Sunday, July 15, 2007

English as a foreign subject

Teaching English to adults who never had any exposure to the language may be the most arduous task for English teachers. Take the case of Koreans who never had any background of the subject. It takes a real good English teacher to make these foreign students who do not know any English speak the language after two months. The teacher has to deal with many problem areas such as correct production of sounds, grammar, reading, and handwriting. A teacher will be missing the whole point if she thinks her only concern is grammar which is just one small aspect of the game. Making the learner communicate in the target language does seem impossible but it can be done by a good, creative, and well-meaning mentor who acts out concepts, draws objects, writes down words, spells out everything, and spends some extra time making the learner say words, phrases, and sentences. She takes time to explain one thing in many different ways and should not assume anything. In this way the student will gain maximum knowledge of the language and be able to use it around the world.

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