Mother Tongue and When I was PR – Ahsan

Part 1: Mother Tongue

“I think my mother’s English almost had an effect on limiting my possibilities in life as well. Sociologists and linguists probably will tell you that a person’s developing language skills are more influenced by peers. But I do think that the language spoken in the family, especially in immigrant families which are more insular, plays a large role in shaping the language of the child.”

I believe she supposedly blames her mother for the great things she could achieve in life due to her imperfect English. Also causes her to feel embarrassed or ashamed about it. Coming from an immigrant family the way they pick up English can be exhausting, making it difficult to speak which can effect the family causing them to all speak the same certain way and becomes a bad habit.

Vocabulary words:

Keenly: in an eager or enthusiastic manner. “Recently, I was made keenly aware of the different Englishes I do use”

Belies: fail to give a true notion or impression of (something); disguise or contradict. “You should know that my mother’s expressive command of English belies how much she actually

Impeccable: (of behavior, performance, or appearance) in accordance with the highest standards of propriety; faultless. “And sure enough, the following week there we were in front of this astonished stockbroker, and I was sitting there red-faced and quiet, and my mother, the real Mrs. Tan,
was shouting at his boss in her impeccable broken English.”

Part 2: When I was PR

“During the January assembly, Mr. Grant announced the names of the kids who had received
high marks in each class. My name was called out three times. I became
a different person to the other eighth graders. I was still in 8–23, but they
knew, and I knew, that I didn’t belong there.”

I think she mentions this part at the end to emphasize how well she improved for being in a class for students with learning disabilities. After all, being in that class helped her to be fond of learning English. It also shows her determination on proving these people wrong, that she’s capable of learning English despite being Puerto Rican.

Vocabulary words:

Loomed: appear as a vague or shadowy form, especially one that is large or threatening “The first day of school Mami walked me to a stone building that loomed over Graham Avenue”

Churning: the act, process, or effect of someone or something that churns, have an unpleasant disturbed feeling “I started up the stairs, my stomach churning into tight knots.”

Droopy: hanging down limply “At the front office we were
met by Mr. Grant, a droopy gentleman with thick glasses and a kind smile
who spoke no Spanish.”

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