Why and how is it to learn the English Language? That would always be the question that English language learners encounter. Learning the English language is important in the sense that it can be used in a lot of useful ways and even unites the world. How? Let us find out the nitty-gritty of the importance of learning the English language as detailed below. I will start the essay with a story that dates back in the year 2000. It was a very special year since the world celebrated the millennium. Almost every person anticipated the coming of that year. Excitement can be felt anywhere in the world.
My friend, Julia and I were busy preparing for the year 2000 millennium celebration. We were decorating the dance and meal venue with colorful designs of paper art works. Julia came up to me and asked me if I can still remember his friend, Tom, his long-time chat partner. Tom is an American soldier that Julia met through the internet. I said yes, I can remember him. Julia told me that Tom is coming to the country. I was happy for her. She was happy too however she told me she had this big, big problem – Julia has difficulty expressing herself in English.
Yes, Julia and Tom were long-time chat partners but problems to language barriers always arise as source of misunderstandings (very wonderful though that they manage to keep a healthy relationship despite that big problem). Having that in mind, I cannot help but remember my own experience with the English Language. Personally, I had difficulty learning the English Language, for one because it is not my native language and secondly, in day-to-day activities we use our own language and so there was no chance of learning English if I only rely on my day’s typical experiences.
When I got into school for English, the first lesson if I remember it right is about the English Alphabet since it is the most basic approach towards learning the English Language. I had difficulty in remembering the Alphabet since there are 26 of them and as a beginner, everything was unfamiliar. At times when the teacher requires recitation for the alphabets, I would always avoid eye contacts with her because I am afraid that I would be called to stand up for the recitation.
With my experience learning the English language, I can say that I was forced to do it -forced, because if I have it my own way, I will not burden myself learning a new language. At that time, if I only have a way not to attend the English class, I would do so. The teachers during that time are not so supportive of their students in the English class. English felt like a food that is forcibly fed upon us. They had a short understanding of psychology of students as first-timers in the English language class. However since there was a need to study English as a language, it encouraged me to attend classes.
For me, that need was my guiding force and encouragement to pursue the study of the language even though the experience is unpleasant most of the time. The teachers surely have placed pressures to us students in learning the language. The pressures come in form of examinations meant to determine and measure the extent of how much we have learned in class. The pressure also took in forms of penalties, wherein, we pay fines and dues for every non-English word spoken inside the vicinity of the school. Although, it was a real tough pressure, we get to enjoy the conversation with had with classmates and teachers in English.
We laughed at our own erroneous grammars. We also just laughed when at times we cannot talk with each other basically because we do not know how to say things in English. We were scared of the penalty and it would surely cost us our pennies and bills. Learning the English language is basically difficult as I have said earlier for reasons I cited therein. Yes, it is a new knowledge but that fact remains that it is a foreign language and thus really difficult to learn but as we interact with classmates and teachers and with foreign visitors who visit the school, we find it amazing on how we are able to clearly deliver the message across.
It feels awesome to be understood by foreigners that visit the school. We like the idea of having foreigners around us since we are able to put into practice everything we have learned in class. We always had fun in the interactions using English as a medium of communication. I have an idea of what English is like even before when I was younger and those ideas and learnings were reinforced in the classroom. It is actually inevitable not to have basics of English at that time basically because of media proliferation.
At times, in our lives even though we were younger, we are exposed to information about issues, movies, advertisements, conversations – all these – in form of English. So from this, we can conclude that it is only not in the classroom that we learn English since there was a massive exposure of people to various forms of media. In school, we can say that our English teachers taught us about the language but generally, it is the interaction that strengthens the base of our knowledge in English. In school, all we learn are theories.
It is through interactions that we learn to hone our skills in English. Motivations for learning English vary (www. antimoon. com). There are those who want to learn English because they need it for international trades such as China and USA international trades. Undoubtedly, communication between these two countries is made convenient through China knowing how to speak English especially so that they are exporting their products in mainland USA. Others went to school for English basically because they wanted to study in English-speaking countries such as Australia, United Kingdom and the USA.
Others are motivated to study the language to expand network of connections. Personally, I studied English not only because it is a requirement but also because of motivating factors I have mentioned above. Having studied English, I am able to trade with people around the world even if we are miles and oceans apart. I am also able to pursue higher forms of education basically because almost all textbooks that are used are in English. And undoubtedly, I am able to expand my set of connections through the English language.
I have a lot of friends in other countries that at times I run to when I need some advice. When I got my certification in English I was hired as a private tutor to teach Koreans and Chinese the English language. At first, it is really difficult but at the same time challenging because I am given the task to open the minds of these people into the English language and I also foresaw that it will be my honor and pride to see these people prosper because of the English language. When I first stepped into the classroom, the number of non-English speaking students is overwhelming.
But I carried with me the commitment to be able to impart what I have learned about the English language to them. I received a lot of negative comments as like me before, they are having difficulty. It was as if I relived my own experience in learning the language, only this time, I am no longer a student but a teacher. The advantage of me becoming an English teacher is that I know what these students are going through and I understand it very well. I know what their concerns are and I know what they need in order for them to learn the English language the easy and pleasant way.
I am able to address each and every concern that a non-english speaking student has basically because I have been to their stage. As a teacher, I have realized that the best learning and teaching method to employ is exposure and interaction. Yes, the basics are still important for the technical side of the English language but nothing parallels the effectiveness of learning than exposure and interaction. This is the very reason why most of my students’ activities are group and interactive activities.
Trust me, this is a very effective method. As they say language and culture are intertwined. Yes this is very true as culture, beliefs and practices are mostly transmitted through the use of language. For example, you notice that Australians wear the tuxedo in formal occasions. Now, a non-english speaker would ask (act of use of language), why do they wear tuxedos in special occasions? This examples depicts of how well a culture or a way of life is transmitted through the use of language particularly in our case, the English Language.
In a study, English language is not the most spoken language but statistically speaking, it is the most distributed language around the world (O’ Niel, 2007). This means that anywhere we go, the probability of people having an idea of English or even knowing how to speak English is high. This perhaps the reason why especially in Asian countries like Japan, China and Korea industriously find ways and means to learn the English language as they can see the overwhelming advantages of knowing the language.
Knowing the language can not only mean culture transfer but can also mean technology transfer which is still very much related to culture. By knowing how to speak English, especially in Australia, we are able to access movies and television shows that as we continue to watch, alter the way we behave, think and act. This is what we call culture assimilation through the use of language. In a recent study, the English language has long been dominating the world, in fact most of the journals published are in English. Most books authored by scientists and educators are in English.
The impact of this is that if everybody knows how to speak English development in our economy, finance and public relations will be upheld in the most convenient manner. And most importantly, in the world full of chaos and war, who can tell that the English language may serve as a unifying catalyst of the world to further the understanding of each nation and result in what is long been dreamt – world peace, a world that would shelter and cultivate the human generation in the next decade, century and millennium to come such as how Tom and Julia find the love in each other through the English Language.