Teaching Second Language
Language is an important factor in the development of society and communication. It is through language that two sides get to communicate and promote an understanding. Because the world is composed of a diverse system of cultures, traditions, and languages, a gap is created among peoples resulting to differences. It is thus important that man is able to bridge the gap by acquiring new skills and knowledge towards other people in order to establish communication and a mutual relationship towards others.
This paper discusses three journal articles regarding the issues being faced in terms of teaching second language as well as in language learning. It is important that individuals acquire second languages in order to broaden their range of communication. Knowing more languages may lead a person to be flexible on almost all cultures of the world. According to a report entitled, “Developing Literacy in Second-Language Learners: Report of the National Literacy Panel on Language-Minority Children and Youth” one of the challenges that faces the American education system, especially with K-12 schools is teaching language-minority students.
The English language is important in every academic subject in all American schools. The problem is that the number of language-minority students is increasing. This results to low passing rates of the students in the different subject areas. According to the national Education Statistics in 2004, 50 percent of language-minority students have difficulties in speaking English. It is important to know that if language minority students cannot read and write proficiently in English, they cannot fully participate in the classes in American schools (August, 2006).
The response to this condition is the development of literacy in secondary-language learners. According to the National Reading Panel, it is essential that there should be instruction that provides substantial coverage of the key concepts of reading. These are phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension. If these concepts are taken into consideration, it will have a positive influence in the literature development of language-minority students (August, 2006).
Because of the growing development in the society and the advancements in technology, teaching second language has undergone a new chapter from being in the classroom setting to the interactive setting on the internet. Recently, new companies have emerged offering tutoring programs for English speaking as well as other languages. The challenges of web-based teaching are discussed in the article written by Ware and Kramsch. Their study involved the misunderstanding that occurred in an asynchronous telecollaborative project between learners of German in the United States and learners of English in Germany.
They argue that this incident is a valuable learning opportunity for both the students and the teachers. In the study, they suggested that as students explore the nature of language and communication across cultures through their technology-mediated interactions, teachers are the turning point suggests that as students explore the nature of language and communication across cultures through their technology-mediated interactions, teachers are pivotal in helping them take an intercultural stance (Ware & Kramsch, 2005).
William Grabe has compiled the current developments in second language reading research in his article. He stated that there have been many developments in the both reading research and practice over the last 25 years after the establishment of TESOL. He also emphasized the difference between the L1 and the L2 reading, which should be taken into account when it comes to second language contexts.
Based on the information that was gathered in Grabe’s article, it suggests that there should be more research involved in second language reading (Grabe, 1991). These studies have showed the challenges and the advancements involved in teaching second language. It is essential that individuals understand the value of having second languages. In doing so, students can better understand that culture that is embedded in the language leading to genuine cross-cultural communication.