Linguistics

Topics: Second language acquisition, Language acquisition, Linguistics Pages: 7 (2418 words) Published: January 29, 2014
Language plays an important role in human life. One tries to acquire, learn and use language as a means of communication, and simultaneously as social symbol of humanity. It forms the foundation of our perceptions, communications, and daily interactions. By using language someone could make statements, convey facts and knowledge explain or report something, and keep social relations among the language users. It is a system of symbols by which we categorize, organize, and clarify our thinking.

Language can be defined as verbal, physical, biologically innate, and a basic form of communication. Behaviourists often define language as a learned behaviour involving a stimulus and a response.(Ormrod,1995) Often times they will refer to language as verbal behaviour, which is language that includes gestures and body movements as well as spoken word. ( Pierce,& Eplin,1999)

As one of language in the world, English is considered and applied as international language. Since then, it is very popular and has been spoken and learnt by almost people in the world. The importance of learning English cannot be overstated in an increasingly interconnected and globalized world. It is indisputably the primary language of global trade and commerce. In many countries, most tourism authorities and other officials in contact with the public speak English to interact and engage with tourists and immigrants. English is typically the language of latest-version applications and programs and new freeware, social media networks and websites. In universities and colleges, the primary language of instruction is English.

Teaching English as a foreign language is a challenging, yet rewarding career choice. As an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher, I have been a struggling learner to constantly adapt to my students needs. Many times, I see myself dealing with a variety of problems not only in the classroom but in the community where I belong in present. Let me begin with my first job, my journey as an English tutor of a Korean family who have just stayed in the country for a week before I met them. The words that I only understood when we first met were, "yes", "no" and "thank you". I was then too perplexed on how I should interrelate with them and how I could be an effective private teacher to all of them knowing that they are of different ages. Of course, I have to think about factors such as culture, character, learning styles and their society. I always have that fear in me that I might cause frustrations and disappointments that could lessen their motivation to learn the language. I did choose a juicy theme to the lesson; one that my students can relate to and one I know they will enjoy. Luckily, it kept their motivation and interest burning. I got to know and identify their interests and needs, their previous knowledge and background.

Along the way, English pronunciation was my first obstacle. The pronunciation in English puzzled my students a lot because the same letter has different sounds. For example the letter "a" in "bath" is not pronounced in the same way of that in "bathe". The "ou" in "South" is also different from "ou" in "Southern". Generally verbs and nouns are pronounced differently although they are written the same. Record is a good example to illustrate it. In order to solve this puzzling question I carefully let them study the I.P.A (The International Phonetic Alphabets) which helped them pronounce English words correctly. In order to have an accent just like the native speakers, I often let them listen to tapes and repeat after them, trying to imitate them.

Moreover, the house rule, Speak English from 6am - 6pm enabled to develop discipline them in using the desired language. I agree with the Behaviorists who believed language learning is simply a matter of imitation and a habit formation. Children imitate the sounds and patterns which they hear around them and receive positive reinforcement (which could take the...
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