WRITING FOR PURPOSE: HOW I LEARNED ENGLISH


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By Sajjad Khan Bangash,
Islamabad, Pakistan.
19 November, 2015.

Although English is not my native language neither it comes at the second at my part of languages, I would rather prefer Urdu instead, especially in the overall context of my country as Urdu has to be specifically correctly spoken. I will take English somewhere near to be more sophisticated language as in syllabus, and medium of instructions in most of the educational institutes, increasingly urging the need of the very use of English in official and international level.

Admirably, the use of English at all levels not only in Pakistan but also necessarily in international platforms; the need of English incessantly becomes important to have strong grasp on it. I sensed that urgency and engrossed myself instinct in it and now I am more comfortable backed by the extreme hard work I rendered to possess it.

It took me years to successfully coordinate and communicate in English, the strength of my career growth and paths lead to a lucrative future ahead. I often come across people obsessed with English and terming it as a difficult and complex language; they feel it hard to get hold of it. But I don’t go agreeing with very odd assumption, and I give my own example as a case study, and advocate that, if I can learn and speak that fluently as native English speaker does, then why not you can’t overhaul your techniques in it.

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To start with, generally, learning any language is not a nuclear science hard to come by, but the hard work kills the very impossible part of it, with a little effort and short time, we can also master English language with ease of pace, more luckily in today’s time as it is much easier than it was seemed decades ago. Thanks to the mass media communication tools made it easier to grasp it.

I fairly accept this theory that English is a global language, for better and effective communication on international platforms. Generally speaking I sensed it and took it as an obsession syndrome long ago, when I was a young child, I along with my siblings and cousins would sit around my maternal grandfather Late Muhammad Karim Khan, who could speak better English that time around as he was an ex-British army officer, famous farmer and numberdar of his village. We would keenly look whatever he would write and how he speaks; I would hurriedly store it in my mind then. Watching him keenly undertaking his official works, hosting and meeting with officials of government departments in his Hujjra, by watching his overall  personality texture as a political, social and administrative figure, engrossed & nurtured my instincts even further in my personality mushrooming.   

So historically, English language migrated to me as an inherited gift from my ancestral generation. Then, as I grew up, my maternal uncle (Mamoo), Major Aman Ullah Khan Bangash, was another inspiration figure in my life, infused courage inside me, after walking with him in his lawn, I would make my mind ready, eagerly listen, hurriedly deposit in my mind, the words as he spoke. Now, he was a pure replica of my grandfather, but further polished with the patterns and styles of modern age amalgamation and the army lifestyles.

Moving along the path, I undertook several experiences to successfully gone passed through the different phases of my endeavor with English. During my school days, I was lucky enough to have English teachers in those classes, their stern attitude, with punitive measurements, were in fact the real realm which guided and glided me through the rest of my academic career, remained successful in every phase of life till now.

It was a lust, an inspiration, a dream or need! Whatever, I may term it, but one common symptom I had have, was I had to learn English at any cost, they say make a goal and get it, you get it and accomplishment come along hosts you.

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But whatever reasons, I may associate with my personal grooming, I would again rephrase my self intuition, devotion, motivation and eagerness to knowledge itself and the language, would always be put up front and when it takes to the knowledge, I have it, my windows are always open for it. I don’t lose my ways, I go along, it is just like a road I go miles ahead.

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WRITING:

When I started for purpose, I tend to realize how important each word has to be correctly spoken and how well it has to be practically implemented and justified for many reasons, for the ultimate effect it may render for future benefits. I would always prefer the motivation, and self intuitions to it, perhaps more importantly for persuasions of knowledge that would eventually benefit the society in general either for their social, economical, psychological development.

The lust, enthusiasm, the eagerness for knowledge constructs your devotion exacerbated and at times, it never ends, the more you get it the more your greed for knowledge extends. But as I write, my pen often stops me go further and I would say to my self, “Why would I write and for what should I write?”

But whatever, those obsessions springing in my mind hinders my movement ahead. But persuasion will still win over and finally take one step ahead and my pen spearheads ahead for putting the words on the paper. My mind then start blistering on negotiating for sharing the ideas out of it repository what it has stockpiled and then I fell in love with writing, and the flood of the words start falling with speed of light.

They say “Experience is the best teacher.” I would equally agree with the general sense that in real life, we learn from experiences, observing either in academic or during our professional life span while hovering around the surroundings, simply it is the best place to learn. I would eagerly recommend. Whatever we learn from those onsite observations, we have to properly gel it for solid justifications and that’s what we call it the theories of real life.

Writing is an art and one of important strength of my professional acumen, as now I am a professional writer, a teacher and good illustrator. It is of paramount importance since grammatically correct language and the ways to construct and deliver the words in a profound way is a strong streak of it. Learning and grasping the correct grammar, the guidelines for writing makes your life at ease and successful contributor to the human development. Naturally the ideas and thoughts once endorsed effectively ultimately reflects your intelligence and instinct to a superior extend and eventually for the optimum utilization and development of society at large.

My initial prime practices with writing, was to write short, medium and long paragraphs, would edit and modify it over and over again and then would read it through a teacher or some senior person who could understand the basics of English, at the same time after his post-remarks, I would re-modify and prepare a neat draft out of it. Time and again, I tended to identify the key weakness areas and catch them while putting it off and re-align my writing the very next time, and I kept on moving along the burrow. As I observe my surroundings whatever is taking place around, at the blink of my eyes, while sitting, walking, traveling, talking etc. I describe, narrate it in my own words. Whatever I see, I jot down every particular moment, I then collectively summarize it in a composite draft, by this way I manage to collect a huge stockpile of real life happenings thus maintaining a healthy life long diary for future references.

And I kept on gearing it to a more advanced level, at times my old general practice was and still on is, that wherever any sentence or any large paragraph goes through my eyes, I try to put it in my mind and immediately look for depositing the real logical sense of it in my brain. I would read the English newspapers not only of Pakistan, but also the international newspapers over the internet, by then I would try to differentiate the English writing of Americans and that of British and then I would repeat those sentences into my own writing, by this way I decorated  my own writing.

The knowledge is the hereditary of all Holy Prophets, it has to be transcended, the human development, the betterment of society is encapsulated deep inside the knowledge. sharing of a knowledge for a purpose, is an art, fantasy or a communication guideline, whatever we may term it, always yields prosperous outcomes once it applied effectively. I render it for the betterment of society and future generation or any one in general who is eager to apply it for his/her personal advancement, grooming and upgrading.

Internet is an information power house, awesome place for learning, any information we may need, within the blink of our eyes, we may have it. Similar is the case with learning English, there are heap of websites that provide very basic tips from beginners to advanced level of English language. Similarly, there are also website widely available on the internet that comprise the tests, where you can test your knowledge of English language as well, this meticulously improves your skills.

Time and again, I would write several passages, articles, stories etc. and effectively applying the techniques, guidelines for composing an useful draft. Word processors, particularly Microsoft Word makes your life easier, as it contains embedded dictionaries, as you write you may find thesaurus, spell checks, etc.

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SPEAKING: I am fluent in American, British, Australian and Indian Accent, I like how it feels.

Speaking in an effective way, makes your personality more appealing, and at times it gives self confidence and increases the knowledge spectrum as you talk and listen to the people of international community. For example, if you are good speaker, you may have native English speaker friends, with whom you can talk and off course it provides a decent platform to learn from their experience and the way the talk in general life, since English is their mother language. It also increases the opportunity to learn the common phrases, identify their accents and formal communication norms as well. I have several international friends mainly in English speaking countries; where I share my part of experiences with them, at the same time get myself ready to learn from their experiences as well. This way, I not only build repute but also enhance my communication skills as well.

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Conversations with international online people not only builds up a good online community of friends but also gives you an opportunity to learn the very general common phrases those native English speakers use in their daily routines, chatting or e-mailing is an effective tool as to how quickly and effectively speed up learning the effective communication skills. As they write, talk and listen, we may tactfully observe their ways of language, get familiarize and acquainted with their ways of culture and customs.

Forget any shyness to them, whatever you speak, they are ready to accept since they know it well in advance that you are not a native English speaker, they won’t bother laugh at you, rather they will always be ready to keep their pace of fluency a bit low and would systematically help you out with modifying and aligning your speaking skills, unlike local people who have this very odd tendency to make your life a hell by pointing, criticizing and laughing at you, by quoting “Oh! That’s wrong you said” don’t care about them, all you need to is to speak up with native English speakers, they are very nice to listen and eager to learn about your part of experiences, this way a good repute builds up and we can communicate the better image of our society as well. The rectification of errors in our speaking is largely reduced by talking to native English speakers.

Initially, it a was a little interesting part of my practices. Now, when I remind those flirt moments, I go laugh and say to myself, “How stupid I was, doing that odd acting!” but I didn’t go shy off with things, whatever the people might reason with , but the prime objective was to become a profound, influential speaker! As once my uncle who came from Malaysia said “Sajjad! Stop doing it; don’t try to show off, people will call you crazy!” I replied, “Uncle! Whatever the people may say, I got nothing to do with the people, I got a go, I have this lust, dream! This is my passion and dream I have make it true.” Standing in front of mirror talking for a long time while in my bedroom, rehearsing the words time and again, pronouncing the words in different accents, helped improve my speaking a lot and thrashed my hesitation level. At times, I would sit in front of T.V watching several international channels and would say “Will there be any time that I will speak that fluent English the way they speak.” And now, those sentences are willingly true facts now in history, as I am a fluent in all accents, very talkative it made me though.

Similarly, students or people can talk in a group discussion; it is in fact an awesome place to learn from different individual experiences, it infuses the energy of confidence by cross talking, dialogue and gossiping on any particular topic or subject matter.

I used to be a good debater of English in my college days, standing in front of a big crowd, talking loudly in a speaker, at times one thinks to feel standing in a hell. Leg shaking, heart beating and the stress gets you over, but to challenge it and win over it, is what makes you a good speaker , a good illustrator and a champion.

primarily it profoundly enhances your self confidences, improves your way of talking and generates a heap of people of good caliber, you may learn from.

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I still remember those very early days of my first speech ever delivered during my college speech competition way back in 1998 in F.G. College of Commerce, H-8/4, how can I forget that ugly time of bewilderment, confusion, panic , helplessness while tension mounting situation, as often I would gesture myself to give in. but every known and then, there was some hidden force impelled me within inside not leave it away, give up but to move ahead, be brave and wins it over which would infuses a breath of win inside my soul. the time, when my turn was called, I stood up inhaled a fresh air and went straight to the rostrum, initially I was little confused but the passages of time carried me along and my confidence mounted and finally I hold it over and I stood at second during that competition. I received heap of applause and appreciation from teachers, which further nurtured my self esteem, self confidence and habit of winning in a context of never let it go.

Time took me along ahead, opportunities fallen over me, time and again I would eagerly, zealously participate in every competition, no matter whether I win it or not, I had maintained this stubborn habit of participating in each and every competition and becoming more popular not only in my students orchestra but earning respect in teachers community was my ultimate aim. I still also remember of the day of my tutorials in Punjab College of Commerce in Islamabad in the year 2000, where I excellently performed a parody of several English cricket commentators, where my teacher Mr. Shahid was present, he applauded and rushed to the teacher meeting rooms and brought several teachers including our respected principle Mr. Shoaib and I was asked to repeat it again for them. There they spotted my talent and promised to drive me through to a level of good debates, forums or any platform of similar opportunities.

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Soon the time arrived, where our college arranged a function of multiple activities, and during the stage performance, I was called for the same parody performance to be repeated. I had nothing to fear and moved straight to the stage and start talking in front of a crowd crossing 3000 people sitting. I entertained, enthralled the people and I won it by my side and I can’t count how many people flooded at me for applause and I became famous in my college, I earned the respect of my teachers as well, those beautiful memories always to cherish.

As I leaped onto the practical life, I never left that habit go, I had that lust always hinged with my personality, while walking down the streets, markets, traveling I had this tendency to talk to the people and learn from their part of experiences, more luckily before 9/11 as there was a massive influx of foreign tourists in Pakistan, I would always jump at them, start talking as generally they speak English. On several occasions, I had opportunities to talk and listen carefully, eagerly wait for the knowledge they share. This massively reduced my hesitation level while infused my confidence.

I am not fond of storytelling, but I must confess that whatever we may come across the general experience of achieving something, we must share it with a prime purpose for future generation benefit. Opportunities come and go once you have achieved something scrupulously, you tend to enhance your knowledge disposition and the stage definitely host you.

I then carried that skill along for years to come, and technically used in my professional career till I have been using this very astute skill not only for my professional purposes but also for future generation as a learning guideline.

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READING:

Reading! Ah! I am addicted into it, reading daily newspapers mostly online newspapers, magazines and several literature not only for knowledge sake, but largely it helps you memorize and prepare a huge stockpile of vocabulary build up in our chip memory hosted in our brain. I used to have a habit of underlining those difficult words the meanings of which I didn’t know. Then after writing a huge list of similar difficult words, my next step would be to wade through the dictionary to look up the meanings and then memorize it. Running along the road, the internet again, is the perfect place or a heaven for knowledge, we are now in a world,  what it is called a “Global Village”, the knowledge house and you can have it by a simple one click. Reading online newspapers from all across the globe, one tend to learn the different styles, patterns and techniques of English applied by several writer, journalists, reporter and teachers at the same time makes us aware of the happenings of the world, information at our finger tips etc.

The more the habit or a addition extends, the more the opportunity it unveils to enhance the knowledge canopy.

While roaming internet, one can easily identify and scroll the several methods of language widely used as a standard writing methods. I have this very stubborn habit of copying the international styles of writing in my own words, makes my writing even more profound and easy to understand and prolific in assimilating information and my writing stands distinctively.

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LISTENING:

Very important part of our communication, the way we interpret and translate the words, heavily reflect our ways of doing and transit our life thus it makes up the society as a whole. We listen while we perform the actions accordingly.

Listening effectively and attentively enhances the knowledge and we may produce the positive response in the shape of good cultured society, culture, literature, thus making this world more beautiful and peaceful place to live in.

My general practice, is to listen radio, T.V channels, and predominately watching online videos, clips, talking to online friends of every culture, race, ethnicities, territories and language. It has massively increased my knowledge spectrum about their culture, tradition, conversational etiquette, ways of communications etc. quickly comprehend their style of language, no matter what accent they are speaking in, for example British, American, South African, Australian, Indian, French, Germans, Chinese etc. while on the internet, we may find YouTube is a perfect place for watching online video clips such as heap of videos are available regarding knowledge, tips and several informative source we may avail it. The more we are accustomed to watching and listening carefully these videos,  the greater chances are that we may become active listener of different accents.

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The next line of Action

There are several techniques, people may apply to learn any language particularly English, whatever they may suit it better for themselves to align and fine tune their language comprehension! But one common objective would be, never give up, hard work and determination, will always stand you upfront and successful throughout the rest of your life.

In today’s time, there are enormous facilities the students have, for instance, internet is the awesome source of knowledge, you name it we have it. Once, effectively and positively use it, it can bring million of changes to our lives. Now, students need not to go to libraries or even to attend the institutes, I won’t recommend rather I would suggest Internet because with your single click, may come the flood of information, one looks for. It largely depends on how technically, effectively and purposely we may utilize it.

I may advice million of ways of how to learn any language, but it will go worthless, once you don’t practically implement it. I often come across with the incidents, people say! Could you please tell us how to fine tune our language particularly English, I would straightforwardly advise them, to go directly into Google search engine and surf any single of websites, but the very next moment, they will come up with question.” Sorry! I can’t find it more attractive, easier or do find it complicated!” then, I am go speechless and would rephrase my sentence again. “

My simplest reply to them is “Hey! Look! This website is so productive that for a person like me, can’t leave it the whole day long, because it contains the heap of information I may look for! While, there are thousands of may results are still in stack.”

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