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[YRP Students' Essays] Learning English

When I read the essay, Homemade Education, I was impressed by Malcolm X. I never thought a person would copy a dictionary and memorize everything. Reading a dictionary is a very hard thing to do, especially if you don't know how to read properly. Malcolm X must have had a very hard time with his life, stuck in a jail.

I want to work on my vocabulary and my grammar. I am embarrassed by my poor vocabulary. I didn't know what to do about it, but finally I thought reading books might help me. So I started to read books that were a little easy for me. As I finished the first book, I increased my book level. I've kept on doing this and I finally think that I can read more difficult books. As I predicted, my vocabulary is better. I am impressed by myself. I thought I was perfect, but I met a new wall and that is grammar. To tell the truth, I hate learning grammar because I know I'm not good at it. But I realized that I can't run forever. I can write stories, and I like to, but I always make mistakes on my grammar. I know I've made lots of mistakes on this essay, too. If I use more hard vocabulary, maybe my sentences will get better. But I know it won't be easy.

I've read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows two times this spring break. The first time I read the book, it was very hard to understand it. But the second time, I thought I understood the book better than the last time. I was able to understand the meaning of the vocabulary, and I was able to enjoy reading the book.

Next year, I am hoping to get more points on my TOEFL. Last time, I didn't do very well on the test. I didn't study for the test that much, but when I saw my results I felt a chill run through my body. I don't want to feel that a chill runs through my body again. Then I started to use a dictionary more often. I can't believe it myself, but the truth is the truth. It helped me a lot. I wondered why I didn't use my dictionary in the past. I guess I thought that I didn't need it that much. But now I can't believe I thought like that. When I read, I usually underline the words that I don't know and check them in my dictionary. I also started to check the patterns of the sentences. At first, I thought this was very boring, but it began to get fun as I started to understand. The important thing is to think that learning English is fun. If you have that feeling, you can improve your English.

Why do I want to make my English better? Well it's because I can go all over the world without learning those various countries' languages. Knowledge of English is a merit for us who know English and can speak it. I am hoping to use my advantage when I grow up and become a member of society. I want to be in a high level of society. For that, I need to read a lot of books and check my dictionary more often to improve my vocabulary. I need to practice my speaking, too, by reading aloud English sentences, for example. Even if you have a good vocabulary, you can't say it without practicing speaking English. But I don't think just reading books is good enough. I think that if I want to improve my English, I need to do a lot of worksheets or workbooks. I think junior high third year's English will be very hard, so if I want stay in Seminar A, I need to work very hard on my English. I also need to always do my very best with my English.

I hope, when I grow up, my effort will not be for nothing. So, before it's too late, I will work very hard to improve my English.

Child Research Net would like to thank the Doshisha International Junior/Senior High School and Kosuke Saeki, student and author, for permitting reproduction of this article on the CRN web site.

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