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Why are you learning English?


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Why are you learning English? #1 (permalink) Sat Aug 04, 2007 14:07 pm   Why are you learning English?
 

In September 2004 I asked Why do you want to improve your English? and we had a very interesting discussion. Now, almost three years later I'd like to ask the question again: Why are you learning English? I'm asking because I have worked with more than 1000 people in a classroom setting and those who knew exactly why they wanted to learn English invariably were more successful in their efforts than those lacking motivation.

I think that in any endeavor the most important question is why you are doing something. Once you are clear about your motives, you will find the means and methods to achieve your goal. This is the reason why most school students don't learn much English at school. They don't know why they are learning. The situation on a forum is different than a typical classroom. Why are here because we want to be here. And most of us here on the forum have an interest in learning English.

The question is, why do you want to improve your English? What does learning English give you? Why do you spend your time learning English while you could be doing something else such as reading a book in your native language or watching a movie in your native language? And why not learn another language instead of English? Why just English?

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Why are you learning English? #2 (permalink) Sat Aug 04, 2007 16:47 pm   Why are you learning English?
 

Hi Torsten!

I think people learn anything is caused by they want to gain more knowledge and information, and that is a human nature. To communicate with more people is the best way to attain it. So when you aware that there are something knowledge is worthwhile to learn that you will close to it.

I learn English, frankly, I don't fan the language as a discipline. My English was sucks in my middle school times. But these recent years, I realize that I can't find more knowledge which I am interested in during my country. Or I shall to say, since in my professional filed, the film and television production, my school had has the greatest education in domestic. Therefore when I want to pursue my graudate school that I can't find out any other school can provide more advanced knowledge about that. That is the first time I came to consider that I need to learn the English, because I must to get a bigger world of learning.

When I had been learning English for a period, I feel increasingly that the Chinese always complain to the other countries have too many misunderstandings to them. They always judge themselves, especially the students themselves, are lacking some abilities of practising or solving problem, or something else compared with others living in American or England. So they fear to voice their own minds and their own requirements. They feel discourage about their English, they hate to use it becuase they hate to unfold any mistakes about their shortcomings in English learning. This is a terrible circle that the less you use this skill the worse the ending you had learned it. So after all the above, the other people come to have a awareness like Chinese don't like to express themselves, or the Chinese don't have too much to express. And this just consequent the Chinese people think themselve like "I am not good enough than them, I don't have logical thinking, I don't have this or that ability". So this is a long term problem.

During the process I search the way to pursue my major learning, I always feel that the domestic undergradate students, at least as same as my roomate and me, we are really great in our major. And to see our works we done it during the three years, I have the reason to believe we are great enough compared with any other students living in other countiries in the same gerneration. I came to doubt that if it is true they really have more talents than us? Or just, we even hadn't to try to hire the oppotunities to exhabit our talents at all? Since that point I decide I need to go aborad, firstly I go to there for earning more knowledge, and secondly I would like to demonstrate this issue.

For the further, this process is quite insteresting, for improving my English, especially on the writing skills, I made many friends who living in the U.S and Europe. We wrote emails always and talk about everything. I found even though I am short of the skills in English expressing, they still can understand my minds once I make it clearly as well as possible for tham. They can understand very clearly about me and we don't have something big gaps about the so-called culture differences. And this just hits me, what if we got a falseness about the inpression from other foreigners? What if they think us who are not smart enough just because we never tried to show our real minds and knowledge to them sincerely? We just scaring and scaring all the time in that we overlooked one important truth is we have a great long history and we have a great nation, we have too many great traditions, arts works, theroy, etc. Why need us feeling discourage or unconfident about our knowledge, its totally a wrong position!

Because of I am study in the major of Communication, I will be more sensitive in the problems related the human communicating. So I got a conclusion at the end-it may be we just had not found out a proper access, or an approach and method to communicate with others to express our minds. Or on other words, both others and we hadn't been catching the way to build a access for the communicating. And this is neither because one side people dislike to accept another, nor the other side people don't have the abilities or knowldge to show to the world. The final problem is we need to research a pattern and we need to build this, like the function of movie which can transmit something personal mind in the director to other people watching it, we need to find this kind of MEDIA.

So this is the core, the whole meaning of why I learn English, and why I have to learn my graduation in the U.S. Because at the beggining I must to understand this group using their language as well as possible, then I can research how to make the ralationship between others and us.

I believe the language is a tool and forever it is. It does not a big deal for everyone but most of times it is the key to solve many problems. You need not to live on using this language but you need to find more oppotunities, to make your minds more clearly to others, to lead them accept your ideas as well. Mankind is able to communciate on any times. This is a nature to the universal. So we just hadn't discovered the methods and one day we must can done it, as long as we are holding this belief.(<-the end)

P.S. look, you can see there are many mistakes of my grammer and spelling in this passage but I bet you won't be comfused of my means during this. It strongly proved again that people can communicating very well without a high skill on the Language. The essential is the hearts communicating=)
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Why are you learning English? #3 (permalink) Sun Aug 05, 2007 1:03 am   Why are you learning English?
 

Torsten, sometimes people who have a good reason to learn a language succeed and sometimes not. Sometimes people who are learning a language for no reason and with no goal in mind succeed, and sometimes they don't.

I have learned a couple of languages up to a decent functional level just because I was curious about them.

Many men try to learn a language in order to speak to their wives' relatives, and they give up after a short time, without any functional command of the language.

I had a lady in class who has worked terrible jobs in the United States for 18 years, because she has never learned English. Much of what she said to me was only 40 percent English and 60 percent in her language. On her most recent job, her employer told her that one of the requirements of keeping her employment was learning English. So, she began taking English classes but didn't improve very much. Then her employer decided to fire her because her English hadn't gotten better. This has made her decide that there's no point in learning English. She's not even thinking ahead to the next job where she'll need English. Now, this is a person who had a purpose and a clear incentive for learning English, but she didn't do it.
Jamie (K)
I'm a Communicator ;-)


Joined: 24 Feb 2006
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Location: Detroit, Michigan, USA

Why are you learning English? #4 (permalink) Sun Aug 05, 2007 22:15 pm   Why are you learning English?
 

Hi Torsten!

Perhaps you remember my first posts at your site. We?ve been talking about possibilities of getting an employment. Might be you also remember that I?m a mechanical technician. Nearly all of the job offerings I saw requested good knowledges in the English.

Well, when I was a school boy I had lessons in this language but after 30 years of no necessity of English I have forgotten almost everything of it. Nonetheless I wrote and sent "applications" and "resum?s" in the beginning of the last year and didn?t succeed. I think you can imagine the replies I?ve got. One of the replies sounds like the following: "Dear Mr.....! We don?t doubt about your skills. Just, we?ve been able to find an applicant who better matches to our requests! ....." So I decided to refresh and deepen my knowledges.

Fortunately I found a job that matches to my perceptions/ideas. And part of the employers decision to give me the job was that I?ve learnt, at least, a bit English. I?m doing this job for 8 month? now and may say that learning English and continueing in doing that helped me a lot as many scripts, letters and prospects I?ve read while the latter month? have been written in English.

Sure, I?m not that proficient English user and likely never become one but there is no need for me to stop my efforts.

Regards

Michael
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Why are you learning English? #5 (permalink) Tue Aug 07, 2007 19:44 pm   Why are you learning English?
 

Thank you for asking again, Torsten.

I am planning to get my IR, the interview and examination will be conducted in English, so I have to familiarize myself with all the English terminology that I learnt in Japanese.

I don't know where or when to start, for now. I am surrounded by the Japanese language. I probably have to move out from Japan first.
NinaZara
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Why are you learning English? #6 (permalink) Thu Aug 09, 2007 8:12 am   Why are you learning English?
 

Quote:
The question is, why do you want to improve your English? What does learning English give you? Why do you spend your time learning English while you could be doing something else such as reading a book in your native language or watching a movie in your native language? And why not learn another language instead of English? Why just English?


Yeah...it's important to clarify what you are learning for. Personally, I like the English language which is full of vivid literature. I like to read and get familiar with them. It's great fun learning English so I can read all those literature books I want. Needless to say, if I want to travel outside my country, I have to speak English. That's because I want to travel a lot and it's necessary for me to perhaps master this language. What does English give me? Learning English gives me a chance to communicate with the world, to puruse my dream of a higher education and to widen my opportunity to have a lucrative and potential job, especially to open my eyes to the world around. My native language books don't provide enough information I want to, so I should master English. Then, I can do more research on any topic in the English language.

1. It gives me the job that I dream of.
2. It gives me a big opportunity to realize the world around...broad relations and communication.
3. It gives me fun reading and concentrating.
4. It gives me ways to learn to explore my own interest. :D
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Why are you learning English? #7 (permalink) Wed Aug 15, 2007 9:39 am   Why are you learning English?
 

After World War I and II, America has become the king of the world, and it seems the world would be nothing without America. This is also why only American producers will make films on saving the whole world like Superman, Deep Impact, Armageddon so-called heroism...etc, and of course because of the strong economy and politics people around the world head to the USA to seek so-called 'American Dream' for better class of lives. I think this is one of the reasons why people go learn English so much. Above all, we don't know exactly we are already attracted by the great USA. Instead of the USA, the appearances of The Third World, EU, and the four BRICk nations, which are Brazil, Russia, India and China prevent the USA from being the controler, they begin to fight against America, searching for the new balance. This is why more and more people start to learn Chinese.

Nowadays, people are awaiting the new balance created by EU and China, and meanwhile I find it extraordinary that we get touch with new things like languages with a whole new different mood, doing it to creat relationship with other ethnicities, to communicate with the big world, to relax our minds.

I'm just like this. I learn English as it is a required course in school, from learning it to studying it, I grew up little by little, and I get mature, I don't study it only because of the teachers' punishment, I do it by my self because it has become my hobby! A language means a culture, though my family can't afford me to go travelling I can broadens my mind by learning a new language, and I plan to make it come true when I save enough money. I'm learning Spanish as well, Spain is the first country I want to visit. :-)
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Why are you learning English? #8 (permalink) Wed Aug 15, 2007 11:18 am   Why are you learning English?
 

NinaZara wrote:
I am planning to get my IR, the interview and examination will be conducted in English, so I have to familiarize myself with all the English terminology that I learnt in Japanese.

I don't know where or when to start, for now. I am surrounded by the Japanese language. I probably have to move out from Japan first.

I had a similar problem when I took my oral proficiency exam in the Czech language in Prague. I sailed through the written exam with relative ease, and because I supposedly spoke very well, it was expected that I'd do just fine in the oral exam. Then my brother came to visit me, and I couldn't avoid speaking mostly English for two weeks. When I got to my oral exam, my speech was "rusty", and I had some problems, but I still passed.
Jamie (K)
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Why are you learning English? #9 (permalink) Wed Aug 15, 2007 11:39 am   Why are you learning English?
 

edison_chen_e_c wrote:
This is why more and more people start to learn Chinese.

More people in the US are learning Chinese for business reasons, but it looks as if many schools here are adding Chinese to their curriculum because the Chinese government has begun providing Chinese language teachers at little or no cost. "Never look a gift horse in the mouth," as we say.

The rush to learn Chinese is something like the rush to learn Japanese that occurred in the late 1970s or early 1980s, when it appeared to people that the Japanese were going to eat up the American economy. Huge numbers of business students studied Japanese, because they thought it was going to be necessary for operating in the future world economy. As time went on, for reasons I'm not sure of, people decided that knowing Japanese was not that necessary, and the number of business students learning the language began to wane.

Now, however, there's been a huge resurgence in interest in studying Japanese, but the instructors have to teach it in a different way. Most American students who study it now aren't doing it for practical reasons. They grew up on Japanese anime and manga, and they're crazy about Japanese culture.

So the motivations of a society as a whole for learning one language or another can change with the era.
Jamie (K)
I'm a Communicator ;-)


Joined: 24 Feb 2006
Posts: 6761
Location: Detroit, Michigan, USA

Why are you learning English? #10 (permalink) Wed Aug 15, 2007 15:21 pm   Why are you learning English?
 

Jamie (K) wrote:
edison_chen_e_c wrote:
This is why more and more people start to learn Chinese.

So the motivations of a society as a whole for learning one language or another can change with the era.


Maybe it's right because of China's well developing, many countris get to consider it stronger and stronger no matter in economy or politics, and they know it, so they know they can keep on turning us (Taiwan) down in UN, that's so mean.

J: Are you a native speaker of AmE?
Edison_Chen_e_c
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Posts: 206

Why are you learning English? #11 (permalink) Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:20 am   Why are you learning English?
 

edison_chen_e_c wrote:
Maybe it's right because of China's well developing, many countris get to consider it stronger and stronger no matter in economy or politics, and they know it, so they know they can keep on turning us (Taiwan) down in UN, that's so mean.

China's going to start having some problems, though. They've sold too many toxic and dangerous products in the West, causing the death of some consumers (and their pets), and necessitating recalls of products that have cost American and other companies hundreds of millions of dollars. Their reputation has gotten so bad, so quickly, that many people are now willing to pay more for things that they know are safe, and they have more confidence in products made in other countries, like Mexico or Brazil. Some companies are stamping their products "Not made in China", and it is increasing their sales. This will unjustly hurt Taiwan also, because many Taiwanese products marked "Made in China".

edison_chen_e_c wrote:
J: Are you a native speaker of AmE?

Yes.
Jamie (K)
I'm a Communicator ;-)


Joined: 24 Feb 2006
Posts: 6761
Location: Detroit, Michigan, USA

Why are you learning English? #12 (permalink) Thu Aug 16, 2007 5:40 am   Why are you learning English?
 

Jamie (K) wrote:
edison_chen_e_c wrote:
Maybe it's right because of China's well developing, many countris get to consider it stronger and stronger no matter in economy or politics, and they know it, so they know they can keep on turning us (Taiwan) down in UN, that's so mean.

China's going to start having some problems, though. They've sold too many toxic and dangerous products in the West, causing the death of some consumers (and their pets), and necessitating recalls of products that have cost American and other companies hundreds of millions of dollars. Their reputation has gotten so bad, so quickly, that many people are now willing to pay more for things that they know are safe, and they have more confidence in products made in other countries, like Mexico or Brazil. Some companies are stamping their products "Not made in China", and it is increasing their sales. This will unjustly hurt Taiwan also, because many Taiwanese products marked "Made in China".

edison_chen_e_c wrote:
J: Are you a native speaker of AmE?

Yes.


I promise the products made from Taiwan are nice, not any toxic.
And I thought you were not American.
Edison_Chen_e_c
I'm here quite often ;-)


Joined: 23 Jul 2007
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Why are you learning English? #13 (permalink) Thu Aug 16, 2007 5:48 am   Why are you learning English?
 

Its a game for economic adjusting toward the market. Let it go, it doesn't related just one country. And even though the products produced in China are really refused by others, that is according to the economic rule, won't be an extreme bad thing for China as well as this world. And also, even if the other countiries had rejected those products, if one day the products really work with the rules, they naturelly will back and select a apropos way for which should be bought. It doesnt matter, just need to pay for a few times. But that is a fact, the world is one whole. Everybody impacts and be impacted by each other. No one can rid of another totally, in other words, we are both requiring and being required in the Earth. Truth will give us the real reasonable things, though it feels a little tough some time.
Princess
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Why are you learning English? #14 (permalink) Thu Aug 16, 2007 6:15 am   Why are you learning English?
 

edison_chen_e_c wrote:
Jamie (K) wrote:
edison_chen_e_c wrote:
Maybe it's right because of China's well developing, many countris get to consider it stronger and stronger no matter in economy or politics, and they know it, so they know they can keep on turning us (Taiwan) down in UN, that's so mean.

China's going to start having some problems, though. They've sold too many toxic and dangerous products in the West, causing the death of some consumers (and their pets), and necessitating recalls of products that have cost American and other companies hundreds of millions of dollars. Their reputation has gotten so bad, so quickly, that many people are now willing to pay more for things that they know are safe, and they have more confidence in products made in other countries, like Mexico or Brazil. Some companies are stamping their products "Not made in China", and it is increasing their sales. This will unjustly hurt Taiwan also, because many Taiwanese products marked "Made in China".

edison_chen_e_c wrote:
J: Are you a native speaker of AmE?

Yes.


I promise the products made from Taiwan are nice, not any toxic.
And I thought you were not American.


Hey honey, relax. Don't move your pace out such hurry. No one care your promise and I can guarantee that those products having toxic even had made in TAIWAN, it could not make certain big deal in there. You are safety kid.
Princess
You can meet me at english-test.net


Joined: 02 Aug 2007
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Why are you learning English? #15 (permalink) Thu Aug 16, 2007 6:22 am   Why are you learning English?
 

Anyway, we're not like China, not that mean. Are you with me, princess?
Edison_Chen_e_c
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Joined: 23 Jul 2007
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