“My English is bad.”
That is a common thing I hear from many Malaysian students I have met. It is likely that they need some improvements in their English language, but to make a simple conclusion like “My English is bad” might be a bit of an overreaction.
But since it is a common expression among many people, we don’t feel like it’s out of place. I think we have created a culture around the idea that if you don’t speak like a pro English speaker, that means that your English is by definition…bad. If many people believe it to be the case, then it must be true.
Try to examine what you say before you say it and see if it’s true, not based on what other people say but based upon an objective standard. English is a language and the purpose of any language is to communicate meaning. If people understand what you mean, then that means you have fulfilled the purpose of language. Lets make that a standard.
Many students I’ve met actually have a good enough of an English speaking skill to meet this standard. I don’t think their English is bad at all. It’s good enough. But the thing is, many people think that good enough is not enough. You have to have the “perfect English”. Then, and only then, will your English be good and not bad.
Newsflash: There is no such thing as a perfect English-lah!
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