CriticalStudies in English Article
Learningis a process that takes several dimensions especially among studentssince it is a continuous process. One important aspect of learningthough is the use of language in the process of internalizing newknowledge by an individual. Despite being important in the process,gaining of knowledge is different from the process of gaining masteryof knowledge. Zamel (5) argues that many people tend to tielinguistic abilities to the ability of a student to gain knowledge.This is because language and knowledge vary in contexts and thereforethe acquisition of each takes different abilities of the students.These two elements of student development or different and fromdifferent perspectives of evaluating a student.
Accordingto Zamel, assumptions that language and knowledge are gained in asimilar way makes inappropriate evaluations of the academic potentialof a student. This is because the process of acquiring language isslow and therefore takes more time compared to the process ofacquiring knowledge. According to Zamel (5), this is because languageacquisition involves extensive context, engagements and exposure thatleads to an individual’s interaction with the environment.
Onthe other hand, the acquisition of knowledge involves less broadcontexts for a student. This reflects the argument that Zamel (6)reports that was described as “strangers in academia” due to thealienation of some students from cultural contexts. Through use ofcases and situations of the differences in English proficiency, Zamelarticulates the importance of the understanding of the differencebetween gaining knowledge and learning English.
Contextualizationto the Course
Asan English major, these ideas present strong points that reflect onmy language mastery as well as gaining knowledge. Mastery of theEnglish language and the process of gaining knowledge can present aconflict in terms of the importance of the two to each process.According to Zamel (5), the conflict is mostly visible in highereducational institutions due to large and diverse populations. Inmany courses, tutors concentrate on the linguistic abilities of thestudents other than academic abilities. However, as a student, I willconcentrate on learning new knowledge and use the most appropriatemeans to communicate the knowledge. This comparison indicates myconcerns of the learning of English as a study and as a language sineit involves both elements of learning.
Asa student, I gain knowledge not because of my linguistic status of myEnglish, but because of my commitment towards learning. this is inaccordance to what Zamel (10) argues that students have higherexpectations of learning despite facing challenges in thecontextualization and gaining of the English language. When I presentmy knowledge competently, I expect to earn recognition and creditfrom their professors as an effort of my commitment to learning.However, many people do not value the learning unless it is wellarticulated and presented in language as they would expect fromstudents in institutions of higher learning.
Sincethe process of language acquisition requires a shared responsibilityto implement the curriculum, I will cooperate with instructors andcolleagues in learning. This is in line with Zamel’s recommendationfor a collaboration of educational faculties in exploring ways ofpromoting learning. in addition, as a students in English studies Iwill incorporate the understanding of the two perspectives oflearning in my course and in the world beyond.
Zamel,Vivian. Strangers in Academia: The experiences of Faculty and ESOLstudent across the
Curriculum.InvestigatingStudents’ experiences across the curriculum: Through the eyes ofthe Classroom Researchers.Chapter 1