Saturday, June 26, 2010

Tendency to learn languages for A/L in Anuradhapura

At present, many A/L students at Anuradhapura seem to be more enthusiastic in learning languages for their A/L Examination. Their parents, too, motivate them to study English, French and Japanese for their A/Ls. This can be seen as a great tendency to learn languages for such a higher examination. It is true that Anuradhapura is far away from Colombo and Kandy, where there are more facilities for the students to learn the above languages. However, a remote district like Anuradhapura hardly had this opportunity and as a result our rural students were not privileged enough to study English, French and Japanese for their A/Ls in the past. Nevertheless, the situation is quite different today. There are many students, who excel in English Language and English Literature, for which some students have obtained A passes in their O/L Examination. Numerous factors immensely contribute to this dramatic breakthrough.
Major factor I feel is that the way they have been looked down upon by those, who were fluent in English those days. I well remember how those so- called English educated arrogant people ridiculed us when we tried to utter a word in English. They laughed at our accent and the way we pronounced some English words. Consequently, we were absolutely demoralized and discouraged to speak in English. We were the parents and teachers of these young children, who are now very fluent in English and maintain both British and American standards. They are now learning not only English, but also two foreign languages, French and Japanese for their A/Ls. They are also competent in both British and American accents. Yet, those who mocked at the accent of the rural poor children are still confined to the Sri Lankan English. I think this may be the prominent factor for encouraging the rural students of Anuradhapura to learn languages for their A/Ls.
At present, we have more graduate teachers, who studied English, French and Japanese for their degrees in the university. Some teachers have followed their master’s degrees in their respective subjects and well qualified for disseminating knowledge to the students at school. The most significant fact is that almost all such teachers are from Anuradhapura and its outskirts. Hence, our students need not go to the other leading schools in Colombo and Kandy. We have all such facilities and resources at Anuradhapura today. Availability of competent teachers and their superb performance is another outstanding factor for the above progress.
Third factor, according to my point of view is that the goal, need and interest of our students and parents to learn languages for A/Ls. They really sacrifice and devote more time, money and labour for this great venture.
It is now quite apparent that the above three prominent factors make immense contribution to the great tendency of students to learn languages for their A/Ls. This is really a great achievement our children have gained through their concerted effort during the past few years.

D.N. Aloysius
Rajarata University of Sri Lanka

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