My poor English ability will continue to hold me back professionally and life in general if I don't find a way to improve it.
May 1, 2010 6:59 AM Subscribe
Poor English is holding my American Dream hostage.
posted by anonymous to writing & language (58 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
OK, it's embarrassing for me to even ask this question but I feel if I don't, my poor English ability will continue to hold me back professionally and life in general.
I am an immgrant who was raised in United States since I am 12 years old and graduated from American college. But I feel my English writing (i.e. basic grammar) and speaking ability are still shockingly poor. I really have problem with writing. Sometime, I am afraid to write anything because I fear the mistakes I made in my writing will cause embrassment. I am also very frustrated with the way I speak English. When I speak something, some people don't understand me. It is very frustating because I know how the word sound like in my mind but the things came out of my mouth is completely different!
For the writing, I know a lot of people would suggest reading. But I'm already a voracious reading. I read average of three books a month.
Some of my most recent books are:
The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson
Annals of The Former World by John McPhee
The Search for Modern China by Jonathan D. Spence
I want to emphasize I have no trouble understand these books, but I felt it doesn't help my writing at all. What should I do instead? Get a grammar book on writing? Start diagramming every pages of books I read?
For speaking, I also want to emphasize I have no trouble understanding when people talk to me. I listen to NPR everyday. I work with coworkers who are native English speaker. But still, sometime when I talk, my question or sentence doesn't make any grammarically sense. Even as I spoke it, I know, it sounds wrong but I can't find a correct way to speak it. And my accent is really starting to get on my nerve. I really feel like a failure when someone said "What?" or "Say that again" to me.
I'm not here to make people feel sorry for me. I'm also not here to blame my schools. I have only myself to blame.
So mefi's can you suggest a comprehensive way to improve my language skill?
My throwaway email is email@example.com