Learning the English Language

Last week, my wife and I went to the Crabapple Montessori school in Alpharetta, GA, to check it out, so we don't feel guilty about shooing our 3 year old out of the house when we work. The director walked us through the school explaining things about the school and its teaching methodologies. And then, she pointed out something called sandpaper letters. These are square plates with shapes of the alphabets in cursive created using sand, glued to the plates. 

Now, English is a funny language. Unlike my native language, Kannada, which is a derivation or sub-classing of Sanskrit, a symbol, say "A" in English represents more than one sound. The director explained that teachers do not introduce the alphabets using their formal vocalization, but by the various sounds they represent. That’s when it hit me. This is why people whose first language is not English, especially those coming from the Indian sub-continent, the real Indians, have a hard time learning English. We (Indians), can learn our native language pretty quickly, but English is always a challenge. We have been taught incorrectly. We know our ABCs but don’t know the intricacies. Now, on top of that, we have been taught by someone whose first language is not English.

Just remember not to laugh the next time you hear a "funny" accent.

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About Ramesh Sringeri

Yet another chaos monkey. View all posts by Ramesh Sringeri

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