Here, in Malaysia, the English language is one of the 3 main essential language, along with Malay and Mandarin, that a Malaysian should learn in order to upgrade himself for many different reasons ranging from furthering study, simple communication to managing a top-tier industry. It becomes a compulsory arsenal for the user to possess in order to survive in this challenging yet harsh world where almost every working place requires fresh graduates to have a certain requisite skills to be successfully hired, especially a good proficiency of English language in terms of reading, writing, listening and speaking.
However, the education condition in Malaysia at both the primary and secondary school is gradually deteriorating. In my experience of teaching, students have little to no interest in learning the language at all. They totally ignore its existence and rather embrace their mother tongue. It’s true that everyone walks a different path whereby the English language perhaps is unneeded. On the other hand, in most circumstances, the language carries an important value, a criteria, or a bonus to the speaker’s character.
Of course, learning the language always requires extra constant effort and exposure from time to time. What better way to actually learn the language in a shortcut? I, for one, wouldn’t say there is one shortcut, but there are multiple ways to aid the speaker if the speaker pays a little attention to the little detail of the language.
I always tell my students to pay attention to the English vocabulary when they are playing games. In games, there are tons of English words waiting to be discovered, especially that the games have evolved tremendously to intensify the engagement between the gamer and the game itself. Along the way, there are bound to be dozens of unfamiliar words and sentences that the gamer has no idea about. This is where the perfect opportunity and a platform for them to learn the language. A good way to start, or a good example is the Pokemon game series, be it Pokemon Yellow, Crystal, Emerald, etc. For starters, you will come across many fascinating words such as scratch, hypnosis, psychic, seismic toss, submission, magnitude, leer, and more.
That’s what I told my students. If it happens that you play an English game, why not learn the language along the way? It could also apply to other games as well. Of course, to really pump that extra effort into upgrading the language proficiency, a constant reading, watching English movies and listening to music can help big-time although it may seem insignificant at first sight.
To improve on speaking, it doesn’t involve any skill but the courage to speak. Indeed, it’s not about the accent, pronunciation, or the mistake made. It’s all about the courage to speak up the language in front of people. Through the everyday training of speaking, no doubt you have made the learning process much more easy.
That’s where learning on the go comes in. Learning a language does not revolve around attending to a language class. It’s about exposure and a constant contact with the language. That’s my view towards learning a language.