Higher TEFL Course

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This is how our TEFL graduates feel they have gained from their course, and how they plan to put into action what they learned:

C.L. & S.S. - Philippines said:
Problems facing learners of different nationalities Our exposure to English dates back to the time of our birth. We are fortunate to have been exposed to a bilingual society where English remains to be a major language for communication. Though we come from different educational backgrounds, dentistry and business to be exact, the medium of instruction used in the schools we attended was English. The same thing is true in our professional backgrounds. We have been exposed to working in different industries like media, management consultancy, music, theater arts, and the academe. Little did we know that our paths would cross in a company that offers distance learning programs for European professionals. It is in this industry that we started to become familiar with the problems that adult learners of English are facing. Numerous studies and observations assume that most of the difficulties that learners face in the study of English are a consequence of the degree of difference between the mother tongue of learners (also called first language, normally abbreviated L1) and English. For example, a native speaker of chinese may have more difficulties than a native speaker of German because of the latter's close relationship to English, whereas chinese is not. Spanish is another example because many of its words are written in the same way but pronounced differently. The same thing may be true for anyone of any mother tongue ( L1) setting out to learn another language (called a target language, second language or L2). Because of the influence of their L1, errors are produced in syntax and pronunciation, grammar (tense, modals, idioms, articles), and vocabulary (confusing words known as false friends). This language interference factor is true especially for beginners. Another problem students face may be attributed to the cultural differences in communication styles and preferences as far as learning L2 is concerned. A study looked at chinese esl students and British teachers and found that the chinese learners did not see classroom discussion and interaction as important but placed a heavy emphasis on teacher-directed lectures. In short, the teachers had a different perception of the students' learning preference or style. The difference in spoken and written English is worth noting. This includes spelling, which is probably the biggest difficulty for non-native speakers since English spelling does not follow the standard alphabet principles consistently. The spelling system causes problems in both directions - a learner may know a word by sound but not be able to write it correctly (or indeed find it in a dictionary), or they may see a word written but not know how to pronounce it. English native speakers in different countries have some noticeable differences in pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar (British, American, Australian, etc.). These varieties can contribute to the difficulties of learners in understanding the language. CONCLUSION The list of learner difficulties can go on and we were able to discuss only a few of those we have personally encountered in the process of our teaching adult learners of different nationalities. The important thing is to be aware of these difficulties and be ready to help students overcome them. The situation also offers teachers the challenge of searching for various ways of assisting their students. REFERENCES AND NOTES: http://www.wfi.fr/volterre/storz.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_as_a_foreign_or_second_language#Difficulties_for_learners http://www.sabri.org/problem-spots.html http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/phrasal+verbs

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