3 Unique Ways to Understand English
- May 16, 2016
Much has been and continues to be said about the importance of learning the English language, and the various ways of getting to understand it better and better. Some say there are definite rules – such as the ones of grammar. Some argue with this theory, citing the examples of certain exceptions. Some just marvel at English’s uniqueness and some others, find marvellous unique ways of understanding English more. Let us look at three of those amazing ways, here.
Understanding English through Logic
I would like to call the idea the ‘Science of Grammar’ that definitely has to have Logic involved.
Consider the sentence: ‘One of the hundred girls HAS worn a rainbow-coloured dress.’
We are saying ‘HAS’ even though there are a ‘hundred girls’ mentioned in the sentence. What is the logic of it?
Well, the ‘Logic’ is that even though there is a mention of a ‘hundred girls’ in the sentence, we are actually talking about ONE girl in the group, who is wearing a rainbow-coloured dress. The sentence begins with the specific mention, ‘ONE OF…dress.’ Since ‘one’ is a singular number, it has to be ‘has’ and not ‘have’. Clear logic.
Same applies for ‘None of the people here WEARS sweaters in summer.’ Since ‘None’ stands for ‘Not one’, we are still talking of ‘one’ here, and therefore we use ‘wears’ and not ‘wear’. Some, however, do not subscribe to this way of thinking, and prefer to say ‘wear’.
There is logic in the ways of pronunciation and spelling, too. ‘A’ is pronounced in certain different ways, as in ‘Catch’ and ‘Gave’, but certainly not like the way ‘R’ is used or pronounced; because that would seem totally illogical!
Understanding the logic that runs through a language helps us get a firmer grasp of it.
It gets easier to both teach and learn the language, and students can also relate various subjects to each other, to see where and how they bond.
- This enhances students’ intelligence.
- Hones reasoning power.
- Increases interest in various subjects together.
- Improves their vocabulary.
Understanding English through Math
There is the example of Dr. Lim Yi-En, who uses simple formulas from algebra to explain English grammar to her students. She has won the 2015 Inspiring Teacher of English Award (Leadership) for this unique idea.
Come to think of it, why not? If English can be linked to Logic and has a very sound one of its own, why can it not have its own ‘formulae’ akin to those of Math?
Linking English to Math and trying to explain one with the help of the other can, at the same time, teach and revise two important subjects.
It can make the nuances of English grammar clearer and more memorable, and urge students to think of and on various ways of learning a language better, instead of just memorizing certain ‘rules’ about it.
Understanding English through Science
It is simple, actually. Putting it very broadly, in Science we learn ‘Dissection’. In English, that same theory can help us grasp better how one word can be broken into its two different components.
For example: Trustworthy. Trust + Worthy.
There can be various such examples, where we can explain English through the eyes and words of Science. Prosody, too, has been explained as a ‘Science’, by many learned individuals.
Thus, we see that spelling, pronouncing and using English words can certainly have their Logical, Mathematical or Scientific ways and explanations, understanding which would certainly help us understand English better.
Various teachers are trying to teach English better by using new, unique approaches, methods and angles. Linking the language to Logic, Math and Science can be welcome steps towards a fresh way of looking at the language.
- It can make the language more interesting to learners, and can express its immense versatility in a clearer manner.
- It can improve student participation, as students can also start thinking and sharing their views on linking this language to other subjects or important phenomena.
- This can enhance the creative calibre of students by encouraging them to think differently.
There could be various other, innovative ways of learning English better. We would love to hear your thoughts on the matter, too. Please share your ideas or experiences with us, so that others can also get a chance to benefit from them.
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