Learning A New Language Essay

1007 words - 5 pages

Learning a New Language

Language is a matter that touches many American cultures. Cultures thrive on their languages and customs to define the people they are. However, second languages can divide not only people of a specific group but also members of a particular family. Several writers address the unvarying difficulty of learning a second language in America. Many rhetorical devices are used to sustain their assertions and to shape the reader. An Asian-American author speaks about multilingualism in American today. Tan (2002) uses rhetorical devices to support her claims about her frustrations with a mother who does not speak English very well. Throughout this paper, I will ...view middle of the document...

Example 3 talks about how ashamed she was about her mother’s broken English. Example 4 expressed her feeling of family imperfection as her mother spoke. In the second passage, examples 5-6 show how her mother’s broken English throughout her life effected how she felt about herself later on in life. Tan puts the characteristics of her mother’s linguistics on her mother herself showing her frustration from what happened to her as a child. Tan shows her reader how she felt by explaining what happened in the past to convey how she feels now.

Another argument Tan (2002) uses throughout her text is personal experiences. Personal experiences is an argument writers use to exemplify their points throughout personal references. The following excerpt shows Tan’s personal experience exemplifying her assertions.

“Recently, I was made keenly aware of the 1) different Englishes I do use. I was giving a talk to a large group of people, the same talk I had already given to half a dozen other groups. The nature of the talk was about my writing, my life, and my book, The Joy Luck Club. The talk was going along well enough, until I remembered one major 2) difference that made the whole talk sound wrong. My mother was in the room. And it was perhaps the first time she had heard me give a lengthy speech, using the 3) kind of English I have never used with her.” (35)

Examples 1, 2 and 3 all use examples of how Tan (2002) sees herself as being different. Even her “kind of English” is different than the type she uses with her mother. Tan exemplifies being “different” to show the reader through personal experience how she felt after speaking in front of her mother for the first time.

Tan (2002) also uses the rhetorical appeal of pathos throughout her text. Pathos is used to appeal to the reader’s emotions. Tan’s experiences of frustration and embarrassment resulting from...

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