Hi every forumie,
It has been a very long time since I last posted in my beloved ESL forums. I'm Arale from Vietnam - a former Moderator of ESL forums. Right now, I can feel something very special from the bottom of my heart when I'm posting this entry in the familiar forums. Today I return to the forums to share some tips of learning English of my own in EC forums with you.
I still remember the day I sent an email to Mr Josef - EC creator to ask (actually force
) him if I could be a Moderator of EC forums when I was a student. At that time, my English wasn't very good but I thought that being a Moderator would help me more confident and more careful with my writing. I also tried to improve my English via reading and following the writing-style of some native speakers in the forums. I don't remember all the user-names of such friends but I learnt a lot from Danyet, Lenny... and also Mr Josef. In addition, there are lots of friends who are not native speakers but their English is wonderful like Dixie, Pirate, Unknownsu, Admiral and many others. I would like to send my special gratefulness to teacher Alan from Japan, also. His Help Desk really supported me a lot with my grammar. I really preferred his concise replies that I could hardly find in a grammar book.
I also want to share with you one of my tips to quickly improve my English, which is interest. No one can force you do what you don't want and that's so true with my case of self-studying English. I didn't like the topics I was forced to write at my university but I extremely loved the topics of my own in the forums. In EC forumss, I could write anything I was interested in like short-stories, poems, or just general discussion... When I could compose a very well-structured entry here, I felt much easier to start with more difficult topics at my university. One thing I discovered that when my writing has been improved, my speaking has also been improved naturally. In fact, at that time, when I firstly got mark 8 for speaking at university, I was really surprised with the impact and effect of the writing skill. (You know, my university is a foreign language one so it's very strict to get mark 8 for English skills). From then on, I always got at least mark 8 for writing and speaking at university. (I joined English Club at 3rd year of university - I wish I knew it earlier). Then I understood that, writing helped me enrich my vocabulary and use grammar correctly while I only could speak English well if I had enough vocabulary and knew how to use them appropriately. And these two factors also motivated my reading skill.
My listening has been improved lately when I've had a chance to work with some foreigners. My other skills of English have also much improved now but the background of basic English skills I gained from English Club, and my time at university, was really precious.
I'm also very happy to inform you that I've been rewarded the full fellowship funded by Ford Foundation in the US. Now I have a great chance to study Master on community development in the States for 2 years. You can imagine how happy I was when I succeeded with my English interview and TOEFL exam - I haven't been informed my score yet but I did it very well. (I was also successful with my Vietnamese interview).
I hope some above English learning tips of my own can be useful for you somehow. I hereby also would express my great thanks to Mr Josef for creating this EC for learners worldwide. Apart from English improvement, thank to EC, I've met a lot of good friends from my country and all over the world in EC forums and chat rooms. Some of them are very close with me now and I hope I will meet them in the States.
Finally, I would like to tell my friends in EC forums that thank you all for creating such a great online English environment. I really miss you very much.
With my warmest regards,