Native Countries as Language-Learning Environments
It is believed by many people that going to the native country of a second language is the best way to learn this language well. Take English as an example. More and more people in China are willing to spend thousands and thousands of U.S. dollars sending their children to English-speaking countries for either a several days' trip or short-term study. They hope the experience abroad would help improve their children's English. Does this really help? As a Chinese student who started to learn English in primary school and completed her Masters Degree in Education at Harvard and are currently working in an institution of higher education in the U.S., the author will share with you her personal English-learning experience as well as the experiences of Chinese people she encountered in the U.S. A native country is not necessarily equal to a good language-learning environment. Many people who have been in the U.S. for more than ten years still cannot speak a complete English sentence; some students who completed their Ph.D.s in America could not express themselves verbally in English, though they might have achieved very high scores in English proficiency tests like TOFEL or GRE. How does this happen? What is the cause? Is there any solution to the problem? In the paper, the author will illustrate her views and share with you her thoughts.
Keywords: English learning, ESL, Language-learning environment, Education
Ms. Yuan Li
Manager, Center for Languages and International Collaboration, Bentley College