Since I was in prep school, there is always a significant number of people who talk to me in English. And even if it’s not my prime vernacular, I try really hard to converse back. I have to admit that, most of the time, I have difficulties in understanding native English speakers as the use of slang is very popular here in the United States. I got the hang of it, though, by trying to learn the language on my own – whenever my schedule permits. I scan the dictionary every once in a while, read English short stories often, and ask my friends to talk to me in English whenever possible.
These are the few ways I dig to acquire competence in writing and speaking in English, not to mention the fact that I never have had an English subject back in elementary and high school. Now that I plan to enter college, I need to pass the University Writing Skills Requirement (UWSR) as a requisite for a baccalaureate degree in my prospect university. This requirement is to measure a student’s competency in English writing. It’s a tough thing for me – that’s a given.
But with my determination and persistence to hone my English skills (writing in particular), I am certain that I will be able to go through it and be admitted. Why not? This could also be for me! I want to prove to myself that even if I’m not a native English woman, I can put myself in a position where the natives are in – level myself to them, so to speak. I started writing in English in grade school. Even if my phrasing is bad, and most of my sentences consist of grammatical errors, I never forwent my desire to write.
To strike a balance, though, I also write in my native language which is <place native language here>. I kept a diary and wrote a number of poems both in English and in <place native language here>. Back then, I remember I had troubles with my subject-verb agreement. I weren’t able to differentiate phrases from sentences, nouns and verbs, the past and present tenses and all that jazz. And as to speaking, I seemed to suck at pronunciation; I used to pronounce mad, mud and mod in the same way! But as I said, that was before.
I am now pretty complacent of my English skills, more importantly in writing. I considered challenge every single encounter I had with a native English speaker. I tried to talk back with all confidence; and true indeed, each experience 0effected to an improvement in my skills. I am positive about satisfying the UWSR by taking the Writing Skills Test (WST) which will demonstrate my critical thinking and good analysis. I answered a few English-written essays before, analyzed a few texts and answered tough personal questions from previous mentors.
These have greatly helped me in enhancing whatever level of English I possess. With these all together, I am confident to take the WST. Young optimist I am, I believe that language should never ever curtail a child’s longing to be educated in a good school. Education for me is something to be literally fought for – something a child, no matter how financially constrained, should not fail to have. Everyone is entitled to it. I AM ENTITLED TO IT.
Source: Writing Skills Test. California State University-East Bay. Retrieved 06 March 2008 at http://www.csueastbay.edu/academic/colleges-and-departments/apgs/testing/