Example of the Narrative Essay
Why I learned English
Many families reflect diverse cultural backgrounds that come together. My family’s roots are intertwined with several ethnic and cultural backgrounds. My mother’s parents are American, but her ancestors are originally from England and Germany. My father’s mother is Peruvian, but his father is Egyptian. I grew up in Peru with my parents in a quiet neighborhood of Lima. My paternal grandparents lived down the street from us, but my maternal grandparents lived in the United States. Unlike most non-native speakers, I did not learn English for school; I learned English so that I could speak to my grandparents.
Coming from a multilingual family sparked many difficulties in communication. For example, when my maternal grandparents would fly from North America to South America to visit us, my mother had to translate among the different family members. We spoke Spanish in our house, but my American grandparents spoke only English. Since they did not speak a word of Spanish, my mother was constantly interpreting questions and answers. Rather than enjoying their visit, my mother had to work as a translator. With my mom’s help, I could understand my grandparents, but I wanted to speak to them by myself.
Eventually, this situation reached its boiling point. One day my mother asked my grandmother to pick me up from school. My school was only a few blocks from our house, but my grandmother got horribly lost on the way. She ended up in the wrong neighborhood and had to get help from the police. It was quite embarrassing for a grown woman to find herself lost in a small neighborhood. Now we all realized that being monolingual was a huge handicap. In addition, it was potentially dangerous liability!
Because of this incident, I decided to take action. The next time my grandparents came to visit, I taped vocabulary cards on all of the objects in our house. On the silla, I hung a card with “chair” written on it. On the mesa, I attached a card that said “table.” I continued putting these English words all over the house. Meanwhile, my grandparents saw how hard I was working to learn English, and they decided that they wanted to learn Spanish. Later, we wrote the Spanish words on all of the cards as well so that we could practice together. My mom would help us with grammar whenever we had questions. It was so much fun to turn our monolingual Spanish house into a truly bilingual home.
While I was studying English, I realized that learning a language does more than teach you new words; it enables you to learn about new people. Instead of needing my mother to tell me stories about my grandparents, we can now talk directly to each other. Now my grandparents and I talk on the phone every week without a translator, and our relationship is much closer than it ever was before. By learning a common language to communicate, you can experience a new relationship.
Source: Keith S.Folse & Tison Pugh (2007), Greater Essay. Canada: Houghton Mifflin Company
Example of Descriptive Essay
People all over the world spend valuable time and cash to see championship fights. Whether it is for boxing, wrestling, or ultimate fighting, crowds gather in bars and around televisions to support their favorite fighters. Many know what is like to be a spectator, but few know the fighter’s experience. I, on the other hand, have first-hand knowledge of what is like to be in the ring.
The first sound I hear is the familiar bell that brings me to reality. All around are my friends, family, and people who want to see women brawl. This is far from a quiet event. The onlookers are comparable to screeching howler monkeys with beers and snacks in their hands. My body feels heavy; I am covered in all the necessary places to prevent injury. The guard in my mouth causes excess fluid to run down my chin. The ring smells like rubber and sweat from previous battles. These...
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