I was used to think that my english is good,, or even excelent. I can think that way, because from my elementary-school years, i always scores great in english test. In a lot of cases, i even scores best in my class. My toefl was once hit into 580 and toeic got it into 855. So, when i go to this kind of "international education expo" last week, where the representer of the university is mostly foreigners (ussualy australian), i'm pretty confidence that i can chat with them easily. And i do want to chat with them just to prove it.. :)
But first, as a warming up, i go to this table: UNSW (University of New South Wales), hmm,i've once heard 'bout this univ, kinda good one too.. the representer is an indonesian, so a few chit-chat is goin on in my mother language (now known as "bahasa"). After enough know 'bout the main-line of this expo, then i became more confident. Next table is Swinburne Univ. This time i met an India-n girl, her name is Ms. Mashraaj. i read the name plate on her blouse. And here is where the trouble began.. Ms mashraaj english was really a good one, she says it so "loud and clear" that me n my friends there all fully understand what she says when she explained 'bout the postgraduate program in Swinburne. But when i try to responed her with some question, she seemed to have trouble to understand what i say. I have to repeat the question 1-2 times. Do i heard as "strange" or "different" when i said the question?? or do my english is simply screwed up??
The next table and after it even more worse. The representer is australians, and not only they have dificulities to understand to what i said, but also i have trouble to understand what they said too. So there's some missunderstanding happened between us. Luckily the representer is always accompanied by Indonesian from Alfalink, so if the missleading happened between us, they can quickly interupted and explain the problem better for both of us.
Lesson that i can take from that day experience is :: Don't trust too much on test result. In the real world everything is totaly different, and so we have to learn it from the begining once again. For example in toefl test, the test speakers in listening sessions speaks in very clear and excelent english. But, in the real world, english is "rough", fast and conditional. So that we can mastered it only with practicing in the real world. Reminds me 'bout programming too.. the real world is totally diferent from the test pack.
Experience is indeed the best teacher. So, go out and seek it.. :)