Amy Tan and James Baldwin

Theory of Writing Assignment Forums Discussions Amy Tan and James Baldwin

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    Sara Sanchez

    Both article reiterate how complex the English language can be, particularly for people who did not grow up with it as their first language & the stigma of their intelligence that follows them. Although I cannot personally relate, I can see what Amy Tan is referencing as “broken” english, as I see my grandmother is the same way. For me personally, I don’t struggle with understanding English but rather Spanish as I grew up with both my parents speaking English with me & being shamed when asked why I don’t speak Spanish.

    Nika Medilishi

    Both of these articles talk about the importance of language. The language we use in everyday life differs on who we talk to. It can be used as a weapon to influence people and as Emy Tan claims “proper” language can help you in certain situations. I relate to Emy’s article because I too am an immigrant and so is my mother. I understand what she’s talking about and how she felt when her mother spoke “broken” English. I don’t think an accent should get in the way of the importance of what you have to say. Although, it is important to use the correct words because sometimes it’s more important how you say something than what you say. Baldwin’s article was similar and different at the same time. He talked about the dialects and accents of different languages, in particular; English and French. It is fascinating how English can be talked in so many different forms. Since the accents can be based on locations and places, different people do not understand each other even though it is they speak the same language.

    Xiaoqin Jiang

    <span style=”font-weight: 400;”>When I read “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan and “If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?” By JAMES BALDWIN, I felt that these two articles tell us that no matter what language should be respected. For me, I remember that when I arrived American of the first year, I tried to speak English to talk with people, but most of them couldn’t understand what I am talking about because of my accent and pronunciation. This later made me afraid to speak English and when I was speaking English, I was not confident. Language develops through the society and culture. Every country has different languages and culture characteristics. When we come to a strange country, language cannot be the object of our attack.</span>

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    Crystal Yang

    I liked how in Amy Tan’s article, she brought up how in math, there is either a right or wrong answer while when it comes to literature, it relies more on judgement of the reader. I never was really good at math which is why I prefer writing over it because I knew that it was more of a subjective topic even if there are certain rules such as grammar rules. I also related to how language plays a big role in communication. Such as when I meet new people or peers, I have a hard time relating or connecting with them socially because of our communication differences whether it’d be slang or actual differences in language. I am an Asian American and my Chinese is not as good as it used to be and when I meet mainland Chinese people, it’s as if we’re a different species because of our language differences.

    Ange Louis

    Both of these pieces, I can highly relate to because I know what it’s like to speak another language and how that can affect my English and I also know about the black English/language since I am African American. In the “Mother Tongue” I completely understood what Tan was saying about her experience with her mother’s English. My mom also immigrated to the U.S. and she speaks “broken” English. It led to me having to pretend to be her on phone calls or people not being able to understand her. However, just like Tan I’ve learned to embrace it because it’s just the way she speaks English. I felt it also had an influence on my love for math and science even though I’m very good at English. The idea that Tan’s mom dialect of English spoke volumes about her identity connected to James Baldwin’s ideas in his piece. The dialect of English you speak can say a lot about your background which is why language has so much power because it’s created from a situation of necessity to convey what you want. To think how history would be different if we all spoke the same dialect of language or how the black language has influenced the white population is crazy to think about.

    Mohammad Rahman

    It’s crazy how big of an impact the way we speak have in the way we view people. After reading “Mother’s Tongue” by Amy Tan, it made me reflect how I was before. Amy was shamed of her mother’s way of speaking English, but I used to be ashamed of the way I used to speak it. I am also from another country and when I first came, I realized how thick of an I really had in comparison to the rest of the people, and I used to get made fun of for that as well. But now that I look back, I feel like my accent different from the rest, but more unique. The accent gave me an identity, (which unfortunately I lost due to speaking too much lol). I guess in a perfect world, we all would be speaking the same language and understand one another perfectly. But unfortunately, this would is extremely diverse, so I think we should accept everyone for who they are, no matter of how they speak.

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