Mother Tongue by Amy Tan

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Mother Tongue
By Amy Tan
By Jian C. Chen…...

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Critical Analysis of "Mother Tongue"

...Analysis Essay I have chosen “Mother Tongue” for the subject of my essay. I chose this essay because Amy Tan has a unique writing style which has tone that is clear and identifiable. Tan makes her arguments in a way that is easily understood. While her tone is sometimes humorous and captivating, it still clarifies some serious issues. These qualities among others leave Tan’s work to be desired by almost any reader because her tone and style are both genuine and upfront. This essay will talk about how Tan’s work in her essay “Mother Tongue” uses several different styles and tones to make her point of regarding the differences of her communications with her mother and other people in her life. In a way, Tan’s story is about tone and style, in the sense that how you convey a message is just as important as the content of your statement. Tan’s essay examines the differences in how she communicates with her mother, and how she communicates with everyone else in her immediate environment. I find it interesting that you can find examples of her point right in the story. You can see that Tan focused her essay to be grammatically correct, and descriptive, so that the readers such as ourselves can interpret it. It’s clear that she considers this in the very beginning of the text where she states, “I spend a great deal of my time thinking about the power of language-the way it can evoke an emotion, a visual image, a complex idea, or a simple truth”(Tan 34). Tan examines how tone......

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Mother Tongue

...was one of the men who built this nation and he was quite possibly the one of the greatest influences on how the America government system was developed. Although he never served as President of the US, Hamilton is often mistaken as one. As a founding father, his published opinions and writings became the doctrine this country’s political system was based on. Hamilton was a good scholar and was educated early, both by academia and also by life. His mother was once divorced and mother of one other son, James. Hamilton was the fourth child born to his father, a man described as a “ne’er do well” (Chernow.) Hamilton was born in the West Indies, his mother was of French decent and his father was a Scot. His Father left the family when Hamilton was just an infant. This, her second divorce, insured that Hamilton’s mother would finish her life alone. The abandonment made Hamilton the man of the manor and insured that his family would have to struggle to survive (Chernow). Orphaned again when was just 13 years old with the death of his mother, Hamilton was fast to adapt to the real working world. He clerked at an import-export firm and was quickly charged to prove himself. The young Hamilton was required to serve as manager of the firm for five months while his boss served Military duty. During this time Hamilton also proved himself as a writer. Hamilton’s editorial account of a natural disaster inspired community leaders to sponsor his education. They sent Hamilton on scholarship......

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A Glimpse of Amy Tan

...A Glimpse of Amy Tan As one of the first Asian American cultural writers of her time, Amy Tan is also one of the most significant contemporary writers of Literature today. Amy Tan brings to life the struggles of dual cultural identity, generational clashes due to age and cultural gaps minority woman face in society. Many of her stories are based upon real obstacles her, her Mother and Grandmother had in their lives as young woman, facing not only the minority issues but the sexiest stigma’s of their times. Born in Oakland, California in 1952, Amy Tan was born to immigrants that had left lives and family behind in China. As a teenager, Amy was faced with the tragic death of her Father and a few months later her Brother. Shortly after their deaths Daisy, Amy’s mother, decided “to cleanse the evil influence of their "diseased house". (Mote) And moved her family to New York, Washington, Florida and finally to Europe. At first they lived in the Netherlands and eventually settling in Monteux, Switzerland where Tan completed high school. Being considered an outsider by her peers, and the continuous feeling of anger and loss she felt from losing her brother and father, she began hanging out with a crowd of drug-dealing hippies and at sixteen was arrested. Her relationship with her Mother became increasingly strained and after a close encounter of almost eloping with a mental patient, Amy and her family returned to United States where her mother enrolled her in a small Baptist...

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Literary Technique of “a Pair of Tickets” by Amy Tan

...The short story "A Pair of Tickets," authored by Amy Tan is a detailed analysis of issues that concern many people that are of a different descent but that have been residents or migrated to another country for a long time. The story was written in such a way that if one does not take cognizance of interpretation of stories; one may not really gesticulate what the author is trying to portray. The story was about a young American student on a journey for the first time to China with a plan of reuniting with her half-sisters for the first time after the demise of her mother. The writer made use of stereotypes and prevalence of internal conflicts in presenting the theme of the story to the readers for easy understanding. The Protagonist or narrator in the story namely “June May” and her father were travelling by train; “Amy Tan” the author shows both symbolic and physical setting used in the story. “June May” reeling the feeling of being a Chinese was quoted in the story as being transformed into a werewolf, being color blind and behaving as a typical Chinese will behave. It is worthy of note that June may is very ignorant of her culture such that she assumes that her behave stereotypically in an ignorant way because she was trying to portray to her that the Chinese culture is the best, hence when she was always trying to avoid being drawn into the drama of imagining herself as a Chinese girl, this was evident when she alighted from the train and said “I am in China, I remind......

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Two Kinds by Amy Tan Summary

...Summary In the short story “Two Kinds” by Amy Tan, the conflicts of mother and daughter relationships are considered a theme. The cultural differences between a mother and her daughter, Jing-mei, really take a toll on their personal relationship. The struggle that a mother has in wanting her child to have a better life and all have all the opportunities that she didn’t have growing up drives her mother to the point of almost unrealistic expectations for her daughter to be good at something and become known as a ‘prodigy.’ Throughout this story, Jing-mei learns a little about herself and in the end, later in life, begins to understand her mother and her expectations for her as well. Jing-mei’s mother believed America held all the possibilities in the world along with the ability to become anything you wanted to be; if you were dedicated to something Her mother has high hopes for her daughter becoming a prodigy. She does not know what her talent is, but explores and considers all sorts of possibilities that stem from her reading magazine articles on amazing kids in “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” and other popular magazines. Jing-mei was forced to take piano lessons from Mr.Chong, a retired piano teacher who was deaf. He could not hear her off-key notes that she would play in her attempts to not try to learn how to play. Mr. Chong’s eyes were too slow to keep up with her hitting the wrong notes, so she gets away with it. Jing-mei's mother brags about her daughter's......

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Synthesis Essay on Mother Tongue by Amy Tan and Censoring Myself by Betty Shamieh

...from their roots. In "Mother Tongue," by Amy Tan, Tan talks about growing up as a young child in America and learning the English language. She speaks about growing up as a writer and her mother's imperfect diction which had a major influence on her. On the other hand, In her essay, "Censoring Myself," Betty Shamieh talks about being an American playwright and having to censor herself because of how her work was viewed. Both authors explore the influence that their background had on their ability to express themselves. As individuals we should not be afraid to express ourselves because of our differences, rather we should use our differences and show how our distinctions make us very unique. Firstly, In ""Mother Tongue," Tan talks about how her mother's limited English diction skewered her perception of her mother. Tan mentions how, "Like others, I have described it to people as "broken" or "fractured" English" (Tan 273). This shows how Tan viewed her mother's English speaking abilities. She describes it as if her mother spoke damaged English, which needed to be mended or repaired. For Tan it was imperative that she spoke proper English and used proper diction, thus she was ashamed of her mother's English. Tan fell under the impression that her mother's English speaking abilities reflected the quality of what she had to say. Since her mother expressed her words in an imperfect manner, tan believed that her thoughts were also imperfect (Tan 274). Her perception......

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About Amy Tan

...in the essay Mother Tongue, Amy Tan talked about her love and fascination of language, and how language can evoke an emotion, a visual image, and how it’s a tool she uses everyday in writing. She then goes into how she is aware of the different ways she uses the English language, she was in a middle of a speech, talking very precise about her book to a group of people using her knowledge of correct grammar that she has learned throughout school, and books, until she spotted her mother, and started to reminisce about how she holds a conversation with her mom. She starts off by giving a example of a conversation with her mom, they were talking about a price of a piece of furniture and Tan heard herself saying, not waste money that way, and she knows this different kind of English , she has been speaking with her mother, family talk ,she calls it, all of her life. Tan also expresses how at the same time her mother is very intelligent. She reads Forbes report, listens to Wall Street Week, and converses daily with her stockbroker. Tan calls this "Broken" or "Fractured" English. Tan goes into a explanation about how she was also ashamed of her mother’s English, because Tan believed that her English reflected the quality of what she had to say. Tan states she thinks family is the major influence of the way one speaks a certain language. Because of her mother's influence over her life Tan decided to write a book using the English she grew up with, maybe not the correct grammar that......

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...Amy Tan: Two Kinds ”Two Kinds” is a short story written by Amy Tan in 1989. The story brings up the themes parenting and relationship between a mother and her daughter. Also about the difficulties for a Chinese mother to raise an Americanised daughter. The main character is a Chinese-American girl called Jing-mei. The mother has great ambitions for her daughter and believes "that you could be anything you want to be in America". The daughter likes the American lifestyle while her mother wants to keep the Chinese way of lifestyle and living. Summary The story takes place in America. Jing-mei's mother has arranged piano lessons for Jing-mei, because she wants her to become a prodigy. However Jing-mei feels like she is trying to make her into someone she is not. Jing-mei lies about practice times and she does only what she has to do during the lessons. At a talent show she plays the piano awful because of her lack of participation in the piano lessons. Still her mother insists on continuing the piano lessons. Jing-mei screams but her mother drags her to the bench to play. On Jing-mei's thirtieth birthday her mother gives her the piano as a present Characters - Jing-mei Jing-mei and her mother are struggling to accept and understand each other. Jing-mei wants be her self and is obsessed with the American idea of being anyone you want. She does not want to follow her mothers’ footstep, but in stead make her own. She won’t change just to make her mother feel proud or...

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Can English Be Singaporean Mother Tongue

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Scientific Monogenesis: the Mother Tongue Theory

...Scientific monogenesis: The Mother Tongue theory. Theories of monogenesis do not necessarily derive from religious belief. Many modern scholars believe in a theory of monogenesis that has come to be called the Mother Tongue Theory. This theory holds that one original language spoken by a single group of Homo sapiens perhaps as early as 150 thousand years ago gave rise to all human languages spoken on the Earth today. As humans colonized various continents, this original mother tongue diverged through time to form the numerous languages spoken today. Since many scientists believe that the first fully modern humans appeared in Africa, the mother tongue theory is connected with a more general theory of human origin known as the Out of Africa theory. Currently, the theory of evolutionary monogenesis tends to be favored by a group of linguists working in the United States. Regardless of the origin of language, the fact remains that there are over 5,000 mutually unintelligible forms of human speech used on Earth today. And, although many are radically different from one another in structure--the differences are superficial since each and every one of these languages can be used creatively. Languages do not differ in terms of their creative potential but rather in terms of the level upon which particular distinctions are realized in each particular language. What is expressed concisely in one language requires a phrase in another language. (Examples of aspect......

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Mother Tongue

...After reading the essay, “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan, our class learned a lot about why we speak the way we do. There are some pretty important factors that determine how we speak, such as where you have lived during your lifespan, where your parents have lived, you and your parent’s ethnicity, who you associate with, or whether you’re in a public or private environment. I have spent my entire life living in the Boston area, so I definitely have my own unique mother tongue. All over Massachusetts and New Hampshire there are many different versions of the Boston accent. Now that I am living in Puerto Rico, I try to tone down the Boston accent I have, because it’s already a little challenging for me to communicate sometimes. Occasionally there is a significant language barrier, so I go out of my way to make sure I pronounciate my “R’s” when I speak. People don’t need to hear about my “cah” instead of car, or about how we eat “suppah” instead of dinner, or even how we take out the “gahbidge” instead of garbage, to give a few examples. There are also some words that in the Boston area mean certain things, while other places in the country it means something totally different. In Boston, some people call tomato sauce “gravy”. We call the water fountain a bubbler. A cart at the grocery store is a carriage. The basement is called the cella. In my experience, the term non-Bostonians have the most trouble understanding is “wicked”. When I travel to other places and say something......

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Mother Tongue

...Mother Tongue, by Amy Tan Comprehension 1. What Tan is classifying in this essay is the different kinds of English she uses. 2. Tan identify the different categories she discusses in “Mother Tongue” almost in the last paragraph, where she named all the kind of English she uses. 3. Tan does illustrate each category she identifies 4. Some specific situations where Tan says her mother’s “limited English” was a handicap is when her mother could not be able to talk directly with people, or would not be taken serious by the people she talked to. 5. One of the effects that her mother’s limited English has had on Tan’s life is the fact that, that was the language that helped shape the way she saw things, expressed things, and made sense of the world. 6. Tan account for the difficulty she had in answering questions on achievement tests, particularly word analogies: she could not be focused on the answers, she would read the example, and then those words would be stock in her mind keeping off the rest of the options. I do think her problem in this area has something to do with the level of her family’s language skills, because she grew up with that level of language as well, that is the way that she learned. 7. In paragraph 18, Tan considers the possible reasons for the relatively few Asian Americans in the fields on language and literature. Some explanations she offers are that Asian students do better on math achievement tests than in English and that......

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Amy Tan - Mother's Tongue

...Comprehension 1. Tan is classifying how she uses different Englishes with her writings and with family. With her family, she usually uses “broken” English, and with her writing she uses “professional” English. 2. I believe that she introduces the categories in paragraphs 7 and 8. I believe she identified the categories at a right time because she begins by talking about her family and work, and then she introduces her categories. 3. Yes, Amy Tan goes into explaining the categories by sharing personal experiences. Amy does not treat both equally. I do not see it as a problem because there is no way to treat the Englishes equally when you use them in a different form. 4. Amy believes that her mother’s limited English is a problem in department stores, banks, and restaurants. 5. Her mother’s English has an effect on her life because of how broken it is she needs to pretend to be her at points, watch her mother be treated poorly, and go through several bad situations. 6. She says that math is precise and had a specific answer, as for in English was assigned several questions where she had to fill in the blank and get “bland combinations” as answers. No, I do not think her problems come from her family’s language skills. I believe that it’s pretty much an excuse that she is using, being an Asian American, and it all depends on the person to limit themselves to the English language or not. 7. She offers the explanations that Asian Americans might come from a “broken”......

Words: 755 - Pages: 4

Mother Tongue

...The Mother Tongue The use of mother tongue as a medium of instruction at the primary level improves the learning ability and school performance of students because it facilitates easier and faster comprehension, encourages better interaction and class participation and strengthens self-concept and identity. The mother tongue is a language that a person has learned from birth or is most familiar with (Witold, 2005). Several studies have confirmed that using it as a form of instruction at the primary level helps the students cope well with their school lessons and activities. It provides the students with a wider range of vocabulary which is a critical tool in learning various subjects. It enables them to easily and clearly grab the course content because they do not have to decipher an unfamiliar language in the first place. At the same time, using a familiar language makes conversation between students and teachers more spontaneous. Learning the mother tongue also reinforce among the children their own culture and traditions. In response to the growing need for providing schoolchildren in all areas of society a medium of instruction that will better equip them in acquiring knowledge, the mother tongue education is currently being adapted in several countries. Research studies suggested that students under the mother tongue education projects had better grades or higher academic performance. Being better students, they contribute significantly in uplifting the sector......

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Mother Tongue and L2 English Learners

...Mother Tongue and L2 English Learners I remember the time when I was told that in an English class the use of the mother tongue cannot be acceptable because it is not beneficial for students to learn a foreign language. So I asked to myself, why? Because I knew that you cannot speak in Spanish all the time, but “never”? In my classes I accept it for some activities and for others I do not. According to Davis Carless “Students use of the mother tongue in the task-based classroom”, the use of the native language or mother tongue (MT) is quite complex because it could be beneficial for learners but, at the same time, it could not. In general, the use of MT is stigmatized by some methods, and teachers who cannot handle a class in the target language (TL) feel frustrated by the overuse of the students’ first language. However, as the writer claims, by taking into account the type of tasks we give to our students we can analize which are the ones that imply a positive effect on the second language acquisition and the ones that imply negative effects. Thus, teachers will be able to handle a task-based class with both languages in interaction. Firstly, Carless argues that the use of MT may have positive and negative effects on second language acquisition. Positive effects seem to “serve social and cognitive functions, including the construction of scaffolded assistance and create through collaborative dialogue the opportunity for language acquisition to take place.” In fact,......

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