I came from Johor, Malaysia. I was Chinese and my native language was Mandarin. I took a long time to learn English and from hating it to loving it. Learning English is not an easy task and I encountered some difficulties during my learning experience of English. Although I study at Kirkby International College for teacher training course now, there is still need an improvement for my English as I will become English primary teacher in the future which I will teach proper use of English to the students.
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I started to learn English since I was six years old. My parents sent me to a kindergarten where I learnt English and Mandarin there. The teacher taught us about the four basic skills of learning English, namely reading, writing, speaking and listening. For example, I learnt how to pronounce the 26 letters (A, B, C, Dâ€¦), how to read and how to write it correctly. At first, I did not interest in learning English during English lesson in class. However, the high patience and hardworking teacher used interesting ways of teaching to let me paying more attention to their lesson, do not feel boring and understand the lesson easily. For example, the teacher organized a mini game about pronunciation of 26 letters and the students were rewarded if pronounced the letters correctly. Due to the excellent hard work by the teacher, I passed my English Test with flying colours for all the three semesters.
I continued my studying in primary Chinese school. My primary school opened a special English class for all students from standard one to standard six in order to improve and increase English’s standard of the students. At the beginning, the teacher taught a few of repeated simple words and sentences such as, “Can you lend me your pencil?” or “May I help you?” The teacher was very nice and always praised us and encouraged us to pay more effort in studying English. I began to think that I was a genius at that time as I was easily mastering the language. However, when I became standard six students, I became very playful and not interested in studies including attending for English class. I always ran directly towards my room and started playing computer games such as Left 4 dead 2, and Pro Evolution Soccer after I came back from school. I became addicted to the games. Because of English class was started every afternoon which took away my time for playing computer games, I decided to stop going for English class. Thinking back, I made a wrong decision for giving up this class. If I had continued, maybe I did not need to put more effort in studying English today.
My remarkable moment for learning English began when I studied Form Four in secondary school. At that time, my English teacher Mrs. Hwang was very strict. She wanted us to read English storybook every week and wrote the summary of the story and the moral values from the story. Moreover, she also made us to read all the articles in the textbook and made a presentation about it. During the presentation, she would correct our pronunciation. It was losing face if being corrected in front of other students. To avoid this, I practiced my pronunciation again and again at home and even referred to my English teacher if anything about the pronunciation or grammar I did not know. Furthermore, Mrs. Hwang also made us to read a newspaper like ‘The Star’ or ‘New Straits Times’ every day and asked us to jolt down the difficult words into the notebook and made five sentences about it. After that, she asked us to memorize the difficult words which would be stated in English Monthly Test. As a result of all these hard works, I achieved an excellent result for my English subject in my school examination and even ‘A’s in my Malaysia Education Certificate (SPM) examination.
After finishing my secondary education, I furthered my study by taking Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) course which will become primary English teacher in the future. There were several reasons that I wanted to become English teacher. If I became English teacher, I could improve my English further during the five and a half years of training in Kirkby International College. As a result, I was able to communicate with the foreign people in English when I travelled to foreign countries in the future. Besides that, I also wanted to help the students that living in rural areas to increase their English’s standard as they were poor and unable to access to multiple resources such as reference book to improve their English. Before I was chosen to study at this college, I needed to go through the interview. In order to pass the interview, I needed to have higher proficiency in English. Although I had achieved excellent result for English subject in SPM examination, I needed to intensify my practice on English to get ready for the interview. Apart from reading the storybook every week, I also watched English channels such as movies, dramas and documentaries. For movies, I liked to watch action and scientific movies such as ‘Predator’ and ‘Fast and Furious’ while for dramas, I like to watch ‘CSI Miami’ and ‘Oh my English’. Drama ‘Oh my English’ is the educational channel suitable for the students to improve their English. In this drama, students could learn the correct way of speaking English, grammar and vocabulary. For documentary channels, I liked to watch ‘Discovery’ as this channel not only improve my English, and also provided scientific knowledge. Besides that, I also updated myself by reading the current news online. Hence, I was able to know what had happened in my country and other country and I would check the dictionary for the words that I did not understand. As a result, this improved my reading skill and learnt new words.
According to my personal experience, I think there is no short cut to studying English. We need to go through all the hardships before we get sweet return. We need to practice more, learn more, read more, listen more and speak more in order to increase the proficiency of our English. These are only the ways to master English.
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