When my teacher said "good morning" to me on the very first day of school, I knew that she would be teaching a tough subject. She didn't get any answer for that greeting because back then, I knew nothing about "good morning". Surprisingly, as I went through the class session on that day, I realized that "good morning" wasn't the first English phrase that I'd known. English has been rooted in my society long before my country achieved its independence and shockingly I've used some of its words in my daily speech without realizing it because the words were fully modified by the society so that they could be installed smoothly into our language.
Learning English was always an interesting yet tough experience for me. English did attract my attention and I was so excited to learn it at the beginning. However, after I was introduced to the term `grammar' and all its application, my interest to learn English seemed to fade away bit by bit. Grammar is not the only obstacle that I have to face in learning English. Speaking English is very odd in my society although there are some amazing uses of English in this society. It's common to hear English-like words such as kona (corner), taing (time) and kofem (confirm) spoken in my society. However, since all those words are well assimilated into my first language, they become part of my identity. Therefore, when I speak those words, I never realize that they are originally from the English language. Consequently, English remains odd.
There are fourteen states in Malaysia and twelve of them are situated in peninsular Malaysia. The peninsular itself and can be divided into eastern, northern and western regions. People in each region have their own essence of the Malay language. I live in eastern region and people in my society rarely speak in other essence than theirs. When someone speaks English in my society, he or she feels a sense of withdrawal because they are set apart to a very small group in the society. People tend to belittle this group for speaking other languages, and normally they will end up speaking their first language to comply with the larger group in the society. With all these reasons, my interest towards English was completely gone when I enrolled in secondary school, six years after my formal `encounter' with the English language. For having this negative feeling, I became a member of a large group of students who had never realized the significance of the English language.
One day was unusually dull. I was waiting for the teacher to come to the class and instead of revising my past English lessons that I rarely cared about, I prayed that...