Name

 

Institution

 

Professor

 

Course

Date

 

 

Introduction

            The “Common European Framework
of Reference for language (CEFR)” was mainly developed by the
“Council of Europe” to bring together educational and cultural
matters among all State members and individuals from other countries (foreign
language learning). The idea in connection to this was to promote coherence and
transparency in the education of modern language in European countries
(Verhelst, et al. 2009, 23-41). The CEFR provides a structure that clearly
explains the languages that learners are required to learn in order to enable
them to speak or use a foreign language effectively. The CEFR framework is
based on language use and learning. The framework tries not only to enable the
comparability between two or more nations but also to consider the traditions
of any given country across the globe as well as the manner in “language
proficiency standards”. Internationally, there are numerous people who are
interested in learning the English language as it is strongly becoming
fundamental for business, learning, trade, politics and other social issues.
This makes pronunciation to be essential as people with different seek to be
fluent and efficient English speakers. It is undeniable that English learners
experience pronunciation problems as they struggle to perfect their language.
Such students are likely to find problematic sounds when learning the English
language. It is therefore significant for the instructors to acknowledge the
difficulties faced by such students so that they can be in a better position to
guide them in improving their grammar skills. There is a great connectedness
between pronunciation, pragmatics and grammar in understanding a new language
especially English.

The
Members of the Class

            The General English course at Upper
Intermediate level will be a class that will comprise various adult
multi-lingual learners whose intent will be learning English as a foreign
language.  The B2 class will be attended
by sixteen students: Arabs, Chinese, Jamaicans, Bangladeshi.  It will also be important to consider the
fact that the Chinese, Arabs, and Bangladeshi learners may need more attention
since English may not be so familiar to them when compared to the Jamaicans who
could be speaking English with a unique accent.

The
language aspects that I will be trying to teach

            Since the students have vast
origins, it is true that their language problems are also different. For this
reason, it will be prudent to understand each group of students needs in order
to help them accordingly. For instance, some voices may be problematic to the
Chinese and Arabs but not for the Chinese and the Bangladeshi students. Others
could be having sentence structure issues and others could be suffering from
grammar problems. The analysis of LaChapelle’s work motivates a teacher to focus
on various language aspects especially:

·       Pronunciation

·       Pragmatics
and

·       Grammar

Pronunciation

            Pronunciation can be defined as the
way in which a word is spoken, or the manner in which a word is uttered in a
specific language. For the General English course at Upper Intermediate (CEFR
B2) level class, it is vital to note that correct pronunciation is important
for better academic success and learning. Despite the fact that the
multilingual students may be struggling to perfect their pronunciation skills,
it is essential to note that their dialects can influence their learning
process.  This means that the diverse
students may pronounce a given word differently based on the influence of their
first languages. The duration taken for cultural exposure especially in
childhood stages can affect the pronunciation prowess as students continue to
learn English. Secondly, their present residence is a vital element in
determining the success in pronunciation. Other scholars hold that ethnicity,
social class, and educational level have a tremendous influence on both speech
and communication process. All this confirms that pronunciation is an important
aspect of the English language since it determines the success of
communication.

            The language used in verbal and written
communication often behaves as a holistic system where pronunciation plays a
vital role. A shift made in a given segment or area is likely to be projected
onto other areas. As a result, the meaning of words especially the words that
have different meaning and same spellings can be so challenging to foreign
English learners. This makes pronunciation to be very important when learning.
According to most English scholar, the people’s accent can affect their
intonation abilities and speech. Following this observation, the way in which
words are pronounced must not be taken for granted when learning. Pronunciation
is considered to be the act of producing the sounds of speech. This includes
articulation, stress, and intonation. Every language dictates how some words
should be pronounced. The correctness or acceptability of the sound yielded
when refereeing to a given work determines the effectiveness of communication.

Comparing
pronunciation problematic and difficulties.

            Research studies demonstrate that
the numerous errors made by English speakers especially the learners are often
systematic rather than random. For instance, Arabic students face challenges
when pronouncing the sounds they are not familiar with yet they are in the
English language.  An example is words
with sounds /v/, /p/, /?/ are more problematic to Arabic learners (Brown, 2014,
193).  According to Battle (2012), Arabs
do not have consonant /v/. Comparatively, the Jamaican may not be having this
challenge. On the other hand, the Chinese students have problems when
pronouncing words that have sounds /r/ and /l/ (Lee, 2003, 144). The Jamaicans
English language has been listed as one of the most complex since they use a
combination of standard British English and Jamaican English where some words
are eliminated at the end of the sentence. This makes their pronunciation and
rhythms unique (Mordecai & Mordecai, 2001, 72). The Bengali speakers and
learners lack labio-dental fricatives. This makes it hard for them to pronounce
sounds /f/ and /v/ correctly. Sounds /w/ and /j/ are also problematic to
Bengali learners since they are absent in their first language (Mishra, 2010,
3).

Chinese
pronunciation problems

            Chinese L1 students face numerous English
pronunciation problems which affect their tone and intonation. Secondly, the
consonant clusters and the words that end with consonant affect the pronunciation
of the Chinese people. Sounds /r/ and /v/ are also problematic to Chinese
learners. Finally, the confusion between /l/ and /n/ may also course pronunciation
problems among the Chinese learners in a L1 class. A Chinese can easily pronounce
the word rabbit as “labbit”. For example, the Chinese often use logographic
systems where characters represent some words and phrases. Secondly, Chinese is
a tonal language where pitch during pronunciation can affect the meaning of a
word.  Comparatively, English utilizes
alphabetic letter where consonants and vowels matter.

            Chinese
learners often add vowel sounds when pronouncing English words. There are also
prone to substituting consonant sounds to make easier for them to pronounce.
The words that end with consonant become so had to find in the Chinese language
expect for the words that end with “n” and “ng”. for this reason, Chinese
learner are susceptible it making  and
sound as and-eu, kind to sound as kind-ah, card becomes
car and change to sound as chain.
Additionally, two consonant sounds rarely exist in Chinese language. Thus really becomes wewe, very will
sound wawy, rice will sound lice, love will sound dock.

Arabic pronunciation problems

            Arabic
students have problems with /b/ and /d/. They consider the two to be minor
images of each other. As a result, they can write “sudway” instead of “subway”.
Words like bomb, mob, comb, and tomb can cause them trouble when learning the English
language. The combination of /p/ and /b/ also give them trouble. For that
reason, they are likely to replace these consonant when reading or speaking.
For example, the police will be pronounced as the “bolice”. For others, there
is confusion when reading words with /v/ and /f/. For example, very will be
pronounced as “fery”.

 

Vowels and consonants that could be
difficult to pronounce

Arabs

Chinese

Jamaicans

Bangladeshi

Examples
Arabic
speakers have problems when differentiating /v/ and /f/ sounds. 
Consonants /p/
and /n/ are also challenging to Arabic speakers
 
Reasons for pronunciation difficulties
1.    
Arabic is a Semitic language
and its grammar is greately differ from English hence the potential
difficulties for Arab learn to pronounce English words.
2.    
The Arabic language has 28
consonants while the English language has 24. It also has 8 diphongs while English
has 22.all these increases the pronunciation challenges for Arabic learners
of English.
 

Examples
The Chinese
speakers experience difficulties when pronouncing sounds /j/ ch/ /v/ and sh/
 The inability to stress on syllables can
make it difficult for Chinese speakers to pronounce words with given cluster
combination such as /sl/, /sn/, /sm/, /br/, /cr/, /fr/ and /sq
Reasons for pronunciation difficulties
 
1.    
Addition of vowels
drape becomes dilape
French become Filench
2.    
Chinese omission of sounds
words becomes wors
cluster becomes cusser
 
 

Minimal
pronunciation issues

Sounds /v/,
/f/, /w/ and /j/ are difficult to pronounce for Bengali learners.

 

Words that could be difficult for the
students in David’s Text

Arabs

Chinese

Jamaicans

Bangladeshi

Interviewing
Video
Vienna
Fine
Fashion
Famous
After
From
Photography
Spot
stepped
 

Rejection
Subject
Project
Job
Shaped
Shiny
Shoot
Sheen
Love
Covered

None

Moved
From
Lives
Serves
Carved
First
Powerful
Fashion
subject

 

Pragmatics

    “Pragmatics” is the manner in
which members of a specific community express their desires using language. In
regard to this, it is important to understand, for instance, that the way we
speak to our friends is not the same way we relate to our parents.
Consequently, the language that is used in a formal speech may be a little bit
different from that one would hear during a lunch with four friends or more
(Leech, 2016, 7). On the other hand, it is clearly noted that the
conversational style that is used in day-to-day interaction is quite different
from the language that will be used when narrating a story to pupils in a
classroom. The essence of pragmatics, in this case, is understanding these
differences and the best time that one is required to use the different styles
during different cases of interaction.

    The most crucial part of social
interactions is a facility with language. The educational system is mainly
focused on the ability of individuals to communicate effectively with others
through written and spoken language, whoever, reading is the part that receives
greater emphasis. “For social and economic progress in any given community
or society, an individual’s ability to read is greatly valued hence making
reading very important for the success of the society”. Successful early
reading achievements can be attained by effective instructions from experienced
teachers. The teachers should consider providing instructions in a balanced way
to all children by ensuring that they master alphabetic, acquire word
understanding skills, get involved in and maintain an interest in reading just
to name a few. The educators are being cautioned on the use the word
“balance” suggesting that “integration” should be used
instead by the “National Research Council Committee”. The term
“balance” is considered not to mean a way of dividing time equally
for the parts of the reading program comprehensively.

    Considering the Singlish (Colloquial
Singaporean English) language, for example, most of the vocabularies are given
their meaning from English. Words from Malay and varieties of China are among
the language which gives the vocabularies in Singlish their meaning. The
language is being rallied against by the Singaporean government because they
want people to speak good English in order to stop some of the funny
grammatical structures that are associated with the language. Sometimes, like
in Mandarin, some sentences in Singlish will open with a topic and finally end
with a comment. Consider the following sentence for instance: “I go office
wait for you.” Grammatically, it is not the same thing with “I will
be waiting for you at the office,” whoever, it rotates in a place where
the sentence structure in question is the order at the particular time.

The
pragmatic problems that Jamaicans face

            The English language causes a lot of
resistance to the young people of Jamaica in a classroom hence one of the
greatest struggle. In connection, students are forced to get into
“Jamaican Creole” any time they want to express themselves (Page,
2014, 84-101). Whoever, it is important that proper English is imparted to the
youth considering the fact that it is the lingua franca of the world (I am).
For instance, for the creole language, there is no indication of number or
person for present tense verbs. The past is, whoever, indicated by inserting
the tense marker mi after the verb (“ai mi ron” – I ran). Therefore,
the pragmatic problems experienced by the Jamaicans are different from those
the Chinese people go through. An educator in class that consists of Jamaicans
and Chinese people will have to employ difference reading writing strategies to
individuals from the different nationalities.

The
pragmatic problems that Chinese learners face

            Chinese
English lingua franca face a problem of cross-cultural differences among
English refusals and Chinese. Some of the Chinese learners lack sufficient
competence hence encountering a communicative breakdown. In order to maintain
their harmonious interpersonal relationship, the Chinese mostly prefer to use
indirect mode of expressing themselves (Lin, 2014, 3). The following indirect
and euphemistic speech are commonly used in English when asking people to do
something: “would you mind bringing me water?” or “I was
wondering if you could bring me water?” Normally, this is not the case in
China. Individual behaviors are based on the social expectations of the
Chinese. In respect, some individuals are designated with the right to give
command, suggestions, and warnings while others have to accept. For example,
elders are supposed to use directive language to the young ones, nevertheless,
it is impolite.

Grammar

            Grammar is one of the most complex
aspects of any language. It is the whole system and structure of a particular
language. It comprises the syntax, phonology, semantics, and morphology.
Grammar rules dictate the correctness of sentence structures and spellings. The
combination of words in a sentence to pass given information is dependent on
grammar. In the B2 class, the English grammar rules will be cherished as there
is need to teach the student the correct things that they need to know before
the end of the course.

The
grammar problems that Jamaicans face

            Some of the grammar consideration
issues will be the determiner usage, noun phrases, and the structure of
sentences. The Jamaican students will be an epitome of learning the sentence
structures. The English language is dynamic and prone to flux, where it is used
abroad or in native lands, it is true that English has developed to various
dialects depending on the people using the language. The Creole language mostly
used by the Jamaicans is expressive and vibrant. The same way this language
this language is described is similar with the way one can feature the youth in
Jamaica. The biggest struggle, whoever, is finding the necessary way that an
individual can use in order to change the Jamaican youth to conform to English
language. In connection, a substantial care is necessary when trying to make
such people understand English properly. For instance, the following are some
of the common Jamaican grammatical errors: “mi run instead of I run”, “im run
instead of he runs” or “dem run instead of they run”. Most teachers in Jamaica
will choose to use the deductive approach to teach grammar. Whoever, this
method is not very welcoming because it has some disadvantages hence they
should adapt new methodology of teaching and use the deductive approach only
when it is necessary.

The
grammar problems that Chinese face

            The Chinese students are also
affected by the grammar issues considering that grammar is most difficult
aspect of a foreign language that an individual can master. For a student to
master grammar, it is very crucial aspect that requires them to make a series
of decisions. According to teachers who have been teaching Chinese students for
quite a long period of time, it is clear that the students tend to make common
mistakes over and over again. Therefore, it is important for any educator to be
aware of these mistakes in order to ensure that students avoid them completely.
Example of such errors include: “I get up at 7:00am everyday instead there will
say, I everyday morning 7:00 get up” or “Next Thursday evening 9:00 see you
instead of See you at 9:00 pm next Thursday”. It is important that educators
who are teaching Chinese students to ensure that they are using a proper
approach to ensure that students understanding some of their grammatical
problems and ensure that they avoid them completely.

Conclusion

            Instructors may be having challenges
when helping international students to learn a second language. Therefore, it
is important for the teacher to know the challenges that can impinge the
student’s ability to learn better. First, it is essential if the students are
enabled to understand the contexts. The Arabs, Chinese, Jamaicans, Bangladeshi
students have different grammar challenges. It is the ability of the
facilitator to note factors such as pronunciation, pragmatics and grammar
issues that are likely to affect these students success in learning English. A
comparison of the challenges in a new language skills accusation will make
learning more successful.

Bibliographies

Battle, D. E. (2012). Communication
disorders in multicultural and international populations. St. Louis, Mo,
Elsevier/Mosby

Brown, A. (2014). Pronunciation
and phonetics: a practical guide for English language teachers. St. Louis,
Mo, Elsevier/Mosby.

Lee, G. L. (2003). Teaching
English to students from China. Singapore, Singapore Univ. Press.

Leech, G.N., 2016. Principles of pragmatics.
Routledge.

Lin, M.F., 2014. An Interlanguage Pragmatic Study on
Chinese EFL Learners’ Refusal: Perception       and
Performance. Journal of Language Teaching & Research, 5(3).

Mishra, J. K. (2010). Companion
to communication skills in English: a practical approach to improving
pronunciation. Place of publication not identified, Phi Learning.

Mordecai, M., & Mordecai, P.
(2001). Culture and customs of Jamaica. Westport, Conn. u.a.,
Greenwood Press.

Page, N., 2014. English in a global voluntary work context:
A case study of spoken interaction and its implications for language
pedagogy. The Asian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 1(2),
pp.84-101.

Verhelst, N., Van Avermaet, P., Takala, S.,
Figueras, N. and North, B., 2009. Common European Framework of Reference
for Languages: learning, teaching, assessment. Cambridge      University Press.