Teach English in Baota Zhen - Yancheng Shi

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Recently in Taiwan, there has been an increasing consensus on how important it is being able to understand and communicate in English with people all around the world since the innovating technology on global net-working and social media have been growing tremendously, making the world smaller. However, achieving a level where Taiwanese could apply English to their daily life seems unattainable. In fact, Taiwan has been in the position where has been considered a country that people are less willing to speak English among Asia. It is my personal belief that teaching methods from schools and culture influence are the two principal causes to this situation. The reasons for my position are as follows. Firstly, in most of schools, by no means Engage-Study-Activate methodologies take place in the classroom; in fact, having activities is rarely considered a necessity during a 50-minute lesson. Conventionally, students are asked to open the course book to a certain page and then the lesson begins with grammar or vocabulary from the chapter there and then without any engage phase. The activate phase at the end of class is frequently excluded as well. Hence, students gradually start feeling bored and then paying less and less attention to what is occurring in the class which will end up with no more interest in the language. Additionally, the whole English course is preceded in Chinese, including simple instructions, grammar, vocabulary explanation and usage. This is because teaching English in English has never been believed as a method to convey an effective class. On the contrary, it is widely believed that language point and the usage are more efficiently assimilated by students when explained in Chinese. As time passes, they are gradually accustomed to a Chinese-speaking English class, having little progress on listening skill. Further, speaking skill is probably the most neglected aspect in school class. Given that students´ success in English subject is always judged by how good the marks on paper exam (often a multi-choice) they have had or measured by how many mistakes they have made, students firmly believe that being good at English language has a lot to do with the marks on paper. Although paper exam slightly puts students exposed to vocabulary or short articles in a way, they immensely lack opportunity of speaking English which is vitally important. This inevitably results in that students are not capable of expressing ideas in English and using English functions when necessary in the future. Secondly, speaking English greatly strikes fear into people´s heart. This is because all the way they grew up, they had been taught not to make mistakes or had been expected to perform immaculately at any time, and likewise this mindset has been applied on speaking English. However, due to lack in knowledge and experience, presenting language without any single error is apparently unobtainable. A feeling of being judged therefore emerges during a conversation, nervousness, embarrassment and fear gradually turn up as well. Also, a loss of face when mistakes are made quite dents confidence. All these negative sentiments enhance unwillingness to speak; to some extent, the unwillingness could cause that people turn their back to this language. In summary, I once again restate my point of view that teaching methods from schools and culture influence have profoundly impacted on how Taiwanese people present their English language ability. The former has mislead learners about the ways of learning English, providing little opportunity to be exposed to language while the latter has simply focused on accuracy, reducing confidence and willingness to express ideas and thoughts in English.