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A Better Process of Mastering a New Form of Speech, Essay Example

Pages: 4

Words: 974

Essay

There was a time when silence was the best remedy I could respond to nervousness as I try to handle the need to talk with people around me. I am not a Native American and I my hard provincial accent even made it harder for me to acquire the mastery of the English language. The excitement that I have in entering a new society, meeting new people and being able to explore new worlds seem to have placed me in a situation where I was focused on what I was going to experience and not actually on the hard work that I have to apply along with the desire of mastering the language. However, instead of making friends, I found myself in a corner waiting for someone to approach me. I was looking terrified and lost as I gazed my eyes around and found out that I was indeed in a foreign country, and here, making friends was not that easy unless they actually understand what I was saying. Being the fact that I am a multicultural student,  I was confident enough that I would be able to survive the first day of school without feeling awkward or lost at all.

How happy I was to have been approached by another student who seemed to have been having trouble talking to others as well. She was very shy and she just smiled as she walked towards my seat. Then she said “is someone sitting here?” I just shook my head, as if examining whether or not she really could speak good English. Then the conversation continued as she asked “…you’re not American too, are you?”. To this I answered, “No I am not”. At some point, I felt a sense of ease when I finally knew that she was not American as I am and that she was having a hard time using the English language as well. I was able to recognize this through her accent.

This was the day when an exceptional form of friendship began. We tried to understand each other to the best that we could and there were even some time when we had no choice but to simply keep quiet and mingle with silence as our best resort to avoiding being embarrassed. This lasted for quite some time until she told me that she was tired of being left out in the conversation during our history class. She said she knows so much and yet she cannot express herself well. It became a frustration, which ended up frustrating me as well because she became quite irritable during the discussions. Therefore, what I did was to make with her a truce of learning the English language together and using it whenever we can.  We tried to use as much English language as we can every time we converse with each other and even with other friends of ours. I specifically gained so much confidence in handling the problem this way. My fear of being left out gradually vanished and silence was not my comfort zone anymore. As for my friend, she became more confident and more outspoken in our history class. I even saw her one time as she was scribbling down what she was supposed to say as if so much excited in preparing for her presentation in the subject. It was good enough for me to have a friend like her who inspired me so much in becoming more confident in using the English language to express myself. History might not be my favorite subject, nevertheless, it was my desire to extend my capacity of sharing my ideas in my other classes. It was from this point that I realized the similarities of my experience from that of Min Zhan-Lu as she mentioned, “the metaphor of language as a tool for survival led me to be passive in my use of discourse, to be a bystander in the discussion” (Lu.Pg.444). True, back then, I was a bystander, someone who would remain in the corner and observe. However with the changes that had occurred, I was able to cope up and realize the best that I could be in becoming more responsive to my need of being able to speak and master the English language. The writing of Lu simply showed me how important it was to consider the need to inject myself into the situation and find myself more of a contributor rather than just a bystander as others share their ideas.

From this experience, I learned that immersing ourselves into the language that we were afraid to use actually helped in making us better speakers of English. I have always thought that this challenge was close to impossible and that it would take me years to be able to speak English the way I do now. Nevertheless, I do recognize that there is still a huge room for improvement. With this being said, I am preparing myself for new challenges, new points of exploration and better ways of improvement as I embrace the new essence of handling the English language more effectively especially in common conversations as well as on extemporaneous presentations in class. The courage and the inspiration to get through this challenge would not have been that effective to handle without a friend who had the same desire as mine. Question is, how far would I go to make sure that I am able to use the English language effectively? Would I be able to remain as enthusiastic as I am right now in enriching my skills in using the language or shall I become stagnant again sometime in the future and become less interested in furthering the way I master English as a basic speech for conversation?

Reference:

Lu, Min-Zhan. (1987). From Silence to words: writing as struggle. College English, Vol. 49. No. 4. Pp 437-448.

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