Teach English in Fusheng Zhen Renmin Zhengfu - Chongqing

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Foreign Language ExperienceHow does the previous study of a foreign language aide in learning or in teaching English? It is widely accepted that having previous foreign language experience can assist you in learning a third (or fourth) language. In a recent study from the University of Haifa, professors Salim Abu-Rabia and Ekaterina Sanitsky of the Department of Special Education show that being bilingual aids one?s ability in learning a third language. In the study, two groups of 6th grader students in Israel studying English were selected, in one group all the students were immigrants whose mother tongue is Russian but also speak Hebrew fluently, the second group was comprised of students were only speak Hebrew. The results show that the ?students whose mother tongue was Russian demonstrated higher proficiency? in the new language English? (University of Haifia). According to William P. Rivers, in his research, Self-Directed Language Learning and Third-Language Learning Learner, states, ?(1) third-language learners are highly successful; they learn more language faster than second language learners of the same target language; and (2) their behaviors are those of the self-directed learner.? It is though research it has been discovered that bilingual people learning a third language find the process easier than a monolingual person learning the same language. Reasons for why this may be could be a boost in self- confidence. Having already learned a language the student understands the frustrations and the ups and downs of the language learning process. Therefore the student does not get bogged down by these emotional hang-ups and is able to actively focus on learning. Also having already learned one language, a student is more aware how he or she learns. This allows for a tailor made teaching and learning approach for the student. The ??experienced language learners constantly assess their overall performance, their learning strategy preferences, and their affective behaviors? (Rivers, William). A student learning a third language, has in the process picked up a certain amount of understanding of languages and how they work, ?the third language learner exhibits a greater awareness of what language is, and how languages work? (Thomas). While it is becoming more common to learn a third (or fourth) language, a teacher will not always be teaching bilingual students. So then the next question is does having previous foreign language experience help the teacher English better then teachers that do not have previous foreign language experience? In terms of teaching English there is less research regarding how having previous foreign language experience can assist the teacher in teaching English. However there are many cognitive benefits of learning a foreign language, as stated by Andy Luttrell, ?individuals in foreign language courses often demonstrate cognitive development, creative thinking, and attention abilities that surpass their monolingual peers?. These benefits are clear assets for a teacher in the classroom ? having creative lesson plans and activities, paying close attention to their students needs, and constantly developing new methods of teaching. In addition if a teacher has previous studied a foreign language he or she can relate to their students process. Also as a teacher is learning how to teach English, they are in a sense (re) learning the language themselves. It is clear that a teacher of English has a good understanding of how the English language functions. This knowledge combined with previous foreign language experience assists the teacher in their classroom. Bibliography Andy Luttrell. ?The Importance of Foreign Language Education?. Suite101. March 8, 2010. www.suite101.com/content/the-importance-of-foreign-language-education-a219110 ?Bilinguals find it easier to learn a third language?. University of Haifa. February 1, 2011. http://newmedia-eng.haifa.ac.il/?p=4493 Rivers, William P., Self-Directed Language Learning and Third-Language Learner. University of Maryland. October 1996. Thomas, J. ?Metalinguistic Awareness in Second and Third Language Learning.? Cognitive Processing in Bilinguals. 1992 Amsterdam: North holland, p. 531-545.