To learn English . . .
– A LANGUAGE TEACHER’S PERSONAL OPINION –
-> Why is English such an important language today? There are several reasons. Many newspapers send their reports to other newspapers in different countries in English – not in Spanish or Italian.
English is also the language of the businessworld. For example, when a Mexican businessman buys something from a Chinese businessman he usually speaks English.
At airports you can always hear English, and at the cinema you can watch a film in English. Today a lot of people want to learn this language. They go to language schools in England or take English courses in their own countries.
Every day I see advertisements in the newspapers and on buses. They are about language courses. Sometimes they also advertise language cassettes in English. They say you can learn a second language very fast and easily. They often say you can read plays by Shakespeare or books by Charles Dickens after you listen to the cassettes or after you go to the classes for three months. These advertisements are awful.
I am an English teacher and I know that it is difficult to learn a new language. But a lot of people think these advertisements are true. They want to go to these short courses or buy those expensive cassettes. I don’t understand them.
How can someone learn a new language in three months? Are ‘super teachers’ teaching their classes? I really don’t know. I don’t think people can learn English from cassettes. When we speak a language we don’t repeat sentences only. We use the language every day and everywhere. For example, we talk to our friends, our neighbours or to a waiter in a restaurant. You can’t speak to a cassette. You can only repeat the questions and answers.
We must talk to people and listen to them when we learn a new language. And this takes a long time. Not only three months!