I am an Indonesian and was unable to communicate in English when I first started school in Singapore. It had a major impact on my younger self as I had to go through my elementary education in an unfamiliar environment, with people speaking in an alien language. The inability to comprehend the language has left me with no friends and bad grades for my Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE). Fortunately, with the help from my secondary schoolmates and teachers, my grades improved gradually from F9 to C6 and eventually, I managed to obtain a B3 for my ‘O’ levels English language.
As a result of taking up ES1102, my grammar has improved, for the peer review system has trained me in spotting grammar errors in my classmates’ works. The lessons were also helpful in getting me to notice the common grammar mistakes that almost everyone has been making all the time. Also, I saw an improvement in my pronunciation and this has given me more confidence when speaking in public. However, I feel that my content and vocabulary is still insufficient as I often had to rely on the thesaurus to search for synonyms when writing academic essays. Therefore, I have been setting aside time for reading of newspapers and literature works in order to expand my vocabulary and increase my general knowledge.
I believe that having a good command of English would assist me in presenting myself when I step into the working society. Being able to speak fluently in a particular language suggests capability and trustworthiness which will be an advantage during interviews. It portrays the speaker or writer as an effective communicator, which is an important aspect of majority of the jobs out in the market. Thus, I am glad that the university has given me a chance to build up my portfolio so that I would be better equipped when joining the workforce.