I. My background and how it has not hindered my learning English language. I come from a Jewish Italian parent but it has not affected me or my language as I do have perfect English. I compare my experience similar to Amy Tan and I can definitely correlate with her with respect to coming from non English background but it has not hindered my quest to learn English language.
I. About Amy Tan’s essay – “Mother Tongue”
In Amy Tan’s essay – “Mother Tongue” (1990), Tan tells to her readers that she was introduced to the language (English) in multiple ways. She gives many examples of different languages from the different experiences in her life. Tan’s purpose in this essay is to show how her mother tongue affected her English and made her improve her English. The author’s readers and audience is people of different nations and multiple languages. II. How she describes her journey to overcome her background and learn English language.
Amy Tan’s Mother Tongue was uplifting since she talked about how she eventually overcame the judgement about her nationality. It is very moving to see that Tan embraces her nationality while using English language day to day basis. She explains language in a very beautiful way. She really has passion for language (English). The point she was trying to make in this essay was that although she is from Chinese background, she has succeeded in learning English language thus proving many people wrong. One of the main points of this essay is that words are more than mere words; one has to look beyond them to understand the true and complete meaning. For instance, her mother did not speak perfect English, but the way her mother pointed out some of the ideas across was really important.
She has said that standard tests need not always determine a person’s intelligence, by this she is trying to convey that people think differently and have different types of intelligence, and hence these standard tests can only measure a certain type of intelligence, so it is unfair. In the Amy Tan’s – Mother Tongue, she states that “she is someone who has always loved language. She is fascinated by language in daily life.
She spends a great deal of her time thinking about the power of language –“the way it can evoke an emotion, a visual image, a complex idea, or a simple truth.”(Amy Tan’s Mother Tongue, 63). Her words clearly show her zeal to learn English language and her passion for it. She gives few more examples of her mother’s broken English as she calls it “He come to my wedding. I did not see, I heard it. I gone to boy’s side, they have dinner. Chinese age I was nineteen.” (Tan’s Mother tongue, 64)
This story somewhat reminds me of my own self and also of many such people of different nationalities and languages. What I have learned from this narrative -Amy Tan “Mother Tongue” is that I just was seeing in some way relationship between my mother and me. I do not judge anyone who has broken but I started looking for something that might be helpful for me to learn from these people. My experience with people who speak broken English is that they would have good literacy. This narrative focuses on ways to look at the issues of language and identity in different ways that validate many languages that we use. It helps us to gain competence in our ability to choose the right language usage for different situations and explore language and identity.