Jacquelyn Blain

Englishes.

My opinion on what Carillo is saying is that I believe it is true that sometimes in school you aren’t allowed to have your own opinion on readings and must accept whatever is stated as true. I personally have encountered this numerous times as I have questioned the meanings behind certain actions and words the author chooses only to be told that it has no meaning or that is not what the task is asking. It was frustrating but it wasn’t something that I often refuted as I would prioritize my grade over my questions as it was considered going off task. I personally have thought of the difference between knowledge and understanding even if it was for brief moments. In my opinion knowledge is having information towards a subject or thing while an understanding is to be able to explain something and how or why it functions in a simple way. I feel this to be especially important in todays world as social media helps outline people who confuse having knowledge on a subject with understanding it. Due to Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and other social media websites, there is a large amount of information being passed around from person to person and with information being finger swipes away we see more and more people becoming knowledgeable on a variety of subjects who believe that having information on a subject is the same as having an understanding. This can be supported with the variety of posts of teenagers who are questioning professionals of their respective fields with their own beliefs. An example of this would be a teenager lecturing a doctor on a medical procedure because of the information they googled. After reading Lysicott and Tan’s readings I would like to share my own experience with various Englishes concerning my own family. My parents are of hispanic origin and because of it english is not their first language. The results of this is me becoming bilingual in spanish and english as I am their translator for a variety of things such as phone calls, supermarket sales, mail, and more. I too was ashamed of their “broken” english but as the years went by I accepted it and understood it was part of their identity. I truly understood what Amy Tan meant when she said “I was ashamed of her English” as I had lived through that feeling myself.

1 Comment

  1. Jacquelyn Blain

    Your comment about prioritizing your grade over being able to ask questions really made me angry, mostly because it’s so common. It’s good that you’ve been able to make that distinction between knowing and understanding because, as you say, it’s so important in this age of social media influence. Without understanding, all we believe is what we are told to “know” and that’s dangerous.

    It’s also always interesting to me how many people really do relate to Amy Tan’s piece, no matter where they or their families came from originally. The whole idea of one single English is really a problem. Good comments!

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