I do not know what to say, maybe people will laugh at me, I don’t speak well, my English is poor…these are some of the feelings that dog the English language learners.
Many feel nervous and wish that time and chance for them to speak English never comes because “imbogo” will put them down.
These are the intrigues that surround the shift from Francophone to Anglophone system. As it is characteristic of change in any society, the compelling
responsibility to learn English is proving to be a hard nut for many to crush.
While there is a general feeling that learning to speak and write in English is the way to go, it remains a challenge to encourage students to speak English
in their daily discourse.
“Imbogo” (a Kinyarwanda term meaning laughing grammatical mistakes in spoken language) has been a big deterrent. Fear of public ridicule has forced many
young learners to chicken out.
How to impart the sense that making grammatical mistakes in language use is part of the learning process is a big tussle.
As a result, those who’s English is still poor, risk stagnating in their current status as they cannot practice speaking English to acquire confidence.
“Imbogo” is not only a challenge to students but also to adults. When faced with situations that compel them to speak English, they shy away claiming that
their English is poor.
Interestingly, some of the people who claim that their English is poor speak fairly well when they gather confidence to do so.
Another challenge that English learning faces is the inherent feeling that speaking English alienates one from peers or the community. Some people feel that
speaking English is being proud. That is not true.
English should be looked at as a language like any other. The only difference between it and others is its global acceptance as a language of government and
business. This is why Rwanda joining the Commonwealth has called for English learning to fit in the bloc’s system.
The introduction of English in Rwanda is a form of marriage to the global village and, an expansion of the people’s linguistic field.
By 2009 statistics showed that English had approximately 328 million native speakers. In total, it was approximated that there were over 1.8 billion speakers
of English in total.
Learning English is, therefore, rising in the ranks of competitiveness in the global world.