journal entry #7

After I completed my MLE paper I had one of my three interviewees read it and ask what they thought about what I wrote. One of the main things they said was that they like the personal connection I made to the paper, saying how I learned English when I was in the Philippines. It shows the reader that you are not just the researcher, but you are deeply involved in the investigation. The second point they made was using multiple interviewees rather than one, which is what everyone else did. They say it is good that I brought their different backgrounds and majors to bring into a whole idea.

When I was doing this project ,talking to different people, and reading many case studies, I learned that our differences as students makes us a very unique form of social institution. For example, if you go a ethnic restaurant you can see a predominant ethnicity eating there or Carnegie Hall, there are upper class individuals over the age of 65. But college especially a school like Queens college, we have students from all over the world, with different faiths and ideologies. There are even students who are not between the ages of 18-25, still wanting to earn a degree.  My interviewees taught me to appreciate my cultural background, and wear it with pride. They all mention using their first language as a tool in their education, which is something I never considered until now. For myself I learned that I can easily converse with many people with ease that because some people might consider themselves to be shy and reserved this gives me confidence to start a conversation with anybody. Language and writing in this project has taught me that, you do not need to have complex sentences or know big words in order to get the point across.

Journal Entry #5

The video “Is ‘Talking White’ Really A Thing?” has two people blindfolded and, tested if they can distinguish the difference between Englishes spoken amongst a few races.  In the U.S we often associate they way we speak to our racial background. Which compared to other countries is very unusual but not unexplainable, we tend to mix race and English speaking ability/syntax in order to understand and categorize a very diverse body of people, especially in cities like NY or LA . Also, we still have this way of thinking because of how late a modern country like the U.s was at ending segregation so, the nuances are still being transmitted starting from the 40’s and 50’s. One example of a very unified people are the French, they do not take racial demographics and consider themselves to only be French regardless of color and religion.


journal entry #4

For me good stories should always have surprising parts for both the readers and characters within the story. For example, we probably read that mike stuffed his pockets with diamonds without ike noticing and, that becomes a big issue later on. Another example would be, when a character goes off screen or dies and makes a comeback at the most dire time, all of which adds pizazz to the overall story. All stories need to have structure or else the reader won’t understand the order, to keep is short there should be a beginning, middle and end.

There is no one way in which a language looks and sounds, more arbitrary. However there are certain parameters to which most if not all languages follow. The first being, grammatical structures, syntax, and ways to make sentences need to be present and clearcut(although many languages have exceptions when it comes to changing the verb endings etc.). The second thing is that, it needs to be recognized and used by people, regardless of the population size. And last is the context the language takes place in, some languages even those made up have meaning or relate to a particular subject. For people familiar into sci-fi, those speaking the language of Klingon will understand and get symbols in their head of spaceships and other worlds.

Aja Martinez’s story confirms and diverges from my expectation. What makes her story good to read is the uniqueness of it, according to her, the culture is never considered on both the English and Spanish spectrum. So she is writing for a silent crowd that wants to simply be considered their own  kind. Another good point to bring up is the historical context from which her problems stems from, further assisting the reader to fully grasp the overarching theme. The only downside to the story is the overuse of quotes; getting your point across using the words of a more credible person is great however, adding too much salt to the meat makes its taste bitter. She should use the quotes when discussing a fairly difficult concept or, a strong point using the modes of persuasion.

journal #3

Gretchen McCullouch’s article ” Why do you think your’re right about language? your’re not.”, describes a fallacy that what is considered “good” English speakers are not speaking the same language. I learned that what makes people good at speaking a language is to share a similar process of internalization of that particular word. McCllouch provides the example that a doctor who likes sci-fi will have a different set of vocabulary than a lawyer that enjoys historical fiction. The article only reinforces my idea of how language is learned and, it is by our environment and how we were raised as children.  This idea is one of the three paradigms in sociology which is symbolic interactionism  and by definition is, symbols, pictures and, face to face interactions affect the way we grow.  One good example would be the creation of new volumes of dictionaries, a lexicographer scuffles through new published books , social media and, social interactions. The way we talk and listen to each other is slightly altered and as a result, new phrases and words are made. The second example , “Henry gets to grow up speaking in a way that automatically makes him a better job candidate” conveys, that dialect play a big part in our lives. Take for example, a man with a really thick southern accent, instantly we would considered them to be less intelligent than someone who has a London accent which is perceived as intelligent, why? well it is how they are represented in movies. Southern accented men(Tucker and Dale vs Evil) are stereotypically depicted as beer loving, big bellied, truck drivers , In contrast, a London accented man is shown as smart, classy and, sophisticated(Dr. John H Watson). Through similar portrayals in the last six decades, their assumptions have been solidified, creating a false and incorrect way to categorize based on how English is spoken

journal entry #1

Mother Tongue by Amy Tan is a about the importance a language has on a individual and the people in their everyday lives. Her mother is almost always running into problems because of what some would call “broken” English. As a result of her mother’s inability to be fluent in English, Amy her self struggles in her studies relating to English. I really like how she begins to look at the bigger picture and ask ” why are there few Asian Americans enrolled in creative writing programs ?”, as a former student who once studied sociology and psychology, I can relate to her curiosity. I for one see the way we interact with people in this specific lens all the time, and how she explores the idea. Asian Americans students tend to me more STEM major oriented and language is one of the many major factors, in math there is only correct answer regardless of method, but in language, there are many things to take into account in order to even coming close to mastering the language. In my particular case, I’m Filipino but I grew up English and during elementary school I was in ESL classes which, reinforced how I speak and write in English. Ironic enough, my experience is actually backwards in comparison to Amy Tan. I became so Americanized that I lost touch with my own culture and language, I can speak basic phrases in Tagalog but can not express my emotions ,so I understand up to a point how it must have.


Journal #2

“Academia, Love Me Back” by Tiffany Martinez encapsulates what is means to be a first generation college student, as often times they tend to be immigrants. The writer conveys the power of words and the consequences of their implications and meanings, this is clearly presented when the professor highlighted the word “hence” assuming she was not meant to say something that complex. Right from the get go Tiffany is already being courageous by enrolling in a class the is mostly of higher economic status, and a school that is 43.3 percent white, can be daunting  and lonely, finding anyone to relate to on a cultural basis can be hard. She was determined to breaking her stereotype of her background and proving everyone wrong. I honestly can not relate to what Tiffany has gone through, I was practicing English even  before I got here in the United States. It is a requirement in the schools in the Philippines since, it is a international language. There were several examples of how her writing  that induced certain emotions throughout the article, connections can be made from a reading by LunsfordRuszkiewicz, and Walters.   The first example is the use of a passive voice and simple general message “Academia needs work”, the main idea expressed in a mere three words but it resonates. The whole point is not sugar coated or covered with details and, its in the last sentence, which stresses the importance of a social issue. The second connection is how Obama delivered his words, much like Tiffany they are not perceived as hostile or even passive aggressive but, more sympathetic. Both mention broken spirits and end with a optimistic look into the future.