By Mahjabeen Malik
Problems and Solutions in Learning English
English has become a lingua-franca. It is spoken and understood all over the world. Without learning English, we cannot communicate with people around the world. However, it is the need of time to learn lingua-franca.
In this article, I will discuss the problems in learning English of enrolled students in Pakistan’s schools. In Pakistan, students start learning English from their early classes but they can hardly speak English fluently. A question arises in the mind why do not students learn to speak and understand English in Pakistan while they start learning from initial class?
Difficulty Faced by Students While Learning English
Schools’ students have to face multiple problems while learning English language in Pakistan. Here I will discuss the problems from teachers’ viewpoint and some problems from the students’ viewpoint. Often, students make mistakes speaking in English but they are unaware of their mistakes. They have no full command on grammar however they make grammatical errors while writing and speaking. When they speak in English, they utter the wrong pronunciation and the wrong choice of words. They do not know stress pattern, intonation so they speak in a queer accent.
Major reasons for these difficulties are unskilled teachers, unsuitable school environments, a huge strength of the class, approach to writing, incompetent teachers, weakness of education, use of mother tongue. And the use of Urdu language in the classroom and less grammar practice.
Importance of English Language in Pakistan
In Pakistan English has become very important language; it is used in offices, banks, and particularly it is the language of the elite class. English is the language of news, information and technology. The English language is used in foreign politics, education systems, and websites. For earning good repute and a respectable place in society, you need to learn English.
Our great leader and founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah gave the important role to English in his first educational conference.
Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah declared the Urdu language is the national language of Pakistan. But we cannot ignore the importance of the English language because it is the language that is used as a tool of communication around the world.
In Pakistan, English language is taught in school, college, and university levels.
Most of the textbooks that are taught in schools, colleges and universities in Pakistan are in the English language. English language plays a very significant role in every field of life.
Problems faced by the learners in learning English in Pakistani’s schools
Now English has become the need of the day. For obtaining prestige in society, someone must become fluent in English with great accuracy. English plays a very vital role in every field of life like in schools, colleges, universities, offices, banks, hospitals and military as well.
One of the basic problems in learning a language is the lack of environment as you know environment plays a vital role in learning the language. In the educational sector of Pakistan, a suitable environment is not provided to the students that help them to learn English language with ease.
The second hindrance in learning English is the use of mother tongue as English is not the first language of people living in Pakistan. However, students and even teachers use mother tongue or national language (Urdu) in classrooms.
The third most vital problem in learning the English language is the ineligibility in teaching English language to students. Teachers are less skilled or incompetent to inculcate English in the minds of new learners. They also use other languages such as Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Balochi, Pashto, Siraiki, Hindko and others while delivering lectures.
Use of non-authentic material is another factor that creates a problem in learning English language. Use of authentic materials in the classroom helps students to become fluent in English speaking and writing. And they gain more confidence in speaking English. They have to cram their lesson from textbooks just to qualify their examination. After passing their exams they remove from their short term memory all stuff that they have cram for examination point of view.
Lack of vocabulary is one of the most important problems in speaking English fluently. If students get a chance to read original novels, stories, poetry and other written material by native writers for the native society, it will enhance their vocabulary.
Hesitation or shyness of students is another problem faced by students in speaking English language.
How to Overcome the Difficulties in Learning English?
There is a solution to how to overcome the difficulties that I have mentioned above faced by the students in learning the English language.
If well trained and competent teachers are appointed at educational sectors and good/authentic syllabus is introduced, students will be able to get proficiency in English language.
A suitable atmosphere must be provided for the study so that students could take an interest in learning and producing language. Parents support and cooperation is also necessary because without encouragement and proper support of parents learners cannot learn the language properly.
Government of Pakistan need to upgrade the syllabus and teachers must take admission in teacher’s training courses and they should attend various workshops for teaching.
Student-centred classrooms play a significant role in learning the language. Teachers should provide students centred classroom atmosphere so that students could easily express themselves in the target language.