English is something we think we all should only follow the textbook way of speaking . I think that’s not true, some of us came from different parts of the world not all of us can speak fluent english. Just because we can’t speak fluent english doesn’t mean we’re lacking understanding, creativity, and not passionate. My experience about “Various Englishes” are very relatable to Tan’s “Mother Tongue”. In her story she described her mother as having “broken” or “fractured” english. My story is very similar to hers, my mother doesn’t speak fluent or textbook english as well. When I first came to this country as a young teenager, I use to think the way my mom spoke english that’s how it’s supposed to be spoken. That time I spoke very little english and it was something new to me. As time passed by I learned how to speak english and I noticed something strange about my mother. Whenever we use to go to shopping mall or grocery shopping the way she use to speak it was very limited. What I mean by limited is she used more facial expression and body language to explain something than her words because of her ability to speak english were very limited. I can relate when Tan said “I was ashamed of her english” I wasn’t ashamed but I felt shy whenever my mother use to speak to others, because often time people couldn’t understand which lead to service refusal. After completing high school when I started attending college I became more mature and broadly aware. Because I became more mature my level of understanding has significantly improved. I started realizing maybe my mother can’t speak fluent english but she’s very passionate and she has creativity in various areas. Because the way she use to talk to me and explain things it was so easy and I don’t think anyone else can explain the same way. She use to read me poems, stories also when I was little she taught me how to read and write even she had limited ability to speak english. I think every mother has a unique way of explaining or expressing their feelings to their children like no one else. To me the way my mother spoke never overwhelmed my understanding of her. There’s no perfect english neither no one can judge a persons ability based on how they speak. Everyone is unique in their own way and lack of english doesn’t mean they are less intelligent. And that was my experience with various english.
This OpenLab site accompanies Jackie Blain’s synchronous ENG 1101 course for Fall 2020. The Course Materials are here (Assignments, Resources, How-to Videos) as well as the Class Discussion blogs. We’re all about writing in multiple digital and analogue situations, for multiple purposes… and investigating and talking about issues by asking questions. Lots of questions.
To get in touch with Prof Blain, either drop me a text on our Slack channel or email me at DBlain@citytech.cuny.edu.
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Week One Word Cloud
Buzz Lightyear photo: Brett Kiger
Imagine photo (street art): Creator: José Iván B. V.; Copyright: PeterPunk – Fotolia