Logic of English and English as a Second Language Learners
- Created: Sunday, 13 March 2011 05:22
- Written by Denise Eide
Second Language Learners often struggle to make sense of written English. Students from Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, and other developed nations have typically learned their first language in a systematic manner and understand the code underlying written words. Second language students usually approach English by looking for patterns. They frequently ask questions about spelling. However, English speakers and teachers rarely know the answers; instead, they perpetuate the myth that English spelling is outdated and illogical and therefore must be memorized by rote.
Yet, this is not true. Ninety-eight percent of English words can be logically explained. The problem is that English is not a transparent code where one letter corresponds to only one sound. Rather, English is an opaque code and therefore the code is not easily distilled without explicit teaching of the sounds, their written representations, and the rules which govern them.