Author: Glenn Matthew
“One language sets you in a corridor of life. Two languages open every door along the way.” Frank Smith said, to encourage children around the world to be able to speak two or more languages, for he understood that ideas can get you somewhere; however, with language and communication, that’s how one truly obtains success.
Being born to parents of different heritages, I’ve always been exposed to a plethora of different cultures, customs and languages. My parents, who are both teachers, have stressed the advantages of mastering multiple languages, ever since I was in kindergarten. Aside from making sure I don’t lose touch with my roots, they have always strived for me to receive a top-notch education, with English as its primary focus. As a child, I never really loved to watch television, nor was I addicted to video games. Rather, I would spend every single moment I had with a book, ranging from the wondrous Geronimo Stilton books, to my personal favorites, the Weird but True! series by National Geographic. My mother, who paid for her own university and grad school tuition by being a language tutor on the side, taught me the importance of not only being able to understand multiple languages, but also being able to relay thoughts and ideas with it. She emphasized the fact that with English, I might be able to have the opportunity to decide my future and contribute to society, something I’ve dreamt of doing since I was a wee toddler.
Ever since I understood the words ‘college’ and ‘career’, I have been obsessed with the idea of me graduating from a reputable university, a degree in one hand, ready to take the world on with my thirst for change and my innovative ideas. To top it all off, I believe I can, in fact, accomplish all this with the power of English by my side. Being the #1 most spoken language in the world, English not only improves my chances of getting into a university overseas, but also serves as a method of communicating with people from around the world, and a way to secure highly respected positions in international companies. Our futures are no longer only defined by how intellectually gifted we are, but also how well we can speak a language, form new ideas with it, and present it to an audience. Throughout my years of reading every single literary work I stumble upon, clicking on every Emma Watson or Malala Yousafzai speech I’ve come across on YouTube, I would like to think that I’ve been solidifying my English foundation. I’ve been preparing myself for the outside world since I was in grade school, and as I’ve grown to realize, there’s absolutely no language that can provide the benefits English does- numerous beautiful perspectives to look at the world through, admission to the top schools in the country of your choice, and the ability to change people’s lives.
Throughout my childhood, which I spent getting enlightened every day by different things, such as Ted Talks and the Jakarta Post articles, I realized just how much I would love to be on the other side of the screen. As a high schooler who has yearned for the power of spreading awareness through my words, I’ve always been extremely attracted to the idea of combining my love of social issues and geography, through the art of journalism. I’ve dreamt of becoming a journalist even before I could walk. I want to challenge societal norms with my ideas, inspire people all around the world with my theories, and motivate people to achieve their dreams. How does journalism relate to English, you may ask? By using English, I would be able to reach a larger scope of audience. I want the whole world to be impacted by my views, and I want to be the one imploring them to change the world for the better. Call me naïve, but if there’s one thing I’ve learnt from my years of living, it’s that with language, ideas and ambition, nothing is impossible.
As our world evolves and shifts, so should we. To be able to see the world through different perspectives is one of God’s greatest gifts, and I happen to have the privilege of saying I’m one of the few who can do so. As an English fanatic, I’ve always been infatuated with the fact that I could experience so much through reading a book. I could venture to Verona, and watch as Juliet called out to Romeo from her balcony, I could whisk through the dingy streets of Oceania, where 1984 was set, and watch as a bomb obliterates the street next to me. It’s not an exaggeration for me to say that my thoughts and ideas today have been shaped by numerous factors, especially my exposure to the English language and the beauty of literature. By understanding this wonderful language, I’ve not only discovered the pathway to thousands of opportunities, but also opened the doors to wondrous experiences that I will cherish forever. By wondrous experiences, I’m referring to my World Scholars’ Cup journey! My team and I journeyed all the way to my dream school, Yale University, where I found myself fascinated by the years of rich history that were not only embedded within the buildings, but also the priceless relics that resided in the ancient yet pristine Beinecke Library. There, I discovered my love for writing, my passion for debating, and of course, my undying appreciation for the English language which was what got me there in the first place. After the fever dream that was my WSC journey, I realized that the biggest takeaway from it definitely weren’t the trophies and medals I took home, but the sheer experience and the motivation it provided for me. When I think about the three tournaments, I can still hear the words “Reach for the stars, Glenn!” resounding in the back of my head.
Additionally, as a proud Asian living in the great archipelago of Indonesia, there are no words to describe just how much I would love the chance to show foreigners that Indonesia’s more than just the island of Bali; it’s made up of thousands of different cultures, with islands being prettier than the other, people more welcoming and lively than they’ve ever seen in life. I want to be able to incorporate my interest in geography, and my love for my home country, Indonesia, in my literary works in the future, in order to remind myself to never forget where I came from. With English as my second language, and my cultural background from being born and bred here in the heart of Indonesia, I believe I can produce a hefty amount of articles that will not only make my fellow Indonesians proud of our country and the infinite wonders it possess, but also introduce foreigners to the alluring and secluded islands of Indonesia, which hopefully, will drive the tourism rate of Indonesia up, up and up!
Success is indeed subjective, but in my eyes, success is being able to do something I love, while simultaneously helping others at the same time. With English as a skill in my arsenal, I plan to share my thoughts with the world, and I intend to fight for change with it, too! As a dreamer, I envision myself in ten years, sitting with a grin on my face, uploading my newest article on “How you can contribute to the Anti-Inequality Act, too!”, wondering how lucky I am to be able to be in that position. I’ll be so filled with euphoria when I achieve my dreams, and by then, the only thought in my mind will be how English has been the one to pave the way for me to achieve my dreams, bit by bit, year by year, second by second.
Saya generasi muda yang peduli literasi! Artikel ini ditulis sebagai bentuk serta EF Literacy Day Competition 2021: https://www.ef.co.id/writing-competition
Judges, here is my AUDIO RECORDING ! Please check it out! https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/1IORYp0Qz0Gw6XPbtnOXbDBTiitWtZTTt