Teaching Burmese as a Foreign Language: A Case Study

Abstract

The development of Myanmar as a country has led to an increased interest from foreign NGOs, businesses, labourers and professionals alike. One significant barrier that has arisen is their ability to learn the Myanmar language. The Myanmar language is comprised of a speaking format and a writing format. The current study explored the writing ability of overseas Myanmar language learners (n = 30) in a Myanmar university from various countries including Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea and Thailand. 30 passages of written text were collected and typed in word document for archive. Textual analysis of the 30 essays revealed 23 types of grammatical mistakes, which were categorised into 3 main groups (1) syntax misuse, (2) word misplacement and (3) inappropriateness usage. The inappropriateness usage can be further classified into semantics inappropriateness and pragmatic inappropriateness. Taken together, the mistakes highlight a potential learning need or development area, which may be emphasised at the beginning of the learning process. Teachers may benefit from having a greater awareness of the differences of the grammatical features between the learners’ mother-tongue and the Myanmar language. Such awareness would ease the writing process and might diminish the written mistakes for learners in the future. The context of the writing should be discussed prior to the writing process and the cultural differences should be highlighted beforehand. Then, the appropriateness of word usage will be maintained.



Author Information
Lwin Ni Ni Khine, Yangon University of Foreign Languages, Myanmar

Paper Information
Conference: ACL2021
Stream: Language Learning and Teaching

This paper is part of the ACL2021 Conference Proceedings (View)
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