PRONOUNCIATION CONTROVERSY ALERT!
It all started with "iambic pentameter". We were tested on poetic devices in our class quiz, and then told to mark our friends paper.
Being a teacher is was tough, the vast variety of answers that you stumble upon will make you cry and laugh at the same time. Positioned in between right ad wrong, it is a teacher's duty to evaluate the accuracy of a student's answer and to allocate specific points based on thorough consideration and fair judgement. Questions arose when we reached the question asking a brief description of "iambic pentameter" - certainly something so foreign toward us, I believe, and we had to approach and consult Mr Salleh for further clarification.
Iambic pentameter is the name given to a line of verse that consists of five iambs (an iamb being one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed, such as "before"). It has been a fundamental building block of poetry in English, used in many poems by many poets from the English Renaissance to the present day.
For further understanding, you can always refer to these sites below:
This sparked our curiosity towards the syllable, where we learnt how some common words have all thee while been mispronounced. Take "lapel" and "lament" as as our example: How would you pronounce these two words? Hands up if you think they should be pronounced as "LAY-pel" and "LAY-ment". If you do, you are WRONG. They should be pronounced as "le-PELL" and "le-MEANT", both stressing the 2nd syllable.
Many of us think that in language and literature, if you're good, then you're good. It is as if one is BORN with their strong language skills. However, it was until recently that I realized: Language CAN be improved. One might not be equipped with excellent grammar or unique writing skills and extraordinary grasp of vocabulary when they're little, but as time pases by, if effort were to be made by reading and writing, one's quality of work could be elevated significantly. It is just like how the Prime Minister of Australia, Mr. Kevin Rudd and our Student Representative Burhan from Asasipintar mastered the Chinese language (although we have to admit that Burhan has a lot more to do in order to catch up with Mr. Rudd). But that is not the point. The focus is on how deep were they attracted and drawn to the language, and how determined and dedicated their learning spirits are.
Language can be a sector of knowledge which is without bounds. Despite many languages are depleting day by day, there are stil millions of languages uttered globally, all special in their own way, carrying essence and flavour which distinguishes them with other languages. Therefore, be proud of our languages and dialects, be it Malay, Mandarin or Hindi. Bear in mind that they represent our identity, remind us of our roots, and ultimately shape who we are today. Expand the horizons of our mother tongue, heighten our clinch in communicating in alternative languages, do our very best to preserve our languages.