Mother Tongue/ When I Was Puerto Rican- Anthony Clara

” She reads the Forbes report, listens to Wall Street Week, converses daily with her stockbroker,
reads all of Shirley MacLaine’s books with ease–all kinds of things I can’t begin to understand. Yet some of
my friends tell me they understand 50 percent of what my mother says. Some say they understand 80 to 90
percent. Some say they understand none of it, as if she were speaking pure Chinese. But to me, my mother’s
English is perfectly clear, perfectly natural. It’s my mother tongue. Her language, as I hear it, is vivid,
direct, full of observation and imagery. That was the language that helped shape the way I saw things,
expressed things, made sense of the world.”

This part is important because the beginning of the paragraph Amy says how her mother doesn’t quite understands english, but yet she’s converses daily with her stockbroker, listens to wall street week, reads forbe report. This is also important because Amy quotes that some of her friends have different views of her mothers english some say they don’t understand it and others say it’s pure chinese, But she doesn’t view it that way she see’s it as perfectly clear, vivid direct, full of observation and imagery, made sense of the world. The way she described it made it seem like she wasn’t ashamed at all and that she didn’t view her mother’s language like everyone else did.

3 vocab words

  1. Keenly- A way that involves strong or deep feelings of awareness
  2. Wince- Give a slight grimace or shrinking
  3. Hone- Refine or perfect something over a period of time

When I Was Puerto Rican

” I learned to recognize the structure of the English language, and to draft the parts of a sentence by the position of words relative to pronouns and prepositions without knowing exactly what the whole thing meant. Everyday after school I went to the library and took out as many children’s books as I was allowed. I figured that if American children learned English through books, so could I, even if I was starting later.”

This quote is important because it shows how the author was dedicated into wanting to learn English and she was willing to anything in order to complete the deal she made with Mr Grant. This is also important because she worked smart even if it was through childrens books. This show that she really wanted to learn English and how determine she was.

  1. Uproariously- Very noisy and full
  2. Unruly- Disorderly and disruptive and not ashamed to discipline or control.
  3. Subsequent- Coming after something in time

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