Students’ Responding Well Is Their Replying Elaborately

(Posting on students’ having to be able to respond elaborately; by one NEB)

One language function that students should be able to perform well and that will measure their language command, to begin with, is responding elaborately. When they answer a question posed to them, be it a yes-no or especially a wh- or how question, they should be able to reply to it in elaborate language. Limited language, referred to as ‘restricted language’, shows students’ capability of only simple language to answer. Developed language, known as ‘elaborate language’, displays students’ ability in using complete language to reply. The use of elaborate language should be encouraged and nurtured because this will train them to use good formal and academic English later needed more in their higher and further education. Restricted language, in contrast, will only label them as uneducated, at least, untrained language users. This end should, of course, begin with the teacher’s training students to get used to producing complete language when responding to questions. Only after the teacher has long done his part training this will students be able to perform in their language well and completely as expected. Upon answering “Did you enjoy your holiday?”, for example, most students will give a short answer of “Yes” or “Yes, I did” and period. They are actually expected to say more than that like “Yes, I did. Although I stayed home, I did a lot of fun stuffs that didn’t make me feel bored” or “Actually I didn’t go anywhere. I just stayed home. But I did fun stuffs, still. So, yes, I enjoyed my holiday. I did.” You see, when responding, it’s not the answer, the thing that matters; it’s the manner you give the answer that counts. And a relevant elaborate answer is a good manner. This is strengthened by Saifuddin (2009: 308) who asserts that when asked “How long have you been in London?”, one is not to give a direct answer of “three months”; instead, one can elaborate on that saying “three months. I lived in Manchester for sixteen years since I was in elementary school. Then, my parents brought me to this town three months ago.”

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