Summary of One Voice by Madera

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My verbal language has always been a large aspect of my personality, and I believe it is also like this for everyone else. From my very early toddler years, the way I have learned to speak has been in hands of my environment, not mine. My voice is who I am, where I come from, and where I have been.

I was born and raised in Washington Heights; a place very well known as a “Dominican Community”. To my advantage, I speak both English and Spanish. The first language I ever spoke was Spanish, but shortly after, I learned to speak English as well. The downside of this for me is that it can get confusing to distinctively speak the languages. I can very well read and write both languages, but when it is time to speak it is noticeable that I am stuck between the two. Some say I have a Spanish accent when I speak, I guess that is something I should work on to improve my English. Who is responsible for my spoken form of literacy? My parents, my hometown, and my education providers.

One Voice by Susan Madera is a story that I can very well relate to. Here we see how Madera struggles with her form of speech, because she speaks a language she calls “neighborhood” which she has acquired growing up. This does not affect the fact that she is an exemplary writer. “The language that I picked up on the streets was a part of me but as I grew up I wanted to get as far away from it as possible”(78); this shows that through various stages of her life, Madera has had experiences that have made her form of speech a burden to her. It is something that she is not proud of, and she considers it as a disadvantage in her life that she has to rid herself from. Her speech literacy was acquired involuntarily from her environment, her neighborhood.

Our environments are responsible for our form of speech, meaning, our speech comes from our surroundings. We can choose our written literacy but, unfortunately, we cannot choose our form of spoken literacy. Written literacy is what we study, and...
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