Learning first and second language
(মাতৃভাষা ও দ্বিতীয় ভাষা শিক্ষা)
হাসিব সাহেব মৌলভীবাজারের ছৈয়ারপুল স্কুলের ইংরেজি শিক্ষক। তিনি অনেকবার ইংরেজি পড়ানোর উপর প্রশিক্ষণ পেয়েছেন। ইংরেজিতে চমৎকার কথা বলেন। তার ক্লাসে ছাত্রছাত্রীরা খুব খোশ মেজাজে থাকে। সব ছাত্রছাত্রী তার ক্লাসে উপস্থিত থাকার জন্য ব্যস্ত থাকে। তার ইংরেজি ক্লাস একেবারেই আলাদা। আগের মতো নয়। প্রশিক্ষণ পাওয়ার আগে তিনি বাংলায় ইংরেজি গ্রামার পড়াতেন। এখন ইংরেজি গ্রামারের কথা বলেন না, তবে মজার মজার গল্প বলে গ্রামারসহ ইংরেজি পড়ান।
জামিল সাহেব হাসিব সাহেবের বন্ধু-সহকর্মী, তিনিও একজন ইংরেজি শিক্ষক। তিনি গ্রামার পড়ান, কিন্তু ইংরেজিতে ভালো কথা বলতে পারেন না। হাসিব সাহেবও পারতেন না, এখন পারেন। কিন্তু ইংরেজির উপর প্রশিক্ষণ নিয়ে এখন একটু আলাদাভাবে ক্লাস করান। সব ছাত্রছাত্রীই এখন হাসিব সাহেবের ক্লাস পছন্দ করে। কিন্তু কেন ছাত্রছাত্রীদের এই আগ্রহ? কি সেই যাদু? এ নিয়ে আজ দুই বন্ধুর মধ্যে কথা হলো।
আসলে, হাসিব সাহেব প্রশিক্ষণে ইংরেজি শেখানোর কয়েকটি বিশেষ কৌশল সম্পর্কে জেনেছেন। ক্লাসে তিনি সেগুলো ব্যবহার করছেন। তাই এত পরিবর্তন। আজ জামিল সাহেব সে কৌশলগুলো তার কাছ থেকে জেনেছেন। শুনি তাদের সে আলোচনা-
Jamil: Dear Hasib, after receiving training I see you speak very good English which you did not do earlier. Students are very much interested in your class. I see a change has taken place in your way of teaching English. (হাসিব, প্রশিক্ষণ পাওয়ার পর দেখছি তুমি ভালো ইংরেজি বলছো, যেটি আগে তুমি পারতে না। শিক্ষার্থীরাও তোমার ক্লাসে বেশ আগ্রহী। তোমার ইংরেজি পড়ানোর মধ্যে এক ধরনের পরিবর্তন এসেছে।)
Hasib: Yes, my dear friend I have learnt some new things in teaching English.
Jamil: I can guess it. Can you tell me something about it?
Hasib: Sure. Just tell me how we learn our mother tongue.
Jamil: We learn it from our mother. I think we learn it naturally.
Hasib: Yes, Jamil you’re right. We learn Bengali from our mother, younger brother, sister, cousins and neighbors.
Jamil: You want to say that we learn it from our near and dear ones, from our neighbors and surroundings.
Hasib: Exactly, we live in Bengali environment and continuously listen to Bengali. (একেবারেই ঠিক বলেছো, আমরা বাংলা পরিবেশের মধ্যে বাস করি, সারাক্ষণ বাংলা শুনি।)
Jamil: And this is why we can speak Bengali easily. People can speak Bengali even without going to school. (আর তাই আমরা সহজে বাংলা বলতে পারি। লোকজন স্কুলে না গিয়েও বাংলা বলতে পারে।)
Hasib: Do we have such kind of opportunities to learn English, Jamil?
Jamil: Of course not.
Hasib: How do we learn English?
Jamil: We learn English–
- Going to school
- Reading books
- Going to teachers
- Going to learning centers
- Learning grammar
Hasib: When we learn English which aspect you think receives more importance?
Jamil: I think grammar?
Hasib: Yes, teachers give more importance to grammar than anything else. If any student commits mistakes in grammar, teachers are critical and even punish the students. I also did the same thing. As a result, students don’t try to use English in their oral communication. They are afraid and feel shy to use English. They cannot go far.
Jamil: Yes, you’re right. We learn English---
- Emphasizing grammar
- From the teachers
- Through shy and fearful situation
- Spontaneity is not there
Hasib: But you see we learn Bengali
- Spontaneously (স্বতঃস্ফূর্তভাবে)
- Practicing it regularly and naturally (নিয়মিত এবং প্রাকৃতিক উপায়ে অনুশীলন করে)
- Without fear (কোনো ধরনের ভয়ের মধ্যে না থেকে)
- Without getting repeated correction by elders and teachers (শিক্ষক এবং বড়দের দ্বারা বার বার সংশোধিত না হয়ে)
- Sometimes through gentle correction (মাঝে মাঝে হয়তো হালকা একটু সংশোধনের মাধ্যমে)
- From the surroundings (চারপাশের পরিবেশ থেকে)
This kind of learning is implicit learning. It is natural learning. It lasts long.
Jamil: If we learn English in this way, we can be really benefited.
Hasib: Learning a language is a matter of practice. It is just like learning how to wear a tie, how to wear a sharee, how to cook, how to learn swimming, how to ride a bi-cycle. All these activities need practice not learning the rules of doing them i.e. using grammar. If we read books and memorize the rules and regulation of cooking, riding a bi-cycle, wearing sharee but don’t go to kitchen or touch sharee, we never can learn how to wear a sharee, how to swim, to cook and ride a bi-cycle.
Jamil: So, you want to say to learn English and to teach English practice is main?
Hasib: Yes just practice to develop your fluency and let students practice English. I do it in the class and so students get interest in my class. They are also learning well.
Jamil: They do but commit many mistakes.
Hasib: It doesn’t matter. We learn language through mistakes. When you started walking what happened?
Jamil: I used to fall down many a time
Hasib: But you did not stop walking. You fell down and next moment you stood up to walk again.
Jamil: Right you are.
Hasib: Most of our communication we do through speaking and listening. But we have very little or no practice in these two skills. I try to do practice these skills in the class, so students like my class.
Jamil: I think that is you’re magic.
Hasib: You can say so.
Hasib: Most of the English teachers empathize grammar only. It is not practical to teach a language.
Jamil: Can you give an example why learning grammar is not practical?
Hasib: You see. We learn English for communication. We learn English for fulfilling the needs of our everyday life.
Suppose, you need to buy a ticket. Then you should say ‘Do you have any ticket on May 06 for going to Rajshahi? Or you need to buy a pen and you should say’ Can I have a pen? Do you have any pen? Here, if you say ‘transitive verbs can take objects’ it will be ridiculous and impractical. We should learn English to use it practically. When it is done learners learn it with much interest. That actually happens in my class.
Jamil: Really, excellent thing you do.
Hasib: We should start speaking English with whatever vocabulary we have. We must encourage the students to do the same.
Jamil: Yes, I will follow you from now on.
Hasib: Please do it.
Jamil: Can you tell me some easily available sources to learn and teach English?
Hasib: You listen to English Radio Program, English news regularly. It will develop your listening skills as well learn the use of everyday English.
Jamil: Fine. I will surely to it. Any other thing I should do?
You fix up a particular time of the day, say in the afternoon. Choose one of your friends with whom you can share what you did the whole day in English. It will give you several fold benefits—
(i) it will remove your shyness
(ii) develop your fluency
(iii) you will be encouraged to speak more
(iv) You will be confident
Jamil: Thank you Hasib.
Hasib: You can get some printed English materials in different English newspapers.
Jamil: What about these materials?
Hasib: These materials are about our everyday English. The words and sentences we use every day in Bengali to fulfill our practical needs can be found in English here.
Jamil: It’s good news for the teachers, students and other people who are interested to develop their English. Thank you Hasib for giving me a lot of time.
Haisb: You’re most welcome.
হাসিব এবং জামিল সাহেবের কথোপকথন শুনে নিচের সত্য/মিথ্যা এবং একটি প্রশ্নের জন্য দেয়া অনেকগুলো উত্তরের মধ্যে নিজের পছন্দটি বাছাই করে উত্তর দাও:
1. We learn English naturally. False: We learn Bengali naturally
2. Language learning needs a lot of practice. True
3. Learning grammar comes first before learning practice. False: Language learning comes first before learning grammar.
4. In our country we give more emphasis on grammar while learning English. True
5. We can learn wearing sharee without practice. False: We cannot learn wearing sharee without practice.
6. One can be a good cook without cooking practically. False: One cannot be a good cook without cooking practically
7. Learning swimming needs a lot of practice. True
8. We can learn how to wear a tie nicely reading just the rules. False: We cannot learn to wear a tie nicely reading just the rules.
9. We learn Bengali without fear. True
10. We should practice English though we commit mistakes. True
11. First we should correct our grammar and then start using English.
Without thinking of grammar correction we should continue using English.
1. We should be very much careful when speak English. False: We should use English freely and spontaneously.
2. We should try to speak English spontaneously. True
3. When people criticize, we should stop speaking English. False: We should continue using English even though people criticize.
4. We feel very shy to speak Bengali. False: We feel very shy to speak English.
A. We learn Bengali------------(i) learning grammar first (ii)√ from the surrounding
B. English can be learnt------(i) by learning grammar (ii) √ mainly through practice
C. To learn English we should give emphasis on –(i)√ practice (ii)learning grammar
D. What should we do when people laugh /criticize—(i) stop speaking English (ii)√ continue speaking
E. There are --------------in English. (i) three skills (ii)√ four skills.
Simple, Complex and Compound Sentence (Structural divisions of sentences)
Section A: Teaching Simple sentence
Write a series of sentences with one main verb in different forms on the board. e.g.
(i) She writes a letter.
(ii) She wrote a letter.
(iii) She will write a letter.
(iv) She has written a letter.
• Now ask the participants/learners about the differences of the verbs used in all the four sentences.
• Elicit the answers from them
(i) These verbs change with the change of subject and tense.
(ii) Without these verbs no sentence can be constructed.
(iii) These are the examples of main/finite verbs.
• Now tell them that these are the examples of simple sentences.
Again produce several sentences each one with a main/finite verb and a to+verb ( infinite) or verb+ing (Gerund, present participle).
(i) I went to stadium to watch football an interesting football match.
(ii) I shall go to stadium to watch an interesting football match.
(iii) I saw him playing football.
• Now ask the learners how many main verbs are there in each sentence and what are other verbs used in both the sentences.
• Elicit the answers from them:
(i) Each of these sentences contains one main/finite verb and one to +verb.
(ii) To +verb is known as infinitive. It is a kind of non-finite verb.
(iii) Playing is known here as present participle. (verb+ing when functions like an adjective)
• Tell them that these are also the examples of simple sentence.
• Now ask them what they mean by a simple sentence. Elicit answers.
The sentence, which contains one main/finite verb, is known as simple sentence.
Section B: Teaching Complex Sentence
To make them understand what a complex sentence is, write a pair of sentences on the board.e.g.
Bangladesh is a country. It is small. Now join these two sentences on the board.
Bangladesh is a country, which is small.
The pen is made in Japan. It writes well.
The pen, which is made in Japan, writes well.
• Now ask the students if they find any differences between the sentences they learnt in the previous session.
• Elicit the answers:
(i) in the previous sentences there were only one main verb but in these sentences there are two main verbs
(ii) These sentences are the combination of two parts.
(iii) Two sentences/parts are connected by which, who, whom, where, since, as, because etc
(iv) In both the parts of these sentences there are tow main verbs.
• Now tell them that these are the examples of complex sentences.
See some more examples of complex sentences.
(i) I know the boy who came here yesterday.
(ii) The pen which is made in Japan writes well.
(iii) The is the letter which my friend sent it to me.
(iv) This is the house which my grandfather built.
(v) Do you know the man who came here yesterday?
(vi) This is my cousin who lives in Dhaka.
(vii) I have a book which deals with English usage.
(viii) He has lost the pen which he bought last week.
(ix) He told me what he had heard.
(x) What you are doing seems very difficult.
C. (Compound sentence)
Write pairs of sentences on the board and join them with and, or, but.e.g.
(i) He is an honest man. I like him.
He is an honest man and I like him.
(ii)He was sick. He went to school.
He was sick but he went to school.
• Now ask the pts what differences they can identity between the sentences they learnt in the previous section sessions.
• Elicit the answers. Write their responses on the board.
(i) These Paris of sentences have been connected by and, or, but.
(ii) If the parts of these sentences are separated, each par itself can be a sentence.
•Now tell them these are the examples of compound sentences.
Now tell them that they have got the idea about the structure and function of simple, complex and compound sentences. Now tell the students to read the following passage and see the analysis.
Bangladesh is a land of natural calamities. (simple—one finite verb, is). Cyclone is one of them.(simple—one finite verb, is). When a storm revolves round violently around a centre, it is called cyclone.(complex—one subordinate and one principal clause). It moves at a high speed ranging from forty to one hundred or more kilometers.(simple—one finite verb, moves, one non-finite, ranging). During the last ten years, several devastating cyclones swept over Bangladesh and caused immense harm to people.(compound---two principal clauses). This extreme weather condition is a curse, especially to the inhabitants of the coastal regions of Bangladesh.(simple-one finite verb, is).
A cyclone may occur any time at any place.(simple—one finite verb, may occur). The violent types of cyclones usually hit the tropics.(simple—one finite verb, hit). The cyclones of Bangladesh generally originate for the Bay of Bengal and blow towards the land.(compound-two principal clauses). Thunders and heavy shower often accompany it.(simple-one finite verb, accompany). Before a cyclone starts, unbearable heat is felt for a few days.(complex-one subordinate and principal clause). Then suddenly one day the sky becomes terribly dark with clouds and strong winds begin to blow with flashes of lightening and the rumbling of thunders. (Compound—two principal clauses). Thus a terrible situation is created that lasts for few hours.(complex—one principal and one subordinate clause). It causes a great havoc.(simple—one finite verb, causes). A lot of people and other animals die.(simple—one finite verb, die). Dwelling houses are blown away.(simple—one finite verb, are blown away). The tidal bore and heavy showers of rain wash away standing crops and leave the mark of terrible damage.(compound---two principal clauses). The cholera, diarrhoea, fever etc. spread all over the cyclone affected areas. ( simple—one finite verb, spread. Affected—past participle=used as adjective).
Ask the participants why we teach simple, complex and compound sentences in this way.
Elicit the answers: Write the answers on the board.
(i) Our main objective is to enable our students to use simple, complex and compound sentences in the practical life situation.
(ii) Simple, complex and compound sentences are used in the passage. Students can see their practical uses.
(iii) Loose and scattered sentences may not reflect the original use and types of sentences.
(iv) Students will learn sentence construction and pick up the language unconsciously from the passage.
Now identify the following sentences and classify them into simple, complex and compound sentences.
(1) If you speak the truth, I shall pardon you.
(2) He asked me my condition.
(3) She declared that I am honest.
(4) It is true that life and hope are inseparable.
(5) He kept his promise.
(6) As he was lazy, he could not prosper.
(7) I saw my friend and I became glad.
(8) I had forgotten him and went outside the cabin./ I forgot him and went outside the cabin.
(9) In case of his being late, he will be punished.
(10) When he woke up, it was raining.
(11) In case of its boring me I shall stop it.
(12) I am repented now because of my having a quarrel with him.
(13) Students go to educational institutions to be worthy citizens of the country.
(14) Work hard or you will not succeed in your mission.
(15) In spite of his having much wealth, he seems to be poor.
(16) If anybody is not punctual he cannot shine in life.
লেখক: শিক্ষা বিশেষজ্ঞ ও গবেষক, ব্র্যাক শিক্ষা কর্মসূচিতে কর্মরত।