Together to Achieve Enjoyable Learning and Teaching


Ming Xie



Education is primarily a process for learners (e.g. students) to internalize knowledge and skill, which are conveyed, or instructed, in a natural language such as English. And, a natural language is simply a vehicle, which communicates the contents of domain knowledge.


However, what is mostly critical in teaching is the communication skill of a technically-competent faculty, but not his or her language skill. For instance, most of faculties, who teach in the universities in USA, UK, or Australia, do not have the “Bachelor of Science (BS)” degree of English Language (e.g. Einstein, the greatest scientist of the century, did not hold any BS of English language). But, they can communicate well in English, whether they are natives, or come from China, India, or elsewhere. 


Clearly, language skill is not equal to communication skill. And, everyone will agree that the beauty of teaching will be seen from a faculty’s ability to use simple language to explain complex concepts in various sciences. Interestingly enough, someone has even gone further to say that a person’s intelligence is measured by his or her ability to explain the most complex concepts with the simplest language, which everyone understands.


On the other hand, we should acknowledge that we welcome students to voice out the concern of difficulties in learning engineering subjects. Equally, we should acknowledge that students’ concerns in a university are also faculties’ concerns, which should, in turn, be the university’s concerns as well.


In education, the interplay between the “learning by student” and “teaching by faculty” is very important. And, education should be student-centric. This is because all the processes of learning and teaching are for students to master knowledge and skill.


However, in theory, one can predict these four typical scenarios of outcome in education, namely: a) good learning and good teaching, b) good learning and poor teaching, c) poor learning and good teaching, and d) poor learning and poor teaching. Obviously, every university would like to achieve the first scenario. Also, every faculty would like to see the first scenario.


Therefore, students and faculties should effectively work together to create an enjoyable environment of learning and teaching.


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