My first language is English but I also understand haitian Creole. I would say I am intermediate in Haitian Creole. I also think some words in Spanish are familiar to me because in Creole there are some Spanish words ( as well as some French). I want to be able to hold a basic conversation in Spanish or at least understand it. Eventually, i would love to be fluent or at least intermediate in the language to be able to communicate well with my future Spanish-speaking ELL students when I become a teacher. From this class, i hope to build a strong foundation of the basics.
Becoming bilingual One of my first memories of reading dates back about 13 years. Aged at about 3 or 4 years old, I was still tumbling over small hands and feet, unaware of what to expect when it came down to the very concept of reading, and from whom to expect learning it from. My mother was my greatest influence when it came down to learning the basics of reading and verbal communication.
“We’re staying at a hotel this week, girls.” As I heard the words sorely coming out of my father, I was hit with the reality of where I lived and the situation the city faced. Six men had been shot countless times across the street from my house. A bloody and holey reminder was left, and up to the residents to clean up. The city was Juarez, Mexico; at some point, the most unsafe city in the world. A few weeks later, as my mother was driving to the store, three men held her at gunpoint for her purse and the keys to her car. The next day, my parents announced we were moving to the States.
On November 6th, I encountered a cultural disconnect with a friend. My friend is a white, female, and the same age as me. This disconnect happened on the Berkeley campus when we were walking to our next class. We were both walking and talking about what we have been up to that past week. I told her that I was swamped with midterms and projects coming up so I was “studying and dying all week.” She chuckled at my statement and she said she had two midterms coming up too and has not begun to study. I asked her why she did not start studying yet. I assumed she was too consumed with her part-time job or preoccupied with other important obligations, but she simply replied, “I didn’t feel like it.”
Exploring your ethnic roots will enhance your understanding of how your background has shaped you. I am a 24-year-old heterosexual Hispanic woman that was raised in Fresno, California in a Catholic family. As an able-bodied citizen, I considered my social class to be middle class because I always had the necessary resources growing up. Being raised within the Mexican culture has helped me identify with myself. I seek information from my parents to determine their experiences in the United States and how that has affected me today.
Richard Rodriguez, author of “Aria: A Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood” grew up speaking Spanish at home for the beginning of his life, and having the great connection with family that most hope for during their lifetime. This all suddenly changed when he entered school. Starting at a young age, Richard was surrounded by all English-speaking people that he could not communicate well with. The only instances where English would be would have been during public outings, and interaction with others. At home, his parents also struggled to speak English making the situation even harder on Richard.
I am of Hispanic descent, but since I live in the United States, I have lost touch with my Hispanic roots. I don’t know Spanish and I hate spicy food. I might look Hispanic, but I don’t associate with the many stereotypes that come with associating myself as a Hispanic. I remember the first time visited my family in Mexico. I have heard many ugly stereotypes about Hispanics and I was not very excited to go.
As an Indian-Americans, I grew up with two very different cultures influencing me in to distinct worlds: my home life and my school life. It wasn’t until I became a freshman a few years ago that these two cultures fused into one. I used to think using my mother tongue in public was weird, and that I had to be just like my Caucasian friends to be “cool”. As an early teen, I never acknowledged my own religion, culture, and ethnicity; sometimes I disgraced them. But, as I matured, I realized that my religion, culture, and ethnicity is a gift. Although it makes me different, it helps me succeed. The standards my parents set for me propagate a new academic standard. When I came to accept it, and met other Indians, I succumbed to a pressure that
Being born in the United States as a Hmong boy makes me Hmong American. I spent my entire childhood with an illiterate woman. While I was at school, she would be at home cooking and doing household chores. This woman was the person who raised and took care of me; this woman was my grandmother. My grandmother was the person who gave me the opportunities I have today. She left almost everything she had behind, family and possessions, and decided to immigrate to the United States during the Vietnam War.
Do I know who I am? Am I who I think I am? What makes me, me.? There’s a lot to know, and still so much more to explore and learn about myself. There are three main aspects about my life, that symbolizes who I am as a person. My cultural identity is based upon values, appearance and my life itself. I love who I am, and who I am becoming. My happiness and intelligence is what makes me stand out from others. I’ve always put my best foot forward and make the best decisions for myself. I am half Indian, Caucasian, European & Mexican on my mom’s side of the family. On my dad’s, I am Half Jamaican on my dad’s side of the family. Both of my parents taught me different ways around life and what is expected of me. But the three things that sums up my cultural identity are food, fashion, and family traditions.
Communicating in Spanish with my grandmother at ten was difficult to tackle, but we had our
Find My Voice Accomplishments take me one step closer to happiness and tranquility. For example, maintaining an “A” in a rigorous course, helping others that are struggling, cook for my family, etc. are minor achievements and events that have formed me into a better being. Sometimes, ignorance gets the best of me, and it does conquer my sweet, timid personality that I possess. Accordingly, my accolades never suggest nor imply I am better than anyone else. I never consider highly of myself because we are equally intelligent in our own separate ways.
Overcoming “The” Struggle I don’t recall having a hard time learning how to read. It was one of those things that just came easily to me for some reason. For the most part I enjoyed reading as well. The only time I didn’t enjoy reading was when I didn’t understand a certain word or a certain phrase.
The world is filled with people, and like snowflakes, each person is not the same as another. Each person identifies with different aspects of their lives to create their own personal identities. I personally identify with my Italian side of my family to help form who I am today. I have found myself connecting with this side more so than the other parts of my identity. It affects how I live my life by becoming the center to the culture surrounding me. However, my ethnic identity as an Italian American also influences how I live when it comes to my religion, and how my religion affects my life alongside my ethnicity. I will expand on this issue on how I express my ethnic and religious identity in regards to each other.