Summary Of Mother Tongue

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The statistics on Ethnologue.com shows that English has for a long time been the 3rd most spoken and written language in the world accounting for almost 372 million people. Since the early imperialism and colonization done by Britain, English has grown and has been assimilated into various cultures and societies. Global relations and communication through the United Nations along with the existence of 70 English-speaking countries, has been the key drivers of English becoming the most widely used language of communication. This “mainstream” English is the accepted language and has resulted in the complex issue of what should be considered language and why when people assimilate it into their culture, it is viewed as “broken”. Despite…show more content…
It is not that it is directly force on to them, but its due to the strong influence and the importance our society as place on it. In her work “Mother Tongue”, Amy Tan clearly outline her life growing up, her socialization into English, and her previous disdain for how her mother spoke. She expressed that her mother’s style of speaking English seemed “broken”. One’s language heritage, or “family talk” starts to fade away when you begin immersing in mainstream English. Most of the time, they only speak their native language around family or friends they grew up with. I can testify to this as I speak standard English generally but not when I’m around my family. Similarly, when Tan spoke to a large group of people about her book, “The Joy Luck Club”, she did so in mainstream English in contrast to how she spoke to her mother while walking down the street. It can be assumed that the group she spoke to, even if they are from different cultures, understood her due to their existing exposure to English and the importance of to communicate on a wide scale. A family structure is a strong unit of people who pass down traditions and are the ultimate keeper of language heritage despite changes in society. Even though Tan’s mother eventually improved her English, she kept her native slang and encourage Tan do never abandon it. Anyone can assimilate mainstream…show more content…
It is indeed essential to learn grammar rules and develop basic writing skills, but not at the expense of integrating students’ cultural identity in the learning process and in-class discussions. The classroom is where the 2nd phase of early socialization begins. As early as kindergarten, diversity in the classroom is created by children and teachers sometimes fail to understand that no two children are the same. Cultural identity is barely promoted, as the mainstream English encompasses most aspects of education. In the article, “Preserving the Cultural Identity of English Language Learner”, Sumaryono and Ortiz argued that in the classroom, students can become disconnected and feel abandoned if the teacher doesn’t express any sort of sensitivity towards their cultural identities (16). If teachers take some time to understand the cultural identity of the students and develop a good relationship, this could make students feel accepted, worthy and possible show more interest in learning. Students are willing to learn English but being able to freely express themselves and their creativity is of concern. Ortiz recommended that schools “find meaningful ways to incorporate the richness of students’ cultural background in the curriculum” (17). During my high school year, there was a period where students were really under performing in English. It

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