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Learning English the Vernacular Way

Vanessas 5 | -   Freelance Writer
Jan 08, 2018 | #1
Most of the students that I have been handling lately seem to all suffer from the same problem. They cannot remember the English term for words that they are quite familiar with in their native tongue. This had me worried because in class, they could easily tell me the vernacular equivalent of the English word that I was teaching them. This started me on wondering about whether I have been teaching them how to learn English words in the most efficient way. I came to the realization that no, I wasn't really doing the students a good service by insisting that they memorize the English words coming from their local dialect. I decided to switch things around and see what would happen.

I started off my next class by having the students read the words in English and then having them translate the words to the language they were used to speaking. I gave them a print-out of an English beginner's story and gave the instruction that they were to translate the English words to their language.

Business StudyAfter they did this, I gave them some homework. I provided them with copies of the article we used in class to take home with them then asked them to use Google Translate to change what they had written in their native language to English. I was not concerned about accuracy at this point, I was only concerned with helping them remember the English words in the best manner possible. The next day, when they reported to class, I had them tell me the English equivalent of certain words in their language. Words that I knew were contained in the translation exercises that we did the day before. I was amazed by the results.

The students managed to retain the information regarding the English equivalent of the words from the previous exercise. Where I used to struggle with reminding them of the word equivalent or how to memorize it, now they had confidence in their translation and they knew the exact word to use for the English term. Based upon this exercise, I began to change the way I taught them the language.

By always having them translate English to their mother tongue, it became easier for them to remember the words. In this case, word equivalency paid off big time and I did not have to make them waste Post-It notes writing the English equivalent of items around their house. Pretty soon, they had memorized the words enough in English to automatically know how to use it properly in a sentence. All because their brains now associated the English words with other language equivalents. Now, they truly understood the meaning of the English word and how to use it in a sentence because they had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the English words in their native equivalent words first.

The students were pleased with the results of my adjusted teaching method. They continued the practice on their own and they began to show an advancement of English grammar skills and vocabulary within the month. I could not be prouder of my students. They all passed their English tests when the time came, with the highest possible marks for their English reading, listening, and writing skills.

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