Defending English

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Defending English

The world has become diverse and teaching the English language to secondary speakers has become quite an important tool in any education system. A typical school in the United States of America for example is filled with students from different cultural settings some of which are learning English for the first time. This group of students is always filled with a variety of challenges since the mother/first language tends to hamper the effective learning of the secondary language. The most affected part is usually the pronunciations of words and spellings. Spanish speaking students learning English tend to make many spelling mistakes especially when it comes to certain allophones such as /h/, /k/ and /b/. (Duran, 2013)

Spanish speaking students like many ELLs are faced with the challenge of competing effectively with native English students amidst the backdrop of influence played by the mother language in pronunciation and spelling. The exclusive use of English language in teaching is effective since it enables a level ground for all students to compete but this tends to favor the native speakers and secondary learners have to work extra hard to improve their grasp of the language. Some people encourage the use of the mother language in teaching English but this is ineffective since the overall progress in the long run will be affected. (Duran, 2013)

The essence of communication is to pass information and many aspects such as facial expression and non verbal cues also play a major role. An effective program to teach ESLs therefore should entail slow introduction of vocabularies and use of illustrations such as drawing to create an equal field for all students. (Mahiri & Freedman, 2014) A phonetically organized programme can also be adopted for those students exhibiting difficulty in spelling and pronunciation. The best way to ensure to unlearn something is to learn new things and with persistence Spanish speaking students can effectively learn ESL.


BIBLIOGRAPHY Duran, E. (2013). SYSTEMATIC INSTRUCTION IN READING FOR SPANISH-SPEAKING STUDENTS: (2nd Ed.) (2nd ed.). Springfield,: Charles C Thomas Publisher.

Mahiri, J., & Freedman, S. W. (2014). The First Year of Teaching: Classroom Research to Increase Student Learning. New York: Teachers College Press.