Amoy’s mother has intelligent thoughts and is just hard to express in understandable words when special situations occur.“Mother Tongue” is a look into the way some people, look to language as a way as a sign of how educated you are.Little did she know that she was actually speaking more than one type of English.
Suggested activity: Have students read the entire essay, available here, or read this representative excerpt with them.
Ask them to discuss their own experiences of accents and speech styles, whether foreign accents, regional and ethnic accents, or class-based accents.
Amy Tan's Mother Tongue The Essay written by Amy Tan titled ' Mother Tongue' concludes with her saying, ' I knew I had succeeded where I counted when my mother finished my book and gave her understandable verdict' (39).
The essay focuses on the prejudices of Amy and her mother.
I think the purpose of this essay is also connected with the first audience: She encourages Asian Americans to be confident about their or their parents’ English and not to feel ashamed of their lower grades of English than maths or science.
She wants to deliver her message about having self-regard by taking her experience as an example. – “But to me, my mother’s English is perfectly clear, perfectly natural.
She does apeal to ethos(emotion), logos(logic), and pathos(credibility). It’s my mother tongue.”, “Like others, I have described it to people as “broken” or “fractured” English. Also, her logical apeal can be found in “I wanted to capture what language ability tests can never reveal: her intent, her passion, her imagery, the rhythms of her speech and the nature of her thoughts.” and “Sociologists and linguists probably will tell you that a person’s developing language spoken in the family, especially in immigrant families which are more insular, plays a large role in shaping the language of the child.
And I believe that it affected my results on achievement tests, IQ tests, and the SAT.” Lastly, her credibility can be shown in her saying “I’m a writer.” It is also shown in her own real experiences about her grades of English and maths, and using the result of the recent surveys on grades of Asian Americans.
In views of Tans prompt she gives the eaters the impression that her mother is an uneducated Chinese woman who does not comprehend the language, Nevertheless, this was never the effect Tan intended for readers to assume of her mother considering that Amy did not think her mother Vass ignorant or uneducated because her intelligent thoughts and answers were there.
Her mother just could not relay her thoughts into understandable words like the time when talking to the stockbroker.