910 S. Myrtle Ave #5
Inglewood, CA 90301
September / 10 / 2013
The Threepenny Review
P.O. Box 9131
Berkeley, CA 94709
Dear Amy Tan,
I am currently a freshman student at California State University Northridge and my professor told me to read your article “Mother Tongue.” I wanted to let you know I really find it interesting.
To be candid I can relate to this article and I can feel the pain you and your mom went through. Growing up as a born African who migrated from Africa to the U.S for a better live, adjusting to the language they speak here and the one we speak back home was very difficult. I spoke something almost similar to what you called “Broken English.” I find it too hard to pronounce the words even now I have trouble getting some words out. In my high school years as a freshman, my accent was still heavy and I did not feel comfortable talking to anyone except for the teachers who motivated me. When I talk to students, they say the wrong responds to what I am saying because they do not understand me or even laugh at me and tell me to be quite. Going to see my high school English teacher three times a week after school for some help on my pronunciation made my English so much better. I felt unwanted by most students but one of my teachers a Filipino woman called “Mrs. Ramos” cared about me. She always calls me to advise me about my peers. She would say, “Brandon, do not let what these kids say about you hurt you, you know better and you are a smart student, you have respect for elders, you have good home training, you know you culture, your history and where you are from. But most of these kids do not care about all that stuff because their parents did not care.” I guess I am lucky; her words always motivated me to keep doing what I was there for, get educated and not make friends who will try to put me down.
I believe the article is about getting better in fluent English and not...
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