Literacy Narrative Assignment Draft Due Date: February 15, 2021 Prof. Amity Nathaniel
You’ve read “Da State of Pidgin Address” by Lee Tonouchi and watched “The Dangers of a Single Story” Ted Talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, which are two narratives about personal experiences involving language and education. Through these two pieces, and various other texts and videos that we’ve so-far examined in Unit One about vernacular language, literacy, and education, we have identified some of the dilemmas involving these topics—particularly when it comes to standardized English and the communities of people who are largely (and negatively) impacted by the system of “perfect” English and misconceptions about their intelligence. Now, it’s time for you to share your own personal narrative! Write about your experiences at school involving your natural vernacular and misconceptions people may have had about you.
There are several ways you can tackle this assignment. As long as you are writing and reflecting about the general topic at hand, you can draft your essay in whatever storytelling method feels best to you.
As Tonouchi does, you can write an essay about vernacular being taught in schools by using examples from your own experiences and by showcasing the importance of your personal language system. Examples of topics:
- Did you have a teacher who taught non-standard English in the classroom or a teacher who was extremely strict with standard English? What was the classroom experience like?
- Do you code-switch or code-mesh when you’re in school?
- What is your proudest writing moment in school? What language style did you write in?
Or, you can follow Adichie’s method about misconceptions involving language. Examples of topics:
- Detail a stereotype you were labeled with in school.
- Share a story about a lesson you learned outside of the classroom.
- Discuss a book that really changed the way you viewed the world.
These are just examples; you can specify any particular educational incident that really impacted the way you viewed your writing skills, your education, your culture, and your language system(s).
Please write 800-1000 words. Use size 12 font and Times New Roman font style. Good luck!