Johanna Battista October 19, 2017 Response Essay # 2 English 101 The Power of Language In the “Mother Tongue” essay by Amy Tan, Tan shares her discoveries approximately the one-of-a-kind variations of English she discovered developing up in an Chinese-American household, after which reflects on these findings. Tan shows the reader that racial profiling nevertheless exists, even in a time wherein all of us are promised freedom and equality inside the world. Tan talks about not only does the profiling exist and occur, but that it's also performed incorrectly and inefficiently. Tan truly demonstrates profiling by surpassing any check that recommended she observe medicinal drug or engineering. In her essay it is substantial that each one the proof used to assist Tan's arguments are past experiences she had as a toddler developing up, speaking what turned into considered "broken" English. I can without a doubt relate to Amy Tan’s essay due to the fact I too got here from a bilingual domestic and like Amy Tan, I had clever immigrant parents and I turned into their foremost avenue of communication with folks who didn’t apprehend them. Like Amy Tan and her mother, I additionally turned into not a natural-born citizen of the United States. I also had parents who had their personal way of speaking and know very little of the English language. Tan’s personal stories are very similar to mine; they take me
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Growing up in grade school was one of my worst, if not most difficult time of my life. During that time, I came to the US for the very first time not knowing a single word of English. Along those frustrating years of grade school, I started to advance more in school and in the language. But then again just like Amy Tan, when it came down to English tests, I wasn’t the best of me. Though this was difficult to me I knew I had to keep going on, which along the way of grade school I met some of the best teachers I could never thank enough for always giving me a hand and teaching me the language. Although I yet till this day speak and write in my imperfect English, I remember where I came from and how great I’d become compare to that lost kid in grade school. Another reason in which one can find a relationship with Tan essay is on how I too have immigrant parents who even though they are not US citizens but lawful permanent resident they yet have a hard time finding good jobs, or even have hard times speaking in either person or telephone because of the language.
Language is much more than a method of communication. Permeated within it are traditions, customs, and legacies of one’s culture. The identity of an entire population is in the distinct vocalizations of their native language. Unfortunately, as a wave of immigrants enters the United States at young ages, many face language barriers that pose significant challenges. Language barriers affect a multitude of immigrant populations to different degrees. This, in turn, causes many of them to abandon not only their native tongue but a piece of their ethnic identity, as well. In Maxine Hong Kingston’s personal narrative,“The Language of Silence,” she describes the difficulties she experienced throughout her childhood with a language barrier as a
United by the obligations of the law, yet entirely divided by society, welcome to America. Patriots chant “equality” one moment, and “deport them” the next. Cruel, unaccepting, and uncompassionate, American society of the majority often appears to view itself as sovereign, turning a blind eye to, and often contributing to, the struggles of minorities. In “Mother Tongue”, Amy Tan (1990) does an excellent job of sharing her experience with similar issues as she tells her readers about the struggles her mother encountered due to being an immigrant who only spoke “broken” English. Society often put no weight into what Tan’s mother had to say, believing her ability to express her thoughts reflected the quality of said thoughts, which are of absolutely no correlation (Tan, 1990). This often led to Tan having to intervene for her mother, especially during serious situations that required resolution (Tan, 1990). Immigrants, no matter how intelligent or talented, may be plagued by continuous struggles because of a lack of understanding of English or American culture, stereotypes encouraged by the media, and discrimination, especially in the workplace.
In Amy Tan’s essay “Mother Tongue”, Tan discusses how the way her bilingual mother speaks negatively affects how people perceive her intellect. Despite the fact that Tan’s mother is actually very intelligent and understands more than many people expect her to, she often is ignored and belittled because of how she speaks. Tan feels that those who ignore and belittle her mom are oblivious to the beauty, complexity, and richness of her mother’s speech. In Tan’s essay “Mother Tongue”, Tan shows that the belief that standard English is inherently better than other forms of English is flawed by questioning the prominence of proper English and sharing how rich and beautiful her mother’s English can be.
In “Mother Tongue” essay by Amy Tan, Tan shares her discoveries about the different variations of English she learned growing up in an Chinese-American household, and then reflects on these findings. Tan shows the reader that racial profiling still exists, even in a time where every person is promised freedom and equality in the world. Tan talks about not only does the profiling exist and occur, but that it is also done incorrectly and inefficiently, as Tan clearly demonstrates it by surpassing any test that suggested she study medicine or engineering. In her essay it is noticeable that all the evidence used to support Tan's arguments are past experiences she had as a child growing up, speaking what was considered "broken" English. I can definitely relate to Amy Tan’s essay because I too came from a bilingual home and Like Amy Tan, I had intelligent immigrant parents and I was their main avenue of communication with people who didn’t understand them.
Often, immigrant parents will push for their children to learn the official language of the country they live in. These parents claim that their children will be more successful in life if they acquire that second language, because of the pressure of versatility in society. By quickly enforcing second language, the children find themselves taken over by this incoming force. Constant exposure is the most efficient method of learning, but requires an immense amount of time and effort. Due to frequent subjection of practice, the second dialect will outweigh the original, taking its place as the most proficient language a person uses. Most importantly, the learner must have the eagerness within themselves to truly acquire a second language. Non-native speakers can be uncomfortable with residing in a country whose official language is not their primary. Virginia Gonzalez’s and Ana Celia Zentella’s reports analyze Latinos’ standard of living and the possible outcomes of children of immigrant families in an English governed community. Other works such as Aria by Richard Rodriguez reveals advantages from learning English, such as being able to communicate confidently and feeling included. However, the risk of losing the first language outweighs the advantages. The negative effects are often overlooked and unexpected as shown through the scholarly works of Lily Wong Fillmore, Monique Bournot-Trites and Ulrike Tellowitz. As I will argue in the paper, the common notion that learning a
In the narrative essay, “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan, the author sets out the story between her mother, whose English is her second language, and Tan herself can speak native English very well. The essay covers the tonal shift of Amy Tan 's psychological change, from grudge to understanding. Although she begins the essay saying, " I am not a scholar of English or literature. I cannot give you much more than personal opinions on the English language and its variations in the country or others." The essay uses personal narrative and pathos to tell us that language is not the only key to communication. But sometimes, people use it as a tool to measure individual value.
Throughout my childhood, it was a normal occurrence to hear three different languages in a single conversation. My father’s native language is Korean and my mother’s native language is Chinese. From my upbringing, I got to witness one of the struggles of an immigrant, which is learning English. Although my parents’ English is very good now, it took many years of practice. I often had to serve as a translator for my parents in public settings early on in my life. Not knowing English should not have to be a source of shame for an immigrant. However, I saw the embarrassment on my parents’ faces when I had to translate publicly for them. They worked endlessly every night in their college classes to become proficient in English, a skill that is easy for native speakers to take for granted. It made me realize the obstacles that immigrants face. To this day, my parents are still self-conscious about their speaking abilities. It has even influenced my mother’s career prospects. She has decided not to progress in her career, which requires teaching because she is afraid people will not like being taught by her because of her accent. Language is required to gain friendships, good jobs, and ultimately the power to
English is a just a language not a measure of intelligence. This statement is easy to comprehend but hard to practice. A majority of people are tempted to believe that English is a measure of intelligence and, in particular, an individual's ability to exercise brain power. As a matter of fact, the best that English – as a language – can be used to measure is relevant grammatical knowledge and skill level but not intelligence. According to Ghirlanda et al. (2014), intelligence refers to an individual's ability to not only grasp concepts but also build ideas on them. Knowledge, on the other hand, refers to the facts, information, and skills acquired by an individual through information (Polanyi, 2015). This proves (beyond the reasonable
In the essay, “Mother Tongue,” Amy Tan includes anecdotes. The anecdotes help add flavor to her essay by giving inside information about things that have occurred to her. The point of her essay would not have been reached without anecdotes as they engage, involve, and interest the reader. People can relate and learn from any of her small stories. Tan’s stories have a point connected to the point she is trying to make in her essay.
Critically acclaimed author, Amy Tan, in her essay “Mother Tongue”, considers cultural standards and preconceived notions propagated by society in the terms of language. Tan explores the perceptions behind those who speak in ‘broken English’ and the validity of all forms of self-expression by revisiting past experiences in her own life with her mother. She adopts a sincere and emotional tone in order to expose audiences to the discrimination many immigrants face in society on a continual basis. Ultimately, through the use of devices such as definition, comparison and contrast, and her masterful command of language; Tan expresses her central claim that all of her ‘englishes’ are deserving of recognition and respect.
It is beautiful to see how language has different interpretations. It can be a different language from half way around the world or it can be a dialect. It can be an accent or a more loosened form of English. It is used every day, becoming a tool for growth and before people know it, it becomes this soul tweaking tool that raises and composes a personality and identity within a culture and family. As esteemed novelist and writer Amy Tan describes in her essay,Mother Tongue, it is “the language spoken in the family, especially in immigrant families which are more insular, plays a large role in shaping the language of the child” (181). Growing up
Mother Tongue Observational Analysis In the essay, Mother Tongue, by Amy Tan she uses words to do much more than just capture the reader’s attention. Tan not only recalls the past; she vividly includes the reader in her observations creating interest. In the beginning of her essay Tan states these very words, “I am not a scholar of English or literature.”
Discrimination is an ongoing problem that has been prevalent since the beginning of human existence. With discrimination though, there are subtopics and these subtopics will always direct a certain type of person. A subtopic of discrimination is the abusement towards people of a second language. Discrimination in the perspective of the discriminator may consist of undermining, restricting, or humiliating the victim; and as the victim, one has to endure this kind of abuse. There have been countless scenarios where second language discrimination occurs including in cultural literature like “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan. In result to acknowledging the recurrences of discriminatory events, I firmly believe there may be a solution to the daily abuse.
Despite our hopes, my father’s work once again became very stressful and my mother faced racism and prejudice. Workers refused to return her calls because of her accent, while they would promptly respond when my father, with his American accent called. A cafe in town treated customers unequally based upon their origin and wealth. And the first question a new person asked us was where we lived; either we qualified to be friends with them or not.