Friday, January 18, 2008

The naive English user

Language is one of the most important things for anyone, and also one of the hardest. That’s what I came up with after along time fighting with it.
Before I came to Petra, I had already been trying to pronounce like an American. I kept listen to what they said then try to say exactly the same way. After a period of time, I got better, and I supposed my speaking skill was closer to American than any other Vietnamese I had ever met.

Then I came to the US, to Petra. Not many people could understand what I said, and I had to face the fact that my voice was really different than what I heard from myself. Despite the previous useless effort, I got to do things over again. The extremely intense year in Petra did improve my English, not only my speaking but also my writing and listening skills faster than I could ever get. And so, I came back to Vietnam in joy and gladness.

However, when we stop we are left behind. The following months in college were busy, yet in different way than before. Believing that I got my proper English, I focused on
other things. Then Bozeman once again showed me that thought was wrong, totally wrong. The more happiness I had when I became the best student in my public speaking class, the greater disappointment I got when I saw my real English level. The climax was the moment when Holden told me that my English was just the same, and I even lost some gestures which I used to have. It was a much more powerful strike to me than any physical punch I could possibly take. I once again had to face the fact that my English turned worse only.
Therefore, I have to try again – exactly the way I did to survive in Petra. This time it’s only me myself, fighting to survive through the text books to any other kind of junk I can get. The next time I return, I will surely get better, though the improvement may be too small for you to see. I will get better.

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