Oh Our English!

Oct 4, 2012 in , , ,

The subject of English competency has become a hot topic in Malaysia lately. It is widely discussed everywhere from homes to national stages.

It has grown so popular that the National Education Development Master Plan includes a point that underlines the need to strengthen the use of English in our country.

Clearly, English is important, and indeed it should be. It has withstood the test of time and has been the language of the commercial and professional world for centuries. Seeing that it has held such a prominent position for so long, there’s no reason why it won’t continue to be vital for generations to come.

With that in mind, we must wonder what we can do to prepare ourselves for our future careers, where English will have a prominent role. The most important thing that comes to mind about learning English is the need for passion. Language, not just English, is not something one simply memorises to store in the brain and collect dust. It is something that must be practiced often — on a daily basis, if possible.

There is so much beauty and substance to be found in a language, from the works written in it to the many cultures that are built around it. Even Malaysia has contributed to expanding the English dictionary: The word amok originates from the Malay word mengamuk. Now that’s something to think about, especially since this word is used regularly.

The love for English is important and can be cultivated. If you love fantasy, then read good fantasy books; if love stories make you swoon, then hunker down with a romance novel; if you love watching Gossip Girl on TV, read the series too; if you’ve got a secret (or not-so-secret) crush on Prince William, buy a biography of him. Find a topic you’re interested in, and read books and articles on it voraciously. It’s an effective, not to mention fun, way to learn English. And if you think you don’t have enough time to read books, there are still many ways to learn. Good ways to learn English are all around us, and all we really have to do is open our eyes to see it and absorb the words.