English as a Second Language
English as a Second Language
This research paper discusses important issues faced by learners learning a new language other than the one spoken at home. It is important for teachers to understand and for see the problems the students deal with when they learn a new language. This will help in ealing with upcoming concerns and planning accordingly so as to facilitate the learner and make him feel included in the class. Once a child looses interest then it becomes very challenging for the teacher to catch it again. Hence teachers need to study the learners in great depth in order to avoid such a situation. This research done from various sources will be helpful for teachers who are planning to teach English as a Second Language. It discusses about the issues students face while they are learning English as their second language.
Growth of diversity is the way to acquiring new languages because people travel to different countries to live. Immigrants come with heterogeneous culture, language, educational and socioeconomic backgrounds and acquiring a new language is challenging for all ages. They avail the second language learning facilities available in the country.
English language learners face many tribulations while acquiring the new language due to many factors. These factors make it challenging for learners and tutors to teach and learn the new language. For instance experiences of life for some may be very traumatic and tense which makes it difficult for them to learn in a new environment as they are least interested or fatigued from moving to a new country or their knowledge of English is not sufficient for them to understand the instructions given to them. At times they take time to adjust in the new environment and the differences in both cultures are quite overwhelming for them, hence this leads to creating challenges for teachers in the classroom. (Wilen)
It may also be that the behavioral problems of the child that arise in learning the English Language may be because of the situations the child has gone through. For instance they may have come from a country that was at war or political strike and its influence is still new on the child to forget easily. Hence as teacher we need to know the background from where the child is coming from in order to help him learn the new language.
Another factor which may lead to having problems in learning the new language is that maybe the learner is separated from the family and siblings due to a number of reasons. This may also lead towards lack of interest in the learning process or distraction as the child might feel home sick. Also the unhappiness of leaving their family behind might be hindering the learning process. Their family might be going through some emotional or financial situation which is also effecting the child’s learning process.
The most common and the most hindering factor is the impact of the language that is spoken at home. When a child who is not aware of the English language at all because it is infrequently spoken or not at all used at home comes to an environment where English is the most spoken language faces problems because he or she does not understand the words being spoken by the instructor. This leads to the child getting frustrated or limited and hence might become intimidated by this. The teacher at times assumes that the child is having behavioral problems; however, the child is unable to understand and hence isolates himself if not approached appropriately by the teacher and parents. (Santos and Ostrosky)
Motivation to learn the new language or the self confidence the student has in one-self can also affect the learning process. Research says that children who are motivated and have a high self esteem work better towards challenges and hence their learning process is faster than the ones who are not motivated. Similarly when the family stresses upon the significance of education the child develops beneficial learning skills.
Anxiety is another factor that can have an impact on the learning process. If the student is fearful of errors or failures, and social approval then this may lead him astray from the learning process and hence lead to awkward situations. Teachers at this time should show care and develop confidence in the child so that he or she can be able to deal with all such issues. Teachers who are caring get a positive reaction from the learners as they feel comfortable with her and learn better. (CAPELL)
Wilen, Diane K. (2004). English Language Learners: An Introductory Guide for Educators. Retrieved from: http://www.nasponline.org/resources/culturalcompetence/ell_educators.pdf
Plonsky, L. and Gass, S. (2011), Quantitative Research Methods, Study Quality, and Outcomes: The Case of Interaction Research. Language Learning, 61: 325–366. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9922.2011.00640.x. Retrieved from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-9922.2011.00640.x/full
Santos, R.M. and Ostrosky, M.M. (2009). Understanding the Impact of Language Differences on Classroom Behavior. Retrieved from: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/teaching/Disabilities/Services%20to%20Children%20with%20Disabilities/Individualization/Understandingthe.htm#what_can
CAPELL. English Language Learners and Special Education: A Resource Handbook 2011. Retrieved from: http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/pdf/curriculum/bilingual/CAPELL_SPED_resource_guide.pdf