Create language clubs to encourage Saudi learners

Create language clubs to encourage Saudi learners

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Create language clubs to encourage Saudi learners

IT is a well-known fact that practical experience can often be of greater benefit than a formal education. And it for this very reason that our college graduates are often left in a state of shock when they enter the workforce and realize the sheer amount of useless information that they were taught in school.
In fact, one of the major problems of the Saudi educational system is that it focuses almost entirely on theory while completely ignoring the practical aspect of the learning experience. This approach, if not corrected, is not going to help in preparing future teachers, scientists, engineers and doctors.
If we take the study of foreign languages, for example, how many of our public school students have mastered a foreign language? If we compare the second language skills of public school students to those in private schools, the difference is clear. Students in private schools are often instructed by native language speakers and since they are studying in an English-medium school, they become proficient in the language.
After going through the Saudi public education system my entire life, I chose the unlikely path of pursuing an undergraduate degree in English. I have tried to involve myself in an English-speaking environment by enrolling in the kind of language schools that can be found in virtually any major Saudi city. Despite all of my efforts to become fluent in English, I have faced numerous setbacks, some of which I think are because I have not been to an English-speaking country and this has prevented me from understanding the cultural aspect, which is an essential part of learning any language.
To help students like myself, I suggest that the Ministry of Education arrange summer clubs that engage students with native English speakers. This can introduce students to the vernacular and important idioms and proverbs. The clubs can be located in the Kingdom but native English speakers should be given a free hand to create a suitable learning environment.
Some may question the idea of having such clubs, but my main argument is that the further learning is from grades and rote learning, the more successful it will be. Also, such hands-on involvement instills a sense of enthusiasm in the learner. We can apply this to almost everything. Many people are concerned with failure but they forget that if they fail once, they still have an unlimited number of times to try. Involvement allows people to learn from their failures and gain experience. This idea was best summarized by Benjamin Franklin, who said: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
Rawan Balahmar

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