Why not learn English- 6th Article (By: Gulaid Mohammed Yassin “Dalha”)

Let me remind the honorable readers the great motivation poem by Kipling to posit that they will one day be a professor of the English language if strive and hard work are seen through respective actions done by the bookworms:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

Still on the move – we are ready to discuss the speaking task. This is the area most Somali people find challenging. It is worth taking into account for the impressive intelligence of Somali; however they grasp the speaker very smoothly, but the tangible problem is communicating him/her back. On the contrary, the English institutes put a great emphasis on the speaking – but unfortunately they beat through the bush. They regularly teach the so-called practice, every student should communicate a partner with a pre-taught lesson. The use of this word “practice” in Somaliland is utterly wrong. It does not mean to speak or to communicate, and I have never come across a single lexicographer who gives this meaning. We have read the books of the greatest lexicographers in this century and the past: Kate Woodford, Sally Wehmier, and John Sinclair. All of them give the well known meaning that is ubiquitous; something that is usually done to repeatedly improve skill or training. Every teacher who continues misinterpreting this word is barking up the wrong tree, and we need to turn his file down.


Although the speaking task is not examined in the Somaliland National Exam, I guess it would be a better idea to reiterate and posit the task to my beloved students and teachers in Somaliland to further know the information and spur their students to doing the task. First of all, as soon as the student comes in to the hall, he/she is settled down. The student also needs to get used to the situation. To do so, you will be asked some general questions about yourself, on some familiar topics such as: studies, travel, food, sport, family and exercise. The way an examiner asks you a question varies, but it is always common to start with an identifying question. Somali students are always talkative, so please be on the topic and be brief. Then you will be asked to express an opinion – start with I think, follow a reason if you can. You can also be asked to compare. Other skills that are assessed include describing, expressing preferences, and giving logical reasons. In the first stage of the test, you are not allowed to give in-depth answers but you can extend your answers with a long sentence. To help prepare for these sections, you can develop the vocabulary around the topic areas, and make sure you know the verb tense. All these are appropriate for answering the question. For example, if the interviewer asks you the question with a present simple, your answer must also be a present simple tense. In stage two, the examiner will give you a topic on a prompt card to talk about for one to two minutes. You will be allowed one minute to make notes. After your talk, the examiner will ask you a follow-up question. The topics are general. You could be asked an object which is important to you or a major festival in your country, like 18 May, or to describe an interesting place, like Berbera Red Sea. Let me illustrate the readers:

What is written on the prompt card?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of going school or university field trips?

  • Educationally
  • Socially
  • Financially

Furthermore, you should write down words that remind you what to say. It is important to follow the notes you made earlier. Your topic should be organized clearly and be ready for the follow-up questions. Likewise, we need to enhance the fluency. This is the smoothness of your speech and you must avoid speaking too quickly as many Somali students do today. You must also use fillers to tell your listener that you have not finished, but you are thinking what to say next. To sum up, speaking is an outstanding aspect that needs for further explanation. The best advice I would simply give to someone who entices communicating is avoid correcting grammar and checking it. Simply say, retort and listen to.


Gulaid Mohammed Yassin(Dalha)