"All humans are members of the same body Created from one essence"

"Human beings are members of a whole in creation of one essence and soul. If one member is afflicted with pain, other members uneasy will remain."

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Mother Tongue

We all make judgments of people based on their accent, vocabulary, grammar, intonation, pace, and characteristic expressions.

In the essay, "Mother Tongue," Amy Tan makes connections between speaking and writing.

She writes, "I began to write stories using all the Englishes I grew up with: the English I spoke to my mother, which for lack of a better term might be described as "simple"; the English she used with me, which for lack of a better term my be described as "broken"; my translation of her Chinese, which could certainly be described as "watered down";

Students should be able to express their own dialect that expresses their family and community identity.

Rebecca Wheeler and Rachel Swords assert that: "the child who speaks in a vernacular dialect is not making language errors; instead, she or he is speaking correctly in the language of the home discourse community. Teachers can draw upon the language strengths of urban learners to help students codeswitch—choose the language variety appropriate to the time, place, audience, and communicative purpose. In doing so, we honor linguistic and cultural diversity, all the while fostering students' mastery of the Language of Wider Communication, the de-facto lingua franca of the U.S."

Teachers should help students gain competence in their ability to choose the right language usage for each situation. Explorations of language in the classroom are important in raising students' awareness of the languages they use and the importance of the decisions that they make as they communicate with others.

But do you agree with Tan that "math is precise" but that English is "always a judgment call, a matter of opinion and personal experience."

If language is so subjective, how is it possible to write anything that is clear??

Language is a powerful tool and language plays an important role in identity formation and the development of self-esteem. It is important to evaluate the languages we use daily in different situations.

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