What should the government do to help all citizens learn their language?
In the everyday life of many citizens of the United States, there is a compromise in the proper use of the English, for many people rely on the functionality alone of the language, thus often neglecting its elements such as grammar and vocabulary. Looking at a modern street smart conversation, one can hear deviations from the conventional use of the English language. In this sense we do not blame the growing number of immigrants in the United States (although they comprise a large fraction of the people described earlier), but the government's regressing efforts in educating its citizens on the use of the language. What the government should do to help all citizens learning English must not be limited to the traditional classroom-based educational scheme, but must be encompassing enough to address the various day to day concerns of the people.
As for students who are the primary recipients of education geared towards both the pragmatic and semantic use of language, the government can implement more interesting teaching strategies than just classroom set-up (where most of the time, the students are passive). Instead of teaching English and practicing on written work, submitting written output and examinations, the students should be more involved by engaging them in functional conversations. Conversational seat works must then integrate grammar and vocabulary that the students learn. Many English classes expand the students' vocabularies by introducing new words every week or every day through a spelling set. Instead of only writing sentences using these newly learned words, it would be helpful to encourage the students to actually use them in everyday conversation. Aside from these, public schools can make communication classes more interesting by letting the students watch educational videos which are interactive in nature, so that there is both auditory and visual input, and is more entertaining, thus may capture their attention more. In the school setting, if teachers lead the students by using semantically and grammatically correct English, then the students will be able to use the language properly in school, and eventually carry them out at home.
Practice should not be limited in school, as mentioned earlier. Especially for adults who experience difficulties in the English language, the regular practice of conversational English can greatly help. If the medium of instructions at home is in English, then what the students learn in school is put to use. It is about getting used to hear and speak English that a person becomes fluent and efficient, and the home is one important setting where this should be practiced. The government, through the Board of Education, can also encourage parents to have a routine reading time with children not limited to bedtime, where they will be selecting a short English story, and at the end of the story have some exchange of questions to facilitate speech.
The government may not only concentrate in home and school, but also provide special free language classes to help out citizens to speak English well. These classes must not simulate the classroom anymore, as it will cater to more mature audience whose reasons for learning the language rest on its pragmatic aspect. Likewise, these classes may offer more conversation activities than just written work. To motivate people, the government can also hold contests wherein language will be creatively used. Lastly, one effective way to get language education across the United States cheaply and efficiently is by utilizing current technology. By simulated English communication classes in the internet, adults and children alike can enjoy interactive learning. Through this they can prepare self instructional modules for reading and practice. It is by these mentioned ways that the government can address the language deficits of its citizens, and by these means, it can take out the barriers to everyday communication problems.
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