TEFL Mysore

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M.H. - Japan said:
Abstract Awareness of common problems for english learners in japan is essential for instructors teaching japanese students. Identifying these problems may help contribute to better teaching and ways to improve japanese students’ language acquisition. Introduction It is generally accepted that japanese students find english difficult and hard to learn. Even so, the japanese government attempts to change that fact and continues to venture for better solutions to that problem. english learners do find difficulties in: grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary building and sentence construction. Each area shows significance on how the japanese language differs from english and gives more reason why students repeatedly make mistakes on the same manner. The japanese culture Part of the difficulties japanese learners have with english is the result of cultural differences between western countries and the one they have in japan. The state, age and sexuality of two people talking have an effect on the way they will speak with one another. And they are usually withdrawn by their inhibitions to express their own opinions. japanese people also often translate japanese directly into english which is almost impossible to end up with the correct grammar and the same meaning at all. Although it is normal for second language learners to directly translate english to their native language, this method may give confusions and difficulty to the subject. Phonetics and sound One of the major problems for english students in japan is pronunciation. The japanese actually came up with a japanized english system where they pronounce english words using the japanese. With this, they tend to attach vowel sounds with english words ending with consonant sounds. [i] Catch [k t i] Judge [j ji] [u] Pool [?pülu] Egg [?egu] [o] Bread [bredo] Note [n?to] There are also other english consonant sounds that don’t exist in the japanese language. For example: [f] [v] [l] [d] and [l] consonant sounds don’t exist in japanese. The non-existence of some phonemic sounds in japanese results to substitution of english sounds to their equivalent sound in japanese. This results to problems in pronunciation and confusion in pairs like crack and clack, glamour and grammar. This is because /l/ and /r/ are both pronounced as a japanese /r/ flap sound. There is also difficulty when encountering words with diphthongs. japanese doesn’t have diphthongs in their language, and there may be problems with words like “rain” which might be pronounced as /ra-in/ and not as /re?n/. Grammar japanese has a SOV (Subject-Object-Verb) sentence pattern, where the action is always placed in the last part of the sentence. This differs from english, where the verb always comes after the subject and before the receiver of the action. This confuses japanese students when constructing correct english syntax. Along with the above statement, relative pronouns, articles and auxiliary verbs are not present in their native language; so its usage conceives as a new constituent in constructing sentences. Formation of future, progressive, perfect tenses, interrogative and negative sentences will occasionally cause problems for learners. Another problem is the omission of the subject and–s in plural nouns and present tense verbs. Because japanese verbs don’t change depending on the subject, students neglect to add –s for the simple 3rd person. And it is common for japanese to omit the subject in sentences because that is their way of writing sentences. Conclusion An in-depth analysis between the native language and english for better understanding is crucial. Many common problems can be solved by identifying why such problems occur. Comparing each will also help students identify the differences and similarities that may also contribute in their learning. Citations Farmer, James. " Understanding japanese english Learners Weaknesses." eflinstructor. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Sep 2012. . Shoebottom, Paul. "The differences between english and japanese ." Frankfurt International School Administrative Offices esl site. Frankfurt International School Administrative Offices, n.d. Web. 17 Sep 2012. .