Saturday, December 12, 2009
I got emails from few of my friend in couple of months ago, asking me about how to improve in English. I simply said that I don’t know, because me myself also not good and fluent in English. Unfortunately they were not satisfied with my answer. Last night, one of them texting me again, forcing me and asks me to write about it in my blog.
Okay guys, listen carefully, first, I would like to highlight here that my English is also very poor. Seriously guys, I just know a little. I bet u guys who reading my blog right now are better and fluent in English more than me.
I would like to tell u guys that my grammar is very bad, my vocabulary is suck, my text structure is very poor and bla…bla..bla…the list goes on. And I would like to take an opportunity right now to ask for an apology if there were mistakes in my works (writing) before, regarding on my grammar and vocabulary or whatever it was.
And guys, I would like to ask for your help, if you noticed my mistakes in here, it would be very nice of u guys if u correcting me. As I said, I believed that you, not OTHERS, buy you, who are reading right now have better English than mine. Salute and well done to all of you! Yehaa! =D
Still, with all my weakness, my poor intelligent in English, it doesn’t mean that I don’t want to help my friends who seek for my help to improve this language. Whoever seek for help, we should help them right? If we cannot help them to solve their problem, I think it would be enough if at least we can help them to ease them down, right guys?
At least they will know that they are not alone when they having problem, they will know that we, as friend, will help them as much as we can and will stand by their side in whatever condition it is. Anyway that’s what friends for, helping each others, support each other, right?
Same with my situation right now, I can’t solve all the problems, coz I realized I’m no better than them, not even a little, but still, I will help as much as I could, so that I hope my little help here can ease their dilemma, even for a little so that it can give them the ideas.
How I learn to improve my English?
First of all, I always PRACTICE SPEAKING in English. Sometime I just speak in English with everyone, I know sometimes when I speak in English, it sounds very bad, bad grammar, bad vocab, but still I just speak it, I don’t care if people want to laugh at me, I don’t care what people want to think about me, I don’t care if they want to say that I’m stupid or what, just think whatever you want, but I will stick with speaking in English! It's not that I did it to fool myself, of coz not, I did it because I have too, coz I know that speaking is the most effective way to be good and to improve our English. The problem with us is, Malay people (not all, but most of it), we are easily ashamed with something that we shouldn’t. We have the will to speak in English, then when we start to speak in English, our ‘helpful’ friends like usual, will start laughing at us, mocking at us, then we suddenly felt ashamed, felt stupid, then we stop just like that. We really should change that!
Let me tell you one story, I still remembered when I was 14 years old (if I’m not mistaken), I got one good Chinese friend, his name is Wu. This boy I tell you, he’s very damn genius. He was so good in everything, very excellence in academics, good in sports, I mean everything. I was so jealous with him because almost all of the teachers like him.
So one day, I went and sat beside him, just sat beside him, without saying anything. First, we ignored each other, but day by days, we started to talk, but only a small talk. I was so tension. Even he was a smart student, the way he spoke Malay was very suck. And because of that he always speak in English, while me, who knew nothing and kind of imbecile, just speaks in Malay with him.
Then one day, I talked to him, “Wu, your Malay language is very suck! It’s very annoying to hear you speak in Malay, seriously you should stop, I hate it so much!”.
Then he fired me back, “Oh Fared, I was just about to say the same thing to you, I want you to stop speak in English with me, your English is like a shit, your grammar is very funny, u speak like a moron dude!”.
I became so angry, and shame of myself because all these time when I tried to speak in English, I thought I speak it correctly, but the truth now prevailed, I speak like a shit, so it’s kind of sad.
Then I made up my mind, I asked myself, why not we learn from each other, gain benefits from each other.
I continued talked to Wu, “okay, fine, I admit I’m not good in English, but I really want to learn and be good in it. Let’s make a deal, from now on, I speak English with you, and you speak Malay with me. When I make mistakes, you correct me, and when you make mistakes, I’ll do the same, vice versa, so we both can benefits from it, how was that sound?”,
Wu immediately replied me says, “ DEAL!!!”.
We shook hand, smiled at each other. The smile and shake hand of 14 years old kiddo! Haha! So from that moment we became a good friend, we became more talkative in order to learn language from each other. We even once rapped Linkin Park's song together, it’s kinda funny if I remember back about this. The story of 14 years old boys. Attaboys! Lol!
Then the second thing that I do to improve my English is by READING. Owh God I love reading so much! (haha, does it sound like a girl? =p). I just love it, I like reading so much that I rather not to eat to save money to buy books that I like. You will do the same when you start fall in love with books. Just imagined this, on the weekend night, you alone in your room, knowing that nobody will disturb you, lie on your comfort bed, holding your favorite books from your favorite author, enjoy your moment read the book, let yourselves being adrift by the story of the books, enjoy read it until dawn, read it until you felt asleep, owh, what a most enjoyable, precious moment that I like!
Okay, okay, stop! Let’s proceed to the main point. So when I was 14 years old, I started to realized, I spent a lot of my time reading books in Malay language, worst of all, mostly that I read that time were comics and magazines, so I said to myself, I need to change, I need to start read books in English, whatever books that I like, I will keep reading it, comics, magazines, but I will read all of that in English version. So step by step, not that I just changed to read in English, I also managed to change my reading materials. I swapped from comics to novels, from magazines to newspaper. I started to know John Grisham. I started to love his books that I already read 21 of his 23 books so far. So until now I’m still trying to swap some of my reading materials. From FICTION to NON-FICTION. No more John Grisham, no more Ken Follet, no more Stephen King, no more Jeffrey Archers, no more Alex Garland, no more Cecelia Aherns (haha, yes, I read one of her novel) and certain others. Now it’s time to grow up, it’s time for Robert Kiyosaki, Malcolm Gladwell, Rhonda Bynes, Donald Trump, Alice Schroeder, Robin Sharma and certain others (ergh, out of topic again, sorry!).
As we all alerted, we Malaysian is famous with the laziness in reading, so what I really want to emphasis here is, when you feel like you want to read something, read in English! As we hardly spend time to read, so once we doing it, we should take full advantage of it. When you read in English, u get 2 things, first u get to learn and improve your English (including found new words that you never heard before), second, you will get the knowledge that will help you open your eyes and widen your mind, knowledge that will help to mature yourself. So simple, but very valuable! So simple but very hard for each of us to apply it! Sorry to say about Malay famous in reading laziness, the fact is, Malaysian people only read 4 books the most in a year, and that including text books! Poor us. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why we were left behind from other countries. Lack of knowledge. Do you know how Adolf Hitler managed to conquered half of the world? Just by reading.
I need to stop. Sorry if u all getting bored with my story. So for those who asking me about improving our English, these are my way, PRACTICE SPEAKING (don’t shy) and READ IN ENGLISH. So easy. I still practice it until now. And some of other ways are by watching English movies with English subtitle, listen and sing an English songs with help from the lyrics (this can help you to pronounce words correctly), writing in English (like what I’m doing now).
So I hope my answers here can satisfy my friends who asking me about this. Again I repeat, I’m also not good, I’m not clever, I’m just like you, or maybe less than you, I still in the process of learning. So I hope, whatever it is, we will keep supporting and helping each other to improve ourselves. Good luck to all of us!
Ps : sorry for my grammar, spelling and vocabulary errors.