Wednesday, March 08, 2006

ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE!

In countless occassions I have clearly stated that english is not my language.Not even the second one or the third. Outspoken as hell in the cradle of humanity,I still struggle to bring sentences together. The notable difference is that giving up is a sin to me,therefore I keep going,miles and miles. The journey of being multi-lingual is not an easy one. You will always carry the luggage of jokes and criticism from the pros of the language you are trying to learn. As if that is not enough you have to be prepared with ear quizes like ..what?What did you say....sorry I can not understand you...do you speak english?? etc etc. The pain of being in a foreign country does not end in only being constantly reminded that you do not belong there but also emerge from the iceberg of social justice and liberty. "When was the last time you went to Tanzania?" How many times will I hear that question? At least in Canada the question is asked a bit politely. When I was in another countries the question was "when are you going back to Tanzania?". It was a request full of commanding tone, it simply meant you do not belong here!

You have probably heard ESL(English as a second language) more times than you have heard the word "language" itself. Canada,which is now internationally known to be a haven of every culture tries to hit the social justice even in the language paths. Good job! However,have you ever asked yourself how difficult and almost impossible it is when someone is trying to teach you their language when they can not even utter one word of your language?? How does it work for God's sake?

If I am not mistaken teaching language is almost about exchanging literature, you teach me your language because you know lots or bits about mine. I believe, and heaven hear me please, language learnt that way is more fun and extremely easy. Having a good command of swahili for example and bla bla of english I can be the best teacher for a swahili speaker who wants to learn english. Unfortunately, the british empire that once ruled and colonized the entire world including Canada and United Stated, they wanted and have successfully promoted their language to sound and smell superior. If you do not speak english in today's world you are considered uneducated and somehow uncivilized.That is why even though Chinese is spoken by many people than english it is not a superior language and you can count how many people are interested to learn it.

Anyway,the point I am trying to make here is that english as a second language classes are social joke unless they become categorized in the common sense explained above. If not at the end of the day we will never know who taught me the little english I know.Is it the esl teacher or my friends and relatives at home who knew my original language and had learnt english before?

10 comments:

queen of light and joy said...

I find solice in the fact that other languages like my Cree or Ojibway have more humour in them than english does. What does that say about the english language that so many people hold so high?

I would rather laugh than sound pretty. *wink*

The Intolerant One said...

You mention only knowing "little" english. From what I read in your entry's, if that is little then you are doing quite well. You should be encouraged by that considering you speak other languages as well.

I have also noticed that when you write I can pick up on how might sound and what exactly you are trying to say. I believe that has something to do with my friend's from Nigeria out here.

They demonstrate the same struggles you may have from time to time. It helps to have someone beside them who will listen intently and help them along.

On a personal note, although I have never been to your homeland of Tanzania, I hope you stick around Canada. I know if my Nigerian friends left to go back to Nigeria(although I doubt they will) I would miss them alot. I enjoy their company.

queen of light and joy said...

On a side note Jeff, I want to know why you havn't been to my You you you... oh it's back to you and the meme blog post?"

You should come and have some fun over at my blog. *wink smile*

Jeff Msangi said...

Queen,
I think I had visited your blog today before you even visited mine.I even left a comment and have put your blog link in mine.Didn't you notice that?

Q-Tip
What makes you doubt whether your Nigerian friends will ever go back to their home country?I am interested to know

The Intolerant One said...

In very simple terms...they are Christians. I am sure you are aware of the intense persecution they face from the muslim community over there.

My friend is a former pastor over there who was physically beaten and left for dead just because he believe's that Jesus Christ is the son of God.

He has shared many a number of stories with me. Some are very heartbreaking. But you ask a good question...I guess I do not know for certain if he will not go back. From what I understand from him is as much as he loves his homeland he does not feel welcome in it.

He also expressed the "oppressiveness" of the Sharia law that is in place. I recall when I mentioned to him that some muslim community's in Ontario were seeking to have Sharia law enacted within their own sect's, he had such a look of fear on him and said that would be just terrible.

He has obviously been thru some troubled times in his life that I cannot begin to imagine. So, I just hug him everytime I see him. He loves it that he can freely express his faith here in Canada without fear of retribution.

mee said...

the intolerant one,
I don't know what type pf stories your Nigerian freind is telling you. There are 36 states in Nigeria and the last time I counted only 12 states in Nigeria had adopted Sharia law. So the comment you made that your freind cannot return to Nigeria because he is Christian is totally bogus. Why? Because if your friend wanted he could live in one of the other 24 states which are not practising Sharia law.
Furthermore, if you knew a tiny bit about Nigeria you would know that practically half of the Nigerian population are practising Christians.
A little bit of advice to you. Try to read more and don't base your facts simply on what other people tell you.

The Intolerant One said...

Mee:

I'll be sure to let my friend know, according to you, he is a liar.

But I will tell you what, I will be seeing him this weekend and ask him to be more specific. You stated:

"So the comment you made that your freind cannot return to Nigeria because he is Christian is totally bogus."

First off, I did not say that he could not return (go back and read) I said he did not feel welcome. I ALSO stated:

"I guess I do not know for certain if he will not go back"

I do know that he has no desire. I will admit I was unaware of the fact that there was 36 states but by the stories he has shared with me, obviously he resided in one of the 12 with Shria law. I will confirm that with him.

I felt his scars were enough evidence for me that he was telling the truth. Again you said:

"Furthermore, if you knew a tiny bit about Nigeria" and

" Try to read more and don't base your facts simply on what other people tell you."

I never claimed to know everything about Nigeria. The question was asked why my friend would not return. I relayed that answer according to his own personal expeirence's.

However, since you do seem sceptical about Christian persecution and that there is a movement by the muslim community too invoke shria law nationwide in Nigeria then might I suggest you preview the first minute of the following link:

http://www.persecution.tv/media/multimedia_preview.wmv

This should clear up any misconceptions I apparently have.

The Intolerant One said...

This is my second response to Mee:

As I said, I would return after speaking to my Nigerian friend. My concern is that I may have misrepresented him in this. Today I shared with him what you shared with me and my response.

He affirmed me I represented him fairly and accuratley.

He confirmed with me that there is indeed 36 states within Nigeria. He also confirmed , as you said, that there are 12 states under Shria law. He confiremed that he came from one of those 12 states, that being the state of Kaduna.

I mentioned to him your statement:

" So the comment you made that your freind cannot return to Nigeria because he is Christian is totally bogus."

His jaw dropped with a look of amazement. He then rolled up his pant leg to show me the scarring left from muslims who broke his legs and left him for dead because of his "resistance" to conforming to the imposed Shria law which was a direct violation of his Christian beliefs.

I also asked him if I represented him accuratley when I said that he did not feel welcome in his own country. He responded "absolutely". He said that back home his name is on a "death list". If he were to return the muslim community there would take his life. (**note to Jeff: This was why I had suspected that he would not be returning)

He told me that Nigeria north is predominatley muslim, the south east is predominatley Christian, and that the southwest was a mix of about 50/50. Does this sound correct to you?

He also said that he would gladly discuss his home country's situation with you. He also has video footage of his homeland with the thousands of deaths that have occured against Christians since the inception of Shria law. He also mentioned that Shria law is making it's way south (whether the people want it or not) and that it has and will continue to become "bloody" as the Christians are being exterminated from the land.

After I shard your comments he said there are one of two things going on here:

Either you are ignorant of the religious persecution going on in Nigeria or you are a muslim from that area who will not acknowledge it.

I am curious to know? If it is neither I would like to know why you feel things are "OKEY DOKEY" in Nigeria?

Mee said...

Okay I see you said that you doubt he will return to Nigeria.
I guess what your freind is trying to say is that he may not return to Northern Nigeria.
Northern being the emphasis and as I said he could probably return to the other 24 states that do not practise sharia law. But since his name is on a death list... then that may potentially be out of the question.
I do not dispute that he was persecuted because he was a christian. I know christians in Northern Nigeria are persecuted. In fact, practically some Christians in most nations are persecuted because of religion. What I was disputing is the fact that he/you were implying (especially in your initial post where you said to put it simply he is christian) that ALL of Nigeria is unsafe for christians.

You wrote: "If he were to return the muslim community there would take his life. " Which shows that it is the muslim community out to get him and not the whole of Nigeria.
I am a christian and I grew up in Lagos and I felt safe to practise my religion in Lagos. And there are many other states like Lagos where people are free to practise their religion.

In summary the problem with your initial post is that your explanation was oversimplified. Yes christians are sometimes persecuted in northern Nigeria but you did not clarify that.

In my opinion, It will be very hard to invoke Sharia law in all of Nigeria. The southerners will fight hard against it and so will the christians, both prayerfully and every other way.

The Intolerant One said...

Mee:

" your initial post is that your explanation was oversimplified"

I see now how my words (or lack of) would cause you misunderstanding. My sincere apologies for that.

I believe we now both have the correct understanding. In the future I will be try to be more "clear" and less "broad".

I did not intentionally mean for my words to paint ALL of Nigeria the way I did but I see by what you pointed out, that is the way they came across.