Friday, February 23, 2018

In The Name of Allah the Most Merciful Most Loving

"To love something is to know about it first. 
Slowly, you will soon fall in love with it".

How was your Friday? 

Mine has been a hectic ones but trying to keep up with the pace of the long to-do-lists. I was preparing the lists of the topic on what I would like to write on my blog and suddenly this came to mind. English Language. I was thinking too hard without knowing that this topic would be really interesting to share. Something that is close to me. Something that I like and love--language.

I'm a pure Malay and of course my Malay Language is my mother tongue and I'm proud of it. But to be able to learn more than one language is such an opportunity for me. I always have this kind of respect to those who is bilingual and even more for the multilingual people. You people are smart you know! Learning the mother tongue is a hassle already but another language? Mannn! That's something!

So, how I first started to learn English? First it is a requirement at schools here in Malaysia to learn about English Language and it is in the syllabus, in exams and I can say most Malaysians speak English as the second language here. Anyhow, we are like "forced" to learn it at first but eventually it comes in handy though.

My father is the one who is responsible in opening the doors for me to English language. Why do I say so? Because he speaks English at home. I have always known that my father is a very good speaker, he attended school which use English as the main language back in the 70's. I have grown attached to seeing him speaks to his friends, enabling him to speak to strangers or anyone freely in English. You know? Like not for the sake of exams but to be able to speak the language because you CAN!.

From there, I always asked my parents to buy me English storybooks. I was introduced to Enid Blyton. I have more than 10 books of hers and I can say that they helped a lot in nurturing the love of English in me. Whenever I found new words, I searched for the meaning in the dictionary. Not to brag but I was the top 5 in my class in essay writing. 
Heh heh heh. *astaghfirullah, hands down and head down.

What books do I like to read? Well, everything. But not the serial killer thingy or so. I don't really like it. Here's why. I am such a sensitive and emotional person which easily get attached to something and it takes a while to thrust the emotion after I finished my reading.

To me, once I have finished reading a book, it'll take me weeks or a month to fully detached myself from the characters and story of a book that I just read. Susah kan? I know, but that's me.

How do I practice English?

Speak - By just reading and not speaking, you will not move forward in mastering the language. Language itself is a skill and by speaking, you are training yourself to implement everything that you learned. Speaking is important because this is where you identify your errors in speaking. I speak with my father sometimes. I speak with my friends at school but not to all. Like when I was in primary school, I had my eyes on this one group of Chinese and Indian students and I took the challenge to introduce myself to them and there I was, speaking English like nobody's business! Ahhh! What a memory. I believe by speaking, I was able to really use the language to its fullest.

Write and Read - I love books. I read tonnes of English books. I read from any kinds of genres. Right after, I write. My daily routine is, I have to discipline myself to write everyday even just a few lines. So that, I will have my writing skills polished and I'm able to use new vocabs that I found. If I don't write, I feel empty.

To Think, Write, and Talk in English - This will always be my favourite advice from my father. He reminded me this when I told him it's too hard to master the language. Now, I'm able to do so. Just switch the codes (of Malay and English) from time to time and you're good to go.

Write a review or monologue - This is what I do up until today. Serious talk. I write anything in my journal, basically about any books, articles, stories that I have read or watched. I monologue to myself of what do I feel at the moment or any random things. It's like I'm talking to a friend but I'm not but anyhow, I know Allah is listening and that's why I like it even more :)

Watch movies with/without the subtitles - I started with the English subtitle first, then I removed it and watch again many times till I can easily understand the words and even the jokes! That's the highest achievement for me! To understand jokes in another language! Hihihihi.

Study the language - This is basically what I do from time to time. I bought several grammar books and do the exercises from time to time. True enough, you'll learn more, make less errors and be even better in that language.

Listen to English songs - This is my favourite. It is also the major influence after my father. I learned English basically from English songs. Enables me to learn new vocabulary, to learn the sentence structures, understand the story-line of a song and to be able to connect myself to it.

I wanted to learn Arabic, Japanese, Mandarin, Korean and many more you know. Sighh.

I hope these tips will help you in nurturing any languages that you are learning at the moment.

Till then, I'll see you in my next post, inshaaAllah! Take care and I love you. You are the best!

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