You can divide Malaysia into two parts, Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia. East Malaysia consists of Sabah and Sarawak while Peninsular Malaysia consists of 11 states and 2 Federals. At Peninsular, you can divide it into some parts, like North, West coast, south and East coast. Let’s take a look at east coast region. East coast region generally consists of Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan. No worry, I’m one of the people in this region. Let’s take Kelantan as example. The Kelantanese are proud of their language. If you are a Kelantanese, it is very hard for you to speak English to other Kelantanese. I discover this since I was in primary school. Not all Kelantanese are like that, but some of us do not speak English. When we tried to speak English to them, some thought we were showing off, or try to degrade Kelantan Language.
Teaching English in Kelantan and Terengganu might be a tough job for English teacher, in my opinion because these people are so proud with their language until they can’t speak Bahasa Melayu properly. I do experience it now. Some of my friends, their accent is so ‘concentrated’, until people can guess that they are east coast. If in Pahang, I don’t think English is a big problem, isn’t it? Once the Kelantanese tried to speak English, the accent of their native tongue is still there. I’m not making fun of them, but some of them really don’t have chances to practice English in their life. English is just a subject that they need to pass for the examination. The mentality that is very hard to change is the importance of English for their future job. Speaking from a view of a student, it is no longer essential but a need for a student to learn English and master the language because this language has been used in many countries.
I started to have my interest in English when I was in Standard 5, 11 years old when my English Teacher, madam Kamila taught us English(of course, what a stupid statement). I was fascinated with the language, the pattern of the grammar and more and more. When I moved to my secondary school, my east coast environment is still around me because most of the students there are from east coast, Kelantan and Terengganu. Still, my practice in speaking English was limited during English, science and mathematics classes. Most of the time, I would speak in Kelantan language. Bad. Well, everything changed upside-down. When I transferred to school in my homeland, in Kelantan, I speak English more often here. I still can remember, although I speak in my native language, the English words never missed from my mouth. May be because I used to speak to myself often. Well, I do speak to myself in English. I spoke English without hesitant there. Sometimes, I accidentally speak English to my family. Ooops, that was not as I planned.
My friends? Well, some of my friends did accept me as I am. Some of them spoke back to me in English, that one is very rare. Confidently, naa.. Not all of them have the confident to speak in English, but at least they tried. Some of them can speak better than me. I really adore those people who can speak English better than me. I forgot to tell you about my great influence to speak in English, my English teacher, Missy. She gives a great influence to my life. In my school, we do have a system which we call ‘homeroom’. Some SBP call it mentor-mentee, yeaah…. Some sort like that. However, in homeroom, we have a concept as a family. Missy was our advisor. Well, when an English teacher is an advisor of a group, what do you think about that? Of course the discussions were in English. I used to the environment, a new environment that is totally ironic to the state, Kelantan. I used to speak English too often with to my friends until some of them look at my face, they will remember Missy. That I think I was too obsessed with this language.
I tried to help some of my friends to improve their English. I really like it. However, the effort mostly must come from them. Some of them they really work it, but some don’t. I tried to help them, well if they do not want it, I couldn’t force them. Yes, you can force the horse to the lake, but you can’t force the horse to drink the water. That idiom is suitable enough with my situation. I tried some other way to help them, but I my effort was misunderstood wrongly. Well, what can I do? No offence ok? :P
Even, in my university, some of my Kelantanese and Terengganu friends are not able to speak English with correct pronunciation, but I do believe they can be better than me. Better.