Wednesday, June 28

Going Global

Ever since I was in pre-school, I was lucky enough to go to a school where English was taught from an early age in different and new ways. I watched Dora the Explorer, The Sound of Music and That’s So Raven, listened to The Cheetah Girls, Hilary Duff and Britney Spears, sang Jingle Bells, and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, danced to Boogie Wonderland and so many more. However, I still speak Indonesian at home.

As much as I love my very own mother tongue, I love reading and learning in English. There are way more knowledge and experiences I can get from reading English/international journals, books, papers and presentations rather than an Indonesian one when I have to complete an assignment. I love going on Youtube to find videos on ‘Global Wind Patterns’ where it’ll not only teach me about the theory of it all, but also how it happens in reality. I love opening Khan Academy and re-learn high school subjects materials to understand the more complicated subjects I currently study (you won’t go anywhere unless you get the basics!).

Some people see the English language as a reason to be lazy. Some people won’t even bother to ask me questions (even when I’ve finish an assignment or something) just because they know my sources are probably in English. Some people won’t even bother to come to a lecture by a native speaker because ‘ah nggak akan ngerti juga’. Some people are excited to apply for scholarships or internships, but as soon as they found out the requirements to make are in English, they back out.

Hey! Keep doing that and you’ll go nowhere! Stop making English as an excuse for not doing something that counts. It’s really disappointing to see some shallow-minded people who think English-speaking people are only bragging of their English skills when they write or talk in English. It’s not like that! Some people just happen to express themselves better in English, or some people are just speaking/writing English to reach international viewers.

I understand how English can seem a bit tricky (especially with its crazy tenses, which I up until now I haven’t memorized or understand every single one of them), but it’s actually pretty simple once you get the idea. It’s time to learn English because the world is developing so fast!

Here are some quick ideas to learn English:
☆ There are so many English language courses out there that you can try. I recommend courses that are taught directly by native speakers because it’ll be quicker for you to get used to the pronunciation as well as the accent.
☆ Watch plenty of English movies without the Indonesian subtitles (English subtitles are welcome). Having the Indonesian subtitles would only make you read the conversation in Indonesian instead of listening to it in English.
☆ Read novels whatever that are in English. Find a topic you like (fantasies, romantic comedy, drama, etc.) and search for the right book. If you’re a total rookie, reading kids novels are an excellent way to start your machine working. If there’s a word or a phrase you don’t understand, Google Translate and the dictionary is always there.
☆ Listen to English songs, podcasts, radios and talks. Memorizing a song and singing it in the shower practices the pronunciation, and listening to native speakers in podcasts, radios or even TEDtalks gets your ears used to the different accents there are worldwide (To me, thick Australian accent is still pretty confusing).
☆ Have a dictionary. Everything are all on line these days, you can easily download a virtual dictionary on your phone. If you’re all about hardcopies, then buy an English-English dictionary instead. I used to have a friend who actually reads the dictionary, just to learn new vocabularies.
☆ Read the news. English news uses correct and up tight (sort of?) English language, therefore it really helps with understanding grammar and new vocabularies.

Once you understand the English language, you will be everywhere. Take Maudy Ayunda for example. She is an Oxford graduate majoring in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. Surely getting into Oxford requires a fluent English ability, and graduating from Oxford requires an amazing English paper. She conquered the English language, and guess who will also be speaking in the same congress as US ex-president Obama? Maudy Ayunda of course.

Shortly speaking, English is a language with multiple benefits in different uses that are not only beneficial to you, but also to others.

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