By: Ririn Yastiawijaya
Actually, I am interested in English. Before, I thought that learn it is difficult, but now I relize that it is not like what I thought. It’s fun and so interesting.
Besides important, the reason why I like English is its pronunciation. I want to speak English fluently with perfect grammar. I thought that I will not master it if I just learn it at campus. I am a person who does not like to learn at any English course or extracurricular tutorial lesson. For me, wherever we learn, with whom and by using what are just alike. Maybe the experiences will be different but the important is if we really want to learn and seriously, then we will find the way. I do not think that a person who studies at English course is better than a person who does not. I am sure because I found my English is better than my friend who learns at an English course. He could speak fastly but his grammar was very bad. Some of my friends said that grammar is not important. To them, the important is to collect vocabulary. If we have many vocabulary, then, we can speak English without pay attention towards grammar. They said that the important is the people can understand what we say. That is so sad for me, why? Because they want to learn English but they do not want to follow its rules. And I am happy because I do not have the same thinking like theirs. I know that English is not our language, so it is ok if we make mistakes but it is better if we do not.
Learn at an English course is very help us in leraning English, that is important, I know but learn in that place just make me feel so worry and stress, feelings that I hate. So, I want to learn with independent way.
I chose to learn it autodidac. One of the advantages in learning outodidac is that we can learn anywhere, anytime, and anyhow. That’s why I found my own interesting and fun ways to learn it.
Well, Let me tell you how I learn English. Of course the first thing I did is made good my plan and my strong willing to be able to master English. If we have a strong willing, then the next way will be easier. So, these are how I learn English:
1. Read the basic books of English.
I read and understand the sructure of English sentence in grammar books. I read it at once to collect and memorize vocabulary. When I find out a word that I do not know the meaning of it yet, I can use dictionary to find out its meaning. I learn it regularly, diligently, and continuously. For me, the important thing is to compose correct sentences in the context of present tense, past tense, future tense, perfect tense, and etc which can be learned in phases.
I also read a vocabulary book that focuses to Noun, Adjactive, Verb and Adverb. In that book, there are also many conversation. So, besides collecting the vocabulary, I also can notice the grammar that it uses. I also can practice the conversation in my dayly. It began with simple things like talking about clothes:
“Which of these two veils do you want to wear today?” etc.
I know learning language without practice will be difficult but I seldom to practice with the other person except to my sister. So, I always asked her who is also an English student to practice speak English with me but I speak to myself more.
2. How I learn pronunciation.
There are two ways that I did to sharp my pronunciation skill.
The first way is listening and imitating. The second way is reading and pronouncing.
To learn pronunciation and listening skill, I always watch my favourite videos such us movies, news, liryc videos of songs and English lessons that I have collected from youtube. I always watch the same movie (my favourite one) three times in a day and everyday. I whatch it till I found so many expressions and also phrases that they are using in communication. Whatching movie actually have effect in learning English. It is different with learn by using song, learn from the movie is impressed more real because the conversation they use is very natural and often to use in daily life.
The other way that I use to learn pronunciation is listening to the English songs. Song is one of the way to learn new words and my pronunciation too. By using songs, I can learn the new words easily.
Unlike most of my friends who are always searching lyrics of a song on the internet, I always try to find out the lyrics of songs by myself. Doing this kind of thing seems to take up a lot of my time, sometimes I have to spend a lot of time just to repeat it over and over again to find out what the lyrics are, so I can know what the song means and of course to sing the song well.
From listening to English song, I train listening and pronunciation at once trying to understand the meaning of the lyrics. Everytime I hear a new word or a word which its sound is interesting for me, I try to imitate it. One thing I never forget is that if there is a word that is not exist in my vocabulary list yet, I will use dictionary to find its meaning. So, beside train my pronunciation, I can collect my vocabulary too.
3. Get acquainted with foreigners.
It was my first time to get acquainted with foreigners who spoke English, so I could practice what I have learned directly.
Two years ago, I met a man from Germany. He was a professor of mathematic. He came to Indonesia especially to Ternate city because he wanted to watch the solar eclipse here. It was his 11 times to watch the solar eclipses. He rounded this world and visited so many countries just to watch the solar eclipses. When he knew that I am an English student, he said that he can help me to learn English. He saw me to quiet. So, he asked me to talk anything I want or share my story but I did not want to. Then he asked me to mention the name of months. Oh my god, I pronounced July and Agust correctly, and then he corrected it. I was too shy. Then he asked me to mention the name of days. He corrected me when I prounced Thursday correctly. He said that if I want to learn English, then learn it well. Pronounciation is important. He said that pronunciatiom is golden key number one for speaking and
So that, I can make the different sound of words: they and day, tank and thank, see and she, leaf and leave etc correctly. That are exemples of how pronunciaton is, if we wrong when we prounce it, the misunderstanding will be accured.
He asked me to tell him about my family, I did not want to because I’m so sure that I am mistaken in grammar and pronunciation. I was afraid if he would not understand what will I say, then he said “It is ok”. He said I did not need to be afraid of mistakes, just speak up. He asked me over and over and I still did not want to. I was so quiet and so was he. Both of us did not speak anything. He was waiting for me to speak. In few minutes, we were in silence till I spoke up. I told him about my fanily. He got my point but also cerrect some sentences. He said that my English was good but I must learn it more. Then we talk about his family, my school, future, etc. He asked my number to add me in his Whatsapp.
Just 2 days we met. In the first day, we just introduce ourselves each other. And the second day, he asked me to spend time with him. When he came back to Germany, he sent me some books in pdf form to learn. It was really helpul for me. We still chat untill now but if I and he have free time.
Learning the language needs time. No one can instantly be fluent in English. It takes a process that can take years to get to the stage of communicating using English well.
4. Communicating through social media.
In this modern age, communicate not only directly, but also indirectly through social medias. That is why, I can practice my English with talking to a friend even it is not directly. A friend is one of the people who can be invited to work together in learning. I use sosial media to chat with my friends. We talk about the conversation from casual to complex conversational topics. The key is to be confident in practicing what I have learned. Some sosial media that I use are:
Facebook is one of my learning medias. Facebook really helps me in learning English. Now, my friend on facebook is about 1000 people. The most of my friends are foreigners. Long story in recent years, I have quite a lot of friends who are foreigners and since then established friendship with them, began from simple chatting to telling stories about the country itself and many other things that can be discussed by using English of course . Usually, we gather chat in a chat group. I always pay attention to their stucture when they made some sentences, then I screenshoot the important part for me to read again later. They always corrected me over and over when I made mistakes in sentences (grammar).
By using facebook, I have so many foreign friends that always helped me to learn English. They added me to their groups and asked me to talk about anything I want.
I also used facebook mesangger for calling each other. My foreign friends always call me day and night to have a conversation with me. By it, I could practice my listening to get their point. I listened carefuly and always ask them to repeat what they said again. They repeated till I got their point. They could understand what I said easily, but it was not for me, it was so difficult to understand what they said. When they spoke too fast, I asked them to speak slowly. They call me everyday in day and night. Finally, I could get their point and it became easy to understand what they talked. Sometimes, they asked me to tell them my daily activities and they always shared their stories and experiencess to me too, they talk about nothing to everyrthing.
I use twitter just for following my favourite actris and the ones I want to follow. I did not follow anyone from Indonesia. All of people that I followed are foreign. So, when I open this app, I just find so many tweets in English. I pay attention to their structure and note some phares or sentences, Idoms or something important for me.
Well, This was a special one for me. I love this application. Actually, I created facebook and twitter just to learn English but I use WhatsApp not to learn it, I just want to chat with people that I love. They are important for me. They usually use English. So that, while chatting with them, I can learn English too and that very helps me. I can practice my English and got many new vocabulary.
5. English aplication.
I often Download android apps. The app I downloaded is what can support me in learning English. They are :
1. English Grammar Test
2. Speak English Fluently
3. Belajar Bahasa Inggris
4. English Conditional Sentence
5. English Listening
4. English Study
5. Learn English
6. Speak English
7. Short Stories
8. How To Speak, etc.
When I mastered or understood one of those apps, then I deleted and replaced it with the other app. I like to do that. It is like my happiness. It is not what I need but what I want to do.
6. Read Articles in google.
Read something that is I Interested in. A narrative text, explanatory text, procedure text, descriptive text, persuasive text, recount text and etc.
For example I interested in anything about religion, the earth, the solar system etc. So, I always read it in English and try to understanslnd it. Dictionary is always beside me. I use it when I find new words.
7. Note the important things
When I watch an English movie, when I hear anything (from friends and lecturers), and when I read something in English and then I find out something important or interesting for me, I will note it in my note.
8. How I learn to speak.
Learn to speak is the most difficult thing that I experienced. At campus, there are some friends who be able to speak in English, but sometimes I choose to be quiet and not speak with them. I was afraid of mistakes, well, that is my bad habit that I cannot change. Besides talk to my sister, I often practice it by myself, imagine the situation and speak to myself alone as a crazy person. Sometimes, I just speak in front of mirror. If I reflect on it all, I am a bit sad to see students who have been in the final semesters but the mastery of English is still in tatters. The grammar is still unorganized. From the conversations that I often observed in and out of the classroom, and in chatting groups like WhatsApp, they are on average less intensive in learning whereas their chosen majors are English. What will happen if after graduating school, we still cannot speak English well? Moreover, especially our school is a teacher school. What will be happened when we become teachers later, we find students smarter than us? What if the students’ have a lot of vocabulary than us and their grammar is more perfect with pronunciation that is much better than us?
Learning English is the same as learning a bike, although you theoretically understand how to ride it, but never try to ride and bike, then you can never. To master English requires practice skills.
Now, I realized that actually learning english is not difficult anyway, just always believe to ourselves that we can. There is no impossible thing, the important is we want to try. I like to talk alone if it is embarrassing to talk to other people for example in front of the mirror but it would be nice to learn to talk to someone else.
Although not entirely I hope my story can motivate many friends all in learning English.
“ Keep learn and never give up”