Learners from different background and surroundings have different perceptions towards learning English. Their surroundings contribute to their more or less of understanding of towards English language learning. From urban to rural settings, most schools are in charge for educating English language to students. In relation to that matter, teachers of English language in schools are also facing several difficulties in teaching English in the classroom. The first issue is age.
In general, the older the student the more difficult it is for them to learn the second language naturally. It is advisable to enroll the child in the beginning levels so he/she hears a combination of English and his native language. Learners who are still young are like a white paper they can grasp and understand the rules and regulations of English grammar easily as they are not yet influenced by the other language. Teaching communication for them is also easy as they can absorb the new things and comprehend the language with teacher guidance.
Whereas older students or learners are exposed to many new things and they were influence from what they see, read and hear so the process of teaching English language is a little affected because of their prior knowledge. Older students need more support to encourage them to work hard in their studies, hence helping them to learn English language. The second issue is native language.
Sometimes, native language plays a big role in influencing the learners to the new language. t can sometimes confuse them as some word in the first language has the spelling as the new language. So, the educator needs to be focus and consistent in explaining them. Hence, fluent in their native language is considered an extra credit too. A student who is good in his/her rules and regulations of his/her native language and also fluent in his first language is often considered as lucky. As such it is an advantage when they are learning English.
The proximity of speech sound for oral communication and whether or not the first language uses Roman letter for writing are also considered as an important factor in English proficiency. When there are some similarities of first language and English language the teaching of the target will be easier. The teachers and learners can both use their first language knowledge to be adopt and adapt in the learning of English language. Lastly, the third issue is literacy of parents.
Parents who are not concerned with their children learning often have some effects to their children’s learning. This is same as parents who are not educated in school cannot help their children at home. So, the teaching and learning of English language in classroom at school will a little hard for the unexposed students. The level of literacy of a student’s parents may also affect the acquisition of written language. In average, the more fluent the parent the more fluent the child is.
As it is mention earlier, the fluency of a learner in the native language promotes acquisition of English. Teachers need to know about their students’ cultures, it can help teachers to communicate to theirs students well. By doing this, it shows that teacher value their heritage and it will also allow teacher to connect academic content to a student’s set of experiences and knowledge about the world. Eventually, students of target language whose native culture is valued have a greater sense of self-worth and higher academic achievement.
Courtney from Study Moose
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