Essays on Mother Tongue

Amy Tan, the author of Mother Tongue has a very simple, yet important claim. It is that one’s intelligence should not be judged based upon the amount of knowledge or spoken words of the English language. Tan states this claim clearly in the header of the article. She states, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover…or someone’s intelligence by her English.’ (pg.20). This claim is strongly supported throughout the article. She was able to provide strong evidence by using herself and her experiences as an example; having to grow up learning different types of English and the judgments placed upon her. 

“Mother Tongue” and “Helping and Hating the Homeless”
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In our daily lives, too often do we judge others based solely on their appearance; whether it's by the clothes that a person is wearing or even the color of their skin. The essence of Amy Tan's Mother Tongue and Peter Marin's Helping and Hating the Homeless is that in society, we are quick to judge others, categorizing them based upon pre-assumptions which are hardly true. Chinese American novelist Amy Tan shares her most intimate experiences of growing up with…...
Helping OthersMother Tongue
“Mother Tongue” and “Learning to Read and Write”: Compare and Contrast
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The two essays “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan and “Learning to Read and Write” by Frederick Douglass show similarities, but the differences presented between each outweigh the similarities. The essays are very descriptive of how each came to understand the English language. Tan and Douglass describe their own experiences that led to them learning English and how to read and write it. Although Frederick Douglass and Amy Tan both face obstacles in learning English, but their experiences are unique based…...
Compare And ContrastMother Tongue
The Message of The “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan
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In this research paper, I will be writing about Amy Tan’s achievements and her life whenshe was growing in the United States. I will also be discussing one of her particular articleswhich is “Mother Tongue”. I will be talking about the message of the article “Mother Tongue”and the intended meaning to the audience. The American-Chinese writer wrote this article in 1990. Tan mostly talks about her relationship with her mother and the impact her mother had onher life. According to…...
Amy TanMother Tongue
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Importance of Mother Tongue in Education
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A mother tongue is a language a person or child speaks at home and has started speaking from an early age; it also explained as a person's native language which also means a language learned from birth. Other terms are as follows: a first language, dominant language, home language, and native tongue (Richard N. 2018). The mother tongue generally means the speaker's main and home language and does not only mean the language one learns from his or her mother.…...
EducationMother TonguePhilosophyScience
The Effects of Teaching the Mother Tongue to the English Speaking Skills of Learners
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According to Valerio (2015), one of the changes in Basic Education Curriculum brought about by the new K-12 program is the introduction of Mother Tongue- Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) specifically in Kindergarten, Grades 1, 2, and 3 to support the goal of “Every Child- A- Reader, and A –Writer” by Grade 1”. The mother tongue helps boost confidence for learners in public school because they can explain their idea and opinion without hesitation. As mention by Butzkamm (2003), the mother…...
EnglishEnglish LanguageEnglish SpeakingLinguisticsMother TongueSkills
Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education in Elementary School
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Abstract This study determined the Impact of Science 3 using mother-tongue based multilingual instructions into the 4th-grade academic performance of the science class pupils in Lahug Elementary school. The demographic profile of the teacher respondents was interpreted and analyzed. Additionally, it includes the learner’s age and gender. The researchers identified the academic performance of Grade 4 pupils in the Science subject whether there is a relationship between the learner’s proficiency, the outcomes of teaching Science 3 into Science 4, and…...
EducationMother TongueSchool
The Importance of Mother Tongue in Psychotherapy
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Abstract. The purpose of the article is to sort out what important role mother language play in talk therapy. Talk therapy is used in some mental illnesses. It is a treatment rather than medicine. By using talk therapy, the therapist makes an interpersonal relationship with his client by using a language to seek out his mental disorder which is being faced by his/her client. Language, a medium to share information between the patient and his therapist, work s as a…...
DiseaseHealthMental HealthMother TonguePsychologyTherapy
Are We Losing Our Mother Tongue
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It is, and it's getting worse. In an increasingly urbanised India, mother-tongues are under siege and facing a sustained attack from the three Ms of migration, market and mixed marriages. The mother tongue is the true vehicle of the mother wit. Another medium of speech may bring with it a current of new ideas. But the mother tongue is one in which a man is born. It is through the vernacular that the new conceptions of the mind should press…...
LinguisticsMother Tongue
Analysis “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan
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Amy Tan’s "Mother Tongue" is an inspiring article about the effects of the English language on Amy Tan daily life. As a child, Tan recognized that her mother had a terrible time with English, frequently having to speak for her so she could be taken seriously. how that affected her childhood and how it molded her to become the writer that she is. The article, encourage the readers to understand her frustration and see the experiences she had growing up.…...
Amy TanEnglish LanguageMother TongueWriter
A mother tongue is a language a person or child speaks at
Words • 1254
Pages • 6
A mother tongue is a language a person or child speaks at home and has started speaking from an early age; it also explained as a person's native language which also means a language learned from birth. Other terms are as follows: a first language, dominant language, home language, and native tongue (Richard N. 2018). Mother tongue generally means the speaker's main and home language and does not only mean the language one learns from his or her mother. For…...
LanguageMother Tongue
“Mother Tongue” Analysis
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Many people feel the need to reject their native culture when they attempt to assimilate into American society. One of the major problems being a communication barrier one has to face irrespective of who we are and where we came from. Amy Tan, in "Mother Tongue" and Gloria Anzaldua, in "How to Tame a Wild Tongue" share their personal experience on how the same language is judged differently in American society. Tan describes the hurdles that she and her mother…...
English LanguageMother Tongue
Mother Tongue-Based Multi-Lingual Education in Philippine Schools
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Pages • 5
Scenario: A Waray-speaking couple from Samar decided to relocate in Cebu for job opportunities. Tagging along with them is their first-grader girl. Deficient of finances, they decided to enroll the kid in a public school. It so happened that the Philippine Department of Education (DepEd) has introduced the Mother Tongue-Based Multi-Lingual Education (MTB-MLE) program. This is a program that uses your mother tongue (language at home) as a medium of instruction inside the classroom. Will the girl be given special…...
EducationMother TonguePhilippinesSchool
The Narrative “Mother Tongue”
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Paper Type:Narrative essays
Society often influences the identity of an individual through different factors, one of which is language. “The power of language can evoke an emotion, a visual image, a complex idea, or a simple truth” (FYR: 84). Language is used daily in our lives, and therefore plays a significant role in shaping our identity. The narrative “Mother Tongue” depicts the variations of the English language, and the nature of talk. Amy Tan also shares the story of her mother’s “broken” English…...
CommunicationCultureEnglish LanguageHuman NatureLanguageMother Tongue
Amy Tan’s Mother Tongue
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There are thousands of languages in the world, such as Spanish, French, Chinese, English…However, No one can do better job in the second language than their mother language. In the article Amy Tan’s “Mother Tongue”, Amy Tan emphasized her idea that we speak different languages unconsciously and we are categorized by the way we talk. The author talked about her mother who is a Chinese emigrant wanted to provide her daughter a better environment to grow up and spoke “broken”…...
Amy TanEnglish LanguageLanguageMother Tongue
Linguistics Summary of Amy Tan’s Mother Tongue
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In “Mother Tongue”, Tan writes about the awareness and discrimination about “broken English” compared to Standard English. In Tans essay she quotes her mothers’ speech to demonstrate her mothers “broken English”, it was a very trivial story but the thing that is worth looking at was her mother's grammar. The quoted parts were filled with grammatical mistakes and the text was quite confusing. In fact, her mother had better command in English than all that was evidently showed in her…...
Amy TanEnglish LanguageLanguageLinguisticsMother Tongue
Mother Tongue and How To Tame A Wild Tongue Essays Analysis
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"Identity is the essential core of who we are as individuals, the conscious experience of the self inside" - Kaufman (Anzuldύa 62). Coming to America and speaking more than one language, I often face similar situations as Gloria Anzaldύa and Amy Tan. Going to high school where personal image is a big part of a student's life is very nerve racking. American Values are often forced upon students and a certain way of life is expected of them. Many times,…...
English LanguageLanguageMother Tongue
Mother Tongue of Writer Amy Tan
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The essay is chiefly about the writer's own rumination and judgment about how "broken English" compared to Standard English. Moreover it came to her sense that language not only "authorizes" individuals to participate as members of a designated community, it is also a essential key in enabling individuals to establish and define the dimensions of their identity. Though a lover of language and an erudite lover of language she is, she has never recognized this concept until she realized that…...
Amy TanCommunicationCultureHuman NatureLanguageMother Tongue
Identity Theme in Amy Tan’s Book Mother Tongue
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In “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan, Tan explores the connection between one’s language and their identity, she examines not only how language affects the development of ones identity, but also the role it has in the way one is perceived by society. Tan shares a few anecdotes illustrating the role language played in shaping her own personal identity. “I think my mother’s English almost had an affect on limiting my possibilities in life as well.” Tan goes on to explore…...
Amy TanHuman NatureIdentityLanguageMother TonguePersonal Identity
English vs. Mother tongue as a medium of instruction
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I. Introduction Background of the Study Prior to we talk about the so-called Gullas costs or the proposed act conditioning and enhancing using English as a medium of guideline, let's get a backgrounder on the state of education in the Philippines. For each 100 kids that begin grade one in our nation, just 65 will reach Grade 6, the others having actually left along the way (with 18 of the dropouts occurring in between Grade 1 and Grade 2). What…...
EducationEnglishMother Tongue
How to Tame a Wild Tongue/Mother Tongue?
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What’s makes someone an American? Am I more American because my skin is white and I speak perfect English? Or am I more American because my family immigrated here 100 years earlier than most? Our country is a melting pot of different races, backgrounds and beliefs. Two women, who are the children of immigrants, share their stories of growing up in America. The first is Gloria Anzaldua, a Chicana who grew up in South Texas. The first chapter of her…...
Mother Tongue
“Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan
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Amy Tan begins by announcing, “I am not a scholar of English…I cannot give you much more than personal opinions on the English language and its variations in this country and others.” How does this opening set up your expectations for the rest of the essay? Why do you think she chose to begin by denying her own authority? The introduction Tan decided to use presents the reader with a strong sense of the kind of individual she is. By…...
Amy TanMother Tongue
Analysis of “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan
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Mother Tongue is about the author's struggles with her linguistic identity, her mothers "fractured" or "broken" variation of English and the relationship with her mother. At the beginning of the piece we are told about the different types of English she would speak with her mother and with everyone else; we are then told how English wasn't Amy's strongest subject and later on we are told about the difficulties her mother experienced because of the way she spoke English and…...
Amy TanMother TonguePhilosophy
Mother Tongue
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The Wonders of an Accent As a southern girl growing up in rural Wakulla County, I have experienced prejudice based on my southern dialect and language style. Dialects and word use play a powerful role in linking specific populations together with a common bond. As powerful as this connection is to bring people together of the same group it is just as powerful to pull people apart that are not in the same group. Amy Tan writes about the power…...
CommunicationEnglish LanguageLanguageMother TonguePerceptionSpeak
We've found 23 essay examples on Mother Tongue
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Tan’s Mother Accomplishments Involving English 

Through the accomplishments Tan has made, allow us to see that the pre-conceived notions placed upon her and her mother were incorrect. The article’s main claim of how you shouldn’t judge based upon how you see or hear someone is supported because Tan includes personal experiences, the experiences her mother faced and proves to be a great author even though she incorporates her native tongue into her writing.

There are a few key points I found within the article that help support the author’s claim. One key point she makes is that she does not believe her mother’s intelligence is based off how much she understands within the English language. Tan supports this point by talking about all the things her mother can do that involves the English language. This claim is supported when Tan states that her mother ‘reads Forbes report, listens to Wall Street Week, converses daily with her stockbroker’ (pg.21). This evidence shows that even though Tan’s mother knows little of the English language she is still able to understand and accomplish tasks. Tan was able to make a very valid key point. If her mother can accomplish tasks that include reading and talking using the English language, she must have good intelligence.

How Tan’s Mother Accomplished Her Goals

Being able to understand stocks and have conversations with someone about them shows that she has a good understanding of what is going on. The goal of getting this task presented with the evidence provided was met. Tan was able to get one to understand that her mother was able to achieve knowledgeable tasks with being able to speak little English. The second key point Tan makes is that she too, at one point, began to believe the perceptions others had about her mother. Even though she herself has described her mother’s English as ‘broken’ or ‘fractured’ it still bothered her. When describing how Tan feels about her mother’s broken English she says, ‘It has always bothered me that I can think of no way to describe it other than ‘broken,’ as if it were damaged and needed to be fixed, as if it lacked a certain wholeness and soundness. I’ve heard other terms used, ‘limited English,’ for example. But they seem just as bad, as if everything is limited, including people’s perceptions of the limited-English speaker.’ (Tan, 2006, p. 21). 

“Broken” English and Unlimited Perception 

This passage shows that Tan understands that her mother’s English may sound broken to others but that doesn’t mean her mother’s perception is limited. At one point Tan began to think of her mother’s English as broken at one point as well. She began to believe the judgments of others. She also knew deep down that her mother had great perception but could not express it through her English the way she had thought in her mind. Tan met her goal in letting her audience know that she understood why they may call some spoken English broken. She did this in a way where she was able to make a connection to those who may judge but also expressed her opinion on those who spoke broken English such as her mother. Another supporting point was that she was able to use the variations of the English language she shared with her mother to connect with her when writing. She also wanted to be able to use her writing to reveal to others that the English language should not be perfect to serve its communicating purpose.   

FAQ about Mother Tongue

Mother Tongue and How To Tame A Wild Tongue Essays Analysis
...In conclusion, in America, foreign language speakers often feel disadvantageous to Americans that have more resources to exploit. But both authors still agree that preserving their heritage is important and should it should not be lost while trying t...
How to Tame a Wild Tongue/Mother Tongue?
...Gloria Anzaldua and Amy Tan were raised in two different cultures, with two different types of English. They grew up in families that spoke with accents and different dialects. Both women navigated their way through the educational system, which was ...

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