Considering studying in a foreign country can be seen as a very daunting experience, either an act of great courage or madness as innumerable difficulties rise on the way; however, to take in consideration the possibility to do so, it is, for learners of a foreign language an excellent opportunity and certainly not proof of inconsiderate behaviour.
The benefits of studying a language in the context where the language is spoken and those of studying in the country of origin are very different.
On one hand, even though it is undeniably true that learning a language with native speakers brings more results, students are left many times with no clear explanation of grammatical rules that just come natural to natives.
When asked if being taught Japanese by a native speaker of Japanese was better than being taught by a non-native speaker, the author of an online blog that encouraged people to study the aforementioned language, admitted that ” Japanese native speakers, because they grew up with learning Japanese have no idea what it is like to learn it “. About those non-native speakers that decide to teach the Japanese language, he said that “since they’ve already come across with the difficulties of the learning process, they can simplify it and eliminate a lot of unusual hurdles a Japanese learner faces”.
On the other hand, one’s country may not have enough resources to let its students learn properly the language as constant practice is needed in order to remember grammatical structure and new vocabulary, and to become fluent.
Mother tongue professors tend to adapt their teaching methods to the students of the country they live in but this might not be enough and is not always the case.
As the author of an article of an Arabic journal (jllearn) explains ” the only way to learn English in Jordan is through formal institution, i.e. In the classroom, where language teachers are native speakers of Arabic”. He then underlines how there is “little opportunity to learn English trhough natural interaction in the target language”.
Many can argue that getting accustomed to the culture of the country they visit complicates one’s situation building up a barrier to their learning process and being an impediment to leading a normal life there. A researcher that decided to study the psychological situation of students who left japan to study in the U.K. for a year, found that due to the psychological stress that the new environment caused to Japanese students, these last mentioned had difficulties in making any progress with the language. However the findings don’t refer to a precise date.
In relation to the language studied, in today’s university, students attend classes that prepare them to overcome these difficulties.
Being aware of cultural differences is a key to success.
In the case of students living abroad for a semester or a year, one has to keep in mind that the students are left in the hands of skilled tutors from the partner university.
The students who decided to take an undergraduate programme or a master degree in a university abroad, have probably obtained a place there because the institution they applied to considered them capable of attending normal courses.
Additionally, as clearly stated by American educators (Rivers W.M.), the importance of languages today is increased in every professional aspect, and the possibility of living such an experience will highlight one’s curriculum, and be considered as a proof of linguistic competence.
Mr Honan, a journalist for the New York Times, clearly justified the phenomenon of the increased number of students in foreign language courses saying that the students and the institutions realized how important was to go “global” to be able to compete with other nations. “Alert, job-oriented students have come to realize that as the world shrinks, many of the best jobs are going to go to college graduates who possess international skills”.
Languages have always been a very important if not essential tool in a vast range of professions and occupations.
In conclusion, depending on one’s commitment the decision of taking a degree in a foreign country it is a preferable choice that would double one’s chances to succeed when finding a job related to languages, that brings students to develop not only the language in a way that could be possible at home, but cultural awareness and skills connected to the “Savoir vivre”(common sense,knowing how to live).
“should you learn japanese from a native speaker or a foreigner” www.tofugu.com
International study,The quadrangle becomes a globe
Honan, W.H., New York Times 11/6/1994 p14
Opportunities in Foreign Language Careers
Rivers, W. M.
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
Living and Studying Abroad : Research and Practice Research and Practice
Publisher: Multilingual Matters Limited
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