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 Tongue," by Amy Tan. Specifically, it will analyze how the author uses rhetorical strategies to make her argument, while cr*****iquing cultural standards. Amy ***** writes of the different forms ***** English she uses in her life, while illustrating the myriad ways that people express themselves depending on their audience and ***** needs. Everyone uses ***** phrases and ********** depending on their surroundings and their goals. Tan's essay applies to all of us, and beca*****e of this, it is easier to read and easier ***** apply to everyday and classroom situations.

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


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