English in Eastern Ethiopia is Learnt; Not Mastered

  •  Sanjay Kumar Jha    


English Language Teaching (ELT) has undergone immense changes over the years in terms of using different methods, but none of the methods till this date have proved what they had proclaimed. The paper believes in the hypothesis that learning is understanding the linguistic components of a language, whereas mastering is the part of using them in a well structured way with perfection and ease. Viewing this dichotomy between learning and mastering, the paper examines a problematic discourse: English in Eastern Ethiopia is often learnt; but not mastered. The broad concern of the paper is to draw the attention of the local and global ELT practitioners towards the dismal state of English in Eastern Ethiopia. In this pursuit, the paper set three prime objectives: (i) exploring global and local uses of ELT methods, (ii) exploring major linguistic and non-linguistic impediments in mastering English, and (iii) proposing an empirical approach to overcome the impediments from remedial perspective. Participant observation, unstructured Interview, and document analysis were employed to gather the data, whereas analytic induction was used to analyze the data. Under findings, seventeen linguistic and non-linguistic impediments were found as serious deterrents in mastering English. From remedial perspective, the paper proposes an empirical Integrated Iconic Approach to overcome the linguistic impediments followed by seventeen apposite recommendations to pave the path of quality English education in Eastern Ethiopia.

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