Skip to main content

English Is Not My Mother Tongue, Why Bother Learning It?



Yes, English is not my mother tongue. English actually is not a language I master. But, why I insist writing in English? It's simple. I want to be a good example for my children.
I understand and speak two languages, both of them are my mother tongue. They are Javanese and Indonesian. I learnt Javanese first then Indonesian. English? It's an alien in my language world, but, I fell in love with it ever since I knew it although I keep making mistakes in using it.

English Is Not My Mother Tongue, So Making Mistakes Is Understandable

Please, laugh at me. I write this article with a strong feeling that I may be making mistakes. English was not my major at college. I don't understand about preposition, grammar and many more things. All I know is I feel that what I write sounds English. Haha... Who can guarantee that anyway? No one. And if I made mistakes than it will be alright. Why?
Related article: My Favorite Subjects at School and Why I Loved Them
I read a good article about mistakes people make when learning English. The article told us that it's common to make mistakes in using English for non-native because every mother language has its own style. And you know what? Each mother language produces specific mistakes. So, if I'm an Indonesian speaker, I probably make mistakes in English that rarely be found in mistakes of Arabic speaker make. That's natural.
So, it's OK to make mistakes. But, OK is not an excuse.


If English Is Not My Mother Tongue, What Should I Do To Reduce Mistakes?

Well, it's not easy to get away from mistakes unless we try to. I will not give any advice here as I myself still making mistakes. But, I do find some ways to reduce making it.
Watch English TV Program
With or without subtitle is fine. I was once a subtitle hater but then I realized that it can give me a lot of help. Subtitle helps us to understand spesific words or new words. I don't mind watching subtitled program now as long as I open my ears wide.
I usually take some time to adjust my hearings and feelings. When I get the feeling, I can enjoy the show. I like to watch 'technical' TV programs such as cooking and home building. For me, those programs are easier to follow as the topics are definitely clear.
Open My Ears and Eyes Wide
As I mentioned above, I open my ears wide to understand what the speakers say. Not only that. I will focus on the speakers lips so I can understand better. Funny, huh? Yes, but it works for me.
Speak Out Loud
To whom? To myself sometimes. While watching TV program I usually interact with the show. I laugh, give comment and show expressions when there is something happened inside that flat thing. By doing that, I act like I'm part of it and it helps me a lot to understand and practise English at the same time.
I don't take notes because it didn't work for me. Did it work for you?
Well, at the end, I just want to tell you that after taking those efforts to practise and avoiding mistakes, my English is still 'Indonesian English'. However, I don't feel I have to stop. I know I'm far from good but I will keep trying. I hope my kids will be inspired and be a better English speakers and writers than I do.

This is the 15th blogging collaboration with Annisa Nurjannah
This bi-weekly theme is Learning English
Read Annisa's post Learning English

Comments

  1. Bravo! You're one of my fave Bloggers (who writes in English).

    I sometimes make a lot of mistakes too. English is not my mother languange as well, but I always try to learn it well.

    Thanks for sharing. I do really love your writing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I also watch movies without paying attention to subtitle to learn English. As I wrote on BEC's blog, even "bule" said it's okay to speak up.... to make mistakes. That was my turning point to be more confident in English. Even though, I know that I still have many mistakes.

    Thanks for sharing it Mommy....

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks for taking next step with me. I'm glad to hear from you. Please drop any comments here.

Popular posts from this blog

Purity And Prayer: An Islamic Children Rhyming Picture Book

In my younger years I once loved listening to nasheed (Islamic songs). Many songs I listened and memorized from groups of male to female nasheed group. I even handled a group of nasheed during my college years about 20 years ago. The rise of Islamic living was about to blossom at the moment. Hijabis had been started to appear here and there in campus.
Nasheed changed the way I spent my time. The guilty feeling of listening to music became smaller. I don't listen to music anymore now (gonna tell you later about it insha Allah) but nasheed was one good choice for me.
What I liked the most from nasheed is the rhyme. I am quite an auditory learner so I found rhyming is so much fun. It is more fun when comes to learning something. Kindergartens learn things through songs and rhymes as well.
What about learning Islam through rhymes? I have a great news! Book publisher, Prolance, has released a book called Purity & Prayer: Rhyming Picture Book of Sacred Rulings by Ameena Bint Abdir …

Bringing My One-Year-Old Son to Masjid for the First Time

On that fajr time, my first and second son opened the door to go to masjid for fajr salah. Suddenly my one-year-old son cried. He wanted to go with his brothers. I refused his wish, worrying he might be bothering other people by his cries or screams. But, my husband suggested me to bring him. So I walked to masjid with my son in my arms.

I entered the masjid, standing behind some ladies doing their qabliyah fajr salah, waiting for the iqamah. I chose the second row which was the last row of the ladies' area. I still held my son in my arms and he seemed to enjoy the moment.

The salah began. I was lucky there was only a lady at the left meaning that I wasn't in the middle of the row. I was afraid that my son would cry or something because he often did that everytime I do salah at home. I don't know why he behaves like that. Is this mukena (salah cloth) frightenes him? Or is it my flat expression during salah makes him scary?


At masjid I did the takbiratul ihram with one han…

Nanni's Hijab: A Book For Young Hijabis

Hijab is not only a kind of fashion. It is also an identity. That is why many muslim families introduce the wearing of hijab for their daughters as early as possible. Just like Nanni.
Nanni is a little muslim girl who loves to wear hijab to school. Not only loves wearing hijab but she also has many beautiful hijabs that her class mates adore. What so unique about her hijabs is she creates a specific schedule to wear them.
Red hijabs for Mondays, blue for Tuesdays, pink for Wednesdays, green for Thursdays, and purple hijabs for Fridays. How clever! Nanni never wears the same hijab twice!

One day, cheerful Nanni became very sad and embarassed because of her hijab. Oh, no, not the hijab. It was because of Leslie's bad act. Leslie, Nanni's new classmate, tried to bully her by made a mock of Nanni's hijab. She called the hijab 'he-job' and pulled Nanni's hijab off of Nanni's head.
Nanni was so sad and angry. She once thought to fight back, but Allah Showed her…