Teach English in Ejinaqisaihantaolai Sumu - Alashan Meng — Alxa

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As an Egyptian teacher of the English language, I’ve dealt with learners from many different ages ranging from two years old to adult employees. Having taught EFL inside the Arab world and in the United States, I’ve noticed some learning problems specific to the Arabs mentality that are hindering learners from using and practicing the English language in general and professional settings. However many, I will tackle two main learning problems in the Arab world; language perfectionism and acquiring the native accent. Language perfectionism is a learning hindrance that faces most of the Arab learners I’ve dealt with. Most learners; especially adults, would seek to perfect grammar, accent, and vocabulary before they produce conversations. This learning mentality is not real, impractical, and takes very long before the learner has the confidence to practice the English language. Arab learners in my classroom, especially women, would seek perfectionism and would stop speaking English if they noticed they don’t know the tense they should use, for example. Although perfectionism can be considered as a personality trait, it can be handled in the classroom by the support and the encouragement of the teacher. I’ve always encouraged learners to produce language from day one as it builds up confidence in conversation and makes mistakes clear to correct. Forming a safe, warm environment for the learners in the classroom can help students be encouraged to speak, make mistakes and get used to fluency without being judged. This forms a great start and encouragement to practice English in the real or professional settings. I’ve always believed that perfectionism is a learning anxiety trait and would always explain it clearly to students to try to avoid this obstacle. In addition to perfectionism, there is also the problem of obtaining the native accent in order to be socially accepted in the general or the business settings. In my classrooms, amongst every 10 learners, five or more students would be convinced that native accent training is mandatory. Those learners believe that acquiring English or American accent will increase their chances in getting a job, travelling, or meeting new people. According to Birner, learners confuse between the sounds and the accent of the language being learnt (Birner,2019) . It is imperative for English Language Learners to know the sounds of the English language if they need to speak an acceptable level of English. Some English sounds don’t exist in other languages like German or Chinese so learners need to pay more effort and focus on acquiring those English sounds. However, it is optional to try to acquire the accent if not very secondary because older learners tend to keep their native accent regardless of how hard or long they train. Acquiring English or American accent is a needless obstacle for learners that they need to consider at advanced learning stages. The main target of learning the English language is creating an understandable two-way interactive communication. As long as learners achieve an understandable level of conversation, this means they are on the right track. Maintaining high levels of accuracy and fluency while speaking is the ultimate target most learners seek. But through the journey of learning, learners should not let perfect high-end goals form learning obstacles but rather be a motivation that will encourage them to exert their best effort and capabilities. Citation Birner, B. (2019). Why Do Some People Have an Accent? | Linguistic Society of America. [online] Linguisticsociety.org. Available at: https://www.linguisticsociety.org/content/why-do-some-people-have-accent [Accessed 24 Dec. 2019].