Tutor profile: Claire H.
What is 'literature'?
Literature comes from the Latin word 'littera', which means an acquaintance with letters. Now, we know literature as books and other written works, although before this medium was popular, literature in the oral tradition existed. In our modern world, literature that is considered important has creative or artistic merit and lasting value. The history behind this practice and art form has allowed it to exist for thousands of years and its legacy only speaks for its importance. I love literature because of the vast collection of genres that can be explored. I love that I can be thrown back in history or learn about an island I will travel to in a week. I love the combination of story telling and fact that can be woven together to explain even the most recent troubles in society. My favourite book is 'To Kill a Mockingbird', by Harper Lee because I am in awe of the lilt in her writing that makes me able to connect to the characters so closely and learn about a time and place in America that I had no idea about before. What's your favourite book?
Subject: English as a Second Language
What is the significance of learning English as a second language?
Apart from opening up new opportunities, studying language is good for the brain. Studies show that memory and learning improve when learning a language. Different parts of the brain are awakened and allowed to exercise. Critical thinking and strategising improves. It is more than just learning words and grammar, it is a way to learn new sounds and expressions, and most importantly it provides perspective. Learning English over any other language has its benefits because of the large quantity of the population that can speak it. ESL is a great way to connect and communicate with people all over the world.
Why is English such an important international language?
The harsh reality of the world is that the English language is everywhere. I've seen both negative and positive arguments for mass globalisation and a 'universal language' but let us focus on the positives. My time teaching in China has made me realise the opportunities that are created for people learning English. Your world changes. Opportunities open up in ways that were not available before, you become a global citizen. Travel is easier, living away from home is easier and the job market is more accessible. English is not the most spoken language in the world but it is spoken by 400 million people across the globe. It also manages perspective on your native world and language, allowing for comparison and favourable learning environments.
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