

    Here’s an idea: stop teaching math and science in foreign languages! Unfortunately, Malaysia being the schizophrenic country that it is (the “majority” Malays are only 50% of the population), it seems like every few years the population has to learn another new language… My Malaysian friend speaks four languages, but among the several he had to use in high school and college, none were his native language.

  14. I could watch Animal Planet all day.It sure beats that idiot donald Trump.

    Is it just me, or is The Apprentice getting laughably worse as each episode goes on? I mean, it’s almost bad enough to make me not want to watch it anymore…. almost ….but it must be said that I am one of those people who is fascinated by artistic abominations, particularly in the TV realm….

  15. Is it just me, or is The Apprentice getting laughably worse as each episode goes on?

    And I thought the very *first* episode was unwatchable…

  16. I watch a Mexican news channel to help me keep up on Spanish. The bad thing about it is, newscasters speak quickly. Animal Planet in Spanish, while it would be boring, would also be slow and I’d be more able to understand it. So, I get the appeal for learning language: Slow speech, minimal inflection, video that corresponds.

  17. Where can I get Mundo de los Animals?

  18. Bubba – animales.

    Hell, I would love having Animal Planet in Spanish. free form is right, the news folks speak too fast…

  19. It would be helpful if Univision had closed captioning in English. Fair’s fair, verdad?

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