Jacquelyn Blain

Englishes

In my opinion, Carillo has a valid point. The method of teaching English/Reading is extremely limited and rigid. We all come from different walks of life and will have different perspectives when reading books, articles, etc.. However, that’s not the case in school. Your perspective and observations are disregarded; its how the professor interpreted it and that was that. I remember in high school had a different opinion about the motives of the reverend and John Proctor from the Crucible and my English teacher just shut me down. There was no discussion, the teacher said I was wrong and I had to accept her views on the text or risk failing the exam. Carillo stated the “.. the CCSS do not give the students the opportunity to imagine themselves as readers, as autonomous thinkers who are encouraged to bring their background knowledge, experiences, and reflective powers to the act of reading. Instead, they are positioned as “downloaders” of the meaning of the text rather than co-constructors”. Students are force to accept someone else’s analysis of a text. It’s discouraging especially for the students having they imagination and creativity stifled to fit the “standard”. It discouraged me, as I was once interested in pursuing writing but was shut down by my professors. 

I also have similar experiences with various “Englishes” like those in “Mother Tongue” by Tan. The way I speak at my job is completely different to how I speak to my friends and family. The english language is constantly evolving; different words/phrases are being created to express different emotions and scenarios. It was just yesterday I was at an event and someone started yelling “yerrr” and his friends responded with the same expression in response; both understanding what the other meant by the term. Since reading “Mother Tongue” I’ve been more observant on how I speak. I have notice that I myself have different versions of English that depends on who I am talking to. I choose my words very carefully with my mother, whereas with my significant other I can just say “I need the thing” and he just knows I’m talking about a phone charger. It’s interesting to observe how one communicates with others and are understood despite it not being the “standard English”. 

1 Comment

  1. Jacquelyn Blain

    You are so right about English constantly evolving! It’s kind of amazing, really, except for the people (and most teachers) who refuse to accept that. Such a terrible story about being shut down like that… although it would make for a good place to start an Education Narrative. I always hate to hear how some people liked to write… until they got to a certain English teacher. Grrr… Write whatever way you want on this first assignment — that’s the genre, after all.

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