Mother Tongue by Amy Tan - Essay Example

 This essay discusses the article Mother Tongue by Amy Tan. It identifies with her struggles to learn the socially acceptable form of English speaking while having to deal with “bastardized” English speaking at home. The combination of which would cause any normal child's head to explode…
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Mother Tongue by Amy Tan
Download file to see previous pages That part of her journey is what she speaks about in this article and it is also what drew me into reading it. It is a highly engaging and contemplative look at how English is truly a living and breathing language that will evolve with society as long as people speak the language. Public and Private Language by Richard Rodriguez The story of the Americanization of Richard Rodriguez is one that is highly too familiar and painful for most students in American schools who come from Non-English speaking households. Just like Amy Tan, he and his parents had to learn to speak English together, but with the child learning faster and more comfortably than the parent. His story is one of heartbreak as he recalls how his parents were forced to bury their mother tongue by the educational system. Something that they did only because they wanted to ensure the future success of their children. Even if it meant creating a rift within their own family and growing apart because of language issues. It is a story that asks one to think about bilingualism in a different light. Is it really proper for a child, who grew up in a non-English speaking household to be told to forget that language because it is not the mother tongue of the nation? It would seem like a child would easily be able to grasp the English language while in school and other social settings because they are exposed to English speakers longer than they are to the other language speakers in their homes. But that is what makes this particular piece an excellent comparison companion to Amy Tan's own story. These two authors actually led the same bilingual lives and problems in different settings. That will definitely make for an interesting point of comparison later on. Points of Comparison 1. Both came from non-English speaking homes 2. Both had parents whose grasp of the English language was quite weak. 3. Both overcame the odds in learning English in order to become successful in their chosen careers Possible Thesis Statements 1. The influence of non-English speaking parents on first-generation American children 2. Reasons why bilingualism is not a bad thing for children 3. English as a mother tongue does not need to be forced upon bilingual children because of social and academic factors. Bilingualism and Its Impact on Parent-Child Relationships Noted authors, Amy Tan and Richard Rodriguez, authors of Mother Tongue and Public and Private Language respectively, have something in common which most people may not realize at first. They are first generation Americans who come from non-English speaking homes. Their parents both had an almost non-existent grasp of the English language and the great language divide served as a barrier towards their having a closer, more productive relationship with their parents. This separation of a parent to child happened because Amy and Richard, both the product of American schools, were forced to learn to speak English in order to become socially acceptable in their world. English was going to become their default mother tongue whether they liked it or not because their social life and future careers depended upon it. It did not have to be forced upon them like it was just because our school system was afraid that bilingual kids would not learn how to speak English properly.   ...Download file to see next pagesRead more
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