19 December 2015
I started my career as a teacher in 1999. Back than, I was conducting private classes with primary students. Most of the students were merely need extra practice with their Bahasa Melayu subject and Mathematics.
Yet, the most encouraging experience was the time when I taught students who came from a non-Malay speaking family. They enjoyed the class as they found the easiest way to remember how to use the right words for the right sentences at the right time.
Basically, language is about experiencing speaking, writing and reading. It comes in a package. For a specific purpose such as exams, there are guidelines and techniques for us to remember.
Once the sentence structure becomes familiar, a similar concept and usage of words can be repeated. That what was I went through 15 years ago. I guess, these days, language is far more than just passing exams.
While people are debating about which language should be emphasized, I understand that though I can speak and write in English fairly well, my mind still think in Malay. Ya, I am a Malay.
Nonetheless, I still have to practice writing in English and at the same time reading and speaking in the language. There is a need to continue and sharpen an existing skill.
Someone once told be that our mind is just like boxes. Each box stores different things. It has its own size and limitations.
Each box represents different skills, information, input and everything else. So, when we write, read and speak in English, we are using the so-called ‘one box’. Later, when we speak in our mother tongue ‘another box’ is used.
So, when we mix both languages in the same sentence or use it at the same time, it leads to a ‘messy situation’ in our mind. Just imagine that we have many boxes in our room and all of them are open at the same time!
Personally, I am not an expert to discuss this further. However, I truly believe that language is also a skill that we can acquire. Those who are born with talent and intelligence in linguistic, might need shorter time and less formal training compared to those who are not.
I love reading and writing, and I believe everyone else does.
It is just the platform used and purpose of usage that differ one from another.