Why Do You Want To Learn English?

September 8, 2010

My gold class kids are pretty smart, as good as some of the most basic adult learners I had at AEON (Straight to the Point class, if you happen to be in Japan). Remember, my classes are color coded according to ability and age: white, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, navy, purple, and gold. So when a question came up in a word scramble in their textbooks, do/why/want/English/to/you/study?, I decided to incorporate the answers into their weekly speaking test. Here’s what I’ve got:

1. My Mother Says…
Maybe they were just going with an easy answer, but even when I pushed them by saying “ok… that’s your mother… what about YOU?”, they still went with their mothers. Oh, and a side note? When we were talking about fears, mothers also topped the list. Scary.

2. The Future

“My dream is lawyer.”

“I want to be professional soccer player. I want to learn many languages when I go Europe.”

Another two cited TOEFL and TOEIC scores for getting good grades, getting into a good school, a better job.

3. Culture

“Because if I learn English, I can talk foreigners.”

I was most impressed with this answer, because I don’t it’s too common for kids. Adults are another story. Most kids are pushed into classes by their parents (mothers, anyway), as is the case around the world, but, IMHO, few are genuinely excited by English, and want to practice it in everyday situations. This student is one of my favorites (before he gave that answer), and I have a feeling he would be one to shout more that just “HELLO!” to a foreigner in Korea.

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