Jacquelyn Blain

Englishes

In the text, they mention reader-response theory- which is when you use your own experiences and put them In the text that you’re reading, therefore, changing the way you interpret or understand the text. I feel like this is something that almost everyone (including myself) experiences or has experienced at least once. However, bringing it to the topic of “did I feel like I was only allowed to accept what someone wrote?” Yes. I feel like the best connection I can make to this is when I was in elementary and they used to do comprehension readings. The teacher would pull you aside and you would read a fiction book and they would ask you what did you think the message was etc. But there was a right or wrong answer. I believe that’s where the idea that only the author’s perception or point of view is the correct one, started for me.

The words “knowledge” and “understanding” are important in today’s society because it’s one thing to know or be aware of an issue and another thing to understand why the issue is happening, how does it make people feel and how it can be stopped.

After reading the Amy Tan piece it reminded me of how my mom who is an immigrant tried so hard to make sure that we didn’t take our “home English” outside of our home or that we didn’t emulate her way of speaking so that when we went out people wouldn’t view us as uneducated and treat us differently. My mom spoke her patois with her family and friends but always made sure to code-switch when it came to going to the doctor’s office, speaking to a coworker, or her boss. My dad on the other hand wasn’t so good at it. I always noticed how when people heard his accent they would try to dumb things down or speak to him like he was a child. I can easily relate to this part of the text ” The fact that people in department stores, at banks, and at restaurants did not take her seriously, did not give her good service, pretend to not understand her, or even acted as if they could not hear her.”

1 Comment

  1. Jacquelyn Blain

    I think it’s just awful how people “dumb things down” when it’s really just a matter of speaking English a different way. I absolutely hear what you’re saying, too, about how your mom was good at it but your father wasn’t. It’s hard to code-switch like that!

    And don’t even get me started on “comprehension” readings! My granddaughter didn’t do well on those when she was 1st/2nd grade because she was shy and didn’t want to speak up. It took a lot of yelling on my daughter’s part to make the teacher see that Lily sure as heck DID understand those stupid books! I completely agree with you! Good comments.

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