English is the second most popular language in the world after Chinese (Esack, 2004). As such, it has been considered as one of the official languages that enables one to get connections with other people around the world. In most countries across the world, English is taught in both primary and high school levels of education. In non-English speaking countries, English is taught as a second language through courses that may be taken in tertiary institutions of education (Esack, 2004). The objective of this essay is to find out how students are able to learn English as a second language and the methods that are employed in teaching English as a second language. In addition, this essay will also look at how students can learn reading, writing, speaking, and grammar.
Students who may think of moving to an English-speaking country must be able to read and write in English as well as understand the language fully. This being the case, the students must be able to learn English as their second language while in school through short courses that are offered in both high school and tertiary levels of education in non-English speaking countries. In these short courses, the students are taught how to read and write in English. The students are taken through a series of chapters where they participate through read or writing. Some of these courses are offered through online programs that are sponsored by non-governmental organizations that are aimed at increasing the popularity of the English language (Littlewood, 2012).
Through the online programs, the students are able to have access to audio or video recordings and e-books that uploaded on the internet where they are able to study how to converse at the same time read and write in English. According to a research study by Littlewood, (2012), most of the people who undertake the short courses are able to understand fully the English language in less than three months where they are able to read, write, and fully converse using the English language (Littlewood, 2012). This has shown that the use of short courses in learning institutions and the use of online programs has been effective in terms of being able to teach English as a second language to students.
Some of the methods that are used by students in the process of learning English as a second language include two-way, which is also known as the bilingual immersion programs (Prahl, 2007). In this method, the student uses two languages where the primary language in used in a bid to understand English as the second language. Some of the advantages that have been involved by using this method in the process of learning English as a second language include: incorporation of curriculum for both languages, which is the primary language and English. This method also allows students to study from their homes and is focused on academic subjects (Prahl, 2007).
Another learning method that has been employed in learning English as a second language is functional language teaching, which is a learning method that was developed in the early 1970s in Europe (Prahl, 2007). In this learning method, the student is motivated to learn a second language in natural contexts rather than through isolation or conversation. This learning method offers a language acquisition that the student finds more meaningful, adaptable, and most importantly relevant to the learning of the new language. The correct use of grammar and vocabulary are the most important part of the functional language-teaching curriculum. This curriculum is taught after the students are able to realize the link that is there between learning of the second language and the lives they are living while addressing a particular function.
Students are able to learn how to read, write, speak, and correct any grammar mistakes through regular exercises that are given to them by the instructors that are aimed at making sure that the students are able to understand English fully. Some of these exercises may involve the writing of English words, which may help in sharpening the thinking capacity of the student towards the English language. The instructor may also provide English books that the student is to use in his / her studies and as such, the student is able to understand fully the English language (Littlewood, 2012). The instructors also provide storybooks that the students are able to read and fully understand how to construct English sentences without making any grammatical errors.
In conclusion, English is one of the most common languages in the world. In non-English speaking countries, it is taught in primary, high school, and tertiary levels of education where the students are taken through short courses that will help them understand how to read, write, and converse fluently in English. Some of the methods that are employed by instructors when teaching English as a second language include two-way method where the student is able to use his / her primary language to learning English as a second language. The other method is functional language teaching where the students are motivated towards the learning of a second language through natural contexts. This is considered as a highly effective method in learning English as a second language.
Esack, Y. (2004). English start: English as a second language for students and adults. London: Oxford University Press.
Littlewood, W. (2012). Teaching and learning English as a second language. London: Harvard University Press.
Prahl, S. (2007). English as a second language and naturalistic learning. London: John Wiley and Sons.