Tuesday, March 18, 2008

ESL Classes: Do student nationalities matter?

One of the biggest concerns (complaints) I hear from some students in the US, particularly from certain countries, is that there are too many students from their country in the class, and therefore, they can't learn English. This perception, unfortunately, reveals how limited our scope of the language-learning experience really is. If I moved to, let's say, Mexico, and all of the other students in my Spanish class were native English speakers from the US, I wouldn't care at all, and I wouldn't view this as a negative thing. I feel this way because I see that what I do OUTSIDE of the class just as (or more) important in my language-learning experience as what I do in class.

International students who are concerned about the number of students from the same country being in their class, unfortunately, are often the ones who see the classroom as their world, and when the class is over, they tend to only associate and hang out with students from their own country. On the other hand, some of my best students have been the ones who have volunteered in the community, joined clubs, and helped in reading programs at local schools. They see that learning is much more than a classroom experience.

So, what do you think about this topic? What are some of the best ways to learn English, whether it be in your home country or overseas?

Randall

3 comments:

  1. I think the number of students from my country in a class does not matter in learning English. inside a class I really forget that we are from the same country.For example, last summer, I was going to an ESL class consisting of many nationalities from around the world and also my country,but we never talked in our native language ,tried to hang out with other classmates and asked them about their traditions, politics ,celebrations and etc.We got together at lunch hour and we had Great time.So, I think Learning English Language needs much more efforts not only in a class but also outside a class.

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  2. I agree with you that learning a language can take place not only inside but also outside the classroom walls, in the real or virtual world... It indeed depends on someone's scope of what learning a language is all about.

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  3. I THINK THE NATIONALITIES DON MATHER BECAUSE IF YOU HAVE PEOPLE FROM ONLY ONE COUNTRY WILL NOT LEAR TNIKS FROM OTHER. I THINK HAVING PEOPLO FROM ALL OVER THET WORLD IS GOOD AND IMPOSTANT BECAUSE YOU CAN LEARN DIFERENT LANGUAGES. I THINK YOU CAN LEARN ENGLISH OVERSEAS BECAUSE THERE ARE PEOPLE THAT THEY KNOW THE LAGUAGE AND IN YOUR COUNTRY THERE ARE ONLY PEOPLE THAT SPEAK THE SAME LAGUAGE LIKE YOU AND THAT IS WHY YOU CAN NOT LEARN THINKS BECAUSE YOU MIGHT BE ONLY TALKING THE THE LAUGUAGES THE YOU KNOW.

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Thanks for posting a comment. I appreciate your interesting in sharing your ideas.

Best,

Randall