Blog 2

The role that language played in Amy Tan’s life was significant since it wasn’t her best subject growing up she decides to take it up herself and become better at writing which along the way she discovers that maybe her mother’s form of speaking English had affected her too. Because of the contrast from her mothers “limited” English and academic English taught in school showed her that she had learned to code switch between both but at the same time limited her academic performance. As Amy describes growing up her mother’s dialect had shaped everything around her, “that was the language that helped shape the way I saw things, expressed things,made sense of the world.” Amy became to become self aware of her own perception of herself and the bias of language. In the beginning Amy gives a t description of the importance that language conveys as she claims “the way it can evoke an emotion, a complex idea…language is the tool of my trade” which helped how to balance between the pro’s and con’s of code switching. Personally, growing up in an immigrant household with the same struggles of language as Amy I wasn’t made conscious of it, until I started school and saw the differences in pronunciation of certain words and the incomplete English sentences my mother would speak in. Many are probably unaware of this language barrier if they’re not exposed to other outlets of learning language. I was made aware of how English is used around me, when I had a business internship was when I first learned what code-switching meant, in order to sound more professional there is a certain English that is spoken. For Instance, when Amy explains how her mother is limited by her “broken” English as banker or even doctors don’t give her the same level of respect as a native English speaker. For example, Amy states the doctors had lost her mother’s CAT scan of a brain tumor and had brushed her off encouraging her to make another appointment and showed no sympathy but as soon as “her daughter, me, who spoke in perfect English– lo and behold…apologies for my suffering my mother had gone through for a most regrettable mistake.” Goes to show the lengths of being deemed of more importance simple because of the way language is spoken. I wish more people knew that simply because of someone’s “limited” English doesn’t mean it’s a limit to a person’s ideas they’re trying to send across, they’re just as rich as the next person’s thoughts they just need to be served with the same kind of respect.

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