Mar 25, 2012

up to the neck.

you know there's that website... 1000 awesome things in life. or something like that. where everyone can contribute what they think are totally awesome, usually its not the luxe suite at the Ritz, just simple stuff, such as "the other side of a cushion when you flip it over", "getting in the elevator just before the doors slide shut #likeaboss", or "curled up safely in bed while a thunderstorm rages outside"... you get my drift? haha. anyway.. although there are some major disagreements i would have with our government, there's still one thing that i feel extremely grateful for at this moment. heheh. (with a thunderstorm raging outside, no less!) remember those rm200 book vouchers? just finished another book i got from the book shopping spree i had with the vouchers :D yew chose this:
always a happy thing when you discover a new and exciting series. not a very good book shopper since i almost always buy after reading reviews or depending on authors i know. hehe. the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld, go and try it! the setting was actually in World War I, but with a whole lot of interesting elements thrown in. how's merging animals with machines sound to you? since i've studied WWI in my history lessons and enjoyed it, the book feels familiar yet alien at the same time. so many fantastical characters and settings! well, i think you'd enjoy it if you're a science fiction fan. or fantasy books. Grace couldn't stand it. aih don't only limit oneself to chick lit bah..

anyway, the Hunger Games movie is finally out. might be catching it this Saturday. really enjoyed those books.. endless thanks to ethel for buying the series for me as my birthday present! :') over my years of reading, many friends knew of my habit, but they would always comment "eh you read so much, can recommend books to me ah?". sometimes i do try to help them out the best i can, but then again, some just meant it as a passing remark. coming from an independent Chinese high school with a reputation for bad english, it just irks me sometimes when people write off uec students as "english illiterates". Many aunties and uncles exclaim "aiyo uec ah, bad english one lah! tsk tsk tsk". what irks me even more is when my fellow uec-ians don't seem to want to improve and do away with that horrible reputation once and for all. I'm pretty fond of my high school English teachers. they really did a great job, it's the student's problem 99.9% of the time. anyway, i've taken spm, and the standard of English in SPM is like UPSR when compared to UEC's english paper. blehh.


"how to improve your English leh?"
(anyway if you ask me this question this is my reply)

A. READ.
get something you would enjoy. be it chick lit, newspapers, magazines, fiction, self-help, anything at all. as long as you can read it, stick with it, and enjoy it. nothing is instantaneous, so don't expect instant results. I myself took years of screaming mom to read my Peter and Jane. until the stage i started being able to understand it myself.

(really have to thank mom for this) she also brought me to the library about once every two weeks and i can choose whatever books i want. we used to borrow 24 books at one go, and i would finish all of them before the week is up. hehehe. that's also when my teachers would start complaining that i always read in class and not pay attention :(

it took trial and error to find the kind of books i liked, but since the choices are endless, i more or less got the hang of it. Anyway, if you think books are really expensive and you can't afford for "trial and error" books on rm35 each, ask me. or anyone else which you can borrow awesome books from. anyway, shah alam has this spanking new library. and borrowing is FREEEE! when there's a will, there's a way :D

anyhow, i think reading accounted for 90% of my English. I still can't speak very well. no accents and all that, but read on. lol


If you seriously hate reading, then

B.WATCH. 
haha.. i don't really recommend it myself, but i've seen this method work quite well too. watching movies or shows, and try to get how the actors speak, helps quite a lot. try not to read the subtitling too much.

however, watching doesn't have the same disciplining effect on correct usage of grammar, vocabulary, and all that. watching is like a more instantaneous method of learning English, but it doesn't have the same basic foundation that reading gives you. I've noticed that people who learnt their English from watching television actually do speak very well, but when it comes to writing, there's something lacking.

C. HOW ABOUT SPEAKING? 
no doubt about it, speaking can be more important than writing since people do judge books by their covers and you can be assured of being mistaken for a retard if you can't speak English properly. sorry i have go all cynical, but that's how things go.

i didn't have an ideal English speaking environment in my high school days, but i did find a few dear friends who came from English-speaking backgrounds. Try to find friends that would help you. more ideally, find bananas. that way, you can cut the inferior feeling since the friend can't speak chinese anyway. HAHAHA. chainis always have that feeling that they're being looked down on etc. isn't that kind of thinking quite unfair to your friends? :)

don't be afraid, take deep breaths, maybe translate the sentence from chinese in your head, then speak~ practice makes perfect, after all.

-THE END-

HAHAHA. no other methods liao. no easy way about it, just read. you can try plonking yourself in some English speaking country for a crash course in English Improvement 101. anyhow, (how did this post turn into an English improvement advice?) i'm not saying i'm barking good in english or what, you can ignore my post if you think its no help or i'm a simply too full of myself hahaha. it's just that.. this question has been posed to me so many times, i hope that this might be of help to you. and the above is what answer i would give. for me, there's no other way about it. anyway, my grammar isn't that good.

don't be afraid to try new things! was so heartening to find out that there are still people who enjoy reading in the bus or something. hahahaha. try that, its miles better than staring out the window.

"heng's wedding-24th March 2012"






let's see. 1 down, 7 more to go. i've also managed to get around to clean the fan, sweep and mop the floor... productive, eh? here's to a lovely week ahead!

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