Essay - Teaching - Social Issues Mother Tongue the Purpose of This...

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Teaching - Social Issues

Mother Tongue

The purpose of this paper is to introduce, discuss, and analyze the essay "Mother *****," by Amy Tan. Specifically, it will analyze how the author uses rhetorical strategies to make her argument, while critiquing cultural standards. Amy ***** writes of the different forms of English she ***** in her life, while illustrat*****g the myriad ways that people express themselves depending on their audience and their needs. Everyone uses ***** phrases ***** expressions ***** on their surroundings and their goals. Tan's essay applies to all of us, and beca*****e of *****, it is easier to read and easier to apply ***** everyday ***** classroom situati*****s.

Throughout Amy ***** essay, ***** compares the English she uses everyday, to the ***** she uses with family and close friends. She ***** the English she has learned as a tool to express ***** stilted English th*****t ********** up her cultural memories and the words of her mo*****r. ***** writes, "But ***** me, my mother's ***** is perfectly clear, ***** natural. It's ***** mother tongue. Her language, as I hear it, is vivid, direct, full ***** observation and imagery. That w***** the language that helped shape ***** way I saw things, expressed things, made sense of the world" (Tan). Therefore, some of Tan's earliest memories include memories ***** her *****'s stilted English, which is both comforting and cultural to her. She knows her mother's education and ideas are not stilted, but also recognizes that her limited ***** of speaking might make her appear "limited" or less than perfect to ot***** listeners. She n*****es, "I've *****d other terms used, '***** English,' for example. But they seem just as bad, as if everything is limited, including people's perceptions ***** the limited Engl*****h speaker" (Tan). ***** recognizes ***** way people speak may categorize them for listeners, ***** yet ***** categorization could often not be further from the truth. How a person speaks is as much a part of ***** ***** upbringing as it ***** about formalized and wr*****ten language, as Tan's experience clearly indicates. Her culture is interwoven with her language, and so, she has many different options open to her to communicate, and her style depends just as ***** on ***** audience ***** her education and understanding of the *****. In fact, Tan **********, "Sociologists and linguists probably will tell you that a person's developing language skills are more influenced by peers. But I do think that the ***** spoken in the *****, especi*****y in immigrant families which are more insular, plays a large role in shaping ***** language ***** the child" (Tan). Families play an important ***** in the development of *****ir children, and language is an import*****t part of that development. ***** embarrassment about her ***** English is just one ***** of the culture ***** ********** her as she grew up. To combat her embarr*****sment, she used Engl*****h as a tool to create an as*****nishing career for herself. Thus, Tan used the language ***** her youth to form her future.


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