Two following stories are my own real experiences.
Sapa is a mountainous region with many beautiful landscapes. With a desire to discover the life of ethnic minority, the culture of the locals and the beauty of nature, I chose this place as a tourist destination in the last summer.
The story occured in the “chợ tình” at the weekend, I was very excited by the games, the sound from the pan-pine of the boys, and the dances of the beautiful girls. On keeping exploring, I met a foreigner. I smiled at him and said: “Hello”, just to show him that the Vietnamese are very friendly. At first, I asked him some normal social questions such as “where are you from?”. I’m quite good at English, at least in my class, so I thought that I would talk well. When he asked me: “why do you come here?”, I hesitated that: “Because…because it’s very beautiful.” He asked “Do you know how many famous landscapes and historical relics Vietnam has?”. The question seemed to be so easy to answer, but I couldn’t say a word. Although I had a lot of places to introduce in my mind. If I said in Vietnamese, I could explain in the whole day, but I didn’t understand why I couldn’t do that in English. When I was being confused and didn’t know what to do, a little girl stood beside me, about 10 years old, talked to the foreigner continuously. I understood what she was saying, and I was very surprised about her English. She not only spoke fluently, but also has a standard pronunciation. The more I admired the kid, the more I was ashamed about myself. With university level, I could not speak as well as a 4 or 5 grade student. So strange, but that was true.
According to “tinmoi.vn”: “Mong people have learned English from communications with the foreigners. They meet foreigners everyday, they sell sourvenirs which are handmade goods and local products. There are many children can speak 3 languages which are Kinh (Vietnamese), Mong and English.Amazing!!!”
Another story was my sunday at Ben Thanh Market in the last october. When I and my friend was walking through the Market. We saw a little girl which is about 13 years old was following one foreign man who was walking in the opposite direction. The girl sold souvenirs, but the thing attracts me was that she was crying. When those people went through me, I was shocked when I heard the girl insisted:” You don’t buy!!! why you ask me how much?” They had passed by, but that scene was still in my mind. Her english must be very good to insist like that!!.
I said good bye to Sapa and Ben Thanh, but still thought about it. A 10-year-old kid could speak English influently without any class. Why? The reason was that he or she was using English every time, everywhere. It proved that the environment played an important role in improving our speaking in English.
Vietnamese students had a disadvantage in learning which was very passive. Although they had a solid foundation of knowledge and studied very hard, when they applied that in actual, they looked very confused. In our university, the students talked to each other in English rarely. If they communicated in English, they would receive painful glints. In speaking class, we still kept on using Vietnamese. It took about 7 years to understand every words in Vietnamese, in case we used our mother tongue every time, everywhere. So how could we good at English with some English coures. The limit of using English in high school led us into the difficulty in the universities. We were learning in an English environment, if the foundation was not sound, how could we understand and accept amount of knowledge in English. I had a friend, when he’s in Vietnam, his English was not good, but after a few months went study abroad, his English improved quickly, he’s very sefl-confident and communicate in English very fluent now. Self-confidence was very important when you learned foreign language. That was secret of vitory. Although you didn’t have a lot of words, if you was self-confident, you could speak to foreigners without fear. If they didn’t understand, no problem, try to explain them with synonym or easier understanding words. Do whatever you want to make them understand. When you was on the internet, you should chat to the foreigners, you could learn their writing style or some interesting slang words. It would make you not to feel strange when you was talking to the foreigners. Some people told me that “oh, if I’m wrong…”, “ I’m scare of telling something wrong” or “ will make some mistakes, so I won’t talking to them”. Don’t be scare, if you was scare of making mistake, you would learn nothing. I said NOTHING. The more mistakes you made, the more things you learnt. Be careful, you shouldn’t make the same mistake over and over, try to limit it. Now, let’s make an environment of learning English.
We successed a haft when we were good at English. Because the globalization was spread the whole world; co-operation and exchange relations were very important for each countries. Good at English was an opportunity for you on the way of building your future. If you was not, you know what was waiting for you!.
p/s: this is the first time i post in English. If there is any mistake. Would you fix it for me please?:D. thanks for reading. Have a nice day!
Name: Trương Thành Luân