Teach English in QiAnlishAn Zhen - Wuhai Shi

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Phonetics can be a major stumbling block. Grammar a complex nightmare. Syntax can be tricky, and vast amounts of vocabulary difficult to remember. But which is the most difficult? Which is the absolute hardest to get nailed down. The greatest linguistic problem can differ from learner to learner, but phonetics, grammar and syntax tend to be the more common ones. English is can be phonetically very challenging. Each language had a set of sounds they are used to making. This is called a phonological system. Some language systems have sounds that others do not. For example, Spanish has an “R” that rolls. This is called a trill to linguists. English does not have this sound, and many native english speakers struggle to reproduce that sound when they learn Spanish. The same can be true of other speakers learning English. For example, some native speakers of Chinese have difficulty different “L” and “R” sounds, because in their language, the two sounds are the same. The further a language’s phonology is from English phonology, the more a person will struggle with their pronunciation. So, for a speaker of a language like Spanish, which only has a few different sounds, Phonetics might not be the hardest thing about learning English. For other languages it might be harder. Pronunciation, or phonetics, is very important, because strong accents can be difficult for native speakers to understand, and clear communication is often key for many jobs and even relationships. Another challenge to language learners is grammar. English grammar can be particularly difficult, because of the history of the language. English started out as a celtic dialect in old England. It was then introduced to some germanic dialects by the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes (3 German tribes that took over England,eventually merging into one). The Angles are where we get the name “English” and “England”. Later the French took over England, introducing another language into the mix. From the three we get our current language English, but the three origins often disagreed on the correct rules for speaking and writing. Eventually some standards were agreed upon and dictionaries made, but even today there are disputes. One of which is whether one can end a sentence in a pronoun. Some look back to latin as the standard to be modeled, and say no, it cannot. Others disagree, because very little latin makes up English, and say that we do not need to comply to rules made by a different language. For a foriegn language learner, this can be very confusing as different teachers disagree as to what is “correct grammar”. And the rules can appear to make very little sense. A third challenge can be Syntax. This, for some language learners, is not a problem at all, and for others is a huge stumbling block. Syntax refers to the order of words in a sentence. For example, English often starts the sentence with a subject, then gives a vowel, and then gives an object. Some languages do the exact same thing, and those language learners will not struggle with syntax. French is a good example of this, as most of their syntax is the same. However other languages give the object first then the verb then the subject. Those language learners can really struggle with this and it can be a common problem. The most difficult problem can definitely change with the language learner, but these three are fairly common. All linguistic challenges take time and effort to overcome, and no problem has not been seen before. Students can often bond over their struggles while mastering this new skill and give each other helpful tips and memory tricks. The teacher should also be accustomed to these challenges and have several methods of overcoming them. Language learning is hard, however, it can be made easier by doing it together with others.