English is a language that originated from England. It is the native language for most individuals in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Ireland. English has also been adopted by many other countries in the world as a second language mostly in the commonwealth countries. It is the official language for most countries, international and local companies. English is the common language used in international communications, business, entertainment, radio, and websites among others. English being an international language has raised the importance of learning the language especially for the countries whose first language is not English. Such individuals may find it challenging to cope with other people especially when living in a foreign country (Johnston, p. 33).
Learning English as a second language may assume various challenges depending on the original native language of the individual. The aid to learning the language more simply also depends on whether the individual is learning the language in a country where English is a native language or in a foreign country. The arguments for learning English in both situations have raised a lot of attention for the prospective learners. Some arguments have upheld that learning English in an English-speaking country is far much better than learning English in a foreign country (McKay, p. 10).
Learning English in a foreign country might be very challenging for the learners even if the English classes are available. This is because one might struggle to learn the language but there may be no people who speak English in that country. This means that even if one learns the language, he or she might not be able to practice the language. This eventually may lead to the waste of the little knowledge that one may have acquired from the classes. The final result is ineffectiveness in learning the language or even forgetting it together (Bonny, 18). Such individuals struggle a lot in looking for English native speakers who may be unwilling to talk due to a lack of ties. The individuals may also be forced to take up any class that is taught in English so that they can improve their skills. On the other hand, learning English in an English-speaking country is much easier since most individuals speak in English. The skills that are learned in class are enhanced by practicing speaking with other individuals who are readily available all over the country.
Learning English in an English-speaking country also enables the individual to learn the language faster. This is because one is surrounded by an environment of English-speaking people. Apart from learning in class, one can listen to others as they speak and are also getting exposed to more learning materials. English in English-speaking countries is an everyday part of life and as one adapts to other changes one is able to adapt to the language faster. In the non- English-speaking countries, one is not exposed to an enabling environment that can facilitate faster learning (McKay, p. 16). The students, therefore, take a long time in learning the language since the people do not speak English. Some countries are used to their native language and the few individuals who speak English only use it for official purposes. This means that the students who may be learning English in such countries are only restricted to the class lessons. This makes the learning process very slow and they spend a lot of time learning the language.
The finances that one uses in learning English in an English-speaking country are much less than learning the language in a foreign country. The first consideration is that most English-speaking countries offer English lessons as part of other courses in the school curricula. Some institutions offer the language free of charge to motivate students to uptake the course (Braine, 26). The little time required for learning also reduces the amount of money one has to pay for the course. This is unlike learning the language in a foreign country. In such countries, the course is considered an international course such as EFL, TOEFL, and G MAT among others. The fees that are charged for these courses are normally very high for the students compared to the native countries. Some students may face financial difficulties in taking the course considering that it requires a lot of time and patience (Johnston, p. 38).
Learning English in a country where it is the native language also has an advantage in that it improves the accent of a person in pronouncing the English words. One is more conversant with the English vocabularies and their meaning. The teachers who teach the language are usually native English speakers and they therefore know and understand the language very well. This makes the students have a more clear vision of the subject. The teachers who may be teaching the language in the foreign countries may not necessarily have to be native English speakers and they may therefore not deliver the quality English that is taught in the English-speaking countries (McKay, p. 22).
Learning English in an English-speaking country also puts one in an environment that has one culture. This reduces the occurrence of slung language and one can therefore practice the correct language. The native speakers usually have one language and they therefore do not get used to “slung”. On the Other hand, students who learn the language from foreign countries are at risk of getting mixed up due to the mixing up of the languages by the natives who speak other languages. This makes the students get confused since they listen and practice very mixed up English. This finally results in poor quality of the English taught in foreign countries (Bonny, p. 43).
In conclusion, learning English in a country where it is the native language has a greater advantage than learning the language in a country that treats it as a foreign language. The skills that one gets exposed to such as listening and speaking skills become a very important aid in learning and understanding the language. The skills are more enhanced since everything revolves around the English language. All the communication is in English and although foreign students may find it challenging at the starting of the program, they can catch up faster than when they learn the language in a foreign country. It can therefore be recommended that students who are not conversant with the English language learn the subject from the English-speakingcan countries since this will equip them with better skills.
- Bill Johnston. Values in English Language. Lawrence Erlbaum, 2002, pp. 32-56
- George Braine. Non-native Educators in English Language Teaching. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1999, pp. 24-48
- Norton, Bonny. Language, Identity, and the Ownership of English. TESOL Quarterly, Volume 31, 1997, pp. 12-46
- Sandra Lee McKay. Teaching English Overseas: An Introduction. USA, Oxford University Press, 1992, pp. 8-22