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English as second or foreign language



  A girl is reading an English book

English is an international language that is taught in schools around the world. The increasing use of English makes this language getting deeper roots in every society.

In countries such as India, Singapore, Malaysia, Hongkong and Pakistan, English is used as second language. These countries and many other countries in Africa and North America used to be under the British rules. People in those countries are used to speaking English. They donít find any difficulties in conversing in English even though the British government have left the countries tens of years ago.

For countries that have never been British colonies, the use of English is something new for them. Therefore, English is not considered as a second language but foreign one.

The method of teaching English as second language and foreign language is slightly different. In second language class, an English teacher does not have to use many illustrations, pictures or videos whereas in foreign language class, students are not familiar with English at all. Teachers must use a lot of illustrations, pictures, videos and voice recordings to help students listen, speak, read, and write in English well.

The introduction of internet technology has helped the teaching and learning experience becomes easier. Teachers can communicate and share their experiences with other teachers and download games, grammar exercises and lesson plans. Also the availability of English learning software has been one of the most important technological breakthroughs that has helped many English learners around the world to master the language faster and better.

In the future, English will not become a foreign language anymore. It can be a second language or even the first language. More parents whose mother tongue is not English prefer to speak to their children in English. This can be seen among migrants who live in the US, Canada, and Australia. This phenomenon can also be seen in Singapore and Malaysia. Whether we like it or not, English has become part of our daily life. by Charles Roring in Manokwari of West Papua Ė Indonesia


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