Teach English in Longtan XiAng - Anqing Shi

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Teaching Monogingual vs MultiWhen it comes to teaching english as a second or foreign language, there are many aspects one must consider before stepping foot inside a classroom in order to be fully prepared. For example: How many students are in my class? What level are they at? What tools will I have? The aspect I have focused on in my research is the difference in teaching a monolingual class versus a multi-lingual class. There are many advantages and disadvantages that I will explore in this final research article. Monolingual classes are classes that consist of students all speaking the same language in their own country (english as a Foreign Language). Multi-lingual classes are classes that consist of students speaking many different languages, all from different countries, learning english in an english-speaking country (english as a Second Language). In a multi-lingual class, the students are living in an english speaking country, so therefor they will have endless opportunities and exposure to the english language. In a monolingual class, it is most probable that the student?s only exposure to english is in class. This difference is one of the biggest in terms of successfully learning english. english will be learned much quicker when it is necessary to speak and understand it. This is an advantage the multi-lingual class has because there is no common mother language; english is the only common ground, so it must be spoken in order to communicate. In a monolingual class the teacher must be careful to aim the lessons according to the students? needs and levels otherwise it will be easy for the students to resort back to speaking their mother language to clarify or simply because they are lost or do not have interest in the lesson. If students do not understand fully, they may feel more confident in asking questions in their mother tongue. Many times english teachers speak the native language of a monolingual class. This can be an advantage and a disadvantage at the same time. If the teacher resorts to speaking the native language, the students will be deprived of exposure to the english language, however it can be used as an advantage in the teaching method of translation. The teacher is responsible in finding the fine balance between using the student?s native language as an advantage and knowing when the native language is being used to a disadvantage in class. The same rule applies for the students. For example, when working in groups, it is useful for the students to speak in their mother tongue to get organized and carry out the task successfully. Multi-lingual classes do not have the option of learning through translation because there is no common language other than english. Another advantage of a multi-lingual class is the opportunity to use everyday life experiences to learn from in the classroom. Suzy got a cell phone today. This was a new experience for her. The class can discuss what happened, how Suzy felt, what Suzy learned from her new experience and so on? The possibilities are endless. Homework can be much more interesting if they have to go to the movie theatre and watch a movie, or go on a city tour for example. These opportunities unfortunately are nonexistent for the monolingual class. For the same reasons you may find that the students from a multi-lingual class are more motivated to learn english, whereas a monolingual class may have students that are there because they have to be not because there is a desire or need to be. Disadvantages of the multi-lingual class are that each culture may learn better from different styles of teaching or learn in different manners. Some students may not use the same alphabet. Many students will pronounce letters differently. It may be very challenging for the teacher to fulfill the needs of each student without neglecting others. Disadvantages of a monolingual class are that students may not be very motivated to learn english and may fall into the temptation of speaking their own native tongue instead. The learning process might be much slower due to lack of exposure and practice. Although there are disadvantages and advantages for the students in both categories of classes, the teacher reaps the benefit of either situation. If you are teaching ESL, you will grow so much as a teacher because of the challenging circumstances, you will learn a lot about many cultures of the world, and all of this can be done while still in the comfort of your own home and own country. If you are an EFL teacher, you as well will benefit from not just learning in depth about another culture, you will live it. You may very well learn to speak their native tongue also. You will broaden your horizons as you travel and experience new things and new people. There is no better or worse in teaching english, only preferences. This is why it is best to take your time and consider all aspects of teaching english as a second or foreign language and make the decision that best fits you. References 1. Costigan, Gillian. ?TEFL Teaching Monolingual versus Multi-lingual groups?. August 30, 2006. 2. ?Monolingual Class.? Teflpedia. Web. May 29, 2010. 3. Osstyn, Luc. ?Teaching Monolingual vs Multi-lingual Groups?. April 11, 2007.