opinionBy Ousman Njie
English, a major subject and an official language of the Gambia yet most Gambian students failed the subject annually. The reasons why students failed this subject according to English experts includes: lack of reading and writing English, poor attention given to the subject, vernacular speaking in schools, the notion students have about the subject,
lack of qualified English teachers, the condition of the environment amongst host of others.
Lack of reading and writing English: most students failed English language due to their inability to write and also read English. This is because reading gives a logical understanding of the language and thereby, increases one's ability to speak and write the language. As a result of this, students who have no taste for reading end up failing the subject woefully.
Lack of Writing or practicing English also leads to failing the subject. This is so, as writing enables one to fuse words correctly to construct a meaningful sentence. The more this is done, the more one gets to understand the language and finally becomes a very good English writer. For this reason, those who do not heed to this thought simply end up failing the subject.
Poor Attention given to the subject: it is said that success goes with interest. In a learning environment where students pay less attention to English language, they lasted scoring low marks in the subject area and subsequently, they fall prey. Despite the fact that, English is a major subject most students think that studying English is time wasting with the excuse that they have a lot of notes to study. Students should know that English gives them the access to enter in any university or college around the world. So passing all your subjects with the exception of English is tantamount to nonentity.
Vernacular speaking in schools: another reason why students fail English language is owing to their none speaking of English in schools. For this shameful act, they begin to build up a very poor vocabulary. This will lead to a down fall in their performance in the English language.
The notion students have about the subject: some students generally believed that this subject involves less or no practice at all while others said it is easy. To me, English is a subject that involves a lot of practice and high analytical skills because it is a diversified language, which keeps on changing over the time. English being easy those not mean that it should not be studied. It should be studied as any other subject for failing to study it leads to serious crimes as most ideas will escaped from your mind. This will lead you to fail English seriously.
Teachers: the failure of students in English language can be determined by the type of teacher teaching the subject. Some teachers are not very verse in the area they are teaching while others are weak and lazy. In such a situation, students feel lazy towards the subject. Thus, they finally fail the subject. School masters and educational heads should make sure that the teachers they are to employ are capable enough to mantle up the challenges often faced by students.
The condition of the environment: English is a subject that requires an environment that is so quiet and attentive. The creation of an educational environment that is conducive to their academic success and the use of the educational strategies known to be effective with these students should be provided for.
Preventing school failure begins with the creation of the school climates that foster the academic success and empower students. Such an environment reflects a philosophy that all students can learn and that educators are responsible for helping them learn. Positive school environments are characterized by strong administrative leadership, high expectation for students achievements, appropriate curricular and instruction; a save and orderly environment, systematic evaluation of students progress; and share decision making among teachers and parents; Share knowledge based among educators about effective ways among students learning English.
The success of students towards English Language should be the collective work of the teachers, parents and students. Students should play a greater role in this aspect as to whom much is given, much is expected.