Dates Accelerated TESOL

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This is how our TEFL graduates feel they have gained from their course, and how they plan to put into action what they learned:

J.B. - Japan said:
Problems for english learners in JapanEnglish presents many problems for learners from any country, but for native japanese speakers, it can be especially difficult due to the tremendous differences in writing systems, sentence structure, grammar, and syllables. The most obvious difference between japanese and english is in the writing systems. japanese writing uses a combination of Kanji (chinese characters) and Kana (paired syllables), rather than the Roman alphabet. Each character stands for a mora, or in the case of Kanji, one or more mora, which is really more of a unit of sound than a syllable in the way english views syllables. Unlike english, in japanese, words are spelled exactly as they are pronounced, whereas in modern english, pronunciation has changed while the written language has retained the spelling patterns of its many loanwords from Dutch, German, greek, and many other European languages that it has assimilated into common usage over the centuries. This makes for a very difficult language to spell, even for native speakers of english. japanese phonology is also very different than english. In japanese, there are only five monophthongic vowels, but in english, there are twelve monophthongic vowels, eight diphthongic, and two triphthongic vowels. This presents a problem for learners in both hearing and pronouncing the differences in all these sounds as they do not exist in their native tongue. Where consonants are concerned, the english th, r, l, b, v, f, and ph sounds all constitute problems for japanese learners of english. The sounds th, ph, and v do not exist at all in japanese, which makes pronunciation of the sounds difficult. V is similar enough to b, and ph to f, but th has no japanese equivalent, and even after v and ph have been mastered, th still presents a problem. In japanese, there is no distinguishing between the differences of r and l. In Romanji, it is written as an r, but the sound is actually made with the tongue held in-between the position of the english d and l and sounds like a combination of r, l and d. This makes it extremely difficult for japanese learners to hear a difference between the english r and l sounds and reproduce those sounds. The japanese f is also a part of their h sounds, and while it is written with an f in Romanji, it is said more like the h in “house.” For some speakers, it is difficult to hear and say the difference. But if that isn’t enough, modern japanese uses a lot of english loan words. These words are written in Katakana so that orange becomes oranji, tennis becomes tenisu, and english becomes Ingilisu. Since japanese moras alternate between consonants and vowels, japanese speakers will force vowel sounds in-between consonant sounds in english. As this is something they do relatively often to bring loan words into japanese, it becomes a hard habit to break when learning english. japanese learners will also write pronunciation of newly learned english words in Katakana to remind themselves of how it sounds, however, this practice often leads to later pronunciation of the new word with added vowels. japanese also does not make use of stressed an unstressed syllables within its moras. Each mora in a word is said with the same stress. This makes for flat sounding english until the japanese learner becomes more adept at using stresses within words. japanese grammar and sentence structure is another obstacle. A basic sentence pattern in japanese is subject + object + verb, whereas in english, sentences are written subject + verb + object. japanese has no articles and no change is made to a word when it is made plural, and adjectives may come either before or after nouns, which can sound very awkward in english. Similar to other english learners, japanese learners struggle with modal verbs, auxiliary verbs, tense usage, and idioms in english. Particularly because there is a lot of inference in japanese, which leads to a leaving out of pronouns or anything else that can be inferred from the context, so that a single verb or a single adjective can become whole sentences by themselves. In addition, japanese only distinguishes two tenses, past and present, and uses present tense when speaking of the future, which can lead to a confusion of present and future tense with english. While there may be many differences (and almost no similarities) in the languages and many obstacles to overcome, it is not impossible for a native japanese speaker to learn english or a native english speaker to learn japanese. With patience and guidance, it can be done.