Ok, this post might be mocked down by several friends. Yeah, I know it is kinda academic. (ACADEMIK LAH SGT YE ELLA) . Anyway, those who know me well, they will know how critical I can be. This is kinda of my post practical reflection. I didn't realize that I develop my own accent after 6 years learning English to be my second language. In fact, I am learning to teach English as a second language. Nope, I was not born in England, Australia or in any other English speaking country. I was born in a small district hospital, called Hospital Daerah Keningau, Sabah. When I speak English to somebody that just knew me, they will think that I came from a big city, just because of my language. This is an interesting yet it is also disappointed for me. Why?
Only orang KL ke boleh cakap English?
Let me make things clear here. Most of my students are intimidated to speak the language with their friends. They told me that they are shy. The worst reason is they said that they are Malay, and there is no reason for them to speak English. Well, I am trying to be an eye opener for them , encouraging them to speak the language in my class. The reason is they need not to be shy in the class because it is an English class. They should optimize the time given for them to learn English. Through out the development of language education around the world, we could see on how some countries promote other languages in their education systems. A brief example, is America. They have classes for several other languages such as France and Spanish. This is a new trend in Malaysia. In the school that I had my practical on, we have Japanese class and the students whom register for it will have a formal education. The analogy could be practiced with English. English is a language which for me has dignity and its own value like other languages. When we are learning a language, we are learning the phonetics or the sound system. In order to be in a successful path of our learning, most English teacher trainee will practice the sound even when we are speaking in an informal way. Even after 6 years of learning the language, I am still doing silly mistakes.
I am seriously in vain when people say that those who are speaking English is kinda
berlagak, poyo atau apa2 yang sewaktu dengannya. I know it well that Bahasa Malaysia is the formal language in Malaysia. I have an acquaintance of' pakcik gera'i in front of my campus who could speak English very well because he received English education under British Government. In fact, I am glad to entertain him to speak the language.
And, I am seriously
'geli' to Malaysians who admit that they can't speak Bahasa Malaysia very well just because of they learn English for 4,5 or 6 years.Don't get me wrong. I don't hate them. However, we all know that English is not your native language. Language can be abstract due to the assimilation of races. For a classic example is myself. My native language will be more than 1. It can be Chinese, Kadazan or Brunei since I am a mix of these three races. However, my parents divorce when I was 4, and my mum basically speak Bahasa Brunei at home. Amazingly, I grow up in a society that speak standard Bahasa Melayu and myself have a hint of Kadazan accent. My father and I will speak in English every time we met. My father is an English teacher himself before he joined the Education Division. While I was in high school, I am very active in Bahasa Malaysia Public Speaking, Pantun and Debate. I am simply fond of Bahasa Melayu because I believe that any language is beautiful. Why I wasn't in English group? Well, simply. They are not active on that time.
So why am I writing this post? As a teacher-to-be, it is important for me to change the perspective of English language learners. It is also important to have balanced skills in both Bahasa Melayu and English. I adore Prof Abdullah Hassan. I found his book, an old book in my house, Nahu Bahasa Melayu. However, I can't believe myself that I finally met him in my campus in a seminar. I adore how he appreciate a language. Speaking a language supposed to be beautiful. Although he is a specialist in Bahasa Melayu, I was shocked when he spoke English in his lecture. He speaks English as beautiful as he speaks Bahasa Melayu.
'Tugas Kami ialah Memandaikan Bangsa'