Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Language: English as a Second Language

Tuesday's new topic is Language. Writing, Grammar, Publishing, Printing, and anything else related to English and it's usage.

I'm unilingual. English is the only language at which I'm proficient - and I've been known to lose even English at times. I certainly can't even pretend to be fluent in any other language. Unlike myself most English speakers in the world have learned English as a second language. The numbers show 330 million people in the world who speak English as their first language. 580 million have English as a secondary language.

So how does one learn English as a second language?

One answer comes from a blogger who calls himself The Korean. He charmingly uses the third person to refer to himself. On his blog Ask a Korean! he wrote a post called The Korean's English Acquisition, and the Best Method to Master a Foreign Language, Guaranteed.

The short version? It takes work. The long version? Don't ask me... go read The Korean. It's well worth it.

3 comments:

LynnM said...

Did you see this?
http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100723/REVIEW/707229992/1008

I wanted to study to teach English to speakers of other languages but apparently didn't get accepted to the program for this fall. No matter. Once I'm not so tied down here, I hope to just go and do it.
----
I sent a mass email out last month and it looks like I missed Lene so I'll enclose it here, if you don't mind. Talk about a RIDICULOUS proposition:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/7880189/English-spelling-too-difficult-for-children.html

I bet Lene knew how to spell the hard words like "orange" before moving to Canada. And Canadians seem to have a low prison population despite the spelling issues.

David Govoni said...

The article is rather ludicrous. If spelling is to blame for illiteracy then why are rates higher now? English spelling hasn't changed recently significantly.

I know many people for whom English is their second language. Lene, my mother, two of my co-workers, and many more. Most of them have better pronunciation, diction, and command of English than the native speakers I know. I do my best to be as fluent as they are.

LynnM said...

My daughter is now visiting her father's family in Macedonia, where they speak varying degrees of English. Her favorite cousin speaks the best based on Sponge Bob Square Pants. I can just imagine some British "Think Tank" announcing new spellings, and the rest of the world just continuing to learn via Sponge Bob.