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Teach English in Lengshi Zhen - Yiyang Shi
China has a long language history. Chinese Language has been built upon Chinese characters and those are learned by heart by its people from a young age. Due to the pressure ,educational system and the new trends in China these recent years, it has been noticed that more and more young Chinese students learn English Language. However, a majority of these students can meet some learning difficulties while learning English. Chinese societal facts show that there is a fierce competition and pressure that Chinese children endure in order to succeed. Difficulties also take into account their educational system that makes students learn by heart all their lessons, and we will see what are the pros and cons to that. We will discuss on the grammar aspects of Chinese languages too (focusing mostly on the tenses that are often wrong and not well learned) that are very different to the learning language .This part also includes some ideas on which kind of exercise a teacher shall make to let the students learn better.Finally, another pronunciation difficulty will be discussed as a lot of Chinese can’t pronounce some particular sounds in English ( “th” , “v”) and we will give some ideas on how to better it.We will mostly focus on all the learning difficulties for young learners in China,in order to teach them better. Pressure and numerous classes for students is a normal part of the Chinese education, but is one of the biggest issue for their learning.As English is having a more and more important place in Chinese Society,in order for children to succeed in life ,Chinese parents do not only give their children the opportunity to let them study English, but will also register their children in many other courses. The other courses are mostly: art classes, sport classes, math classes, other languages etc. It is now a “competition” for all of the young learners in China to master and learn English in order to get into a good school and have a good job. The pressure is unbearable for them, and their weekends are full. Their rest time is limited, and play time restricted. Due to the limited schedule, and the enormous amount of homework, students have difficulties to manage their learning of English correctly. ABIE(American Baby International English)’s survey reports that students of English review their classes during one and a half hour every day after school and their other homework. The amount of studies outside from English classes is continually increasing, this is why it’s one amongst others, of the difficulties for English Learning in China (for young learners). Young learners have difficulties to learn English due to the educational system; their educational system requires them to learn everything by memorization. In some ways, it can be a very helpful technique: students remember texts by heart and learn more of the language by doing so. Chinese students can remember a 5 minutes long speech at an impressive speed!Compared to foreign students, Chinese students can them learn very fast. However, the problem is that by learning everything by heart, they don’t get the profound meaning of each words and when the teacher uses the same words in other sentence orders, they can’t understand. By remembering so many things, their brain is used to learning efficiently and fast ,but it’s all without creativity and understanding of the language , which makes their understanding and comprehension skills be less developed. To improve this difficulty, the teacher may give more creative exercises in class, and focus more on the meanings of each words while the teacher teaches. Young learners are most of the time reluctant to English Grammar as it is so different to their mother tongue. Chinese language do not have Tenses or such lessons for instance, it’s an easy language to express yourself with. Sadly, many young Chinese learners are not opened to learning all of the tenses that there is in English (Future tenses, Conditional ….). Most young learners and adults then make grammar and tense mistakes, such as : “ I means….”; or “ I will called…”. Kindergarten books have few grammar points in China, and those few grammar points are mostly explained by Chinese teachers and not foreign teachers. This causes some difficulties as the students will learn from some of their mistakes. How can we put an end to that? Teachers can use some games with flashcards , and teach through these materials to focus more on young learners grammar points, and sentence structures. There are some boxes that a teacher may buy, that supplies small flashcards words that are nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and more,with which students can build up sentences during a study or activate phase of the lesson. Chinese young learners have difficulties to pronounce some phonetics: /v/ and /th/. Due to some language differences , the Chinese young learners and adults have issues to pronounce these above sounds. In Chinese , there are no sounds like /v/ and /th/. So,naturally, the students tend to replace with the most similar sounds that they know of, which are the letters: /w/ (for v) and /s/ (for th). Many words will then be changed from “van” to “wan” and can make comprehension difficult somehow. It is important to know that, so that we can be prepared and find some solutions to it in advance, such as with drilling exercises or “phone game”, where they need to say some sentences in each others ears and continue until everyone had their turn and that they got the word right. We have seen that in China, young learners may have more pressure than elsewhere to face the pressure from their parents for their studies, their grades, and the efforts they have to make to manage all of their classes. Chinese parents are very strict with their education. We have also seen that Chinese young learners face some pronunciation difficulties due to their langue which is very different to English. Some of them may be reluctant when learning the grammar as it’s very complex in English compared to their mother tongue. It is clear that Chinese young learners have less contact with foreign friends and their ability to learn can be then reduced as the student do not have enough opportunities to practice back home. We have also seen that due to the educational system , students tend to learn texts by heart, which can be problematic for their global understanding , they sometimes can’t grasp the full meaning of each words learned due to this “memory skill”.