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Challenging and Rewarding Learning Process, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 601

Essay

A learning process that remains both challenging and rewarding for me is developing my skills in English. It is not my native language and, as is widely known, it is an especially difficult language to master. Chiefly made up of several Old World languages, English never fails to surprise me with new and unexpected variations in style, grammar and vocabulary. Honing my skills in this, particularly in regard to writing, is a difficult and fascinating task.

Language is more than just the written or spoken word, I have discovered. As the foundation of all communication, it is also an expression of how a culture actually thinks; grammar rules and vocabulary choices all stem from the cultural thought patterns of those trying to communicate. For example, critics of English point out how many of its guidelines are exceptions to its own rules. Then, what is considered proper contractions and punctuation changes very often, making it all the more difficult for the non-native to understand and apply. This, however, seems to me another element of the American culture itself. It is always evolving, as it remains a society where different values and ways of living are continually mixing together. It only makes sense, then, that English would be an especially “active” language, one always breaking from its own standards.

I believe I have made substantial progress in improving my English through hard work and ongoing effort. Writing my papers has been a challenge I have faced with some nervousness; I want very badly to express my thoughts in the proper way because I know that poor writing interferes with the impact of what the writer is wanting to say. For me, the papers have been more about getting this right, rather than grades, because this is a skill I will require in whatever direction my life and career takes.

I am proud of my “sweet sixteen” paper, even as I know that it is far from perfect. As I said, language is about how thinking is related, and the thinking must be organized in a certain way if it is to be proper English. This was especially difficult for me. Not an American by birth, I frame my thoughts in a different way, and I worked hard to structure my paper to professional standards. Also, as there is no “sweet sixteen” ritual in my cultural background, I did much research to acquaint myself with a ceremony I believe most Americans know very well. Gathering information and then translating it through my own ideas into good English was a complicated, but still rewarding, process for me.

The paper is a good one, I think. When I review it now, I am proud of it, even as I see places where I may have tried too hard. The vocabulary choices I made were many, and not easily arrived at; English is famous for words with many synonyms, and I came to realize how there are small differences in the shades of meaning of each. This is a skill I very much want to perfect. I know that the better word choice makes for the better expression of ideas, and I would simplify some of my words if I were to rewrite this paper.

I know that mastering English is something that happens all through a person’s life. There is never a point where it is done, once and for all. I welcome the challenge in this because I want to be proud of everything I write, whether it is for a class or a personal letter. Gaining skill in English to me means greatly assisting everything I do in life.

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