Free Essay Sample. A Mother Tongue by Amy

Published: 2023-11-03
Free Essay Sample. A Mother Tongue by Amy
Essay type:  Cause and effect essays
Categories:  Family Relationship Language development Interpersonal communication
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 663 words
6 min read

The story is about the Author Tan and how she came to be aware of different versions of the English language. Tan, after a while, came to understand the English version she was using in her conversations was in the form of "broken English" that adapts to the accent of a native Chinese (Apfeld & Liu, 2020). The author's mother speaks broken English in Tan's friends can hardly comprehend what Tan's mother is saying, but the author understands every bit of word her mother utters.

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The author grew up feeling bad because she saw the way her mother tried to express herself by speaking in English, but on the other hand, the salespersons and the bank tellers humiliated her mother (Apfeld & Liu, 2020). The author believed that in this way, it was like the universe was telling her mother that her broken English was some disgrace or humiliation. Since the author's mother knew how she got humiliated, one had to ask her daughter to speak like her through the phone conversations so that one can be treated in a different way and with such disrespect.

It is evidenced in the author's story when her mother had being diagnosed with benign tumors and that she had to call the hospital so that one can receive her CT- scan so that one cam deeply understand her diagnosis (Barrera, 2017). The hospital had misplaced her CT scan results and did not apologize after the author's mother called them and spoke more decently. However, when Tan decides to call the hospital without the accent, the hospital attendance becomes more apologetic min in that one promises to correct the error in the future.

Her interest in learning English increases daily in that one applied the use of different techniques in English, such as flowers, but one also used English vocabulary that was ). After a while, one got inspired and believed that by becoming a reader could make her write English correctly.

Discrimination and Prejudice

The author admits that while one was growing, she became humiliated in the way her mother used to speak in English, especially in the public grounds. In the story, the author tries to illustrate how her mother used to feel humiliated because one understood that society did not uphold her respect in any way (Tollefson & Tsui, 2017). For example in the story the author tries to show how the hospital; the hospital attendance refused to apologize for misplacing the CT-scan documents, but when the author got hold of the phone and spoke to her using a Chinese accent while trying to complain about how they could misplace the CT- Scan, at this movement the hospital attendant apologizes about these issues and promises not to conduct any errors in the future.


In this story, the author tries to bring how the characters in the story switch to different languages inform of various styles, and dialects, especially when one is conducting conversations (Tollefson & Tsui, 2017). For example, when the author switched the language accent when conversing with different persons by using different persons. For example, when the author spoke to hospital attendance, one used the Chinese Accent to Get Their Interest.

In school, the author used a formal type of language when conversing with fellow students. Nevertheless, when the author is at home with one's mother, one used to speak English that was quite impressive in that it had fewer grammatical errors. It meant that the author switched into different accounts of the English language in order to address different individuals.


Apfeld, B., & Liu, A. H. (2020). Education prioritization and language spread. The Social Science Journal, 1-17.

Barrera, T. E. (2017). Salvaging the mother tongue in exile. Comparative Critical Studies, 14(2-3), 187-204.

Tollefson, J. W., & Tsui, A. B. (2017). Issues in language policy, culture, and identity. Language Policy, Culture, and Identity in Asian Contexts, 259-270.

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