There is an intense desire within me to be able to master English skills and it’s kinda cool to be able to speak in English.
It was in 2015, I was thinking of improving my English skills by myself.
I started to listen to a podcast: RealLife Radio was my favorite one. I downloaded the script and read it while I was listening to it. The text helped me understand what the hosts were saying. I had the most significant progress with my English when I started to listen to it.
I also listened to English songs and sang them out loud as a means to practice my pronunciation.
I downloaded software, a plugin for music players that displays lyrics of a song as it plays, called Mini Lyric. It shows lyrics in iTunes, Windows Media Player, Winamp, etc. So, I did not miss any words as I sang my favorite songs.
I Read in English more often than before. I read short stories, news, magazines, blogs, fiction, and non-fiction books. By reading a lot, I learned new vocabulary and phrases. I also wrote down what I have learned from what I read. Reading in English helps me to develop a habit of thinking in English too. I can find lots of great books here to start with.
I was eager to speak in English well, but what I did above was not enough to make me able to do so as we might ever hear that to be able to speak English fluently, all we need is practice speaking a lot. So, I started to join the English language exchange site to find language buddies who had the same goals as me. I felt intimidated when I tried to jump into a conversation, but that was the only way to improve my speaking skill, I have no shortcut.
I practiced the skills on and off for a year.
In 2016, I found a site that later I very fond of. It was Quora. There were hundreds of Native English there who shared knowledge about almost any field as well as language learners who shared their experiences learning English. “It’s gonna be awesome if I could share my experience by answering one or two questions about learning English,” I thought.
I gave a try to write an answer to a simple question such as “Why do we need to learn English?”
But, writing is not that simple for me at that time, even it written in my mother tongue. It made me desperate, and then I decided to change the goal. I need to be able to write in Bahasa Indonesia before I started to write in English, I concluded.
I got rid of the desire to write in English for a while and focused on learning to write articles in Bahasa Indonesia, while, of course, I continued reading Quora and learned many things from people around the world there (At that time. I had no trouble understanding simple English sentences, and the rest I often used language translation for new vocabulary)
In October 2017, I enrolled in a writing class online. I learned how to write an article in Bahasa Indonesia. I wrote some articles and got some feedback; That was an exciting experience. A month after I took a writing class, I enrolled in an editor class as I would love to learn about self-editing to make writing neat. In the following month, I did an internship in an online publication media. In those three months, I practiced writing a lot.
The writing journey turned out to take me to the place that I had never expected before; I worked as an editor in another online publication media, a month after I finished the internship.
Then life made me so hectic: I stopped practicing English altogether.
However, the desire to be able to write English is never fade away from me.
In 2019, I returned to school, teaching. It was the perfect time to get back to practicing, I thought. I promised myself to practice writing in English every day, but again there were always reasons not to. Very bad.
And now 2020 I am here writing in Englis again. We will see how far I can go this time.