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English liberates and protects me.

English liberates me. English gives me an outlet for what would be left unsaid otherwise. Whether consciously or subconsciously, we carefully choose what to say and how to say it in our own language. Societal norms and pressures do exist as an unwritten code of laws, from which we can never be free. When communicating in our "shared" first language, we're bound by this hidden code and it takes some guts not to comply with it, for females in particular.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not a feminist or any advocate of female rights. I just wanna say that I won't be outrageously wrong in pointing out that there are certain societal expectations on females in this country, or possibly in other countries as well, that they should be thoughtful, caring, agreeable, and not too vocal and argumentative. If they are, they will be labeled as a difficult person or even an annoying bitch. No?

For me, English frees females living in Japan and speaking the Japanese language from all the expectations and requirements posed on them. In fact, it's when I cannot help tweeting in English that I need an outlet to unleash my emotions and make my inner voice heard without caring about what other people might think, but wait. What would be happening if I ever offend others by saying what I really wanted to say? What could be the worst scenario? Shouldn't I articulate my thoughts and opinions and seek mutual understanding? If the attempt is failed, can we just agree to disagree? Why do I keep avoiding such confrontation?

Probably I see English as a vehicle to secure myself in a shelter, somewhere safe. English liberates me as well as protects me in a warm safe place to be. (294w)


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A new writing practice in 2014

Towards the year-end of 2013, I've been thinking about my English learning in 2014. What I've done to my English during the last two years is, to be honest, unsatisfactory in my standard. By that I mean that I haven't done the things I used to consider what is, or should be, English learning. I won't make any excuses here, such as "You know what? My job was extremely busy and I'm a freelancer (Human beings living in today's world are all busy by default)" or "You know, my publication projects were so much more overwhelming than expected. It was totally new to me that writing for work, whether in Japanese or English, consumes or deprives almost all of writing-for-pleasure energy (That may sound a bit more valid excuse because hard work accompanied with lack of sleep causes every kind of mental/physical malfunction. In fact, nightly three-hour writing is not an easy task to keep doing for two years, seriously.)".

These days, I often miss the days when I was into Quick Write. From June 2011 to October 2012, I wrote an English piece almost every day, which ended up as 375 blog posts (See Quick Write category if you're interested). Back then, I was in dare need of intensive writing practice to develop my limited writing skills and a range of active vocabulary. I could write somehow, but not as freely as I wanted and only in a very primitive and unsophisticated way. Plus, the university students that I was teaching were all assigned to do this daily free writing practice by the teacher from another class, so it was reasonable for "the other" teacher to do the same as they do. Now it's time to redevelop the habit of writing an English piece on a daily basis. Before anything let start, however, I need to know what the purpose of this daily writing, and where I'm head. This time, there should be a much clearer objective than "Keep-Writing-whatever-pops-into-my-mind" kind of purpose.

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Aya

Author:Aya
English learner

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