Module 1: Birth of the English Language
English Language Foundation
English is a west Germanic language that originated and developed in England from its mother tongue called Proto-Indo-European that itself was the dominant language spoken about 5,000 years ago throughout Europe and western Asia, stretching as far as from Iceland to India.
English Language Characteristics
As a language educator, you must be aware of and understand that there are many key differences in the structure of languages, grammar rules, and vocabulary usage when crossing from one language to another. This is especially true for native English-speaking students attempting to learn Chinese as well as native Chinese-speaking students attempting to learn English. If you have taken at least one foreign language class in high school or college then you are likely already aware of this to be true.
English: I do not like green eggs and ham.
Spanish: No me gustan los juevos verdes y eljamón. (No to me they please, the eggs green and the ham).
Fairly simple language
If you are a native English speaker at least have good grasp on how to use the language effectively, then you may feel that English language is a fairly simple and easy to lean but one should remember that the word ‘easy’ is a relative term. But one undeniable notion is that English is a fairly simple language, especially when compared to more complex languages, such as Korean or German.
The English language is a moderately inflected language. The term ‘inflection’ is used to denote a slight altering of nouns, adjectives and pronouns of the purpose of using its respective correct different grammatical forms (i.e., “walk,” “walks,” “walking,” “walked”).
English, since its inception, has accepted words form from languages and still continues to do so to this very day. Cultures from all over the Europe and east Asia have directly influenced the English language. The language still accepts words from its ancestral roots, Latin and Sanskrit.
Fixed Word Order
For the most part, the English language is known for adhering to a rigid S-V-O (subject-verb-object) word structure order.
Ryan – drinks – juice.
Subject – verb – object.
One difficulty that many Chinese students often face when trying to learn the English language is trying to produce words with the tip of the tongue. For example, those, this, Tony and and table requires for the speaker to use the tip of the tongue. This feature is almost non-existent in the Chinese language.
In order to state a specific or nonspecific nouns or ideas, the English language uses determiners called articles to do just that. The three articles used in the language are as follows: a, an, and the.
I bought a box full of delicious oatmeal raisin cookies!
Reference: (Herley Taylor 2013) Teaching English Online from home. A day in the life of an online ESL / TESOL / EFL Teacher. Part 1 [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkp03Q0wJR8