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Analysis of Book “Arts of the Contact Zone” by Mary Louise Pratt’s

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In the first semester of my International Baccalaureate English course, we analyzed Mary Louise Pratt’s “Arts of the Contact Zone”. Pratt discusses the implications of contact zones and transculturation by utilizing Guaman Poma’s example of learning Spanish to successfully write a letter and persuade the King of Spain. In this written task, presented in the form of journal entries written by Andrea, a Mexican girl who dreams of becoming an architect, she will express her experience of transculturation by having to apply English to her everyday life in order to get a better educational opportunity in a different country, the United States.

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Due to her not being a native English speaker, she will encounter difficulties regarding Standard American English in the contact zone. Andrea will experience harsh cultural changes when moving from Ensenada, Baja California, to a different country and a new school with different friends. At the beginning she will be subject to codeswitching from English to Spanish and there will be writing errors, since English is not fully enforced in Mexico.

Then, as she moves to the United States, she will encounter language profiling, language prejudice, and prescriptivist judgement from her counselor and teachers.

Due to her accent and different cultural background, she will see the ways in which language affirms identity and the values based on the way people speak. These journal entries are excerpts chosen from her diary to read in which she will write her thoughts, and struggles of the day in order to transmit the different stages of her life and show the progression of her English Language through the journey of achieving her dream. Be aware that I am fully conscious of any spelling errors, as Andrea has a hard time with irregular past tense verbs, and grammar mistakes made, like misinterpreting prepositions.

March 5 2008 Miss Laura, my English teacher told us to do our journal so I am writing my day… Today I went to school, after school we had our class of participacion social. Miss Ada saided to my team: Ana Margarita, Ernesto, and me that we were going to take the dirt of the cars, after that I went to play basket but the teacher wasn’t there so me, my sister and a friend, played with other peorsons, not basket, we played games of fun and at the last we made a circle and pray all together. March 7 2008 We went to our Catholic church this morning, my mom went too, and I was shy because I went with the whole school.

When we were coming back to the school I went with the first grade as colada because I had to finish my homework of Geografia. After the recess on the class I thinked about Tijuana, I miss my friends my teachers. Here in Ensenada they teach me things I already know. In Sunday, I will go to Tijuana and see my friends I miss them too much. In Saturday, we will do a car wash I am excited I want to go and I will quitar el polvo al carro. I love Tijuana the better place to live. March 10 2008 I am sick (cough) I feel bad because of the car wash. We had 2,416 pesos but we had to make 3,000 pesos, I was in the box.

Later I went with Michelle to sleep but my mom came for me at 6:00 AM we had to go to church, then to the kids club in Tijuana. At ‘NET’, I saw my friends. Michelle has a room full of barbies I love barbies we played all the day with Paola and Sofia. April 8 2008 In Sunday, I trided to filmed me and my secrets but it don’t work so I am going to do another one because in the future I am going to show it to my kids if I have. I want to have kids or be a tourist, I want to work like an architect or decorating houses, offices, and more, from the inside.

I have trouble findding friends to trust, I don’t wory about guys right now. Instead, in my studies, in my dad because I don’t find him happy, also in my future, how will it be like? I wish to be an intelligent person, pretty, healthy, happy, outstandding and have money. Enough to triumf and also go to heaven. August 10 2011 I have returned to Ensenada, Baja California from Santiago de Chile. On a religious trip I went there in which I met girls from around the world. The funny thing was that we all spoke Spanish but differently, at the end all of our accents were mixed up. Oh man! We had a lot of fun.

I got to hang out with people that had the same interests as me in the religious field, which is hard to find these days in were people don’t take God seriously. I just want to become a martyr, if I ever have the chance to die for what I believe. This cannot be happening to me right now! I have just returned from my amazing trip and my mom tells me to unpack my bags and pack again because WE ARE MOVING TO CHULA VISTA, CALIFORNIA!!! The world has come to this were I have to seek another COUNTRY in were they offer better opportunities for me to attend a University, which is a step in order to accomplish my dream of becoming an architect.

So, I find myself to accept this change to a different country, in a new school, with new friends, and another living style. August 10 2012 A year has passed since I last wrote on this journal I found in the moving boxes. I just cannot believe how my English used to look! I am now a sophomore in high school taking advanced classes after a long talk with my counselor who had placed me in regular English classes. She assumed I couldn’t handle the type of work given to the “advanced” students, because all she heard when I spoke was my accent, and because based on her prejudice, that I wasn’t an “advanced” student.

Although, my English is still not advanced and needs improvements, I have managed to overcome much of my struggles since I recently moved here. The English language has been an issue when I want to fluently communicate my thoughts, I know most of the topics the teachers address, the problem is when I have to write or speak in “formal” English, as I am always required to do so. I now have new friends whom I can talk to, but it’s not the same, EVERYTHING is different now. August 08 2013 English is everywhere! Today the teacher scored my essay.

Once again I received a bad score. Why can’t I just write in pure Spanish? Although not everything can literary translate without misinterpreting or mistaking the meaning of a word, or even of an idea. Spanish comes easy to me, I just have to write without worrying about grammar or spelling. Spanish is who I am. But I have been influenced to admit that in this world I must write English, “good English”, as my teacher would say. English, the language of power which I have to enforce if I want to be the architect I have always dreamt of being.

Cite this Analysis of Book “Arts of the Contact Zone” by Mary Louise Pratt’s

Analysis of Book “Arts of the Contact Zone” by Mary Louise Pratt’s. (2016, Jul 02). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/ib-written-task/

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