Teach English in Gudian Zhen - Datong Shi

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Unlike subjects such as science and mathematics, language is not straightforward and a question can have a range of answers, depending on context. For example, a single word such as “gay” can have a variety of answers; “gay” can refer to a merry occasion or refer to a homosexual individual and based on the reference, it can evoke a vastly different feeling in people that we can tell from their intonation when they speak. Hence, the only way to properly grasp English is through exposure and practice. Making friends in the classroom can help students to learn English better, by providing them with companions to practice the language with, in and outside of English class. As mentioned, English is a very extensive subject and the teacher can only offer to cover a few typical scenarios within the limited lesson time. By conversing with their friends in English, they are practicing the various contexts and intonations that can change the meaning to the words that they speak. As such, not only are they revising the materials taught in class, but also actively applying their knowledge in daily conversation and thus, exploring deeper into the topic. When faced with problems during such interactions, students can consolidate their questions and consult their English teacher later. With more practice and combined with their widen knowledge, students will be more confident to speak in English. Making friends in the classroom can serve as a form of resource for student to learn English better. Every student has a different level of exposure to English prior to studying the language. A few students may be better in grammar while others are better in vocabulary. Therefore, by making friends in class, students with different strengths in the language can share their knowledge, as well as study tips that will help other students in their learning journey. In addition, being of the same age, friends can offer to explain classroom contents in lingos and offer relatable examples that they can understand better. Making friends in the classroom can motivate student to learn English better. It is in human’s nature for people to want to compare themselves against others. Likewise, students often compare themselves with their peers as they do not want to be left out of conversations just because they are lacking in English language. As such, weaker students will be more motivated to learn so that they can be included in all interactions. For students who are stronger in English, comparison among themselves can result in friendly competitions as they strive to be the best in the class. However, should less motivated students make friends with each other, they will be even less likely to want to converse and practice English language or participate in classroom activities. Therefore, it is very important for teachers to build good rapport with the class and observe their students as well. When they detect such group in class, it is important to break them up and have proper consultation with each of the students to find out the problems that they face and provide solutions that will motivate them to learn. In view of all the pros and cons to students making friends in classroom to learn English, I believe that making friends is still more beneficial to learning English than not. As the saying goes, “Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.” It will be less daunting to go through the challenges of learning English with a friend than doing it alone and language is more effectively learned when practiced with another person.