Teach English in Guangyanghu Zhen - Yangzhou Shi

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According to American linguist, Noam Chomsky, children are born with an innate ability to learn language at various stage of development rather than it necessarily being learned through observation. While this theory is somewhat controversial, it would imply that the earlier a student begins a learning a language the easier it would be. In addition to language being easier to pick up at a younger age, it is an inherent part of any culture and learning a second language allows students to understand a culture outside of their own more deeply. It is for these reasons I’d prefer to work with younger students to help them develop a proficiency in English as well as an understanding of a new culture through the lens of the native language. A language started at an earlier stage of development will offer a deeper understanding of the overall culture and should they decide to visit said culture in the future, it would offer a great advantage. I recently experienced an example of this where offending someone was narrowly avoided. I worked with some Iraqi engineers who visited my university over the summer, all of whom had a reasonable to excellent grasp of the English language. One had only taken English for a few years, Mazin, while another, Ammar, had been studying English since elementary school. The former referred to Native Americans as “Red Indians” which is obviously problematic and offensive in English, but it is the direct translation from Arabic. He was promptly corrected by Ammar because Ammar had a more nuanced understanding of English and what was appropriate. It is situations like this that can be avoided if students begin a language at a young age, where they learn the grammar and vocabulary juxtaposed with the culture over a long period of time, so it becomes second nature. Along with learning a second language and culture, learning a second language at a young age is “good for their minds” says Susan S. Lang of the Cornell Chronicle. She goes on to cite two studies done at the Cornell Language Acquisition Lab that posit “children who learn a second language can maintain attention despite outside stimuli better than children who know only one language.” This would suggest that a student with a second language, who can more easily stay concentrated, will have an advantage throughout their academic careers. Learning a language is not easy, and the development of language has been essential to the evolution of the human species. It is therefore important for a child’s development that they begin early in life where they are surrounded by the second language as much as possible where they are “more likely…[and] more quickly attain native-like language proficiency” (Lang, 2009). Children learn language intuitively the earlier they begin, and as time goes on it becomes more difficult and intentional. I, of course, would like to work with young children but I’d be happy to teach anyone English. I will be teaching English wherever I may end up, but I also have every intention of trying to learn the local language for the aforementioned reasons. I want to understand the people and the culture of the place I teach and have every intention of immersing myself amongst locals as much as possible. I hope to be pivotal in the development of anyone's English language skills. Citation Lang, Susan S. “Learning a Second Language Is Good Childhood Mind Medicine, Studies Find.” Cornell Chronicle, 12 May 2009, news.cornell.edu/stories/2009/05/learning-second-language-good-childhood-mind-medicine.