Class Authorized TEFL

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W.D. - U.S.A. said:
Problems for learners in ChinaThere are two main aspects that cause problems for chinese students. The first aspect is connected with the language itself. English and Mandarin ? the common language in china belong to different language families (English belongs to Germanic and chinese to Sino-Tibetan family) that have many differences in fields of phonetics, writing system and grammar. The second aspect considers different learning style of chinese learners. Although a different writing system seems not to be an issue for the learners in china, since all children learn the letters of Roman alphabet at schools and need to use them in everyday life (e.g. for writing on a computer?s keyboard) the phonetics and grammar are far more troublesome. Researches have proved that people who learn a second language after the age of 6 tend to compare it to their native language and apply its rules. Sentences are not only built ungrammatically, but a lot of chinese speakers sound ?robotic?, when speaking English. It comes from the fact that chinese is a tone language and English is an intonation language. Each syllable in chinese words has one of 4 tones that indicate its meaning. Therefore chinese speakers concentrate on the tones and not on the intonation. In English stress and intonation are critical points of the language thus chinese students may have communication problems, even if other parts of the language would have been mastered. chinese students also have problems to distinguish and pronounce some English sounds such as /ð/ or /R/. They naturally use sounds that are closest to their own language that is /S/ or /Z/ for the /ð/ and /L/ for /R/. Because there are many words in English that have different meaning depending on the pronunciation sometimes it makes it very difficult for the listener to follow the meaning of the sentence. The examples of pairs of the words in English that are mistaken by chinese students are: think and sink, rake and lake. The significant difference between chinese and English grammar is another problem for chinese students. First of all in chinese language there are no pronouns that indicate the gender, thus most of students, even at advanced level, confuse the words: he, she, it, its, his, and her. Secondly in chinese there are no changes of nouns, when talking about plural. The indicators of plural in chinese are measure words, thus students tend to forget about adding ?S? at the end of the noun. The same applies for different forms of verbs. In chinese there is only one form of the verb that does not change according to tenses and persons. There is also no lexical equivalent for the definite and indefinite articles in chinese. Most of the students put them randomly before nouns. Apart from other problems such as punctuation (position in a sentence and confusion between commas and periods), the biggest problem for chinese students is the usage of adverbs and adjectives. This is caused by the fact that in chinese ?nouns, adjectives and adverbs do not show suffixes as they do in English. The word ?happy? can be a noun, adverb and adjective.? The other source of difficulties for chinese learners is the different culture and style of learning. chinese students are used to listen and write down everything the teacher says. Because they study English since primary school many of them were taught incorrectly and have bad habits. chinese students in general are also shy and tend to avoid speaking and drilling activities in the class. In order to teach English effectively in china the teacher should be familiar with all of the problems and try to deepen his knowledge about the language and culture. Bibliography: 1) Language family - 2) Problems for learners in specific countries - 3) Difficulties faced by chinese EFL students - 4) Pronunciation problems in specific countries - 5) The differences between English and chinese - 6) Problems for learners in china - 7) Problems Faced by chinese Learners in L2 English Learning and Pedagogic Recommendations from an Inter-Cultural Communication Perspective - 8) A Study of Pronunciation Problems of English Learners in china -