The essay I want to write on is Mother Tongue, which is written by Amy Tan. This article recalls me some adversities when the first few days I came to the United States. Amy is an ethnic Chinese writer who was born and living in United States. She was faced with language problem during her life. In this essay, Amy Tan talks about her mother’s broken grammar and the dialogue in English without grammar between her mother and her. But when Amy talks with other people, gives a speech, or writing, she will had perfect spoken English.
Therefore, that is why she wrote this essay, I think I can understand Tan’s experiences very well in several ways because I have experienced much of which she write about. At the beginning of this essay by saying “I am a writer. And by definition, I am someone who has always loved language. I am fascinated by language in daily life. I spend a great deal of time thinking about the power of language— the way it can evoke an emotion, a visual image, a complex idea, or a simple truth.
Language is the tool of my trade. And I use them all — all the Englishes I grew up with. Obviously, language is very important in our daily life, especially when you are in a foreigner country. I still remember that our family first trip abroad and have a short traveling. At that time, I could only speak a few English in daily conversation, just like hello, how are you, thank you, and so on. These does worked, but not very. It was so unbelievable to me. From then on, I realized that there are many different languages in our world, and it really did work. It is no doubt that language would be very useful to connect individuals into a community.
However language is a double-edged sword, it also has a power that comes with a people alienated from the community. Obviously, Tan’s mother and I belong to the latter. I have the similar experience with this essay very much, because I can not control English skills very well, neither. Speaking is a huge problem in daily communication when I came here. Although we had numerous courses about English during the education stage in our country, the main aspect of learning always focus on reading comprehension, cloze and listening.
I have the weakness in vocabulary and I am not sure about the pronunciation of some words which I don’t familiar with. Because of that, I can not translate my words in my mind into English immediately. That really confused me for a long time when I got here in first several days. Grammar is another barrier stopped me communication very well. “Yet some of my friends tell me they understand 50 percent of what my mother says. Some say they understand 80 to 90 percent. Some say they understand none of it, as if she were speaking pure Chinese. ” The writer said in her essay.
I could not agree more with that idea she said. It is another problem which is I familiar with Amy’s experience is that I can not master English grammar very well. That leads me feel a little bit difficulty to talking with other people using a complete sentence. Some of native speaker could understand what I said, but some of them could not. Once it happened, I have to repeat my broken words in many times and speak in different words which make me feel very embarrassed. The courses I have attend before which is always order us to do some exercise of reading and listening.
Because of that, I can not practice speaking a lot. In this essay, Amy Tan also states “I think my mother’s English almost had an effect on limiting my possibilities in life as well. Sociologists and linguists probably will tell you that a person’s developing language skills are more influenced by peers. But I do think that the language spoken in the family, especially in immigrant families which are more insular, plays a large role in shaping the language of the child. ” Language environments play a vital role in the learning of English, too.
In China, we used to be practice reading a lot, practice listening a lot, practice writing a lot. However, speaking is a skill we need to practice in a right way with a right people whose English is exactly correct, so that we can improve our English rapidly. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a favorable language environment let us to practice spoken English absolutely correct in grammar or pronunciation. So I think we have to figure something out about why Chinese people always weak in spoken English. In my opinion it has a close relationship with our education system.
Although there are many factors were involved in basic education to provide quality, language is an obviously key to communication and understanding in the classroom. English class in my country is characterized by individuals as well as society in multiple languages, but continues to allow one foreign language education sector dominates. Because it is very similar that makes students hold under water without teaching them how to swim. Because of many difficulties, such as teachers who doesn’t has a high level education, poorly designed of courses, inappropriate curriculum and lack of adapt school facilities, and so on.
Cramming method of learning and teaching is very difficult, especially in foreign language teaching. All of them are preparing for the exam; and students couldn’t master the skill during the class which is pity. In generally speaking, spoken English is always a barrier in my English study which is the most difficulty thing. As a writer, Amy said that she known she had succeeded where it counted when her mother had finished reading her book and gave Amy some verdict – So easy to read. I think it is the best comment that every writer want to see. I’d like there will more and more writer like Tan emerged
Cite this Mother Tongue
Mother Tongue. (2016, Oct 20). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/mother-tongue-4/