Saturday, May 26, 2007

How do you treat English, a subject or a language?

(responding to the article  Teaching other classes in English not very practical posted in April 7th)
How do you treat English, a subject or a language?
        Nowadays English ability has become a very important ability in the education.  Parents are willing to pay more as long as it will improve children's English.  According to the government's policy, the age of learning English has lowered from 12 to 9.  Most children even learned earlier when they are in kindergarten.
        We have so many lessons and teaching materials to help people learn English.  But why people in Taiwan today still afraid to speak, write, and even listen to English?
As an English major student in a language school and due to my part time experience as an English tutor, I realized that the key point is because we treat it as a subject, not a tool of communication.  Even have I learned the language for over 12 years since elementary school, I still feel the same way until I discover how this idea affects our attitude toward learning English.  We only use the language when we are at school; we only write the language on the exam paper, we only speak the language during the English speech classes.  If we treat it as a subject and don't relate the language to any practical usage, how can we improve anything besides books?
        In Singapore or Hong Kong, they use English as their second language which makes them get used to express their ideas in English.  I believe if people in Taiwan are willing to use English in daily life, the difficulty to learn a new language will be decreased, or even disappeared.


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