Language is a very interesting topic whether learning a foreign one as your second or third tongue, whether you are learning the complexity of the English language or even how non-native speakers learn English. It’s all fascinating. Of course my major is English and the concentration I have chosen is English as a Second Language (ESL). Why have chosen such major? Good question. It has been my favorite since I don’t how long. And when entering college as a Freshman I surfed my University’s website and read about the different majors and what could be best for me. So I adventured around for a year with the general classes trying to find my place in college. So, now I can’t imagine having another major, but a minor and additional classes that interest be would be of good interest.
The concentration of ESL, so far is interesting because I am start to see how non-natives are trying to learn English whereas I grew up with the language and developed it over time as an American. So far I have only taken one course dealing with language and this semester I will be taking another course dealing with ESL. Both are online classes. So I hope to ace this online course as I have done in the pervious semester. (I’m sure many many people are wondering what I can do with a degree in English… I’m wondering the same thing, too, but I don’t think it is a big deal).
The Methods and Teachings of ESL course has taught me a lot and very new words and given me a better perceptive of language learning. This is the online course I took during the spring semester and I enjoyed it, too. I have really gained a few experiences that I would like more of in the future. What I have obtain can help me in my teaching career or other areas of the humanities field if I may say so. The text we had was easy to follow and provided many theories, concepts, and vocabulary words dealing with Second Language Acquisition (SLA). Simply said, SLA is just the basic foundation of someone of a non-native speaker of any language that is trying to acquire a second language (other than the native tongue).
I am discovering that mostly everything that deals with ESL and second language acquisition (theories and practices) that relates to the learning process of English through immersion of being in the United States and their social and academic skills. At first when I started the class and getting more depth into my major I was not sure what I was getting myself into, but so far I’m enjoying what I’m learning. What I found interesting and cool is the terminology of ESL/SLA. In any instances, the terms read and used in the discussions online are applicable to every day life as well as learning a second language. The common features and thinking process, with experiences of ESL/SLA, has particular terms to name the practices, theories, and human behaviors. In simple terms, the many “colorful” words that can be located through the book that we had used and they research I did. Another thing is the fact that I am “wowed” to think back on amazing concepts and information that can help better my perspective on non-natives speaking English and trying to adapt to the American culture.
I believe that interactive teaching and learning methods are helpful when one is in any type of class; especially to those who are learning a second language. There is nothing like having fun and watching videos and doing group projects and oral presentations in the classroom versus sitting in class or some place and getting put to sleep and not being attentive while there is something going on. This can help with students and adults of any ages. There are many ways to help someone learn English and about our culture.
Since I have obtain so much knowledge so far, there are three areas I would like to focus and learn more about:
- One area I would like to know more about is the experience of teaching English whether in a regular English class or in some type of special program. We can only read and hear and even talk to those teachers, but what exactly is it like to walk in their shoes and see why and how learning English can be a challenge for them.
- A second area I would like to know more about is culture. I’m curious on how other languages are similar and different than English. The reason why I want to know more about culture is the reason that people are very interesting and good conversations can start with common interests and shared knowledge about different cultures whether talking about it in depth or just meeting someone else with other interests. I can remember that I enjoyed having conversations with my Conversation Partner about the culture and differences from her home country of Colombia and living here in Memphis and other states.
- A third area could be more about the English language; especially more in depth from the non-native perspective since I am not in college. Sitting in classes observing for those who are learning English is interesting because I already know English, but I may not know the general information or anything that is taught to non-natives. But it is I thought it was interesting to sit and observe the classes because they are learning what we have learned back in elementary and we are still learning but just in a different manner.