International and global language
During the time, human societies across the world begin to contact with each others. When we travel to different countries we can find many similarities. The style of living, eating, shopping among people of different cultures are in the same way. Mc Donald's restaurants around the world are an example of these similarities. Globalization, which includes these meanings, is the process in which interrelation and interdependence of the world increases, specially in the last two decades. Technological improvements made easy for people to communicate better, for instance through internet they can communicate, travel and do international businesses easily. Globalization has increased opportunities for almost every one. Globalization helps human to exchange the ideas and beliefs. Today, much religion, historic and scientific books are available among different people from different nationalities.
In the 21th century the English language plays an important function in the development of globalization. Today English become an important language for communicating. Many people use English language for varies purposes in their daily life. English is the language of technology and internet. Without knowing English we can't have a successful life. English is a vehicle for participation in the global economy. Parents want their children to learn English to have a better future. By learning English they can enter to the international trade and business.
The global spread of English over the last 40 years is remarkable. English penetrate into many societies. Over 1.4 billion people live in countries where English has official status. One out of five of the world's population speaks English. The number of people who speak English as a second or foreign language will exceed the number of native speakers.
Know we are going to express why English become an international and global language in the world:
After industrial revolution in 18th century and also during the 20th century many technological inventions such as telephone, electricity, fax, internet, etc became from English language countries. Countries with the economic and political powers can spread their languages into other countries.
There are 3 parts in the world that English spoken in them.
Native speaker such as:
1- England , USA, Canada, New Zealand
Non native speaker:
2- South Africa
3-Asia: India, Malaysia, Pakistan
There is a different view among people in learning English. Some of them have a positive view and others are negative.
Many believe, learning a new language would be treating their own language. This idea is strong especially among those countries which believe English is an imperialism language developed by powerful countries. They believe powerful countries try to impose their language and culture to the world. When a new language merge to these societies, people realize their identity and respected language is going to be devaluated. In some cases people may look at a person who uses English in speaking as a segregationist or as people who want to corrupt a unity of people by bringing a new language or they are westernized.
Occasionally those people who speak English in a localized context are ostracized by others. They have a negative view about English and English speakers; this view is coming from the policy and culture of the government which spread it among people.
In a society which the majority of people speak a common language and reflexes their identity through this tool, speaking another language is then an unusual phenomenon.
In addition the significant point is, the effect of environment on those people who speak English, they avoid using English in a public place, this is because they fear of condemnation and prohibition of their countryman.
Many people believe during the time by knowing English, their culture and belief gradually would be change, English bring a power to them. Although others believe by knowing English they can access to information, because today many scientific materials such as books or internet are in English.
teaching and learning English is a more complex task. And language learner is a complicated social being.
ESL speakers are aware of the opportunities that mastering English as the dominant world language can bring to their lives Today English is an important second language and is the official second language and also it is used in the urban cities, in business and commerce and private sector.
The view of rejecting English speaking people by some countries sounds to be true about postcolonial countries as Malaysia and some others which have a negative view about learning a new language. In contrast, in some countries knowing and speaking English is considered as a great advantage to be attracted by others. For instance, in Iran the person who is proficient in English is always respected by others especially in an academic environment. The students being aware of the need for English as an international language and also the language of technology particularly in 21st century (the age of communication) try to gather around this competent person to get benefit of his/her knowledge.
As it mentioned in above, there is a positive view about learning a global language among the students of Iran. One of the desires of the students and parents in Iran is to be proficient in English. Parents register their children from the early age in the English institute; hope their children learn English to have a better future. Unfortunately the government policy is in contrast. The educational system in teaching English has many problems. In recent years there weren't any significant progress in making a better system in teaching the students of schools. Unfortunately in Iran, the ministry of education doesn't make any decision. As I mentioned in the previous texts they believe by learning English their culture and identity would be in danger. This policy has damaged in many cases. For example we don't have enough international people in our country. Although Iran is one of the most beautiful countries in the Middle East but the number of people who travel to Iran for entertaining and visiting is not suitable. People can see hardly international people in their country, that's why they lose their chance to improve their English by communicate with them. People in Iran wish to be fluent in English but they can hardly achieve to this goal. Many of them try to learn English by their own sources. Speaking and listening skills among the students in Iran is poor. As we know this skills improve by communicating in the social context.
Another problem that we have in Iran; There are many English books for educational purposes which are available in bookstores, most of them written by foreign author, few of them written by Iranian author. It is believed that English books which is written by foreigner have specific style and goal and they are not suitable .This books don't provide our specific goals.
Definition of constructivism:
Constructivism is one of the best structures in learning. This theory describes how students can understand the new world and constructs it by connecting their own experiences, those kinds of experiences which they gain during their life time. Each of us produces the specific rules and models which arises from our mental activity. By thinking and engaging in mental activity we can make new information and knowledge. The purpose of learning among learners is to construct his\her own meaning, not only memorize what others express to them, or imitation someone else meaning.
In the school constructivism teacher encourage students to be independence and try to give them limit resources and information and led them to think individually in the lessons. Teachers want students to think, explore new hypotheses and information.
Unfortunately in Iran we can see the learners do not participate in the process of learning. They have a fix curriculum which schools give it to them at the beginning of the year and they have specific books. They necessarily need to learn from the resources which schools give it to them. They can't engage in any other activity. They should listen to what teacher teaches, without challenging in the class.
Also one of the beliefs in the constructivism theory is to connect the data and make a new fact. Students in Iran don't have enough background in English language and its culture. They start learning English from guidance school which is late in the process of learning. As we mentioned, they hardly can see an Englishman and it culture in their country, this lead to a culture shock. When they start learning, every thing is new, both culture and language, so that's why they don't have any information to connect with each other and make a new one.
In socio constructivism, the learners negotiate and share meanings with each other and also teacher. They discuss about the lessons in groups. Students cooperate and express new ideas in the class. Students work together and build new knowledge in cooperation with one another while benefiting from the knowledge and skill of others. Learning is a social activity .Our learning is associated with others human beings, our teachers, classmate and e.g.
Schools in Iran are in contrast. The classes are teacher-center. This means the teacher teaches and students listen without exchanging any information and idea. Students must seat for a long time without participating in any activity. They feel tired after finishing the class. The teachers need to engage students in work group to think about issues and questions. One of the best methods that we see in UKM University in the school of English linguistic study is lectures want students to do assignments in group work these help students to interact with their classmates and discuss about their study. By sharing idea and information students create a new meaning and by this way they can understand and memorize better. We have a problem in the university as well as schools. Memorizing is popular in Iran. Students must study the certain books which schools provide them.
Social Cognitive Theory, used in psychology, education, and communication, posits that portions of an individual's knowledge acquisition can be directly related to observing others within the context of social interactions, experiences, and outside media influences(Wikipedia)
Through culture children acquire enough knowledge and they would be able to think. In short, according to the social cognition learning model, culture teaches children both what to think and how to think.
Cognitive development can be appearing between students by discussing in the classroom with their classmates. Through discussion they learn to chare experiences and solve their problem. As I mentioned in the previous texts, in Iran the role of teachers in the class is only teach the certain book and material. Teachers don't encourage students in work group. Students study individually. They don't have any interaction in the class for learning better.
English language in Iran is teaches as a foreign language not as a second language. Teachers have responsibly to give enough motivation to students but unfortunately they don't attention to it because they think English couldn't help learners in their social life. Therefore they look at English as a foreign language and usually foreign languages and cultures couldn't help people in social life. That why they don't attention to their duties to give motivation to learners and just obey the system of education in Iran. This view causes teachers don't use English well in the class and they mostly mention to grammar. Student in this environment would not learn the culture of English language and skills for speaking and communicating.
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