Monday, July 20, 2009

English: of Nonnative Learner and Urban Challenge

"Why did you hate learning English during your secondary school?" I asked my friends one day.

"Because there's literature. What the purpose of learning the stuff? I couldn’t view anything related to English with that stuff. It was just a burden for me at that time." One of them answered.

Different from what I heard and believe—learning literature actually gives the students a first-hand experience on the norms and customs all over the world, in step with the language used to translate the knowledge.

Well, that was just a voice came out from a school leaver. What about our brothers and sisters in school? How would school goers say about learning English these days? I notice that most of us today still have a typical stigma about English; English is a secular language, without even think of the advantage of learning the lingua-franca. I’m afraid, this type of thinking would affect later generations ahead due to future parents today.

Why do we need to learn the language? –Teachers must first have the idea. As a future teacher I always want to give my humble opinion upon this question. First and foremost we must learn English not merely because the language is there in our curriculum. English is a useful language—we can find the language everywhere. How about pupils in rural area? They might not get the opportunity to observe English in every single spot in their hometown, but teachers can create the possibility by using several strategies learnt in the courses. There are parents who don’t even care about their kids’ learning style in English. Or they do not know how to care about this thing.

So, as a future teacher let us put ourselves in the condition first. Imagine that we are teaching form 4 students in remote area such as in Sabah or Sarawak. What will we expect? (As my concern is to future teachers in 2012 ahead, I will look things as it should in future) Is the classroom in 2012 will still be the same? The answer is most probably yes. So, with all the same heat, furniture, and atmosphere, imagine that you will teach the students to understand English. Students who have sorts of backgrounds and behaviors. It is true; we must also use various types of learning style to cope with different learning level. Self-pace isn’t a good strategy to be put into practice at remote area school.

There is another important thing that I hope more future parents put their ample concern on. The early childhood learning. During childhood period, kids do not learn things as formal as in school. They do not even know to focus on things and only do when it is animated, not boring, and is not too hard to be understood. As language barrier is getting more complicated for adults (13++) who begin to learn any second language, I personally think future parents have to change things before it is too late. Provide the children with suitable English materials and train children to speak quite often by practicing yourself to speak with your partner.

As for nowadays elementary school’s students who will sit for their PMR in 2012, they might get disturbed to cope with the PPSMI issue. Some view things would be better, yet there is still other constitution in urban area think that twist the EteMs (PPSMI) put a hard try during learning session. Apparently, to switch language is what counted in learning and teaching session in all regions. And it also put the science teachers on dilemma; so most of them will just adjust the learning by using ‘rojak’ language. I am myself not yet a qualified teacher, but I am writing this as my concern towards English language to be used by all locals in retrieving the knowledge in many places all over the world.

As a Muslim, I do aware that learning Arabic Language is more important since it is the language of Al-Qur’anul Kareem. Even then, it is not a fault to emphasise the strategies future parents and concerned family members can take to change their loved ones’ future. Please do not confine ourselves in learning any language.

You still can let small kids feel much enjoyed in using and interacting in more than one language. As a sister or brother, one of the things you can do is reading English material to your small sister and brother; at least once in a day before they go to bed. Or, you can just let them watch fun English kids’ TV programmes for elementary level. Still, there are numerous effective ways that could be taken. For future teachers out there, I think most of us are aware of the issue that our current government will boost the training and hiring of new English teachers by 2012, targeting of about nearly 14,000 teachers around the country. It is all as a reminder to us that we are already facing our middle journey in using and polishing our skill in this language literally and figuratively, and there will be young generations wait ahead for us to bestow the knowledge to them. Challenging chapters are only about to begin.

Parents might think that this is only a small matter; teachers would do the teaching in school, but actually learning language is not as what lies in such thought. Language is actually something that could be performed better when the subject has been prepared since his/her childhood. Teachers who plainly play the role to teach the accuracy and fluency, catching up the syllabus might be left behind the track if the students do not have the interest and still in the low stage...

When all's said, it then turns back to all parties to make move in all aspect they could.


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