Second Language Learning Difficulties

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4 Responses

  1. Mark says:

    Re. “Teachers must be cautious in error correction because errors may be the result of negative language transfer or incorrect assumptions held about the target culture.”

    – Do you mean that teachers should be cautious (in the sense of thinking twice – or three times) before correcting students errors, of course appropriate for their level and in a constructive way etc. – OR did you mean teachers should be conscientious about doing this and picking up such errors, correcting them preferably as early as possible so that they do not become even deeper entrenched (or “fossilized”)?

  2. I mean that teachers must consider the source of errors. Errors may be the result of factors such as:

    1. Language transfer
    2. False cultural assumptions

    Knowing the source of the errors might be of great help in deciding about how to tackle the problem.

  3. Kio says:

    How do I assist a student whose spoken English is not so bad, but suffers from tongue freeze in a social setting as he tries to translate words from his mother tongue into English to be abe to string a flawless English sentence?

  4. Mark says:

    Firstly, this approach is not right – translating does not work until the speaker reaches the advanced levels (CEFR C1, C2). Have you considered encouraging your student to actively listen and respond without translating? It’s also unrealistic to expect a “flawless English sentence” from a non-native speaker, especially if their English is below an advanced level.

    Secondly, social anxiety is something almost everyone goes through at some stage of their lives. Learning a second (or third) language can so easily bring this on too as the learner tries to put the basics into practice – especially the first time(s). Pronounced [pardon the pun] cases may merit a coach or even a psychologist, though, not a (rookie) teacher who adds pressure by expecting flawless utterances. I appreciate this may not be what you wanted to hear but suggest you consider it all the same. Good luck.

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