The Importance of English Communication to Me as a Member of the Global Community
by: Eartha Fonacier-Betsayda
Living in the 21st century, being surrounded by the new technology and joining in various social networking on the web, one is required to be more communicative, most especially with the English language. As we all know, English is the universal language which is widely understood, spoken and used by most people in the world.
I've been teaching English to Koreans and with my experience, I may say that I am a witness of why English must be studied and mastered if possible while you’re still young. It’s really an advantage for anyone to be able to communicate with it. Take my students as examples. When I first started teaching way back in 2005, it took me so much time just to know the age of my student. They could understand simple questions such as “What’s your name?”, and “How are you?” But when I began asking more personal questions such as their age, birthday, job or school and about their families, and using more challenging words, they tend to rattle, searching for words to say. I even had to do some amusing gestures, illustrations so as facial expressions just to convey my message. Funny as it may seem, but that’s the most effective method they could understand what I was trying to say.
Based on my experience, Korean children are easier to teach for they can learn quickly. They can mimic the sounds faster and can understand and apply the lessons taught to them right away. They’re more exposed to the new technology such as the use of the computers and the internet wherein they get more involved with social networking and other things on the World Wide Web. With this reason, they can communicate faster than the older ones. Korean adults are harder to handle. Simply because they’re very much accustomed using their language almost all their lives and learning a new one seemed to be challenging for them. The famous idiom, “you can’t teach old dog new tricks” is true enough to describe these old generation. It would take them years to master the same English lesson a 10 year old child could in a month. Every time I ask my students why they have the sudden interest in learning English, they all give me a unanimous answer and that is for them to be globally apt. Having an English skill is very important to them. It’s very essential in landing a good paying job and in traveling abroad. Koreans love to travel that is why they have the urge to be good in English so they can communicate more effectively with foreigners.
I feel blessed to be born in a country where English is its second language. At a young age of five I began to learn the English alphabet. At 6, I can read simple sentences and at the age 7 I can already answer simple questions all in English. This information looks impressive but I am certain that this is way too far from today’s children’s ability to speak and learn English nowadays. As we move on to modernization, children become more and more equipped with all the tools needed to survive and to compete in a global community and one of the most vital tool is the ability to converse in English through speaking as well as writing. I, as a member of the global community, feel that there is really a demand for everyone in every country to be learned in using and articulating the English language. I may say that English communication expands my horizon. Through this, I can interact with people in other countries without any fear that I won’t be understood. I can discover things which can improve my way of living. I can express my angst, my views and my thoughts to the world waiting for counter reactions in return that could broaden my outlook in life and in society.
Living in the 21st century, being surrounded by the new technology and joining in various social networking on the web, requires tons of effort for any individual to be able to adapt in a global community. And being a member of this community I may say that through English communication, I, more or less, has become more armed to keep with the fast developing world.