Main Reasons Students Studying English in Taiwan Fail to Become Proficient
1. In Taiwan students begin to study English in Grade 3 Elementary School and learn essential English grammar in Junior High. All the emphasis is placed on root memorization and studying for tests which do not contain listening or speaking skills. This type of “book” learning treats English as a subject, not a language. However, English is in fact just a tool for communication, like any other language, as is Mandarin. The so-called Natural Method of learning any language is listening first, then speaking, next reading, and finally writing. This is how everyone learns their mother tongue. So the primary reason students fail to become proficient in English is that public schooling does not mimic the natural way of learning a language.
2. However, in this day and age, there is no excuse for relying on what is taught in school. We have the Internet. We have Youtube. There are countless websites which teach English for free, such as elllo.org, and countless more that can be used for listening practice, such as unplugthetv.com. To become proficient in English, listen, listen, and listen more. Don’t worry about anything else. That comes only later. Speaking needs to be based on mimicking what you heard native speaker say, not based on words you have seen written down, but not spoken. So a secondary reason people don’t become proficient in English is that they don’t make good use of the available avenues for listening to English.
3. In natural English, sounds affect each other. For example, “Did you? Sounds like “Didjew?” “two apples” sounds like “twowaples” “cooperate” sounds like “cowoperate”. Intonation also affects meaning. For example, the word “right” could mean 對 or it could mean才怪 depending on the intonation used. This is why it is critical to study English, or any other language for that matter, by focusing on listening and then mimicking what you hear. This is unfortunately not how people in Taiwan learn English. But with the Internet and a smart phone in every hand, there are no excuses for not correcting this fault! Find things that are interesting to listen to and spend as much time listening to English as your schedule allows.
Air Aviation Academy David
愛爾航空培訓構機 英文學習專線 02-27235101