Friday, July 21, 2017

Active Voice and Passive Voice

Lecturers, teachers - educators often emphasize the importance of writing in the active voice. Ever wondered why?

    Writing in the active voice makes the reader feel involved and the message gets transmitted quickly. Usually, reports are not written in the passive voice (ayat pasif) because that will only cause readers to feel tired. In other words, get to the point by writing in the active voice.

According to (n.d.):
To know whether you are writing in the active or passive voice, identify the subject of the sentence and decide whether the subject is doing the action or being acted upon.
     Passive Voice: the subject is the receiver of the action. 
The tax return (subject) was completed (action) before the April 15 deadline by Mr. Doe. 
     Active Voice: the subject does an action to an object.
Mr. Doe (subject) completed (action) the tax return (object) before the April 15 deadline.

Thursday, July 20, 2017



Teaching in a school that almost never uses English despite learning the language reinforced one thing:

Never do literal translation.
Many people opt to do literal translation, word for word even in official documents whether it be in school or at the workplace. That is a big NO.

Why do I say so?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


Proofreading means examining your text carefully to find and correct typographical errors and mistakes in grammar, style, and spelling.
The Writing Center @ The University of Wisconsin - Madison
I cannot stress the importance of proofreading enough. Before you submit any document, make sure that you check for errors and correct them. It would do wonders to different matters, be it official or personal.

We often overlook important details, miscalculate findings, made wrong assumptions because we missed out some details or facts, and many other things. Does it surprise you that employers will look at your applications and submitting them without proofreading could have consequences?

Monday, July 10, 2017

Reading for Purpose

I often discover that those who frequently read are able to write better than their peers. Reading helps to add/improve vocabulary and improve sentence structure. You may ask why I can argue so?

Based on my experience teaching younger students who were able to read faster (one at the age of 4, compared to her classmates aged 6) and teaching youths aged 12 to 16, the difference between them is the exposure to words, literacy, if you get that.

Often, in school context, students are required to read for purpose(s). In the government school environment, students are required to memorize texts and information. However, this has been integrated with speaking, listening and writing elements.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Importance of English Language

When I was in secondary school, I had to write an essay on the importance of English Language. When I re-read it recently, what I wrote 9 years ago was true and still is. It was written in Bahasa Malaysia, but the meaning still resounds even for the English Language. 

Learning English doesn't mean that we'll forget our mother tongue. It just means that we're smart enough to find ways to gain information because there are things that still aren't translated into Malay Language. Knowing another language gives you an added advantage.


What is English Language?

Good question.

English is actually an Anglo-Saxon language. Words in the English language are mostly borrowed from Latin, Greek and if you've noticed, some Malay words are now adopted in the Oxford Dictionary.

Recently, I acquired the book Making Sense  by David Crystal. It described the English Language in story-like passages that won't leave you bored. The author also describes how children develop their language and also how children acquire languages. Turns out: it's from infancy stage!

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