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07

09

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QW 070912 “Please read it aloud”

Yesterday I repeated the sentence “Please read it aloud.” more than 40 times to the examinees of a certain English proficiency test. (Some will know what it is). Every time I hear interviewees read the text aloud after 20 second pre-reading for evaluation purposes, I cannot help wondering if they read English texts of any kind on daily basis. Their speech makes me infer they don’t. Even basic words, such as “sing”, “fashionable”, and “classmates” were rarely pronounced correctly by yesterday’s interview test-takers. Which made me sad and very anxious.

We cannot just blame school teachers of English who’re required to teach 30 or 40 kids in one class. They cannot always be language teachers, but need to be lecturers who’re supposed to provide instructions that may be necessary for students to learn in order to pass entrance examinations for higher education. Those school teachers of English are expected to teach what is necessary for “pen-and-pencil tests” of English. Something beyond is always regarded as optional.

I cannot help feel sorry for the examinees that I met yesterday. Had they been provided with proper instructions on pronunciation, stress, and intonation, they could’ve read the text so much better than they did. Because young learners are flexible in every aspect than adult learners, they’d soon unlearn their unintelligible pronunciation, and relearn more intelligible one. The interviewees that I met yesterday made me wish that they would go through this “unlearn-and-relearn process” sometime in the course of English learning life lying ahead of them.

(40 minutes / 252 words)

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Aya

Author:Aya
English learner

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