Science Leadership Academy Learn · Create · Lead

Blog Feed

Ethan Reese Blog Post

I.       Ethan Reese



The project was to write a story about a struggle that had to do with you and language. Your overall goal was to link your story to a larger Idea about how language is power or other themes of language. My theme was about how when you take a persons voice away you’re taking away so much more, and there were parts that were easy but parts that I had to struggle. One of the parts that were easy for me was conveying a message about how easy it is to lose your confidence and all social life if your voice is repressed enough. Something I struggled with was trying to remember more than two times that my voice had been repressed, and how to describe the scenes I could only remember a little. What I learned from doing this project was how every language and every voice is important to someone else, imagines all the things that would have happened if historical people didn’t speak out. I can truly say I have a better understanding of language. 

II. Ethan Reese                                                                         12/19/11
Language is something that can be learned and unlearned, it is a physical and mental thing. You can learn a language through a physical environment like when you’re around people who constantly speak the language or through a mental environment, where you’re being taught a language like Spanish class. Where you learn or unlearn the language doesn’t matter both ways are effective, I have always been a physical environment learner.   

My family is overpowering in most senses of the word, as a kid I was usually talked over by most of my family, and left out of conversations because I couldn’t speak German. The only one who would take the time to listen to me was my mother, so that’s who I learned how to speak and act the way I do.

My mom again growing up in a German household spoke German and English she proceeded to be just as overpowering and leaving me out spoken as the rest of my family. So I was always shy in middle school. I was the kid who sat their and talked to his two or three friends and did his work up until 6th grade, this is when I really think I found my voice. For some reason it seemed to be an instant switch in my family that they stopped speaking German around me and started talking in all English when I was around which gave me the courage I needed to go to school and be more vocal and find a voice that worked for me.

The first day In my new school 6th grade I decided that I was going to speak out and be heard by everyone and everyone I could, but I spoke so proper and neat tight English. When they spoke in dialects and slang that I didn’t understand. Even to this day I didn’t understand it, so I had to learn to talk like they did I started picking up slang and ways of talking around them and than at my home I switched back to speaking proper. It was a balance not easily kept in both groups the other slang and dialect popped out and I hoped they wouldn’t notice. I kept this act up as long as I could, but it got tiring of being two people all the time, I had to find a voice that could fit me but everyone could understand. So I set out on my quest to find my perfect voice.

Of course I couldn’t just change my slang and voice in one day I had to try thousand’s of different ways of talking, Southern, Ghetto, Proper, even trying to do impressions but none of them worked for me I went back to being that quite kid in school who all he did was work.

My teacher confronted me about it and asked me if their was something wrong. I replied saying “ Mr. Q. I’m so confused its so tiring pretending to be two different people when I go home I put on my good little boy talking proper act, but than whve to change my voice back to talking like the rest of the class. I can’t decide which to keep and which to get rid of please help”.

He said to me “ Ethan, I can’t tell you to speak in a way that represents you. I can set you on the path to it though. When you talk inside of yourself how do you talk when you think how do you think. These are the things that make your speech pattern, I can’t teach you how to think any the less more than how to talk, I can teach you the words but the rest is up to you”

I realized how right he was, my voice isn’t something that can be learned or unlearned it’s something that is forever existing inside of you, it is your thought it is your attitude, it is who you are. My voice was found and ever since than I have never had a loss of words, I have never been talked over, and I promised my self my identity would never change again just like my voice.

So that brings us to present day, my family listens to my thoughts and feelings even though I don't speak German and I’m confident enough to overpower their voices, as for my friends I have ones now that understand what I’m saying in my own voice. I now have a deeper understanding that language is identity it shows who you are under all your layers it is how you talk and form your self, I can truly say I have found my Identity... I can say I have found my voice.


Block's Language Movie
Be the first to comment

Gberesin, Language Autobiography

​I. Introduction:
In this project we are are showing how language has effected our lives and how it can define some aspects of us. What was difficult for me about this project was how personally I have never been discriminated against, I guess that was the hardest part. Once I had the idea to talk about unity and division through language based differences it was simpler and my experiences just flowed out. 

II.  Language Autobiography:
          Language is a tool, a tool that can unite or divide a people.  Language unifies those within the same culture and divides those who do not share the same culture.  In this autobiographical essay I will be writing about how personally my family have never been discriminated against, but I have felt the barriers that language creates when in another culture.  My travels to Costa Rica showed me what it feels like to be speechless, and my grandparents told me how their families were discriminated against when they came to America.
        I traveled to Costa Rica when I was in eighth grade, knowing little Spanish.  We went there to do community service for a small town named Turrialba.  This community has a slightly different form of Spanish than other parts of Central America.  Through this difference in dialect it has brought this small mountain community closer than ever to each other. My reasoning for this is that when you are in such a small community you need to be close to each other to survive. A lot of times people cant afford to feed their family three meals a day, they share all food and invite anyone off the street or stranger for a hot meal and a bed. This town was extremely small and was three to four hours from the closest city, the capital, San Jose.
        I did not speak much Spanish, and we were staying in local townspeople’s homes.  My “Madre” was a very nice lady, a grandmother of about 70 years old.  She lived with her grandson and occasionally a few people would drop for meals.  Meals were very loud, but we students were very quiet. We did not want to make fools of ourselves trying to communicate with the locals.  We mainly sat there, smiled, and said please and thank you.  Even though we were very welcomed and people were really nice, I felt separated form everyone else because didn’t really know them.  
        A memory I have of this significant barrier is when, a few nights in, I asked my Madre where I could go to do my laundry.  I thought I knew how to ask that in Spanish from a dictionary I brought, but I was wrong.  I ended up sounding like an idiot.  She looked at me like I was crazy, and said “ Que?” So I repeated the phrase more carefully and slowly.  She repeated, looking like I was even crazier, “Que?”  It turned out I was saying, “Where can I going my washing?”  Over time, she shushed me and grabbed my laundry, called me “Tito” meaning cute, and chuckled.
        Sometimes language isn’t necessary.  Some kids invited me to play soccer with them out in the street, just by holding up a soccer ball and waving.  I immediately understood and we began to play.  All that was necessary was the soccer ball and the gestures. Thinking in a bigger perspective all language is, is a expanded version of gestures. Sometimes Language isnt needed when the act in which you are trying to do is portrayed in the same way for both cultures. In this case it was the act of play.    
        If I were to go back to Costa Rica, I would make sure to learn more Spanish.  The language barrier, even though it was a good experience, was frustrating at times.  Getting on a bus, getting directions, all of this was made more difficult than it needed to be.  When talking with strangers the language barrier is harder, and the things you are asking them for are more complex.
        My grandfather carries a small black book in which he has in every language the words “hot water.”  He drinks it as tea for some reason.  It can be quite embarrassing in public when my very Jewish grandfather tries to ask a Chinese waiter for hot water in his own language.  It is embarrassing because they never know what he’s talking about, because he has a Yiddish accent whenever he speaks any language. “hey waiter, hehe, can I have some bai kai shwai?” “excuse me?” the waiter would say and so he would repeat, “Can I have some bai kai shwai?”    Once he has confused the waiter enough, the waiter gives up and asks him in English what he is talking about.  Usually this makes the waiter uncomfortable or it is the source of a good laugh for the waiter.  This divides or unites, depending on the sense of humor of the waiter, and the seriousness of which it is told.  It doesn’t cut it to learn one word of a language.
        I for one do not speak Yiddish.  My grandparents do, and my mom understands it, but cannot speak it.  Over time, the Yiddish language has slowly disappeared.  All that is left in America of Yiddish are curses, jokes and different words for food.  I think the reason for this is that America is very intolerant of other languages, and when an immigrant comes to the country, it is harder to get jobs and do anything in a bustling economy when you don’t speak the language.
        Overall, when immigrants come to a country, their connections to each other and to their culture will slowly evaporate, unless they are in a really close community.  My grandparents, on my mother’s side, were bilingual as children because their parents were immigrants.  On my father’s side, my grandparents were not immigrants, but their parents’ parent’s went through those troubles.  It is amazing that even though we are of the same family, if I were to talk to my great grandparents on my mother’s side, I would not be able to talk to them.  This comes to show that language when moved to a different culture unites and divides.

III Digital Story:
Be the first to comment

Rshaw Language Autobiography


The purpose of this project was to create a language autobiography. In this biography, we explored our ideas about how you speak a language and how it affects how you live. In this project, we wrote about our past experiences with language, and how are lives are different because of it. In my autobiography, I discuss the way that language not only affects how you speak, but also, how you think and act. In this project, I had a difficult time relating past experiences with the project.

Ryan Shaw December 22, 2011

Language Autobiography BM

Many kids are born into a family that speaks a foreign language. They learn the language of their parents and, in most cases, also learn the language of the country where they grow up. These children may seem to always have an advantage. We think that these bilinguals have a extreme advantage over others, mostly because they can think in two different languages, and their vocabulary is almost doubled. This can may be untrue however. In some cases, kids who are bilingual, or even trilingual, are affected by how they speak one language, by another language.  

One example is when I was helping my Vietnamese foster cousin, Julia. She was having me edit her science paper and I noticed something, so I asked. “Julia, what are the differences between the sentence structure in Vietnamese and English?”

“Vietnamese has a different way of saying prepositions.” she said. So I re-read her paper, and I realized that the majority of mistakes that occurred were related to prepositional phrases. While this is just an small example, I’ve seen this in my other Vietnamese cousins, and I realized that it even affects the way that they speak. “If it affects the way that they write and speak, then could it affect how they think?” I asked myself. I dropped the idea at the time, but talking about language recently, has brought it back to my attention.

In the example, I realized how language might affect the way that we think, and I asked myself, Could it be that language affects not just how you think, but also, what you think?. I realized that I might be right. A little after I edited my cousin’s paper, I read 1984 by George Orwell. In it, there is a new way of speaking that the oppressive government is slowly forcing on its people, called, ‘newspeak’. A specific quote is from one of the supporters for newspeak in the book, “By 2050—earlier, probably—all real knowledge of Oldspeak will have disappeared. The whole literature of the past will have been destroyed.” Chaucer, Shakespeare,Milton, Byron—they'll exist only in Newspeak versions, not merely changed into something different, but actually contradictory of what they used to be. Even the literature of the Party will change. Even the slogans will change. How could you have a slogan like "freedom is slavery" when the concept of freedom has been abolished? The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.” -1984. This language is designed so that one simply doesn’t have the vocabulary to speak and think things that could be negative to the government. While I don’t think that other languages purposely do this, or that they are this restricted, I do think that certain languages allow you to only think in certain ways.

Another example is for Spanish, and the other Romance languages. Most other languages have the sentence structure of adjective-noun; In Latin languages, it is noun-adjective. This can also mean a different way of storytelling, tones, and even how the speakers talk.

This can be malicious in certain cases. Whenever I get a translation, I am always told that one word, “Is like...” then a meaning. This is because they never have a direct translation. It is hard to convey information this way, and the very foundations of communications is fragmented by this fact. The way that people speak has more to do than just communication however. If you only know how to think by using certain words, then you are virtually forced into thinking or not thinking certain things. This can affect how you act, and how you think.


1984 by George Orwell

Be the first to comment

Language Autobiography


This month in out English class, we have been studying something called language identity. language identity is your connection to your culture through the language you speak. This point of this Project was to look at our own language and how it ties into who we are. In my paper i decided to focus on how unique language evolves in the first place by relating it to my own experiences. I think that my paper did a good job of explaining where the language we speak comes from, but i could have maybe worked my own connection to this language into the paper a little bit more.

Final Paper:

Language evolves with greater variance than anything else related to background or identity. One of the best ways to truly understand some one's background is to learn to how to speak their language. But sharing language goes deeper than most people realize. In many cases there is language that you share with your family that isn’t spoken by anyone else, even if at the core it is the same language everyone else in your culture speaks. As this language is passed down from generation to generation it deepens the family’s culture, becoming more and more unique. Unique language and culture help create the fabric of community.

Unlike religious traditions or material possessions being passed from generation to generation, language is passed down casually, often without realizing it. Two years ago, around Christmas time, all of my relatives on my mom’s side of the familty, including myself, were gathered at my aunt’s house. We were all sitting in the living room playing with stocking content that we had joyfully dumped out over the floor that morning. There was every corny little toy you could think of being used by my sister, my cousins, and me. You haven’t been entertained until you’ve seen a room full of twenty-somethings argue about who really won a slinky race.

        Fifteen minutes of hysterical laughter later, my cousin noticed my aunt’s collection of keepsakes on the piano. The collection included everything from giant plastic jellybeans to nesting dolls to snow globes.
        “What exactly do you collect up here?” she asked, a hint of fascination in her voice.
        “Oh those are my Chachka’s.” my aunt replied, her tone implying that everything had been explained
        “What are Chachka’s?” my cousin asked, not satisfied with the first answer.
        “Those things on the shelf!” my other aunt chimed in, again with the same confidence that made you think she’d explained this more times than she could count.
        “OK,” replied my cousin, more confused than she was to begin with.
        “Well what do you do with Chachkas?” I asked, in attempt to help settle this confusion, now curious myself.
        “You Tikky-boo them of course.” My mom replied with the same self-assurance as my aunts had used.
        “Which means…?” my cousin asked, in a somewhat defeated tone.
            “Dust them”
            “Rearrange them”
            “Sort them”
My mom and her sisters all chimed in, one after another. Defeated, my cousins and I all went back to our Slinky's. However, in the years that would follow, my sister, my cousins and I began to use the word chachka regularly. Without meaning to, or even thinking about it as a possibility, my mother and my aunts had passed down one of their own words to us. While on the surface this seems relatively insignificant, this one word has given me and my cousins a firm piece of background that we can all cling to.

Language like this is almost never intentionally created. It arises out of the need for clarity or understanding or just plain ease of use. Ever since I can remember, my family have been fans of quesadillas, especially when my sister and I were little. What better lunch is there for a 8 year old and his three year old sister then two pieces of cheese wrapped in a tortilla and fried? It was something we both liked. Soft enough for my sister, just now getting her molars in. and bland enough for me, picky eater that i was.      

The only drawback to this was every three year old comes guaranteed with difficulties pronouncing new words. You have not lived until you’ve seen a toddler try to say quesadilla. Or better yet an adult try to teach them how.


When what to have for lunch became a 10 minute discussion, most of it gibberish, we decided it was pointless to call them by their original name. within a few weeks  within a It’s funny when you think about it, but what my sister and I were doing was not unlike what many scholars and scientists have done for centuries. She saw something she knew nothing about and decided to name and define it herself. While she didn’t use Latin prefixes or a numeral system to classify it, the general concept is still the same.

Thing’s like this happen within every form of culture, not just family. Wherever you look, you can see languages developing. At the Science Leadership Academy we have Quarterly Projects that we call “Benchmarks”. Even though almost every school has projects, they are only called benchmarks at SLA. It is special words like “half moon sandwiches” or “benchmarks” that help define culture and bind people in community.
English Video 2
Be the first to comment

Language Autobiography

Many people believe that language are the words that are coming out of people's mouths. Not only is language words, but it's also the meaning behind those words. I knew I didn't want to write about the different languages all around the word. I wanted to get dive deeper into my essay topic. My essay shows different ways language is shown, not just through words that come out of someones mouth. 

Language Essay:

Language is used powerful ways.  Many people use their language to express their voice. According to the dictionary the verb of the word “voice” is express. Expressing ones opinion is a sense of voice. Many people use their voice to express how they feel about certain actions that are happening. Language is one of the greatest ways to express yourself. For example president Barack Obama, can give a speech about the Iraq War that just recently ended. He would express his opinion and his voice within his speech. “The United State is the mask which hides the loss of so many tongues, all those sounds of diverse native communities we will never hear. “-Bell Hooks  There so many people in the world that would love to share their thoughts, and try to change the world through Language.
There so many ways for one person to express themselves. Many express in ways you can’t even imagine, good and bad. A prime examples that you can see and hear about in the city, are protest, murals, writing pieces, dances, songs, video, and much more.
Youtube is also one of the greatest ways for anyone to express themselves. There is one particular video’s on Youtube that are called  flash card videos.  A flashcard video is when a person writings thoughts onto the flashcard, the person is silent during the whole video, but is also flipping through all the flashcards. Many people, including teens use there voice. As a teenager I know we expresses ourselves through clothing, statuses, art, picture, and actions.
Over the summer 2011, Philadelphia experienced flash mobs. Not the flash mobs that brings joyful entertainment, these flash mobs were full of teens beating and harassing people. Many of the victims were Caucasian, and most of flash mobs were happening in Center City Philadelphia. In many communities, adults thought that this was a cry for help. This was a way for teens to express themselves, share their voice the only way people will be able to hear them. By creating and being apart of a flash mobs, many of the teens that take part of the flash mobs feel and are looking for a sense of having power. During this summer of 2011 the same time period of the flash mobs, many moms, concern senior citizens, girlfriends, and many more decided to take action as a community. The concerned citizens believe that this is how language is shown. Language is another way for people to express themselves so that everyone hears their voice. There were any protest and votes among the city of Philadelphia, over what should we do with teens. The question that many people wondered, was how can we stop this? More police on the street, having teens incarcerated? How will the language around Philadelphia change? The way people express themselves, through flash mobs, art and more.
    There many ways in Philadelphia how language is presented. Through art, t-shirts, quotes, murals, statuses, creative writing. In high school students and teachers provide and portray a lot of the art that is presented as language. For an example a teacher can show their students movie that is expressed and is in a different language. Another example could be a student wearing a t-shirt saying “Make smart choices in your life”. This t-shirt can be presented in many ways, giving advice or proving a point. The Art Museum of Philadelphia has many paintings of the baby Jesus. The painting didn’t only show the baby Jesus, but it shows the story behind the painting. As a tour guide said “ The artist expresses his language  through the painting”.
    As you can see language isn’t just only, how we talk or where our words and phrases origins are from. Language is a way to express ourselves. Through essays, quotes, videos, art, actions, and many more. Expressing and language is so powerful, that language can change as far as Africa to Asia. Thoughts from one person can travel many miles per minute. Language has been modified greatly over the last decades. Within Philadelphia, language and learning to express yourself is greatly changing magnificently. Language is used all over the world to increase everyone being able to express themselves one way or another.

Language Video  - Medium
Be the first to comment

Language Autobiography

I. Intro and Reflection:

During this project, I had many struggles. I describe some of them in the essay itself. Other than the ones in the essay, I had a hard time finding out what I wanted to write about, or what I could even write about. After I figured out what I wanted to write about, the hard part was narrowing it down to fit in 750-1000 words. I learned a lot of different things about my own language identity. I talked about things like how my mom grew up in the south, how I had speech therapy when I was little, and how code switching has effected my life.

II. Final Essay

When I learned that I was going to have to write a language autobiography, I thought I was never going to be able to do it. I thought that I was doomed because I was taught to speak proper and correctly my whole life. When we were reading about people who had large opinions on language identity and what language was, I couldn’t relate to any of them. I never thought about language and I never really needed to. My family didn’t come from a foreign-speaking place, I didn’t have to translate for anyone, and I didn’t have any family members who spoke with a heavy accent or bad grammar, dialect etc. I was so worried that I had nothing to write about. Then something hit me. I had tons to write about! So, that being said, let me start to tell you about it. 

When I was growing up, my mom always told me to speak correctly. As I got older, she would correct me if I didn’t pronounce a letter or syllable or anything else in a word correctly. Sometimes I will keep saying the word wrong and she will yell at me. I always get really mad at her because I feel like home is someplace that I should be able to talk in an informal way. Instead, I have to talk like I do in class. I never thought about it too much until we started talking about language in English class. 

When I was getting ready for school one morning after talking about language in class, I started talking to my mom. I told her that we had been talking about proper English and stuff like that. When I said that there was not really such a thing as “proper English”, she flipped out on me. She said that there was defiantly such a thing as that. She told me that she doesn’t like bad grammar or other things like that coming from out of my mouth. When she flipped out, I got really angry. We probably both over reacted because it was so early in the morning but I can remember how I felt. I balled my hands into fists and I felt like throwing the hairbrush I was holding at something.

“Why are you flipping out? I just really hate when you yell at me just because I said something wrong!” I yelled at her.

“I want you to make sure you never slip a slang word or something similar to that out during something really important like a job interview” She shouted back.

We both argued about the same thing until I stormed out of the room, my head filled with rage.

When I was in the car going to school, I remembered that we had been learning about the fact that “standard English” existed. We never said anything about “proper English.” I felt really bad. Throughout the day, I realized that I did have lots to write about in my essay. I could just write about what it was like to have to speak proper. 

Even though I speak pretty well now, I don’t have the greatest history with language. My mom grew up in Louisville, Kentucky and she mostly lost her southern accent when she came to Philadelphia for college. My grandmother (her mother) lived in Kentucky her whole life up until this summer. When my mom would go to visit her, she would always have a strong accent again for about 3-4 days. Sometimes you will hear me say certain words they will have a slight accent on them. 

A very large issue I had with language in my life was when I was little. I had very bad speech. I don’t remember it much because it stopped after I was five, which was after I had speech therapy. I could not pronounce a lot of words. For instance, I would pronounce “no” as “go”. As you can imagine, because those words are complete opposites, it never ended up well. If I wanted to say no to something it would come out so that it seemed like I meant yes. It was hard for people, including my parents, to understand me. 

Even though I might talk really proper at home, I still use slang and a bit of bad grammar when I am talking to my friends. Mostly, we have words or phrases that only we say. Words often start out as something that only one of us said. Then the rest of us would catch on. I have noticed that this happens a lot with everyone. We get it from our friends, family, and even the internet. 

I think that it is really important for all of us to know how to code switch. Code switching is when we talk differently in different places. For most people, they speak more formally in school, in a job environment, and presentations. The talk however they are most comfortable when they are with their friends and family. With me, its changed a bit. As my mom said, she wants me to be able to code switch easily and that’s why she wants me to talk properly around her. In the essay Mother Tongue by Amy Tran, the author says that the limited English limited possibilities in her life as well as in her mother’s. That’s what my mom doesn’t want to happen to me in life. 

Before this assignment, I never thought about any kind of language identity. I’m still not positive what mine is quite yet, or if I even have one. But I know that I am in the process of figuring it out. I might even have multiple ones. I do know one thing for sure though, I once thought I didn’t have a story to tell with language but now I know I have a huge story. It’s just still in the process. 


Tan, Amy. "Mother Tongue, By Amy Tan I Am Not A." Scribd. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Jan. 2012. <>.

III. Video 

Language story
Be the first to comment

Language Autobiography


At first I didn’t think the project would be difficult to do. But as soon as I started to get into the paper I realized that it’d be harder then I thought. How was I supposed to write something about language when most people atomically assume that I’ll speak once I open my mouth? This often made me think about how when I’m at home the way I speak, but when planning for interviews I like speaking over the phone first so they can at least give me a chance to impress them without them judging me by my looks or race. But during this project I learned that if your courageous and optimistic then things might not always be the same. In other words, people will start thinking more highly of you, and depend on you more because of it. I was always kind of afraid of what people would think of me because of my race. And most times I would shun the fact of speaking “black”. But now I realized that it’s fine that I can code switch. While when I do talk “black” it isn’t a ghetto way. I’ve realized that no one will ever be able to be his or her selves because the world as one expects too much from one person to be like everyone else.


Language is a funny thing. It either helps you be accepted into a group of friends or a job, while other times it can make people deny your existence or just deny yourself. To me, language is a beautiful thing. And it’s even better when you know a lot of them. Language is like trying to perfect an old family recipe, it takes time, but it’s fun experimenting with the thing you love the most. It’s what defines you for you and not how others would group you into the same stereotype because of the way you look.  

There are 6,500 languages being spoken right now as we speak.

What most people don’t know is that language is actually a beautiful song that a lot of people can sing, it’s very heard to learn for people who want to understand other languages. There are years of practice that others have to go through that’s behind the secret of singing the song of language, but not all languages take years. Some languages are just slang that can be picked up anywhere in any continent, in any state, and in any language when you’re around a certain type of dialogue for a long period of time.

When your around a language for a long time, you eventually start speaking and sounding the same way as the people you were around. In my situation, my language is slang. I don’t always speak slang, but I do understand it. As my brother likes to say, “All coons should know how to translate Ebonics.” When needed I can be as proper as the world wants me to be, but when alone, with friends, or with family I can speak freely as much as I want because I won’t be judged or looked at funny for it.  Either properly or with slang or mixed with a little bit of both. An example of this is when I was in my room trying to sketch out a design on my bed “por Español mañana” (For Spanish Tomorrow).

It was comfortable and I had my laptop right in front of me listening to music. My legs were crossed as if I were a pretzel and that’s when my brother walked in. “Can you help me with my Spanish?” he asked with confidence. I looked at him with a strange lift of my eyebrow.

“But you’re in Spanish 2 just like me. Why do you need my help?” I stated.
He protested me with jokes and small talk more and more until he finally got a “yes” out of me. He explained what his task was for the Spanish project he had to do where he stood in front of the side of my bed.

He began to ask me how I would say simple sentences in Spanish. I started to slowly tell him because I was new at it too but he quickly cut me off saying, “Look dawg, and just type it into Google so I can just get this over with.” I grew angry.

I thought “why would you ask me for help if you were only going to cheat?” Why even bother explaining things to me?  I sat there quietly while he typed his directions into Google translate and mumbled from time to time, “Oh, I should have knew that” or “I’d learned that already.” He began to try to start small talk and I just kept answering him with a couple of, “I don’t know” and “The translator is right there”.

My brother began to stopped smiling and eventually stopped trying to make attempts to cheer me up with the method he was using. He looked up at me from re-writing the Spanish translation onto his notebook and said, “Why you always gotta do me like this? You drawlin cuz, all I asked was to help me and you want to make it all complicated. You’re a kill joy yo.” I stared at him for a minute before I said, “I tried to help you and you denied my help. You went to a translator when I warned you it wasn’t going to come out right. So when you fail, don’t blame it on me.”

He finished taking his cheated notes and left angrily because he knew he was wrong and because I was angry with him. After a little while I heard my mom scream, “YO! Done or raw.” And I quickly got up quickly and told my angry brother that it was time to eat. He then seemed to have settled down because he was using my Spanish dictionary and playing NFL on Xbox 360 sitting in his big spiney chair that has 2 arms and feels like fluffy clouds. I waited until he turned around and told him again. He looked at me with calm eyes and said: “okay.”

              During this time in life, “YO”, “DAWG”, and other phrases that could be seen as a “code”, was mostly understood by Black people. I’ve notice that as a black culture there is always a new word or an update on a previous slang going around. “Bye Qurl” means in today’s world “End of discussion” or a more known word “Period”, after something important has just been stated. These words are a special connection between blacks since we don’t really have our own language. It represent us. But Blacks don’t have their own language because we were forced to speak, some what “Standard English” during slavery time because Whites wanted to understand what Blacks were saying.

Even though others don’t understand Blacks all the time, we can instantly switch from “hood” talk to proper English when we need to. But because most people stereotype Blacks as “Ghetto” it’s a little hard to be taken seriously by some people. Not all black people are rude,  ghetto, or can’t speak “correctly”. And if there are, then maybe they just can’t receive the same education as other races can. There are a whole bunch of blacks that can speak well and speak in “our” code without a second thought and can still be a business man, a writer, or even an artist. Just because Blacks pronounce or use a different word to describe something doesn’t mean they’re not “well educated”. Blacks are perceived of this because Black slang is not the easiest thing to catch onto or understand quickly.

Also, a lot of people who speak “hard” Black slang are usually from the projects and those people are usually uneducated as well. But it doesn’t go that way all the time. You can be from the projects and still become something better and more. So because of this, it’s hard for other races to understand Black slang terms that a majority of Blacks do speak because it’s shorter and easier for Blacks. It matters for Blacks more because there is still some racism going on, and because of that Blacks are getting shot down jobs and being accused of other things because of their accents, or the way they speak.

And because of that, a majority of Blacks are stereotyped of speaking the exact way.

For example, my brother has amazing writing skills, though if you’re talking to him and your a close friend it wouldn’t seem like he would know great grammar. However, he gets A’s in English all the time and recently received an amazing score on his PSAT’s in writing. This shows you that we as black people speak a certain way to describe how we feel or to describe ourselves in our a chill, comfortable way. It’s apart of us. But because of the stereotypes most blacks just threw away the whole “code” to begin with to fit in. In a short story called, “Tongue Tied” by Maxine Hong Kingston her mother cut her daughter’s frenum which is under her tongue so she would be able to speak any language. At first, she was afraid to speak in class because no one else had their tongue like that from her family and she thought others would view her differently. But later on in the story, she learns to build her confidence and starts to talk in class more because she realized that even her sister was afraid to talk and she didn’t even have hers cut.

It has come to a point that more and more blacks have been acting ghetto, which I dislike to the fullest extent. Trying to show how rude or disrespectful they can be by following the stereotype gives other races reasons to think that a lot of Blacks aren’t educated. Even I have stopped using a lot Black slang. But, I can still fully understand new terms and black dialogue. I guess you can say I’m taking a break from the “Black Code” and learning more of a Japanese one. It’s always good to learn something new I suppose after so many years of the same thing. It’s the way of language to absorb, and migrate once you’ve learned everything there is to be learned.

Wahnay - Medium
Be the first to comment

Mis Seres Queridos!

Intro: Hola Amigos! Mi nombre es Alexis y este mi vida y mi queridos los.


Yo:  Mi nombre es Alexis Dean, soy una estudiante de primer año aquí en SLA. Soy de Filadelfia. Soy Boba, Sociable, and Amoroso Me fasicna leer, dormir, estar de vago con mi familia, y praticar deportistes.


Ella: Su nombre es Alyssa, Su es mi hermana menor Alyssa es adorable. Alyssa tiene tres años. Le fasicna baliar, eschuchar musica y cantar. Sin embargo Alyssa encanta su hermana mayor Alexis mas. La adoro porque su mi hermana menor y es mi todo mundo. 


Ellos: Ellos es mis primos Nicky y Astasia. Son de Filadelphia. Tienen una familia grande. Les gusta Jusgar Videojuegos escuchar musica y mas o menos en amor con Facebook. Ma caen bien porque ellos son mi primos y son mi mejor amigos.


Ellas: Ellas son mi madre y mi amiga Tytiana. Son de Filadelphia tambien. Ellas son guapas, comicos and bobas. Les gusta escuchar musica. Ellas casi siempre tener auriculares en. Ma caen bien porque ellas son siempre hay para me cuando yo necesidad ellas.


Nostros: Nuestros nombres son Gabrielle, Caryn y Alexis. Somos sociables. Tenemos los ojos moreno. Nos encanta Basketbol, escuchar musica y comer. Nos llevamos bien porque es mi favorborita amigas.

E1U3 Project
Be the first to comment

Language Autobiography




            For the longest time I wasn’t sure what to write about. I don’t come from a family straight out of a foreign country. And I’m not  “Off the Boat” Italian as some others are. I’m just me, Anthony. So I thought about it quite a bit before I finally thought to myself that I do have some dialectic things in my life. My grandparents say things, my friends say things and even I say things. So I just decided to write those occurrences into this paper that you see here.

            Overall I slightly enjoyed writing this paper. With everything there would of course be other topics that would be more fun to write about. But this wasn’t a bad topic whatsoever. I enjoyed getting to look at past things in my family that reminded me of the funny and unique ways which they speak!

LANGUAGE, By: Anthony Buchanico

            I will never fully understand the way people go against one another for speaking differently, even when it’s in the same language. To be speaking different languages is one thing, I mean you can’t understand the person, but there’s no reason to bother others for sounding differently.

             Here in Philadelphia, we have several different ways of saying things. These can include the way we pronounce bagel (Beg-gull), water (wooder) and some other words as well. We’ve even made up a cluster of words such as jawn, jawnski and yous to name a few. Basically jawn is a way to say thing when at a loss for words while yous is a hybrid/contraction for saying you guys and you girls. Somebody use these constantly and love using it while others don’t bother using them whatsoever. Personally, I find myself using yous a lot but refraining from using jawn as some consider it to be improper.

            I don’t exactly see how words can be improper. I mean I understand how some people associate poor grammar with poor working. Some people can be told entirely from their speech. The person who seemingly can’t structure a sentence is more than likely differently clothed than somebody using complex words in a casual conversation. This doesn’t necessarily meant that the person is incapable of doing the actions of the proper speaker granted it isn’t a public speaker in most cases.

             I had a friend in grade school, his name was John. We were always good friends even though we were different in several aspects we managed to be great friends and get along in most cases. Out of everything we’ve done the most memorable would probably be our routine after vocal assignments. Time and time again we would get up there in front of our uninterested class of 24, scuttling up to talk about how the weather is changing or the history of pancakes. Each time, we would say almost a synonymous speech with only replacing a few words. I’ve always been a proper speaker save for how fast I talk in some cases while he tended to abbreviate his words and use words that we swear were made up. And each time I would laugh at the response on his face when his grades were 5 points lower than mine for no reason. Half of the time he’d be given the better-worded speech too! 

             Although even with this proof I guess the wrong idea is being presented. People shouldn’t be afraid or ashamed to use their own way of speaking, or “dialects” if you may. Some are just treated differently than others. More than likely you have others around you that speak as you do. I mean people need to learn form somewhere or else we wouldn’t know anything. If I were to say something common to me in school, it’s almost assured that nobody in the room would understand what I’m saying. A perfect example of this would be my grandparents. We say our own plethora of words being together as a family. The most predominant however would have to be Marone, which is basically considered to be a burden or a quarrelsome statement. The next one is called a gavone. A gavone is considered to be a pig and a glut in several instances. Here’s an example of just that 

  Trips to my grandparent’s house are always fun. My grandmother, or Mommom as we call her, is always so fun and the most amazing cook. And my grandfather, or Poppy, is one of the coolest people to me. Going to their house is always another venture in itself! We always go together as a family, so their house always has my family, my aunts and my uncles, my cousins, and until recently, my great grandmothers. As with so many Italians getting together, we always get into some minor bickering and fun quarrels.

“Well what do you mean we can’t go to the Christmas party this year?” “I already told you why! I don’t work with them anymore!” “So? What’s the problem?” “Marone, what’s the matter with you?” These are most of the arguments between my Aunt Monica and my Poppy. We manage to get into arguments over everything and it’s hilarious every time. I remember last Christmas Eve when we went to my grandparent’s house for our annual holiday tradition. We always eat so much more than we’re supposed to and wind up making somebody starve to death because we’re such “gavones” as my family says. And we are. “Here you go, the last pizza guys!” My Mommom said twice with a grin on her face. I never got how she could be so happy in making countless pizzas on Christmas Eve. “Hey guys we’re finally here!” My Aunt Joanna said while her and my newest Uncle Mick walk in from the blistering cold. “Oh good just in time for the last of the pizzas,” replied my Mommom still happy. “What pizza…?” replied my Uncle, clueless as ever. My Mommom quickly looked down at the table to see nothing left. “You guys are such gavones!” she sparked at us after devouring all the pizza. It was worth it though.

            There are several examples in the world where dialects are found. Everywhere in the world actually. Your dialect shows just that. It tells you everything from where you’re from to whom you hang out with throughout your life. Don’t be ashamed of what you have, but be happy about your own life and where you’ve come from to this point.

Be the first to comment

Language Auto Biography

​Reflection and Introduction

Through this paper it expressed my family and me. Basically the more I read this paper I see what really happens in my life. I never really noticed it but I think I do now. When I go home I see more and more of family and the way I talk. I no longer correct them because that's just them. I wouldn't want anyone correcting me on something I said correctly. Well in my opinion it's only wrong if it's spelled wrong. You can't say it wrong you can only spell it wrong. This means that if you see a word and you say it, you didn't say it wrong you spelled it wrong. In your head it looks differently. My strong points were the dialog it really brought out my moms voice. I though I did bad on research and information.

Language Auto Biography

- Home language

“snip snip” the sounds of the lips going back and forth, Spacing between each curve in a way that cannot be defi ned. Imaginary it must be, not being able to understand the new language she has brought in this house. “You don’t want ta listen to me you know.” Foreign, it must be; this isn’t English. What is this? Training as the time goes on, the peers get used to it and try to learn it. They understand what I am saying . “I am tinkin about movin.” The strange talker says. As the speaker continues, we learn to understand the dialect. Morning rises, only the kin are around the change in the dialect changes. Code switch it ay be called but how. How can you change what you sound like in an instant like a whole new person. I wonder how that happens to a person. Now I feel different wondering about this situation. Lingering the words slur as they are still correct. One chance to change ones dialect and it happened. Tick tock fortifying with greatness. You now know the difference between languages. Ding dong “hello”. Conversing back in forth they are. Once again the dialect changes I don’t understand the fast speaking the horrid.

No holding back the foul language coming out my mouth, talking as if I don’t know English. Friend laughing and joking around waiting for a joke with that French word of justice. When around my family the French word is obsolete. As if the word never existed the loud talking the distant hearing of the parents. Walking outside getting my code switch started. A friend comes up and now it’s on the code switch is in. Finally I’m free. Don’t under stand why It’s like this but it is. Can I change it I don’t know. Depending on how I feel during the moment, sometimes.

Throughout all the times a friend speaks to you do you ever wonder if they always speak that way. Maybe they just speak to you that way.

In school i always try to make up lines that would make people laugh. My most recent line was “chew the gat” although many people don't know what it means that's a good thing. If they did I wouldn’t be here. Sometimes people laugh sometimes they don’t. When I’m around other people tat line doesn’t come up in my vocabulary. I try not to just randomly say it.

My friend in school says some pretty wierd stuff, he says ”what are youuuu talking about” then he like repeats it in different ways. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t say that around his parents.

I actually like code switching how you feel the rhythm in the words coming out of your mouth. You feel you coming out. You can feel your mind spinning as if you never heard anything before it feels so new. When you talk to your guardian most of the time your actually talking to them in a way that won’t get mad at you. Hopefully that gazing eye upon that word which cannot be named because it has not been thought of. That word your gazing looking upon finally opens up depending on you your around with.

The more time you spend thinking about that word it’s hard to decide weather to use it or not. It’s basically an unsolved mystery until you have to say the word.

Conversations come differently. When you converse with someone they feel as if that you, they feel that is how you speak. People tend to speak proper at placed they feel are proper. Like Balls, business offices etc. I actually like code switch because it show me how many of “MY” languages I actually know. People don;t know my language only because they don’t code switch the way I do.

Sometimes my mom doesn’t even realise she says “tinkin”. When I do bad on my report card and I’m always on my laptop. She says that I’m not “tinkin” that I’m not tryin. To her family it’s a lot different  when they tinkin and then at the end of the sentence it “you know”. That’s their way of speaking and I can;t change that I also like the way they speak because in a way that shows my mom has a language that is English.

Dialect brings an important factor into this. Not all the time a person speaks with an accent. Even though they know the accent and It’s heavy, they also try to “lightin” it in front of other people just for them to hear.

Be the first to comment