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English as a Second Language, Essay Example

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Words: 858

Essay

ENL (English as a Native Language) and ESL (English as a Second Language) are two terms that have become common in college applications. It is compulsory for Non-Native Speakers (NNS) of English to take an English proficiency test to confirm their grasp of the English language. Furthermore, English classes that are part of the syllabus are different for native and non-native speakers, i.e. native speakers and non-native speakers sit in different English classes. The NNS course is very important for the development of students, however should it be required on all students whose first language is not English?

Farooq Muhammad and Ul-Hassan Muhammad are of the opinion that English subject for non-native speakers is essential for the development of students in light of the continual growth of the global economy where English is considered as the accepted and recognized global language. Their argument opinion points to the fact that a good comprehension of the English language is essential and should be compulsory for the non-native speaker. Particularly for the Chinese student, English writing can prove to be very challenging even though listening is considered easy and speaking relatively easy. This is because irregularities in the spelling of English words make it very difficult for students to create a logical connection between symbols and sounds (Liou). This gives the requirement of the NNS course even more vital as though it may take time to master the English language, such confusion and difficulty will be overcome with time. Students are forced to memorize every word as separate entities to compensate, making the writing process very challenging. Should difficulty be cited as an excuse to evade learning an important facet of the rapidly growing and expanding world? Chang is of the opinion that this is why it is very important that these lingual skills are developed in students over time as they are essential for the development of career and social opportunities (Chang).

English for a non-native speaker is very difficult and cumbersome. This is because learning a different language that is different in the phonetic and tonal expression of speech and communication requires forgetting the influence of one’s native language. This at least according to William Zinsser. He believes that learning to write comfortably in a second language must be really hard, a concept shared by Farooq and Ul-Hassan. He believes that good English is very hard to find these days. The English language is plain and strong, the use of complicated vocabulary makes it even more difficult for its learners. However, there exists English that is not only simple, but straight forward. Most reporters employ this kind of English in passing across ideas and information.Learning these simple techniques can make an individual look smart with the manner in which they convey their messages, i.e. short and precise.

I believe some non-native speakers of the English language feel that English class should not be included in the syllabus. Most of them believe that it is a waste of time since they do understand the English language and can express themselves using the basic and simple English that they learned in elementary and high school. Furthermore, they believe that the English language can be learnt and acquired better in a social setting as opposed to a class meeting. They are of the opinion that since the English language should improve their social and career opportunities and experiences, it is better acquired in a social setting rather than an academic setting where grading applies. However, these perceptions are wrong because NNS like me have made mistakes that native speakers never made since we have cultural differences, different ways of expressions, different thinking models and language customs. For instance, some words I understand some words and know what they mean, but I just cannot properly use them in writing. I need this class to help me overcome these obstacles to use English essentially. Additionally, these English classes are also very important in building proficiency in a language that is used worldwide to conduct important social and business interactions.

In conclusion, the NNS classes are important for the development of social and career opportunities, as English is rapidly being accepted as the global language. As such, in order to remain relevant in one’s professional field, it is important that the NNS classes be compulsory. If the NNS classes are not undertaken by students, then the next generation of students would find it difficult to keep up with the rapidly changing job market (Liou). Furthermore, the English language is the most diverse language with a vast array of vocabulary to convey specific information and expressions (Zinsser). As such, this makes English as the most efficient language in literary and scholarly work. In order to understand such works that are required in college, a student has to take the NNS course.

Work Cited

Chang, Juan. “Chinese Speakers.” n.d.

Farooq, Muhammad S and Muhammad U Ul-Hassan. “Opinion of Second Language Learners about Writing Difficulties in English Language.” South Asian Studies (2012): 183-194. Print.

Liou, Teau J. Chinese-Speaking Internationsl Students’ Experiences and Perspectives of ESL University Writing Programs. Dissertation. Las Cruces: New Mexico State University, 2012. Print.

Zinsser, William. “Writing English as a Second Language.” The American Scholar (2009). Print.

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