A Khmer scholar wrote to me on YouTube and requested me to provide movies about the best way to learn English language newspapers.
“I’d like to ask you to make videos how to read newspaper and translate it from English to Khmer. I Khmer and I having a problem to understand English phrases.” Wrote the scholar.
Language learners usually write telling me about some space of studying or space of their lives the place they’re experiencing difficulties of comprehension and ask me for a trick or a information to assist them study.
As I’ve mentioned in quite a few different language studying articles, there aren’t any tips and no hints. The extra hours you make investments, the higher you’ll get. And in case your purpose is to learn at a local speaker degree, then you’ll want to learn issues a local speaker reads. If you’re a 22 year-old college graduate, then you’ll want to be studying at that degree within the international language. And you will not get there by studying textbooks ABOUT the language. You’re going to get there by studying books, articles, and textbooks IN relatively than ABOUT the language.
If we analyze this newest e-mail, the scholar says he has hassle studying, and he particularly singled out newspapers.
Clearly, studying is studying. On some degree, studying a newspaper is not any completely different than studying a novel or studying a brief story.
If you’re studying novels and quick tales, you must have the ability to learn newspapers. If I requested this scholar, nonetheless, he’s most likely shouldn’t be studying one novel per 30 days in English. If he have been, newspaper studying would simply come.
Subsequently, the issue shouldn’t be the studying or the newspapers, per se. The issue is the shortage of apply.
I by no means took a course known as “Newspaper Reading” in English. I simply began studying newspapers. And at first, I needed to study to take care of the language, construction and group of newspaper writing, however nobody taught me, otherwise you. It simply got here to us. The identical was true for German or Spanish newspapers which I can learn nearly in addition to English. Nobody taught me, or taught Gunther or Pablo, it simply got here by way of apply.
A degree, that I’ve made many instances in articles, is that while you start studying a international language, you aren’t an fool. You aren’t beginning with an empty mind. One motive it takes infants three years to study their native tongue is as a result of they’re additionally studying what a language is and the way language works. You already know all of that, and far more. Infants do not know that there’s such a factor as grammar. Each single piece of vocabulary needs to be discovered. A seven yr previous could not know the phrases “population, economy, government, referendum, currency” in his native tongue. So, studying a international newspaper could be troublesome for him, as a result of studying a newspaper in his mom tongue is troublesome for him.
If you’re an grownup, coming from a developed nation, with no less than a highschool or college degree of schooling, you must already have the ability to learn newspapers in your native tongue. At that time, studying a newspaper in a international tongue is just a matter of vocabulary.
True there are completely different makes use of of language, and kinds of writing. And newspapers do have type which differs from other forms of writing. However you simply learn, and browse and determine them out.
The issue with most learners, nonetheless, is that they are not studying novels and quick tales. Most learners want to simply settle for that they want apply. They should learn, and browse, and stumble, and fall, and browse once more, till they get it.
I did not develop a style for studying the newspaper in English till I used to be in my late twenties. However, by that point I had learn numerous books in English, and accomplished 16 years of schooling. I solely started studying newspapers as a result of I needed to learn international newspapers in school. Then I discovered to learn the newspapers in English first, to assist me perceive the international newspaper.
One of many issues, particularly with Khmer learners is that there’s so little written materials accessible in Khmer. American college students have had publicity to newspapers, magazines, novels, reference books, poetry, performs, encyclopedias, diaries, biographies, textbooks, comedian books… Most Khmers have not had this publicity.
In the event that they have not learn it of their native tongue, how may they learn it in a international language?
And, I’m not simply choosing on Khmers. True these kinds of writing usually are not accessible in Khmer language, however even in Chinese language, Korean, or Vietnamese schooling, the place these many kinds of writing exist, college students could not have had publicity to them. For instance, Taiwanese school college students mentioned that in 12 years of major college they by no means wrote a single analysis paper.
However then they have been requested to try this in English, of their ESL courses.
Presently, I’ve a Thai good friend, named Em, who’s learning in USA. He has been there for 3 years, learning English full time, and nonetheless cannot rating excessive sufficient on his TOEFL examination to enter an American group school. In Thailand he’s a school graduate, however schooling in Thailand is means behind western schooling. And within the developed world, American group schools are in regards to the single best colleges of upper studying to enter.
If Em lastly passes the TOEFL and will get into group school, within the first two years of core necessities for an American Bachelor’s Diploma, he might be given assignments similar to “Read George Orwell’s 1984, and explain how it is an allegory for communism, and how it applies to the Homeland Security Act in the US.”
When international college students detect an task like this, they at all times blame their English degree. However I’m assured that the typical graduate from most Asian nations could not do that task in his native tongue. Their curriculum simply does not embody all these analytical guide studies.
Once I was educating in Korea, there was a well-known story circulating across the sober ESL group. A Korean woman, from a rich household, had received a nationwide English contest. She had been tutored by costly house instructor, nearly since beginning, and her English degree was distinctive. The prize was a scholarship to a prestigious boarding college within the Unites States, commencement from which just about assured admission to an Ivy League college.
Apparently, one of many first assignments she was given at her new college in America was to learn a poem and write an unique evaluation of it, after which give a presentation at school. When it got here time for her presentation, the scholar stood up and dutifully recited the poem, phrase for phrase, she additionally regurgitated, precisely, what the lecturer had mentioned in regards to the poem at school. And she or he failed.
In Korea, her unimaginable reminiscence and skill to precisely repeat what the instructor had mentioned, had stored her on the prime of her class. However in America, she was being requested to do far more than that; assume, and analyze, create, current, and defend.
Nearly all of learners consider that their issue in coping with international schooling, books, newspapers, or conversations lies of their lack of vocabulary or failings of language. However as soon as they posses a comparatively massive vocabulary, the actual downside is a few mixture of tradition and apply.
Getting again to the Khmer scholar and his downside studying English newspapers: To know English newspapers you additionally should know the entire information and ideas within the newspaper. One of the best ways to take care of international newspapers, originally, is to first, learn a information story in your personal language. Then learn the identical information story within the international language newspaper. Additionally you may watch the information in your personal language after which in no matter language you’re learning, and evaluate.
Translation is not nearly understanding phrases. It’s important to know ideas. The primary rule of translation is that the written textual content should convey the identical that means within the goal language because it did within the supply language. Even when the wording, ultimately, shouldn’t be even remotely like the unique. Regardless of how good your international language expertise are, you can not convey that means which you do not know in your native tongue.
Just lately, newspapers in Asia have been operating tales in regards to the Taiwan Y2K disaster.
To know the newspaper tales, you’d first want to grasp the unique, world Y2K disaster. The worldwide Y2K challenge was one thing that Cambodia wasn’t very concerned in as a result of there have been so few computer systems in Cambodia within the yr 1999. There have been most likely lower than 100 or so web connections in Cambodia at the moment. Subsequent, you would need to know and perceive that Taiwan has its personal calendar, based mostly on the founding of the Republic of China in 1911. Authorities workplaces and banks in Taiwan, document occasions in keeping with the Republic of China calendar, which implies, when you take cash out of an ATM machine as we speak, the yr will present as 99.
As soon as you already know and perceive these information, then you definitely would know that Taiwan is about to succeed in its first century, within the yr 2011, and is going through a mini-Y2K disaster, as a result of the yr portion of the date within the laptop solely has two digits.
The majority of my readers don’t reside in Asia, and should not have recognized something in regards to the historical past of Taiwan, or the Taiwan date. However, any individual with a traditional studying degree ought to have understood my clarification. It’s not essentially a requirement that you simply posses prior data of the precise state of affairs you’re studying about, however you may relate it to different issues you already know about, for instance, different calendars and otherY2K issues.
If you happen to have a look at the above clarification, the vocabulary is pretty easy. There are most likely solely a small handful of phrases, maybe 5 – 6, which an intermediate language learner would not know. So, these phrases might be appeared up in a dictionary. And for a European scholar, with a broad base of schooling and expertise, that might be the entire assist he would wish. However for college kids coming from the schooling techniques of Asia, significantly kind Cambodia which is simply now collaborating in world occasions such because the Olympic Video games, for the primary time, it could be troublesome, even not possible to grasp this or comparable newspaper tales.
The important thing lies generally schooling, not English classes. College students must learn continually and easily construct their basic schooling, in their very own language first, then in English, or else they are going to by no means perceive English newspapers or TV reveals.
By Antonio Graceffo