Literacy and Liberty

It’s not just plainly learning to read and write
Posted by: , September 19, 2018, 12:14 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Learning to read and write in my home country is a big thing to not only every child but also the family. Parents want their children to take writing courses even before their 1st grade entrance. It has, however, never been my case. While my friends had to exchange their childhood memories for some writing practices and reading lessons, I sure was not in a rush; partly because I took on the lesson pretty well, not a single word was too difficult to spell, not a single grammar rule was too complicated to be memorized.

At school, we also had to learn how to sketch a letter prettily and a whole competition was thrown annually to choose the one with the best handwriting. I have always hated that, although I cannot deny the satisfactory of beholding a beautiful piece of handwriting. There is just something about having to follow a pattern then being graded upon that mould and competing for something that is not necessarily useful in life that upsets me. Fortunately, I was not forced to do something that made me uncomfortable, mainly thanks to my supportive and understanding parents. I think that actually facilitated my learning, both in the past and the present for the luxury of studying with great comfort has allowed me to pursue my favorites and helped define the person I am today.

Story of a foreigner living in America
Posted by: , September 5, 2018, 10:44 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Encountering Amy Tan’s experience, I cannot help but relate to the difficulties she faced. Both being a non-native English speaker living in an environment where people speak nothing but English, the switching between different languages is inevitable. The language I used with my parents back home is my mother tongue, Vietnamese, which is the most proficient and pure and consists of no cursing words or abbreviation. The language I talked to my friends is the perfect combination of all the languages I have accumulated for the past 18 years, natural and simple. The third language I have just recently familiarized myself with is daily-life English, which requires certain amount of time to excel. Sometimes I take great pride in being a bilingual person, but some other time, I found myself disconnected with my own language; from time to time, I actually forgot Vietnamese expression and had to substitute it with English words. Back at home, during my preparation for the Common App, I usually went through some of my drafts for the final essay with my parents. I read the passage out loud in my perfect English accent only to be reminded that I eventually had to translate it into Vietnamese for them to follow. The obvious presence of difficulty lingered around my 18 years of language practices and it has yet to disappear.