THE approach to mastering a second language is to listen, speak, read and write. In the process, work on grammar, vocabulary and enunciation when speaking.
If we encourage students to do this early, it can help them acquire a second language with ease.
However, students must have the right attitude and be truly motivated when learning a second language. The majority of our students are still weak despite the efforts put in by teachers and the money spent on improving their standard of English.
The failure can be attributed to three main reasons: students are generally passive listeners they can be good listeners but they do not use or shy away from using the language; students do not pick up the reading habit (in English) and many are generally passive readers some may read a lot but they do not practise enough to write; and some teachers are not proficient in spoken or written English despite having the paper qualifications.
Students who are not able to speak English coherently are those who do not attempt to use the language. In other words, they lack practice. Only a minority of our students feel uninhibited enough to speak in English.
This is a socio-cultural problem and it cannot be resolved by employing native teachers of English from abroad to teach our students. There is a cultural barrier to the whole issue.
For instance, a native teacher cannot understand our students when he sees them giggling at or teasing a classmate who speaks bad English a common scene in our classroom and social settings.
What’s more, passive learning is quite the norm in our culture. Seldom do our students speak up in class.
For this reason, local teachers are still the best option to handle students as they are more aware of the socio-cultural problems.
Journalists can tell how they are able to express themselves well in written English, even though some did not go through formal grammar lessons in school.
They have been avid readers right.