Alumna Experience: ✅ Challenges Faced by TEFL Students From China
The development of information lined social life and the economy's globalization make English more and more crucial. As one of the essential information carriers, English has become the most widely used language in every field of human life. English ability has become a necessary skill for every learner. The benefit of gaining a foreign language is tremendous. It will help him/her open the door to another world of learning different or new knowledge and achieve the goal of multiple learning and self-actualization. According to the number of people from all over the world, English usage has more than any language. English is the official language in 45 countries. One-third of the world's population speaks English, 75% of the TV show are in English, three-quarters of the mail is written in English, international meetings must be in the English language. The global trade industry also takes English as the common language, foreign trade communication, international etiquette, correspondence, import and export documents, and bank documents. All take English as the standard common language.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Shu-Ting W. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Nevertheless, compared to other Asian countries (Japan, Korea, Singapore, the Philippines, etc.), learning English in China has become the lowest. After my research, I sum-up with these reasons:
1. Access to Education
China has a significant population base; the popularization of education cannot be completed in every city/place. Also, the resources of the English teacher are limited. Only elite schools are providing good English learning opportunities. With these restrictions, some campuses even unable to take English as an evaluation subject. Furthermore, most people enter the domestic workplace after graduation; they do not expect to work internationally. The closed mind makes people barely understand and realize the importance of English.
2. Official Languages
For some historical reasons, China is unlikely to put English as the official language. However in some countries or regions, for instance, the Philippines, Malaysia, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and so on were British colonies, English is still widely used in the school, hospital, office, and public. Due to the language environment, Chinese lack English, where they are failing in the most effective way of English language acquisition-natural learning methods.
3. English Environment
In addition to Chinese does not use English as the official language. The foreigners only appear in big cities or developed regions like Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, or Beijing. It is rare to see foreigners in most of the cities in China. People in China believe that the primary communicative method of expressing needs and thoughts is speaking Mandarin!
On the other hand, the number of Chinese with a worldview is increasing, but what are English learners' problems in China facing?
China's standard education system allows most people to focus on improving students' reading and writing skills but never examine the speaking ability. This makes the learners ashamed to express themselves in English, even they possess excellent English competence. Therefore, the first step in learning English is to break the framework of China's standard education system and explore a way to create an environment where you can speak English. With the advancement of Internet technology, there are many communities and English online platforms for learners to interact with foreigners. People can obtain new English skills and have extra motivation to push people to learn.
English grammar is not the most challenging part, as long as the learners are willing to understand and assimilate the grammar. Whereas many people are wrong, they usually do not pay attention to grammar studies because they believe it is unnecessary. Hence, grammar is an indispensable part of learning English, do not be afraid of grammar, breakthrough sentence by sentence slowly, start to know to bring out the curiosity of the sentence, and observe how to use the word or phrase, and then begin to analyze the structure of sentence patterns, the learners will realize that grammar has traced, and gradually become ingrained, no extra thinking is needed.
Learners always learn the new vocabulary by rote and ignore how to use the words correctly. Communicate with foreign teachers by reading more English articles, repeat the new language several times, and understand how to use it according to the context. Let the word be remembered naturally through "natural learning".
According to Joan Pinkham, "Chinglish, of course, is that misshapen, hybrid language that is neither English nor Chinese but that might be described as "English with Chinese characteristics." From this definition, in the general sense, Chinglish refers to the personal fabrication and copying of English by Chinese learners in oral and writing. It goes against the rules of the English language and the culture of English-speaking countries. Using Chinglish can hinder everyday communication and even cause misunderstanding. To get rid of Chinglish, learners need to be exposed to English more often and let English come naturally into their life. Try to read many original materials to accumulate common expressions and absorb the most commonly used words in the English-speaking world, and that comes naturally to native speakers. Consult dictionaries and authoritative sources, not invent expressions. An essential rule of English writing is not to create presentations but to make sure the collocation and sentence patterns are exemplified in dictionaries or other authoritative sources. Reducing Chinglish expression is a long-term task, and in this process, the most important thing is to accumulate a lot of reading and continuous thinking feedback. Constantly compare your expressions with those of native speakers, find out what's wrong with the sentence, and find ways to improve the face towards the writing skills.
Are you ready to teach English abroad or online?
In conclusion, there are many reasons why the Chinese want to learn English, such as they like the European and American culture, they want to communicate with foreigners, they want to travel abroad, they want to cultivate an international outlook and connect with the world, they want to broaden their horizon, they want to meet professional and academic needs, they want to get more in-depth and extensive first-hand information, they want to enter international companies, and they want to bring opportunities for career promotion. Be sure to think clearly and give time to think carefully about what drives you to learn English. I attach great importance to the motivation of learning English because language cannot be learned in a day or two. It needs continuous learning and accumulation.
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