Transitional Phases

Topics: English language, French language, Lingua franca Pages: 3 (894 words) Published: December 1, 2005
Transitional Phases

"Mother Tongue" written by Amy Tan shows the many differences between immigrant families and non-immigrant families. Amy Tan describes the difficulty of growing up in a Chinese home and the transitions that she had to overcome to "fit in" to an American society. Personally, the transition between living above the Mason-Dixon line and then moving below it, was similar to that of Tan's situation. Even though mine and Tan's experiences vary from cultural and ethnic backgrounds, we both had the difficulty of changing our linguistic roots.

Amy Tan's experiences growing up were confusing and discriminate. She had the pressure of speaking fluent and understandable English to co-exist with her peers and American society. Her mother spoke Chinese, but also "broken" English, which is unclear, and mixing of the Chinese and English language. Tan often felt embarrassed of her mother, because often American society would not take Tan's mother serious. Many times Tan would have to talk on the phone and pretend that she was her mother, because that would be the only way they could get anything accomplished. In school, Tan was pushed into the math field because teachers and faculty felt that Math would be the only subject she could excel in. The reason for the stereotype of Chinese students is because most Chinese are advanced in Math and Science, and lack the proper dialect of English.

Albert 2
Tan had the drive to succeed in reading and writing, because she wanted to prove all her teachers wrong.
Amy Tan's mother played a great role in her learning of the English language. "I think my mother's English almost had an effect on limiting my possibilities in life as well (Tan 9)." Growing up with her mother speaking "broken" English, restricted her understanding of fill in the blank, word analogies, and grammatical structured questions, therefore, Tan had scored lower on the English sections of the achievement tests. Not scoring well on...
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