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Short Paragraph:

In this Language Autobiography, explains how language can be different from one and another of being hispanic. Experiencing threw different hispanic race such as, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Cubans, and Mexicans notice that we all have different language and ways of using it. The Language Autobiography explains the first experience of growing up, raise into a hispanic neighborhood, noticing the  different spanish accents around different latinos.

Also in the Language Autobiography, it puts together how high school and middle school is not the same as the being with latinos 24/7 to what it is now to be a non-latino school, but to be in every race.


 Resources (Citations):


Rodriguez, Richard. Hunger of Memory. Boston: David R. Godine, 1982. Print. 


https://docs.google.com/a/scienceleadership.org/viewer? a=v&pid=gmail&attid=0.1&thid=13ba92749708f5a1&mt=application/pdf&url=https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/? ui%3D2%26ik%3Dffd908dd50%26view%3Datt%26th%3D13ba92749708f5a1%26attid%3D0.1%26disp%3Dsafe%26realattid%3Df_hast10zc0%26zw&sig=AHIEtbR8I7s_q8wQss8uMbvga- KyXSXoHg

Language Autobiography (Latino Community):

Fifteen and raised by a mexican family and lived in a latino community near North Philly. Spanish here and spanish there and spanish everywhere. I grew up to be bilingual by around the different hispanic race, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Cubans, and Mexicans. In this language autobiography you will find a record of personal, language-learning history of experience of different ways of using language around hispanics.  

Growing up in a latino community, you can learn all sorts of different culture and language. Threw out all the years I had experience around the latino community, I got used to the matter of the way the latinos use their cultures by the traditions, music, and beliefs. Growing up with different types of hispanic race, all different hispanics have there own accent as well and also realizing that every latino has there own way of language. My first experience was in a summer day in the middle of July at my friend house. I was over my friend house, Alex who I known for years now, is to be dominican and puerto rican and his mother was puerto rican. While I am sitting down on the couch relaxing while watching cartoons and not worrying about a thing. All of the sudden I heard Alex and his mother speaking in spanish. The conversation was so loud you can hear it from the living room. I didn’t pay Attention. Each word they spoke, I just couldn’t catch up. At that moment I realize that language comes in different ways.

Before SLA, I went a school where half of the school that was bilingual, english and spanish. In my home room, basically half of the students was puerto rican and african american and including me as the only mexican in the room. I didn’t feel different, I always knew that I would blend inn. Through all my elementary and middle school year, those were the only two race I spent, and never had experience going to school with any other race. Noticing between puerto ricans and african americans, both race would have there own matter in using their language and accent comparing to mine, its a different story. As a group of all latinos in school, we would talk spanish threw the whole entire conversation without anyone having trouble because of course they were born to be bilingual and so do I. "Supporters of bilingual education today imply that students like me miss a great deal by not being taught in their family's language. What they seem not to recognize is that, as a socially disadvantaged child, I considered Spanish to be a private language." (p. 17). Rodriguez explained to consider spanish to be a private language because   there was a deep intimacy with his family, so at odds with the painful feeling of public alienation. His teachers were aware of his problems with English, and his parents would only english in a way to learn english. Rodriguez still agrees that spanish is important and to support bilingual education.

My whole experience had change until I came to Science Leadership Academy for high school. The previous year before my freshman year, I had went to a school with bilingual students of Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Cubans, Mexicans and also African Americans. They would all have there own way to speak their language, I may also get confuse on how to blend in and to connect with each other as we go threw a conversation. “It’s not possible for a child – any child– ever to use his family’s language in school.  Not to understand this is to misunderstand the public uses of schooling and trivialize the nature of intimate life – a family’s ‘language’ ” (p. 10). Rodriguez explained that Spanish was a language of family closeness and easiness. When they switched to English they lost the family bond. Rodriguez uses this essay to show how he fights through his childhood to understand English. Speaking clear English will help him to fit into society. Comparing the quote of Richard Rodriguez and my experience seems to be similar that everyday I would have to get the hang of english. Till this day I still experience the different language and accents from student at SLA. Learning all types of cultures, traditions, music, and beliefs. The moment I went through the doors at SLA, I knew something was coming. Looking around my surroundings, seeing different faces, race and I notice there wasn’t a latino that I know so at that moment I knew my life would change.

Do the languages we speak shape the way we think? Do they merely express thoughts, or do the structures in languages without our knowledge or consent the very thoughts we wish to express? Everyone has their own matter in a way to speak language. Its all in the head, that everyone has an opinion, in what way is proper to speak their own language. Experiencing of different language can be mind blowen, with everyone different accents in able to speak.


 
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The Invisible Man

The invisible man is easily written off as just another science fiction novel, an experiment gone wrong and the concomitant catastrophes that occur. However, H.G. Wells’ peculiar little novel has an entirely sui generis nature that lies just bellow the surface. The book was written in the late 19th century, and was serialized in Pearson’s Weekly magazine. In 1933, the book was made into a horror film, which led to a series of sequels and popularized the concept of an invisible man. The film starred Claude Rains in his first american appearance, as Griffin, the invisible man. 

One of the book’s primary idiosyncrasies is that the titular character and protagonist, the invisible man, also serves as the story’s antagonist, and is shrouded in mystery for the majority of the book. Despite the narrative focusing almost entirely on him, little is known or revealed about the mysterious, bandage-clad stranger who arrives in Iping, West Sussex in the dead of night. The story follows this secretive man and hostile interactions with all others during his tenure in the town. Eventually he is shown to be a brilliant research scientist, who sought to create a race of perfect humans by making the first invisible man. In a fit of impatience, the man took the medicine he had created himself, rendering his body entirely invisible, and retreats to the quiet of the English countryside to reverse his condition. 

While these events are not particularly the most relatable, considering my current visibility, I find the concept of the pursuit of invisibility to be a very human one. After all, who hasn’t wanted to disappear before? This, coupled with the charming depictions of quiet life in the English countryside made this a surprisingly easy book to relate to. It is this pairing of the mundane with the extraordinary that makes this book so unique and so much fun to read. 

From start to finish, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. While there were moments when Wells went into minute detail for extended periods of time, he would pick up the pace immediately afterwards. The book was exciting and thought-provoking, without the heaviness of many similar science fiction books. It toyed with the ideas of existentialism and questioned humanity, but it was anything but dark or brooding. 

I can recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a thrill. It is fast paced and slow paced, funny and terrifying. It is a perfect illustration of a psychopath, and you will not regret it.

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Language Autobiography 2013: To judge, Or Not To Judge

​In this unit, we learned about language and the effect it has on us in everyday life. I was assigned to write an essay about what I learned from this unit, and how it if relative to my life. Immediately, I thought of the way I see grammar. This paper was a challenge to write, but I pushed through because I knew I wanted people to hear what I had to say. While writing this, I learned that I need to stop thinking so much over the little things. Also, I learned to not be as judgmental. 

To Judge, Or Not To Judge 

Before entering 7th grade, my perspective on grammar and the way people communicated was very indifferent. I often spoke lazily and didn’t notice much difference between what’s considered standard english and what’s considered slang. One very strict teacher implanted the idea in my head that the level of grammar that you use determines your intelligence level. One day, a classmate of mine asked her why she was so aggressive over grammar and writing. She replied with, “Well, how do you want people to view you? Educated or illiterate?” Ever since then, I couldn’t get that idea out of my head.


One of my close friends Jackie always talks in slang. To her, it’s her first language. This worried me because she has to maintain a scholarship at her high school, and if she’s talking in this manner then her grades must be suffering from it. I would always try to correct her grammar, even if we were texting! She would say to me, “Oh Amy, stop worrying!” but I couldn’t help it. One day, she asked me to proofread one of her english essays. “Oh God” I thought, “This will take a while”. But as I was reading, I was shocked. I had been terribly wrong this entire time. Her grammar and spelling was nearly perfect, along with the fluidity of her paper. This took me back a bit, and made me reevaluate my thinking. I felt so narrow minded for having judged her on just her street language. People have many different personalities, and ways of showing who they are. In school they always teach you that there’s a right way to do something, and there’s a wrong way. The way children translate that is ‘if you do it the wrong way, then you’re considered stupid, if you do it the right way, everyone will love you.’ This is enforced majorly in grammar / english classes. So if you use grammar wrong, you’re stupid. If you misspell something, you’re stupid. Many people live their entire lives along these lines, while for some it goes in one ear and out the other.

This mindset that I’m in is starting to affect my relationships with people. When I start talking to a boy, I always analyze how they talk while texting or by things they post on the internet. I think to myself, “Okay, well if they have good grammar then they’re educated and smart. If not, then they aren’t worth my time.” That right there is horrible to think. Who am I to judge who a person is by the way they talk? I’m always fighting an inner battle to remind myself that it’s more about what they have to say, rather than how they say it. My friend Joe recognized this, and since then he’s been using close-to-perfect grammar to impress me. When people use good grammar, I automatically feel much more comfortable talking to them. Needless to say, Joe’s been one of the top people I talk to on a daily basis for a while now.


To this day I catch myself noticing other people’s grammar mistakes and thinking “Wow, do they even know what they’re saying?” without taking into mind that everyone makes mistakes. One of the biggest places that this happens is the internet. When people post things for everyone to see and it’s illiterate, it makes me wonder how they’re doing in school. All these thoughts are extremely judgemental of me to even think of. You could be extremely intelligent in some subjects, but not so smart in others. The realization moment for me was reading the essay, ‘If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?’. That essay opened up my mind to a whole new perspective. One quote that stood out to me was “It goes without saying, then, that language is also a political instrument, means, and proof of power. It is the most vivid and crucial key to identify: It reveals the private identity, and connects one with, or divorces one from, the larger, public, or communal identity.” The way people speak comes from their culture, and who they are as a person. They grow up in houses and have history, they aren’t perfect grammatical robots. You don’t need to use standard english to be intelligent. Standard english is what’s commonly seen as ‘correct english’, but in today’s language, I don’t think there’s a right or wrong language. For me or anybody else to say that the way somebody speaks is wrong,  would be wrong of us.


Baldwin, James. "If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me What Is." New York Times. (July 29, 1979): <http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/03/29/specials/baldwin-english.html>.


(Vimeo still hasn't allowed me to make an account, I'm sorry for the inconvenience)  


My Video

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Tangible Barriers by: Bryanna Jones



Throughout this marking period we have been studying the value that language holds. We also  read multiple literary text to explore the impacts it has on people. This unit really has allowed me to understand the why language is so important,  but working with this idea in mind really gave me a brand new perspective on life. What you will be reading below is an essay about my younger sisters struggle with language.

Tangible Barriers
 
They laughed. The American kids laughed because her name was something they had never heard before, instead of taking the time out to give her name the attention it deserved. Their lazy tongues fabricated easy insults.

“Yo African! African booty scratcher,” they would cackle.

“Dantlo, Danny, yo burnt skin girl.” They would shout from across the play yard. They would clap their hands, stomp their feet and make monkey noise to also get her attention. Or they would bang on walls or chairs and make calling noises to get her to look their way.

She would try explain to them in her dense accent that her name was “Daniette,” there was a transparent L between the N and the I. No one cared. Not even myself. So I began to call her “Donetta.” It was much easier, it consisted of two simple syllables instead of the hefty duo her original syllables contained. I could tell she didn’t mind at the moment, but soon the name her mother had adorned her with would want to reclaim its space. Soon she signed her homework papers with my Americanized rendition. Donetta. She found it much simpler to conform, because conforming meant fitting in, when you fit in teasing is unachievable.

Her school assigned her an ETA by the 2nd grade to “correct her english accent”. They were tired of taking an extra 3 minutes to decipher what she would say, so they fed their laziness by giving her a speech teacher. Day by day she would come home with a new ways of pronouncing words. And everyday she would lose a little bit more of her culture.

“ Br-yan-na!” She use to break up my name into a small increments to accommodate her accent. Now she would exclaim, “Hi Bryanna!” Before anyone could enjoy her accent’s melody, it was painted over with the infamous Standard English.

Calling back home to her family became much more complicated, because of the language barrier put in her way. “You sound so American, Daniette.” Her older sisters would say.

“You sound like the white people now,” her mother would say in her Liberian accent.

“I know mommy, the teacher said it will help me speak better.” There was a time when she would answer the phone and say “oma.” Her voice would signal a direct reaction from her mother, but now her voice begun to go unrecognized.

“Mommy? Oh that’s different. Them Americans teach you that too?” Her mother would ask.

“Yes.”English began to take the position of her dominant language. And Liberian terms went forgotten.

When we strip a person of their native tongue we are telling them being  a you is not ok, you must conform. If you don’t, you are an outcast and will never be accepted. How are we the land of the free, if the way our citizens speak must be tamed? The 13th amendment says “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” Is forcing these people to dispose of their Native Language “punishment?” We are making them “involuntary servants” to this new way of speaking by giving them speech teachers and telling them to go home and speak Standard English .This is involuntarily enslaving their vernacular. We are “punishing” them because their diversity is intolerable. They are not mindful of what they do because they want to be a significant citizen in the land of the free, and if alleviating their native tongues is the only way to acquire this title, they will do just that. Become enslaved by Standard English.  

Has anyone ever stop to think maybe we are the ignorant ones? There are no tangible barriers that separate us from one another, but we constantly create them. After observing closely how we react to each others vernacular, I have concluded that we create these barriers to fill our ignorant spaces. When our voids are filled we can act with superiority, or at least tame the person so they can preserve the little bit of their culture they have left.

“Standard English is not the speech of exile. It is the language of conquest and domination. In the United States it is the mask which hides the loss of so many tongues, all those sounds of diverse native communities we will never hear, the speech of Gullah, Yiddish, and so many unremembered tongues.”  -Bell Hooks  

Society, we always point our fingers at this thing to shift the blame. But we, the American people, are society. We created those ignorant children, we allow this idea of  Standard English to live on through generations. This enslavement must end, we must end it



hooks, bell. Hooks on the Language of Power. New Learning. Web. 11 Jan 2013. <http://newlearningonline.com/literacies/chapter-6-critical-literacies/hooks-on-the-language-of-power/>.
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Global Warming Blog Post 2

Global warming is a problem. It is putting some animal species in danger. The animals most affected are the ones living in the arctic. It is also making the Earth warmer. The temperature of Earth has risen 1.4 degrees fahrenheit over the past century.
Some animals that are affected are the arctic fox. The arctic fox is one of nine animals threatened by global warming. The polar bear is endangered because of global warming. The polar bear lives in the arctic and with the ice melting there won't be any left.
The ones responsible are humans. Over the past century humans have released large amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The main source is burning fossil fuels for energy. The greenhouse gases trap the energy in the atmosphere which make it warmer.
Co2 remains in the atmosphere for nearly a century. That means Earth will keep getting warmer for the upcoming decades. The warmer it gets, the greater the risk that Earth's climate will severely change.
Among the new research I did was a survey I created which revealed the following answers to this question:

Why is global warming a bad thing?
-One responder said that it was mainly because that it will mess up the ecosystem, cause agriculture to slow down. Also, mess with the world currents of the ocean making it colder in Europe, and it will cause an increase in violent while another person said it is altering the environment completely and changing the ecosystem.

The Arctic Fox Is One Of Nine Animals the IUCN Says Is Threatened By Global Warming. Photo:USFWS

The Arctic Fox Is One Of Nine Animals the IUCN Says Is Threatened By Global Warming. Photo:USFWS
Click here to see my sources.
When I did my survey the main responses were global warming is killing a lot of animals.
Click here to take some surveys
Here are some of the responses to one of my questions in the survey.

Why is global warming a bad thing?
-Mainly because that it will mess up the ecosystem, cause agriculture to slow down. Also, mess with the world currents of the ocean making it colder in Europe, and it will cause an increase in violent . 
-It is altering the environment completely and changing the ecosystem.
2 Comments

Language_Auto

INTRODUCTION:

Every community has there own language, their are certain words that originate in a place and are forgien to others no matter how close the place my be geographically. I feel like you aren't raised to speak a certain language, you grow into it, You speech and term evolve as you grow older, meet new people, and surrond yourself in new places.

ESSAY:

If I were to move to Boston right now, about a year from now I’d catch myself saying things like Pahhk, and Caaahh instead of pronouncing the “AR” and “ARK” of the words. A person’s surrondings, can play an enormous part in the way someone speaks, where they come from, how they live their life and just there everyday surroundings. I find myself altering the way I speak in several different situations. I’m proud of who I am, and where I come from, but I realize that if I use my regular tone of voice, and use some of the words that I’m use to using with my friends and close family, there is no doubt in my mind that I would be judged.
In 8th grade I had to shadow at a wide variety of schools in several different parts of the city, one of the schools I visited was, Spring Side School for girls, located in Chestnut Hill, a very suburban area, the school itself sits upon 62 acres of land. Riding up to the school on the day of my shadow I saw that the homes surrounding the school were beautifully built, each of them had huge yards and at least two cars sitting in the driveway. There were country clubs, and community and rec centers that actually looked clean and safe to be in. When we got there my mom pulled into the congested parking lot, not only did it seem like every student was old enough to drive, but they had their own cars, but they weren’t the typical “starter” cars a lot of high schoolers receive when they first get their license, these were top of the line mercede benz and range rovers sitting in the lot. I already didn’t like my visit, when we got into the school and I actually started my day, I got a better feel for the school. I saw that the school was very diverse when you’re judging from a mile away, but when you’re up close and person you see that every kid was just about the same. Yes, there were African Americans, Caucasians, Hispanics, Asians, and Russian, but the way they spoke was all the same. Each of them tended to drag out there words, a lot of them talked like they were asking a question instead of stating a fact, and just about everysingle one of them used atleast 6 acronyms in their sentences. I remember a conversation I had with my shadow host, Stephanie, she asked how I was enjoying my visit, and of course I couldn’t express to her how uncomfortable I felt, so I lied, smile on my face turning to her and saying,

“I love it, this school is perfect. What made you pick this school over every other one out there?”
“Well, honestly, I.D.E.K [I don’t even know], Liiikkeee, I live in SouthWest so I went to West Philadelphia high school for half of my freshmen year. Then I transferred here, I mean my mom said she was looking for a new school for me to go to but that was, A.F.A.I.K. [as far as I knew]  Then one day my advisor at West was all like, Steph you’re pretty intelli. I think you should totally apply to SSCHA [SpringSide & Chestnut Hill Academy], and at first I was all like HTP[hold the phone], no an all girls school, you’ve obviously LYM [lost your mind]. But then they told me to be opened mind and atleast check the school out, and so I did. I shadowed, loooveeedd it, BTW [by the way] I applied and got here on partial scholarship, and now that i’m here OMG[oh my gosh], I CSTP[Can’t Stand this place] ! L.O.L [Laugh out loud], J/K[Just Kidding]. I love it here, FWIW[For what its worth]”

I remember thinking to myself, how the hell was this girl from Southwest talking like that? I use to go to school in little Charter School in West Philly, my classmates in middle school were generally from the West and SouthWest Philadelphia area. They used terms like, “jawn” and “cuz” and they often cut their words to make them shorter and easier to say in sentences. So, instead of saying ‘might as well’ they might use a term like “mineswell.” The way my shadow host spoke was far from that. She pronounced all of her syllables and she tended to drag out her words instead of shorten them like the kids from the Southwest neighborhood tended to do. It was intriguing to me how someone who came from a part of the city I knew so well, spoke so similarly to a group of people that lived miles away in a completely different part.  Even though I couldn’t really understand all of what she was saying, I just shook my head, nodded and said,

“OMG cool, I love it here too”

Looking back onto that day, I realize that the way she spoke at SpringSide school had nothing to do with where she came from, it had everything to do with where she was currently. After being at SpringSide School for awhile, the way everyone else spoke around her rubbed off on her, she adapted to their speech just like she adapted to her new advisor, or her classmates, or the rules and regulations of the school. Everyone else spoke like that so she had to blend in with her surroundings. She transferred halfway through 9th grade, so not only was she the new kid which is already scary enough, she was also different from the others. I see that a lot here at my own school. Although my school is a pretty diverse place racially, when you’re up close and personal and actually surrounded by all of us, we’re actually the same when it comes to dialect. We all speak the same language,  if I were to go up to someone outside of the SLA, and said something like, “Pause. You’re such a weenie, you better chill and start working on that benchmark before Reddy hits you with fladdaapp.” or if I go to people outside the SLA community and instead of saying “True” when they something that I agree with I say “True Black” people will look at me different like I’m the weird one. A majority of people at this school, know what the fladdaapp is, everyone knows what a benchmark is, everyone knows what it means to be called a weenie, everyone knows the saying “that’s dead.” and everyone knows the meaning behind saying “Trueee Black” instead of plain old “Trueee.”

I feel like no matter how racially diverse a place can get, at the end of the day they all will evolve to using the same dialect. People at my school come from all over, bringing with them, several new customs, and ways of expressing themselves. When we all come together and try to communicate, new dialect is formed, that along with the shared experiences we have from being with each other everyday create a unique language that only people inside our community would understand. Newcomers to these communities must learn to adapt to the language that is already set in place. That’s how Stephanie felt at springside, thats similar to how I felt as a freshmen at SLA and I can assume thats how a person that moves to a different part of town or even a different state feel and I think that just comes naturally.

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POWELL_LANGUAGE

INTRODUCTION:

Every community has there own language, their are certain words that originate in a place and are forgien to others no matter how close the place my be geographically. I feel like you aren't raised to speak a certain language, you grow into it, You speech and term evolve as you grow older, meet new people, and surrond yourself in new places.

ESSAY:

If I were to move to Boston right now, about a year from now I’d catch myself saying things like Pahhk, and Caaahh instead of pronouncing the “AR” and “ARK” of the words. A person’s surrondings, can play an enormous part in the way someone speaks, where they come from, how they live their life and just there everyday surroundings. I find myself altering the way I speak in several different situations. I’m proud of who I am, and where I come from, but I realize that if I use my regular tone of voice, and use some of the words that I’m use to using with my friends and close family, there is no doubt in my mind that I would be judged.
In 8th grade I had to shadow at a wide variety of schools in several different parts of the city, one of the schools I visited was, Spring Side School for girls, located in Chestnut Hill, a very suburban area, the school itself sits upon 62 acres of land. Riding up to the school on the day of my shadow I saw that the homes surrounding the school were beautifully built, each of them had huge yards and at least two cars sitting in the driveway. There were country clubs, and community and rec centers that actually looked clean and safe to be in. When we got there my mom pulled into the congested parking lot, not only did it seem like every student was old enough to drive, but they had their own cars, but they weren’t the typical “starter” cars a lot of high schoolers receive when they first get their license, these were top of the line mercede benz and range rovers sitting in the lot. I already didn’t like my visit, when we got into the school and I actually started my day, I got a better feel for the school. I saw that the school was very diverse when you’re judging from a mile away, but when you’re up close and person you see that every kid was just about the same. Yes, there were African Americans, Caucasians, Hispanics, Asians, and Russian, but the way they spoke was all the same. Each of them tended to drag out there words, a lot of them talked like they were asking a question instead of stating a fact, and just about everysingle one of them used atleast 6 acronyms in their sentences. I remember a conversation I had with my shadow host, Stephanie, she asked how I was enjoying my visit, and of course I couldn’t express to her how uncomfortable I felt, so I lied, smile on my face turning to her and saying,

“I love it, this school is perfect. What made you pick this school over every other one out there?”
“Well, honestly, I.D.E.K [I don’t even know], Liiikkeee, I live in SouthWest so I went to West Philadelphia high school for half of my freshmen year. Then I transferred here, I mean my mom said she was looking for a new school for me to go to but that was, A.F.A.I.K. [as far as I knew]  Then one day my advisor at West was all like, Steph you’re pretty intelli. I think you should totally apply to SSCHA [SpringSide & Chestnut Hill Academy], and at first I was all like HTP[hold the phone], no an all girls school, you’ve obviously LYM [lost your mind]. But then they told me to be opened mind and atleast check the school out, and so I did. I shadowed, loooveeedd it, BTW [by the way] I applied and got here on partial scholarship, and now that i’m here OMG[oh my gosh], I CSTP[Can’t Stand this place] ! L.O.L [Laugh out loud], J/K[Just Kidding]. I love it here, FWIW[For what its worth]”

I remember thinking to myself, how the hell was this girl from Southwest talking like that? I use to go to school in little Charter School in West Philly, my classmates in middle school were generally from the West and SouthWest Philadelphia area. They used terms like, “jawn” and “cuz” and they often cut their words to make them shorter and easier to say in sentences. So, instead of saying ‘might as well’ they might use a term like “mineswell.” The way my shadow host spoke was far from that. She pronounced all of her syllables and she tended to drag out her words instead of shorten them like the kids from the Southwest neighborhood tended to do. It was intriguing to me how someone who came from a part of the city I knew so well, spoke so similarly to a group of people that lived miles away in a completely different part.  Even though I couldn’t really understand all of what she was saying, I just shook my head, nodded and said,

“OMG cool, I love it here too”

Looking back onto that day, I realize that the way she spoke at SpringSide school had nothing to do with where she came from, it had everything to do with where she was currently. After being at SpringSide School for awhile, the way everyone else spoke around her rubbed off on her, she adapted to their speech just like she adapted to her new advisor, or her classmates, or the rules and regulations of the school. Everyone else spoke like that so she had to blend in with her surroundings. She transferred halfway through 9th grade, so not only was she the new kid which is already scary enough, she was also different from the others. I see that a lot here at my own school. Although my school is a pretty diverse place racially, when you’re up close and personal and actually surrounded by all of us, we’re actually the same when it comes to dialect. We all speak the same language,  if I were to go up to someone outside of the SLA, and said something like, “Pause. You’re such a weenie, you better chill and start working on that benchmark before Reddy hits you with fladdaapp.” or if I go to people outside the SLA community and instead of saying “True” when they something that I agree with I say “True Black” people will look at me different like I’m the weird one. A majority of people at this school, know what the fladdaapp is, everyone knows what a benchmark is, everyone knows what it means to be called a weenie, everyone knows the saying “that’s dead.” and everyone knows the meaning behind saying “Trueee Black” instead of plain old “Trueee.”

I feel like no matter how racially diverse a place can get, at the end of the day they all will evolve to using the same dialect. People at my school come from all over, bringing with them, several new customs, and ways of expressing themselves. When we all come together and try to communicate, new dialect is formed, that along with the shared experiences we have from being with each other everyday create a unique language that only people inside our community would understand. Newcomers to these communities must learn to adapt to the language that is already set in place. That’s how Stephanie felt at springside, thats similar to how I felt as a freshmen at SLA and I can assume thats how a person that moves to a different part of town or even a different state feel and I think that just comes naturally.


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Language Autobiography 2013: Look! I Can Speak Without Opening My Mouth!

For the Language Autobiography, students were assigned to create both an autobiography essay and a digital story both descriptively describing the writer's personal connection with language. In my essay, I chose to write about non-verbal human communications that we tend to subconsciously ignore. Language, in any form, in an unconscious possession of the human mind.

Look! I Can Speak Without Opening My Mouth!



Language is a system of human communication used by a particular community or culture. With this being said, it is impossible to argue that the only form of communication between humans is verbal. Everything that has been put into existence is a form of language whether believed or not. The hair-do on your head, the jacket on your back, the iphone in your pocket--it’s all speaking a language for you. So with this in mind, what do these specific languages do to people of the native tongue and minds and to the tongues and minds of those “learning” the oppressive language. These languages essentially define what you are. Since “you are what you eat” who’s to say you aren’t what you speak.

“Language like desire disrupts—refuses to be contained within boundaries. It speaks itself against our will, in words and thoughts, that intrude, violate even, the innermost private spaces of mind and body.” These are the first words spilled onto paper by bell hooks in her essay, This Is The Oppressor’s Language / Yet I Need It to Speak to You. When Hooks writes this, she is inferring that language is a self-imposing violation on the human mind and body. One of the most self-imposing languages is body language. Body language is a little more complex when it speaks. It not only speaks to the subconscious mind of the possessing human, but to other humans as well. One day while I was on the train, on my way to school, I sat by a very unwelcoming-looking man. As I took my seat, I noticed my knees turned outward away from the man’s knees (I hadn’t done this on purpose) which were inward. He could have turned his body from mine as I did to him but instead he was telling me that he didn’t mind my presence. I, on the other hand was telling him that I was not entirely comfortable sitting next to him while also telling everyone on the train that I had no relationship to him. I decided to look around at others sitting down. There was a teenage girl and teen boy sitting next to one another across from me. Neither of them spoke to one another, looked at one another and both got off at different stops. However, during the ride I noticed their knees remained close to one anothers. The girl had earphones in, silently bobbing her head to whatever beat she’d been dragged into, while the boy had been burying his face in a book. They’d established to both each other and those on the train that despite them being complete strangers, they were comfortable with one another’s presence.

On another note, it is a fact that our Earth is run by both positive and negative judgments. But who’s doing the judging? Not only were we born into a world of judgement, but into a world where our possessions are the ones that judge us. I remember when my older sister and I were in her livingroom at her old apartment. She’d called me downstairs from my third floor apartment to babysit my nieces while she went to a girls night out. As usual, she came out after putting on her outfit and her not-too-much-not-too-little make-up for my opinion. She’d been wearing a red and white glittered strapless shirt, black tights and tall red heels with successfully put together accessories. I applauded her fashion, which was speaking out to me that she was coordinative-which was essentially true about my sister. What my sister and I hadn’t realized was that it didn’t matter what we thought of the outfit, it’s what the outfit thought of her. The red heels were telling her that she looked taller than her regular 5’6” height. Her black tights were telling her that she had skinny legs (skinny enough to wear them) and attractive thighs. The strapless shirt was scorning my sister about her shoulders, that they would need to be postured the right way all night if she were going to expose them, and the makeup was laughing at her. Both cackling and whispering to my sister subconsciously that it was her beauty enhancer (as if she needed one), and that without it, she’d look too plain. The reason my sister needed my opinion was because her clothes “tampered with her speech” as Maxine Hong Kingston said in her essay Tongue-Tied. My sister was forced to learn the symbolic language of her own possessions, causing a subconscious oppression-She lacked the liberty to self-judge and she didn’t even know it. Could it be that we do not judge based off what we see, but are judged by the things we see-and it mirrors our mental perceptions. Could it be that we do not own our thoughts? Our own opinions?  

So if all humans were to realize that both their possessions and their own bodies have always been and always will betray them, how would they react? What would change? John Berger once said, “One can say of language that it is potentially the only human home, the only dwelling place that cannot be hostile to man.” It is true that language is the essential human home. Communication is the key to survival. Everything that surrounds us is language and any form of language is a form of communication-making it impossible to escape it, nor can you confront it. No matter how the human mind reacts to this realization and try to control it, they’ll find themselves in a loop of no return. How does it feel to realize that we, the humans, have been the walking puppets all along?


Tick Tock, Listen to his language.


(My Digital Story)
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Language Autobiography 2013: Look! I Can Speak Without Opening My Mouth!

For the Language Autobiography, students were assigned to create both an autobiography essay and a digital story both descriptively describing the writer's personal connection with language. In my essay, I chose to write about non-verbal human communications that we tend to subconsciously ignore. Language, in any form, in an unconscious possession of the human mind.

Look! I Can Speak Without Opening My Mouth!



Language is a system of human communication used by a particular community or culture. With this being said, it is impossible to argue that the only form of communication between humans is verbal. Everything that has been put into existence is a form of language whether believed or not. The hair-do on your head, the jacket on your back, the iphone in your pocket--it’s all speaking a language for you. So with this in mind, what do these specific languages do to people of the native tongue and minds and to the tongues and minds of those “learning” the oppressive language. These languages essentially define what you are. Since “you are what you eat” who’s to say you aren’t what you speak.

“Language like desire disrupts—refuses to be contained within boundaries. It speaks itself against our will, in words and thoughts, that intrude, violate even, the innermost private spaces of mind and body.” These are the first words spilled onto paper by bell hooks in her essay, This Is The Oppressor’s Language / Yet I Need It to Speak to You. When Hooks writes this, she is inferring that language is a self-imposing violation on the human mind and body. One of the most self-imposing languages is body language. Body language is a little more complex when it speaks. It not only speaks to the subconscious mind of the possessing human, but to other humans as well. One day while I was on the train, on my way to school, I sat by a very unwelcoming-looking man. As I took my seat, I noticed my knees turned outward away from the man’s knees (I hadn’t done this on purpose) which were inward. He could have turned his body from mine as I did to him but instead he was telling me that he didn’t mind my presence. I, on the other hand was telling him that I was not entirely comfortable sitting next to him while also telling everyone on the train that I had no relationship to him. I decided to look around at others sitting down. There was a teenage girl and teen boy sitting next to one another across from me. Neither of them spoke to one another, looked at one another and both got off at different stops. However, during the ride I noticed their knees remained close to one anothers. The girl had earphones in, silently bobbing her head to whatever beat she’d been dragged into, while the boy had been burying his face in a book. They’d established to both each other and those on the train that despite them being complete strangers, they were comfortable with one another’s presence.

On another note, it is a fact that our Earth is run by both positive and negative judgments. But who’s doing the judging? Not only were we born into a world of judgement, but into a world where our possessions are the ones that judge us. I remember when my older sister and I were in her livingroom at her old apartment. She’d called me downstairs from my third floor apartment to babysit my nieces while she went to a girls night out. As usual, she came out after putting on her outfit and her not-too-much-not-too-little make-up for my opinion. She’d been wearing a red and white glittered strapless shirt, black tights and tall red heels with successfully put together accessories. I applauded her fashion, which was speaking out to me that she was coordinative-which was essentially true about my sister. What my sister and I hadn’t realized was that it didn’t matter what we thought of the outfit, it’s what the outfit thought of her. The red heels were telling her that she looked taller than her regular 5’6” height. Her black tights were telling her that she had skinny legs (skinny enough to wear them) and attractive thighs. The strapless shirt was scorning my sister about her shoulders, that they would need to be postured the right way all night if she were going to expose them, and the makeup was laughing at her. Both cackling and whispering to my sister subconsciously that it was her beauty enhancer (as if she needed one), and that without it, she’d look too plain. The reason my sister needed my opinion was because her clothes “tampered with her speech” as Maxine Hong Kingston said in her essay Tongue-Tied. My sister was forced to learn the symbolic language of her own possessions, causing a subconscious oppression-She lacked the liberty to self-judge and she didn’t even know it. Could it be that we do not judge based off what we see, but are judged by the things we see-and it mirrors our mental perceptions. Could it be that we do not own our thoughts? Our own opinions?  

So if all humans were to realize that both their possessions and their own bodies have always been and always will betray them, how would they react? What would change? John Berger once said, “One can say of language that it is potentially the only human home, the only dwelling place that cannot be hostile to man.” It is true that language is the essential human home. Communication is the key to survival. Everything that surrounds us is language and any form of language is a form of communication-making it impossible to escape it, nor can you confront it. No matter how the human mind reacts to this realization and try to control it, they’ll find themselves in a loop of no return. How does it feel to realize that we, the humans, have been the walking puppets all along?


Tick Tock, Listen to his language.


(My Digital Story)
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Language Autobiography 2013: Emotional Language

Over the past month or two my class has been focusing on language and the meanings behind it. We also looked at the way language is used and viewed by different people all over the world. We've learned about accents, terms, slangs, norms, and the way people judge based on language. We were then to make a autobiography paper about language. Then we were left to interpret and express an idea any way we wanted to. I decided to do mine on the misuse of language and way of expressing emotion. After completing that we were to make a short video with some part of our paper.

Language. That book long encyclopedia of our tongues and mouths clinking and clanking together into words that we understand. Well that some of us understand. Different places have different languages and ways of speaking. Language is one of the things that is good and bad. Helpful yet harmful, bringing together while breaking apart, and communicating but confusing. A language can be used the wrong way if someone doesn’t understand it. Language isn’t just a bunch of words we speak. It’s a bunch of emotions, feelings, thoughts, communication, and culture.


There are those who throw their language around without really thinking of how it affects those around them. There are also some who don’t care how their words affect others and have the intention of hurting them on purpose. This is a common misuse of language that has become a norm. Some teachers use it on their students like the teacher from How To Tame A Wild Tongue who said “If you want to be American, speak ‘American.’ If you don’t like it, go back to Mexico where you belong.”


People of all ages are spitting the acid words of their language at each other. Parents, teenagers, children, and elderly alike all use their language to cause harm to one another. This misuse of language causes so many problems around the world. People are forgetting that language is not supposed to be for violence but for peace. We should be expressing our emotions with our language that isn’t aimed to hurt someone. There are many ways to express emotion, feeling, and experiences with your language. Here’s one example of expressing something through language.

“What is your problem? I’m tired of hearing you whine about your ex! What did he do?” He shouted at me.

“I...I can’t tell you straight up without crying...I’ll just read this poem I made after it happened...” I sighed opening up my notebook and slowly read what was written.

How much more pain must you inflict until you’re satisfied?

I know you’ve come to find pleasure in my misery and depression.
You get hot and turned on when I get stressed and overwhelmed.
You start to feel ecstasy as I cry and break down from the many assaults.
As I give in to the sadness and begin to cut you orgasm into bliss.
Satisfied in your victory you light your cigarette and push me away as I lay unconscious and defeated.

Just how low does your chain go?

“I didn’t know. I’m sorry I got mad at you.” He said and hugged me softly as tears went down my cheeks.


It felt good to tell someone what was going on in my personal life. I found communicating past events hard to explain. So to explain it clearly I wrote a poem that could exhibit the event. Language was used to express my emotion and events without causing harm or confusion to anyone hearing it. I was finally able to get out the things I had bundled and piling up inside me. From then on I have always used my language and style of talking to convey to others things that happen in life.  I can do things that occur in my life as well as things that occur with someone else. My language gave me a way to regulate my emotions and feelings.

Sometimes there are those who already know how to express what they’re feeling or thinking without feeling shy or powerless. Those who stand up for what they believe is right. Like the way I feel about people who aren’t straight around the world. If you ask me of my views I’ll gladly tell you how I think that we’re all equal no matter how we look, act, or who we choose to love in life. The only downside to using my language with a topic like this is that not everyone agrees. There are those who dislike anyone who isn’t straight try to silence anyone who wants equality. Being mocked and judged for having a particular view is another thing people do with their language in life.

“They’re not weird or freaks! Stop saying that. Just because they don’t love the same way you love doesn’t make them any less than us.” I say rolling my eyes at her stupid commit.

“They are. Nasty germ spreading people. Dicks don’t go with dicks and vagina doesn’t go with vagina. There should only be straight.” My mom says annoyed that I’m against her.

“That’s not true at all. They are normal. They laugh, smile, feel pain, sadness, love, and have the same bodies as us. We should treat them no different. They deserve to be here just as much as us.” I protest trying to keep my voice steady and firm.

“Oh goodness. You talk like you’re one of ‘em. You a fag now too?” Asks my mom and my eyes widen surprise by her question.

“I...I’m not. I’m straight mom. I just want equality for everyone. No matter who or what they are. We’re all the same and I wish you could see that. I know you don’t accept them but I do...” I say and sigh walking to my room knowing that tonight is not the night they will suddenly be convinced that I’m right.

“I’m straight. I think. I am....Maybe. I don’t know. But it doesn’t even matter. It’s not allowed in this house. It’s not allowed in this religion. It’s not allowed in this environment. I have to be straight sense there’s no other way. I will support everyone though. Straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. In my eyes we are all alike and should act like it. I don’t think anyone could ever change that view for me....not even family....” I sigh softly wiping away my tears.

Growing up in a household with people who have a heart set on one view is extremely difficult and sometimes hurtful. This family is against gays and puts the burden on their daughter to be straight. They use their language repeatedly trying to convey the message that they don’t like gays, don’t want them around, and have no intention of changing that mindset. As the daughter it is put in my head that the only way to get through my life and be apart of this family and community is to be straight and nothing else. No thoughts of being bisexual, lesbian, transgender; just straight.

As people of earth we should watch what we say, what we think, and what we express with others. Our language, our words, our tone of voice, and our facial expressions can offend and send the wrong message to some people. Language is a gift given to us all and should use it wisely, nicely, and as a way of conveying messages. Language is something I use everyday and I am grateful to have it in my life. I can’t imagine a life without having my language to use.
Citations:

Anzaldua, Gloria. "How To Tame A Wild Tongue." N.p., n.d. Web.
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Language Autobiography 2013: The Wonderful Sounds of Humans

During this unit in our English class, we learned about the different aspects of language and how it is perceived through the ears of different people. To prepare us for writing our own language autobiographies, we read short stories written by authors who shared their personal experiences and views on language. Our class brainstormed ideas about the different ideas, issues, and themes related to language and were asked to pick a topic to analyze and write about our own experiences related to it. I decided to write about accents and how they make us unique.


Growing up as people in today’s world, we all go through phases. These phases can be anything from bad habits to following trends. They don’t always have a big impact on our lives as some others might, but all phases still leave a mark; memories, feelings, a new way of thinking. No matter how old or forgotten the phase is, it still makes itself present in times of anger, passion, and stress. Sometimes the recurrence is involuntary, but it’s something that stays with people no matter how old they become in their life. One of these marks are accents. No two people speak the same and everyone possesses an accent. Accents are what make us unique and separate us from each other. They give people a sense of where you’re from, where you grew up, your ethnic background, and so on. They way you speak tells a person something about you.

As a child I developed a very strong and drawn out South Philadelphia accent. It was so strong that some thought I was from New York or Columbia. I always thought it was strange. How could one possibly think I was from Columbia?, I thought.  I don’t sound any different from the rest of you. I was apparently wrong. I would draw out my vowel sounds and pronounce words in a way that was foreign to those I was going to school with at the time. However, it appeared to be simple and natural to me. I had changed schools quite a bit during my time spent in elementary school. The first two schools I attended were in my neighborhood in walking distance, so everyone spoke the same. We all grew up in South Philadelphia. We all drew out our vowel sounds and spoke in a way that was easy to understand if you were one of us. It wasn’t until I started going to school farther away from home that I realized I spoke funny.

“Okay now what’s the thing that you color with that’s made out of wax,” my friend Elyse asked me while we were sitting at recess one day. “A crown,” I replied, a little confused as to why she would ask me this. She laughed and corrected me, “It’s crayon. Okay now what do you dry yourself with after you take a shower?” “A tail.” “It’s a towel,” she exclaimed rather loudly, catching the attention of some of our other friends that were sitting with us. It went on like that for the rest of recess, question upon question of how to pronounce words and the turning heads of my peers so they can all listen in on the girl who talked funny. I saw the slight grins and heard the snickers come and go every now and then. Others joined in the questioning while others laughed every time I opened my mouth.  In my mind, talk was tawk, walk was wawk, bathroom was beathroom, water was wudder, and so on and so forth.

I was moved to a different part of the city for my schooling and wound up having to learn a whole new dialect of the language that I thought I spoke correctly. It’s just about the same thing for people who move to different countries. When learning a second language, or even moving to a new country, people will always take their accents with them. Their accents can lead to impediments that may take a short time or a long time depending on how well you learn the language. Even though a person may be a fast learner and pick up things fairly quickly, the dialect and slang can be completely different, depending on what part of the country you are living in. Therefore, making it more challenging and extremely difficult to become fluent in the new language.

While learning a new language, a person may experience moments of frustration, particularly when unable to pronounce a certain word or phrase. This can lead to confusion and insult, though most times without intention. The process of learning a new language often takes longer to learn and acquire because of the difficulty of foreign pronunciations. Those learning how to perfect their way of speaking may receive negativity or ridicule during that process because of their ever developing and improving pronunciation skills.

In Gloria Anzaldúa’s story, How to Tame a Wild Tongue, she says, “I remember being sent to the corner of the classroom for “talking back” to the Anglo teacher when all I was trying to do was tell her how to pronounce my name. ‘If you want to be American, speak ‘American’. If you don’t like it, go back to Mexico where you belong.’” In order to be able to survive in a new country or environment, you must learn to adapt to the language. Almost all Americans, who were born here, don’t speak with a foreign accent from a different country. It can sometimes be very obvious and easy to identify when someone is from a different country. If you can not adapt to the language and way of speaking, it is assumed that you are ignorant and unintelligent. It looks as if you are ungrateful to be in a place if you can not learn to talk in a way that is ‘normal’ for your peers. Some, like Anzaldúa’s teacher, take it as an insult.

I still find myself slipping up and relapsing back into my outgrown South Philadelphia accent. This goes for everyone. They way you speak is part of your way of life. It doesn’t just magically disappear no matter how many times it changes, twists or turns. No matter how many languages or dialects you speak, your native tongue always has a way of finding you and making itself known. I guess what they say is true, old habits really do die hard.


Anzaldua, Gloria. Borderlands/La Frontera. San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books, 1999. Print.
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Language Autobiography 2013: The Wonderful Sounds of Humans

During this unit in our English class, we learned about the different aspects of language and how it is perceived through the ears of different people. To prepare us for writing our own language autobiographies, we read short stories written by authors who shared their personal experiences and views on language. Our class brainstormed ideas about the different ideas, issues, and themes related to language and were asked to pick a topic to analyze and write about our own experiences related to it. I decided to write about accents and how they make us unique.


Growing up as people in today’s world, we all go through phases. These phases can be anything from bad habits to following trends. They don’t always have a big impact on our lives as some others might, but all phases still leave a mark; memories, feelings, a new way of thinking. No matter how old or forgotten the phase is, it still makes itself present in times of anger, passion, and stress. Sometimes the recurrence is involuntary, but it’s something that stays with people no matter how old they become in their life. One of these marks are accents. No two people speak the same and everyone possesses an accent. Accents are what make us unique and separate us from each other. They give people a sense of where you’re from, where you grew up, your ethnic background, and so on. They way you speak tells a person something about you.

As a child I developed a very strong and drawn out South Philadelphia accent. It was so strong that some thought I was from New York or Columbia. I always thought it was strange. How could one possibly think I was from Columbia?, I thought.  I don’t sound any different from the rest of you. I was apparently wrong. I would draw out my vowel sounds and pronounce words in a way that was foreign to those I was going to school with at the time. However, it appeared to be simple and natural to me. I had changed schools quite a bit during my time spent in elementary school. The first two schools I attended were in my neighborhood in walking distance, so everyone spoke the same. We all grew up in South Philadelphia. We all drew out our vowel sounds and spoke in a way that was easy to understand if you were one of us. It wasn’t until I started going to school farther away from home that I realized I spoke funny.

“Okay now what’s the thing that you color with that’s made out of wax,” my friend Elyse asked me while we were sitting at recess one day. “A crown,” I replied, a little confused as to why she would ask me this. She laughed and corrected me, “It’s crayon. Okay now what do you dry yourself with after you take a shower?” “A tail.” “It’s a towel,” she exclaimed rather loudly, catching the attention of some of our other friends that were sitting with us. It went on like that for the rest of recess, question upon question of how to pronounce words and the turning heads of my peers so they can all listen in on the girl who talked funny. I saw the slight grins and heard the snickers come and go every now and then. Others joined in the questioning while others laughed every time I opened my mouth.  In my mind, talk was tawk, walk was wawk, bathroom was beathroom, water was wudder, and so on and so forth.

I was moved to a different part of the city for my schooling and wound up having to learn a whole new dialect of the language that I thought I spoke correctly. It’s just about the same thing for people who move to different countries. When learning a second language, or even moving to a new country, people will always take their accents with them. Their accents can lead to impediments that may take a short time or a long time depending on how well you learn the language. Even though a person may be a fast learner and pick up things fairly quickly, the dialect and slang can be completely different, depending on what part of the country you are living in. Therefore, making it more challenging and extremely difficult to become fluent in the new language.

While learning a new language, a person may experience moments of frustration, particularly when unable to pronounce a certain word or phrase. This can lead to confusion and insult, though most times without intention. The process of learning a new language often takes longer to learn and acquire because of the difficulty of foreign pronunciations. Those learning how to perfect their way of speaking may receive negativity or ridicule during that process because of their ever developing and improving pronunciation skills.

In Gloria Anzaldúa’s story, How to Tame a Wild Tongue, she says, “I remember being sent to the corner of the classroom for “talking back” to the Anglo teacher when all I was trying to do was tell her how to pronounce my name. ‘If you want to be American, speak ‘American’. If you don’t like it, go back to Mexico where you belong.’” In order to be able to survive in a new country or environment, you must learn to adapt to the language. Almost all Americans, who were born here, don’t speak with a foreign accent from a different country. It can sometimes be very obvious and easy to identify when someone is from a different country. If you can not adapt to the language and way of speaking, it is assumed that you are ignorant and unintelligent. It looks as if you are ungrateful to be in a place if you can not learn to talk in a way that is ‘normal’ for your peers. Some, like Anzaldúa’s teacher, take it as an insult.

I still find myself slipping up and relapsing back into my outgrown South Philadelphia accent. This goes for everyone. They way you speak is part of your way of life. It doesn’t just magically disappear no matter how many times it changes, twists or turns. No matter how many languages or dialects you speak, your native tongue always has a way of finding you and making itself known. I guess what they say is true, old habits really do die hard.


Anzaldua, Gloria. Borderlands/La Frontera. San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books, 1999. Print.

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Language Autobiography 2013: My choice

In this unit students analyzed language and it’s pros and cons. Students learned the different themes given by language in broad and were given an assignment to reflect those themes and relate them to our own life and experiences. When doing this project I was stumped at first because there was so much I wanted to say. When talking to my peers and reading stories we were given in class I was able to make a creditable piece of work. My paper focuses on the struggle of “code switching” with my family in the way we talk, sources of control language has and a glimpse of acception because of what the future holds for me. My video shows another aspect of language I wasn’t able to touch on in my paper. My video shows how one man can speak his mind regardless of the situation and people look at HIS language as offensive or subliminal when it had good intention and genuine emotion.



I grew up in a home of verbal intellect and verbal ignorance. The mixture was very well blended, but very hard to manage. I was taught many ways of expression. I was taught that when speaking to someone of importance or older age you address them as Ms., Mrs., or Mr. to show respect. I was taught black dialect and how to use it in my everyday life... but only with the people who looked like me. I was taught when it was and wasn’t the right time to express my feelings. I also learned very early on that the way you say something no matter your tone of voice or creative way you put words together, meant everything. Those words build you. They hurt you and help you. They cause you to judge and are the first way for someone to judge you.

I grew up watching my mother switch from ignorance to sophistication. When she got to work, had to call companies for bills, order anything from someone who lacked color she often fixed her voice. Her “hey girls” and “that sh*t is crazy” went to “hello ms. such and such” and “this is completely absurd and unneeded.” Her “yeah’s” transformed into “yes” and I never fully understood the relationship language played until now. I’ve realized that speaking “ignorant” is just like black dialect. It’s where people make up their own ways of expressing what they want to say, and just because it isn’t standard english it’s considered wrong. We tend to think of sophistication of this standard language. This is what gets people their jobs and helps them make a living. This is what we depend on and accept without knowing the consequences it supplies to people.

I’ve come to realize that yes, the language we speak is one part of our communication, but there are other things that compliment it as well. We’ve got the power to determine how people judge us, but for people my color, I feel as if we don’t. I feel that when we’re talking to white people we completely change ourselves. Our bodies may be loose when we talk to our friends because we’re comfortable, but when that moment comes that we have to talk to someone who’ll judge and prevent our futures, we might stiffen up and become dull. I’ve seen it happen with my mother. She’s one of the most energetic people you’ll meet, but when the times comes for her to consult with someone who lacks color, her voice changes to one of profession and her body is up tight in person.

You could say that I’m truly my mothers child. I code switch just as often but I’ve realized that language can shape you into so many things. It causes you to adapt to things or oppressions you probably didn’t want to adapt to. It can also cause you to be associated with something that does not represent you at all. So you’re stuck. Gloria Anzaldua once said “Who is to say that robbing a people of its language is less violent than war?” She was correct. The larger idea of control is what overcomes the people. People are robbed of their heritage, forced to change to fit the criteria of what “they” make seem correct in all aspects.

It’s like you either have to become part of the oppression or stay ignorant to society. I don’t like the idea of being oppressed or having to prove myself to other people. If I want to say “ain’t” instead of “didn’t” then let me be. It isn’t fair that I have to fix the way I speak to meet someone’s expectations. I don’t want to be judged. I don’t want to betray myself or my ancestors by becoming into this “white speaking” robot that society tried to mold me into. But the reality of the situation is that I HAVE to. If I want to be successful and be able to provide for my family, i’ll just have to adjust to this miscarriage of fairness and continue living my life but speaking the way they want me to. But in that same breath I’ll always remind myself that no one else is like me and that I design myself. I’ll forever have a choice in what I want to say and how I have to say it, but given certain situations I may have to adjust. I love the way I speak and I love the way I can diversitize my language to benefit myself.



Citations:
Anzaldua, Gloria. Borderlands/La Frontera. San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books, 1999. Print.
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Language Autobiography 2013: The Standard English vs. Slang Dilemma

Stephen White

Iron Stream


Introduction: In this unit my stream learned about language and how it affects people's lives. We were assigned a project that was called our Language Autobiography. In this assignment we were supposed to connect a story from another author and a story coming from our own life about language and how it affects our lives. This assignment was challenging for me but after a couple of drafts and outlines I think it's way better than what it was before, I'm proud of my language autobiography.




It was winter break and I was on the phone with my friend Jaaz. We were talking about the sixers and how they were folding in the fourth quarter. When my Grandmother overheard the conversation she told me to “speak like I have an education.”  She judged my language as a language of ignorance and unintelligence. I felt insulted. She made an assumption that has no connection to my intelligence.



Adolescents are regularly forced to speak a certain way. Just this Saturday I had a couple of friends over my house to play some video games and hang out. We were sitting in my living room playing NBA 2k13. The TV was blasting and the room had the aroma of pizza. Each of us were so glued to the T.V. that our seats were only a few feet away from the screen. While playing we got animated. Jumping up and down laughing, screaming, pointing, and arguing over a game. The game was so close and the pressure was on. My mom heard us speaking vernacular english and using slang terms that me and a couple of friends say often. Such as “that’s dead”, “drawlin’”, and “frying”. While we were talking about Jerry Stackhouse a basketball player who is no longer in his zenith. I said “Jerry Stackhouse? That’s dead.” My mom who also is a sports fanatic responded with “What? Speak regular.” We had to ease up on our vernacular english since my mom joined the conversation. I stated that “Jerry Stackhouse is buns, he’s like 70 still playing in the league. That’s dead.” We all started cracking up almost laughing out of our chairs. My mom seemed troubled. It was because in her mind I was speaking “ghetto” or “speaking without an education.” She made me speak the way she wanted me to speak.


Gloria Anzaldua was regularly forced to speak a certain way as an adolescent also. When she was younger she was caught speaking Spanish at recess when she wasn’t supposed to. Anzaldua was punished with three licks from a sharp ruler onto her knuckles. Her teachers didn’t like that she spoke Spanish when she was supposed to speak English she still had a Mexican accent. When she was older she was required to take two speech classes at Pan-American University to get rid of her accent. Anzaldua and I were both forced to speak a certain way because the people in power above us didn’t like it.


People’s intelligence shouldn’t be judged based on the way they speak. I believe this because the way I speak is a choice. When my Grandmother told me this winter break “speak like I have an education” I was judged that I am not intelligent but I choose to speak that way when I’m with my friends. We all speak a form of Jargon that wouldn’t be understood to the untrained ear of an adult. I believe that I’m intelligent and didn’t deserve to be judged because she didn’t understand what we’re speaking.


Gloria Anzaldua’s intelligence was also judged when she was younger. When she spoke Spanish in front of  her teachers when she was supposed to speak English they thought she wasn’t capable of speaking English and that she should “go back to Mexico where she belonged.” Both of us also speak a form of Jargon when we’re with our friends. The form of Jargon she speaks is called “Pachuco”. Pachuco is a language of rebellion and a secret language for adolescents to speak only. Some words from the secret language that my friends and I use are “that’s dead” which means that’s boring and “Frying” which mean I’m doing good in that area. Some words from Pachuco that she uses is “Ruca” which means girl or woman and “Vato” which means guy or dude. We both speak secret languages between us and our fellow adolescents.


Even though we speak different we are still communicating the same ideas. Even though I speak in a way that my Mom or any other adult doesn’t understand my friends still understand every word I say. My friends and I are fully capable of speaking Standard English but we speak our way because it’s a preference for when we’re comfortable. Anzaldua’s parents or teachers never would catch on to language of Pachuco because it wasn’t made for them. It’s both of our preferences and we or anyone else shouldn’t be identified as stupid or lacking of education because we have the ability to speak proper but just choose not to.


I see adolescents everyday being told to “speak this way” or “speak that way”. All that matters is that you know how to speak Standard English when it counts. The forms of English are infinite and you can’t force someone to change the way they speak and change their identity because you don’t like it. I believe we all should come to the agreement that we shouldn’t stereotype Standard English is for the educated, and Jargon is for the uneducated.



Anzaldua, Gloria. Borderlands/La Frontera. San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books, 1999. Print.



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Language is key !

In this unit we were talking about Language and what it mean to you , and how language is a struggle we all had problems with. The unit started out with a video in which it showed how many people talk and who they thought had the worst accent when they speak, of course no one said themselves. We were then assigned a project called "Language Autobiography". For this project we had to write about how language affected us and how we made it through. For instance in my language biography I told my story when i was in seconded grade and how my peers teased me for the way I talked.We also had to make a video. From doing this project I learned how the way you speak determines how people treat you.

Language is key

Being a kid was rough for me. I never knew the way I talked could be so humorous. It all started in 2nd grade, Ms. Brown’s class. It was the 1st day of school, the first day of being a second grader, I was excited. The sun was shining bright and blazing merrily, the sky was blue, and the wind was whistling a light tune. I was too fresh I had on my cripst new white uniform shirt with the three flower buttons at the top,my navy blue french toast dress, my sockings and my navy shoe shoes from payless. I spent the whole summer in Atlanta with my aunt. As I was getting out of my aunt’s shining bright like a diamond black maxima she said “See ya lata,honey bumkins” the kids laughed.“Bye auntie” they laughed again. I never caught on to why they were laughing about until I got to class and I began to speak once more.

As I walked into room 204, Ms. Brown’s 2nd grade class, I sat next to Brianna , who I thought was one of my close friends. I knew her since kindergarten.
“Hello class,  welcome back! How was your summer? Anybody want to share your  exciting stories you may have with the class?” Ms. Brown said. Brianna raised her hand “Over the summer I went to disney world” I raised my hand next.” Go head , state your name and what you did over the summer” Ms Brown said. “ Hey,my name is Ashley and over da summa I went to Atlanta Georgia with my auntie Tisha” The whole class started laughing , even Brianna. I guess being in Atlanta with my aunt for 3 months really had an impact on me! I started to talk like how them southern people talked. I didn’t hear it at first, but i knew something was up when every time I spoke my classmates would laugh. I didn’t catch the joke. Did I have food in my teeth? Did I not smell good? Did someone stick something on my back, that was suppose to be funny? All those thoughts rushed to my head.I couldn’t and didn’t understand why the hell I was so funny.

It was only 10:00 and already I didn’t want to be there anymore. I stopped raising my hand. I was ashamed, I was embarrassed I was the laughing stock of the class.People who I thought were my friends were laughing at me. That didn’t make me seem good. I didn’t wanna go back to ms. Brown’s class again,I wanted to go home and go to sleep and pretend nothing ever happened. The day went on and I was still in school. It was lunch time now. “Why do you talk so weird now Ashley?” said Nashae. “Weird, what are you talkin bout’ girl?” “You’re talking weird that’s not how you talked last year.” she started to laugh. “What’s so funny, I’m finna punch you in the face!” “See!” said Nashae “Like that what does finna mean? do you mean you’re going to?” Right then and there I noticed I was talking differently! When Nashae finally broke it down, thats when I realized I was talking like my aunt!
Rather than playing in the schoolyard with the other kids I sat by myself on the wall. On the wall I was thinking about everything that happened today , I thought of ways I could change how I talked back so I wouldn’t have to get laughed at anymore. I just wanted to fit in. Isn’t that what every child wants to do? Nobody wants to be left out or an outsider because of the way they dress or from the way they talked. Then some girl named mya came over. “what are you doing over here by yourself” “finna change my talk” “finna?” mya said. “ I mean “I’m going to” change my way of speaking” “ooooohhh, need help?” Mya helped me all lunch period with my speaking. “Now, we don’t use the word “finna” thats so weird just say i’m going to. I heard you say in class the word “da” and “summa” da is not a word just say the and summer say it with me ssuuummmeeerr. there you go you got it!” we worked on my speech for the whole lunch period. From that day one Mya was my best friend and we still remain close till today. Back to the story the bell had just rung and it was time to go in and get back to class.

When we got back to class Jennifer,who I haven’t liked since 1st grade tried to imitate me and tried to hurt me more because she thought the class was finna laugh oops I mean going to laugh. “Ms. Brown i’m finna use the bathroom” she got no laughs before Ms.Brown could say anything I laughed I didn’t let it hurt me one bit. “Jennifer you mean you’re going to use the bathroom” She was salty, embarrassed, surprised and annoyed. The class was amazed, I did a whole 360 before school was even over. I was determined to not be the laughing stock of the class. The school bell rang the day was over. I couldn’t wait to see my mom to tell her all about my day and how crazy it was. Till this day I still reminisce on this topic with Mya we always laugh and joke about it. I’m glad now I can sit back and laugh.


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What I Speak is Who I Am.

This unit was about the many views of language and our outlooks of language. We learnt about “standard” english which is “professional” english. We also learnt about how everyone has their own opinions on how different we all speak. Accent, slang, identity all come together in language. We also learn that experiencing language is very diverse. Throughout learning this unit, I’ve realized a lot about language that I’ve never thought about before.


Language is capable of many things. It can also affect relationships between people, and it can pull people apart, or it can pull people together. Language is communication. Communication is important because it can build a relationship and allow bonding. It’s very hard for me to communicate with my parents at home. What I speak represents who I am. Language is a part of my identity. They relate to each other because my parents often judge me about many things about myself.

Sometimes, I want to speak about something very important to my parents. For example, when I was around twelve years old, I remember being in school and my classmates always joked and talked about sex. Little did I know, I barely knew anything about sex. It confused me and I would sit around my friends laughing along as if I knew what they were talking about. I went home and as I opened my door, I went straight upstairs. I was still feeling confused and curious. I really wanted to learn more about how sex works. As I laid in bed, still in my school uniform, I assumed maybe my parents would know but I wondered who even asks their parents about sex? But I didn’t care because I feel like as a kid turning into a teenager, I have the right to know how sex works. I hopped off my bed and started walking downstairs. As my hand touched the railing, I stopped after I remembered how my parents won’t even understand me even if I attempt to talk about it to them about that. My mom has a very hard time speaking english. She understands more than she can speak. My dad can pronounce fluently in english but he does not understand the type of vocabulary that I use. I slowly felt a bit gloomy that I am not able to communicate to my parents as much as I would like. I turned around on the steps and walk backed into my room. As I walked back up, I also thought to myself “How can I ever open up to mom and dad if they won’t even understand me? What if I need to speak to them about something really important but they won’t understand me...?”

My younger cousin goes through a very similar problem that I do. His name is Cody, he is four years old. He visited me during winter break. It was 10:00 PM, my dad was driving my family in the car to the restaurant we were meeting up with Cody’s family. I felt the excitement of just seeing my dearest little guy that I miss so much. I stared out of the window, it was dark and cold but I was daydreaming about all things I want to do with Cody and how much I want to hear him talk to me. When I arrived, I saw Cody running towards me. I knelt down and we embraced. Reunited after two years, I was the happiest cousin ever. He was a bit heavier, a little taller, his face looked slimmer but he was still that sunshine I always loved. The first thing I asked him was “có đói em?” I asked him if he was hungry in Vietnamese. Cody gave me a clueless look as if I was speaking in a completely different language that he was never exposed to. I was very confused and Cody just stared at me. I repeated the question again, but in English this time. He answered ‘yes’ and ran off to his dad. I was concerned, so I walked over to Cody’s mom. She was sitting nearby the dinner table chatting with my mom. I asked her “Does Cody know how to speak Vietnamese?” Cody’s mom answered, “No, he doesn’t. He’s been spending too much time at the daycare, they only speak English there, he totally forgot how to speak Vietnamese at home” I was shocked. I looked over at him, I saw him sitting on my Grandmother’s lap, and she had a confused look. I figured that Cody was talking to her in English but she did not understand him at all. This is going to affect his relationship with my grandparents because they won’t be able to understand each other since my Grandmother only speaks and understands Vietnamese. This matters because bonding is when you spend a lot of time with someone and try to learn to attach with each other. But how can they both grow together when they won’t be able to properly communicate to each other?

There’s so many complications with language because it really affects my relationship with my parents. Because with language comes with culture. They look down on me, and they’re ashamed that their Vietnamese, Chinese and Cambodian girl cannot speak her own language at home as fluent and as perfect as they wish. There’s multiple times when my mom would say to me “It’s ashamed that you’re bad at speaking Vietnamese, it’s who you are, you need to be more fluent” I even feel stripped from my true identity because of my mom’s selfishness of being insecure who she really is. My mom wants me to embrace being Vietnamese by speaking it fluently but why can’t I embrace being Cambodian? I remember when I was sitting in my living room. Lights were dimmed, I was relaxed on my couch. My fingers were tracing upon my ipod touch as my entertainment. I felt a little sleepy. I started to remember as I looked at my family’s portrait of my mother wearing a long wedding dress, my father in a tuxedo. My mom is sitting in a chair as my dad is standing behind holding her right hand up. I asked my dad, who was standing near the dinner table reading bills; “What was my Grandpop like, dad?” My mother never talked about her dad. I always asked her about him when I was younger but she never gave me a real answer. My dad answered with a sigh as he looked over at me “He’s cambodian, that’s all your mother ever told me”. It hit me after a minute. I realized my entire life, apart of my identity was stripped. I speak vietnamese, I eat vietnamese food, I celebrate vietnamese holidays with my family, I am half vietnamese and chinese. Now, I have discovered I am a fourth cambodian and just a fourth vietnamese and half chinese. But why is that, inside of me, I feel like I’m full vietnamese? I felt angered. It’s got to have something to do with speaking vietnamese. What I speak is who I am. I always feel like being apart of a certain culture, it’s required to know that language. It shows your background, who you are, a slice of your identity.This isn’t who I want to be though. I don’t speak Chinese or Khmer. I speak Vietnamese and English. Therefore I am an Asian-american, my ethnicity is Vietnamese.

What I speak is who I am. Everyone has a different point of view no language and how much it matters to that person. There is so much to language. Language is a big part of this world.



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What are you talking about?


Over the past few weeks we have studied the art of language and why it is very special. We watched a video showing people and the different vocabularies they have from each other and accents. It showed what makes groups different from each other. We were assigned this project called the language autobiography which is what you are reading now. I've learned much from this unit and hope you can learn more from my paper.

My cousin from Washington D.C. and I have two different vocabularies that we use. Here in Philly, our city-wide word is “jawn,” which is pretty much our version of a noun because it can be anything or anyone. In Washington, they have no idea what that word means and have never heard it used in a sentence unless they spent time here. When my cousin was staying with me and my family for a funeral, we were sitting in my room watching sportscenter when his friend called. He started talking on the phone with him and after about 5 minutes of talking he yelled, “Yo I’m so clutch.” I said “What?” He explained that when he said that he was expressing that since he was right about a bet and he won he was now considered “Clutch.” This confused me because this was the first time I’ve heard this. So later that day we went to the basketball court behind my house. I said during a game of basketball that I was “frying him” and that “my jumpshot was chicken”.

He looked at me with a confused look and then he asked, "Ya jumpshot what?”

I said "My jumper chicken. That’s the word we use here. What do yall use in DC?"

He said, "We just say our jumpshot butta."

“Oh okay, we used to say that but then we started using different words like cheese, and chicken, and how when you make a jumpshot in someone face you say “Facial” because it’s funny and it makes sense in this situation.”

He answered back that they say that back home also because it’s pretty much a universal basketball slang term. We continued our one on one game and I posted him up and scored on him. I said “I just took you to the weight room, get your weight up youngboul.“ He laughed because of my statement. I kept forgetting he was from Washington D.C. and they don’t have the same vocab we have. I explained that taking someone to the weight room is just posting someone up and scoring on them and that youngboul is a word we use for someone younger than us or just a word to make fun of someone. Language can help you get a better understanding of people, so you can befriend them and won’t be left out in the dark in a conversation. In the past I believed that language was just something we spoke and was exclusive to a certain race and could be taught to another if willing or forced. I didn’t think it had any meaning behind it or could be looked at with a deeper view.

Over the weekend we continued to have conversations and discovered a few more new words from each other’s vocab. One word he used that wasn’t new to me, but isn’t used in Philly, was “partna.”

I’ve heard that word used before in other states, such as the southern states, and when I visited Washington D.C., but other people have not heard this word before. “Partna” is just another word for friend. When I want to say something like this, I say “mans.” Language is very different and similar in certain places as I’ve stated above. The point I’m trying to make is that language helps people fit into a certain group. Language can help define who we are as person or race.

People will judge you by the language you speak or learned to speak. Last year, One of my friends who attended a different school asked me, “How you black speaking spanish?” He was judging me by my race and the fact that I’m speaking another race’s language. Over the years I’ve heard a good number of languages spoken and I, for one, can say that I’ve judged people on the race and language they’ve spoken. I’ve often caught myself judging someone who is a foreigner living here in America and who refuses to speak English.The environment around me influenced and taught me that foreigners were bad because they “invaded our country, but don’t want to speak our language.” The environment around us can  be a big influence on our language and how we react to other languages. A quote from Sandra Romo, “The verbal environment influences language learning. From ages one to three, children from highly verbal 'professional' families heard nearly three times as many words per week as children from low verbal 'welfare' families.” I hope to influence other people on finding their own language and don’t allow bad influences to make you believe another language is bad. When it all boils down, we need each other to prosper.





Romeo, S. (2012). Factors that influence language development. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/list_6018235_factors-influence-language-development.html
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Los Seres Queridos en Mi Vida

Yo - Soy Brittany. Tengo cuartce años. Soy extraña y boba. Me gusta leer y escuchar musíca casi siempre. No me gusta escribir pero me fascina dibujar. 

Ella - Se llama Bella. Ella es algo deportista y increíblemente artística. Le encanta My Chemical Romance. Tiene el pelo cafe y los ojos cafés.

Ellos - Se llama Cameron y Micah. Jugar videojuegos con amigos. Ellos es muy altos y cómicos. Tienen el pelo carta y negro. Mis mejores amigos del individuo

Ellas - Hikma y Adowa. Ellas son muy inteligente. Chicas son cómicas y boba. También súper simpática.

Nosotros - Amelia es muy simpactica y mas o menos loca.Tiene un perro y dos gatos. Un familia pequeña. Una de mis mejores amigas.
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Guión(script)

​Intro- Hola, bienvenidos a mi video.
Yo- Me llamo Brian Torres. Me gusto jugar videojuegos y leer libros, pero no me gusta nada estudiar.
El- A el le llama Brandon. El es mi primo. Le gusta jugar videojuegos y practicar deportes, pero no le gusta estudiar.
Ella- A ella le llama Melanie. Ella es mi hermana. A ella le encanta ir de compras y pasar un rato con amigos, pero no le gusta nada hacer trabajo en la casa.
Ellos- Ellos son Adnan y Kevin. Ellos son mis mejor amigos en Science Leadership Academy. A ellos les gustan jugar videojuegos y a ver videos en youtube, pero no les gustan estudiar.
Ellas- Ellas son Kathleen y Angela. Ellas son mis primas. Les gustan ir de compras i hablar por teléfono. No les gustan estudiar o jugar videojuegos.
Conclusion- ¡Chau!
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Language Autobiography 2013: The Controlling Effects Of Grammar

This unit was basically about how different types of languages are looked at. We read stories about about the lives of real people, and how they had to change their language because they had to speak a certain way in order to get treated fairly. In all of the stories we read, every character had to learn english because learning english was what was expected of them. My language autobiography, is about how much power and control grammar has and how that affects me personally.Throughout this unit, I learned that language really does affect the way people look at you. 




Society gives grammar the power to control us. It wants us to be pressured into having excellent spoken grammar and speech. If we do not have that, then we are criticized. Marilyn vos Savant says, “Be able to correctly pronounce the words you would like to speak and have excellent spoken grammar.” This is the way society wants us to speak. It’s because of this that I ruminate a lot on what I say, what I’m going to say, and how I say it. “Grammar is a piano I play by ear. All I know about grammar is its power.”(Joan Didion). Grammar has power over a lot. It can affect the way people look at you. If you’re interviewing for a job, and you don’t have the best grammar chances are you won’t get hired. Grammar gives you power also. It can give you the power to attract people when you’re giving a speech. It can get you to higher places especially if your grammar is what society expects of you. Although these quotes are true, the only reason grammar has power and the ability to control us, is because we let it.

“Grammar, which knows how to control even kings.”(Moliere). What Moliere is saying is that grammar controls everything. It controls the way some of us think and the way some of us speak. I can attest to this because it has definitely controlled my thought process. Occasionally, I make mental notes about what to say in the correct grammar the next time I speak to someone when I don’t say it correctly the first time. I even correct myself out loud. For example, one day in spanish class I was confused on how to conjugate a certain word. So, I got up out of my seat to go and ask my spanish teacher. He was sitting at his desk, talking to a student teacher when he looked up at me. “Yes dear?” He said with a welcoming smile. “Um...” I started to say. I wasn’t sure how to ask him the question. I wasn’t sure how to start it off, and I was afraid that I wouldn’t use the proper grammar. “Don’t you drop the ‘e’, and add the ‘i’?” I asked. “Yes.” He nodded and turned to continue his previous conversation. Walking back to my seat I thought, “Shoot! I wasn’t supposed to say ‘don’t you’. I was supposed to say ‘wouldn’t you’.” After realizing that I said the improper use of  grammar, I began to feel embarrassed and ashamed. Sitting back down I corrected myself again. This time out loud. “I wasn’t supposed to say ‘Don’t you’. I was supposed to say ‘Wouldn’t you”. Oh my gosh!” I let the use of grammar control me so much, that when I say something incorrectly I automatically feel ashamed. I get embarrassed and I come down even harder on myself. At other times I’m afraid to speak up because I’m afraid of how I will sound, that I may not sound right, or that I won’t make sense. I’m also afraid that will affect how people look at me. I get this way because I don’t want people to look at me as “the girl who doesn’t have correct grammar” or “the girl who doesn’t speak right”. I want them to look at me as “the girl with perfect grammar”, “the girl who has no flaws in her speech”. So, I make it an effort to make sure that my grammar is perfect. And no, it’s still not perfect but I still try. Although I consider my grammar pretty well,  I do make mistakes sometimes. “Look at them people.” I pointed to a group of kids doing silly stunts and tricks. I was walking down the street with my friend when we saw them. “I mean look at those people.” She looked at them and laughed.

I’m so used to correcting myself that sometimes, when someone says something grammatically incorrect, I silently correct them myself. It’s not that I judge how people speak because I don’t at all. They are free to speak however they wish. Especially if that’s who they are. I just do it to help myself. Only so that I will know what to say when I speak to someone who has the mindset that you need to speak a certain way. Another example is when my mom and I were in the car, and she was talking about how much the damage to her car was. “Five hunned..” She said in a loud, silly voice. I automatically interrupted her, “Do you mean five hundred?” I made sure I emphasized the word “hundred”. She just looked at me and laughed. I only corrected her because I really dislike the word “hunned”.  Although grammar is something I strive to be perfect in, there is one type of language that I don’t have to be perfect in. It’s my own type of language. I use words or sentences like, “durp”, “salty grits”, and “you’re doing the most”, when I’m playing around and because it’s fun. I believe at some point anyone should have some type of fun with their language. Personally for me, fun with my language is making up words. What makes it fun is that I know people can’t criticize me with that.



BrainyQuote. Xplore, n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2013. <http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/grammar.html>.
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Language vs. Language

This project is about the life you live with language. Language is considered highly effective in everyone’s life. The goal for this project is to write a descriptive story fiction or nonfiction about how language affects your life. I wrote how it could or would affect how people’s life.
Language vs. Language. That’s what I see it as. One of language is used when there is writing to be done and the other one is used when someone needs to take action. But throughout life these languages will never connect. They are strangers living in the same house.

There are two people that live inside of me but they come out at different times. They matter because they both play large parts of each other’s life. They both speak entirely different languages but they still would need each other to communicate with other groups of people. Their existence is because if they didn’t have each other, then they would be limited to not only the people they can talk to but also they are limited to what they can do. Their names are Justice and Jules. I first discovered Justice when I was in the closed box I called my bedroom. The blank paper and the sharp pencil sits there on my desk waiting to be used to write the English story that’s due the next day. First seconds went by... then minutes... and now a hour went by and still nothing. “Maybe eating will help.” I thought. But no. I was fuller than ever but still hungry for ideas. “Maybe sleeping will help.” I thought. But no. I slept for two hours and very well rested but still have no energy to get any thoughts in my head to write. As I get out of my bed and into the chair next to the desk that hold the empty paper I felt something inside me change. For that 30 minutes that I sat at the desk writing my descriptive story I felt like a writer. I had thoughts and ideas flowing out of me. These thoughts filled up 2 pages with at least 700 words. I was pleased with this story. But then I thought to myself, “What happened?” And still till this day i don’t know the answer to that simple question. But I do know that I wasn’t myself. And thus became Justice. I gave her that name because all of Justice’s writing requires some type of equality.

People have a different language from when they write and when they talk. For example, Justice talked more poetic when she wrote and Jules basically talked from her head (her opinions/ feelings). Jules can’t get as descriptive and poetic like Justice does very well. With Justice she really doesn't come out to talk to people she basically stays on paper where she can’t be judge by her thoughts. Before Justice was born, Jules writing was at a 5th grade level. Jules don’t know how to be as descriptive as Justice so Jules would basically go straight to the point with her stories other than breaking it down. Even though Justice don’t know Jules, Justice influence Jules to take action to what she feel is wrong and try to stop it from happening.

And then there’s Jules. She comes out when she have to talk to her family and friends. The first time I learned about this was when I wanted to talk to mom about a very important subject. Justice wrote down what she wanted me to say and I constantly read through it. But now it was time for me to read it to my mom.

As I walk through the small hallway, it seem like it was getting longer the closer I got to my mother’s bedroom. But finally I was in front of it looking right into it watching her watching TV. She didn’t notice I was watching her until I knocked on her wooden door and asked if I could come in. “Yes, What’s the problem?”, she said. As I look at the  paper that had what Justice wanted me to say everything looked wrong. Letters was everywhere. I didn’t make sense to me. I decided instead of trying to from the paper just tell her how I feel. “ Well, you know...”, began to say. What I said worked. She listened to me and she agreed with everything I said. But I realized there was a difference between the way Justice wrote and how Jules talked. They wasn’t using the same language.

You can learn from these two different sides of me that everyone have a language where you would have to listen or read what a person say to understand them or you would have to watch their actions and how they react to situations as their language to understand that person.This shows that people don’t realize that they use a different language from when they have conversation with someone and when they writing a journal, story, poem, etc. It took me long to find this other side of myself because I have always been asked to read a story and answer a prompt other than write my own story with my own feelings. What helped me make my story is I deep thought about the difference between poetic language and action as a language. These languages are set-up to come out at different times. This is why Justice and Jules was created. They are two different people leaving in the same body.
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Code-Switch


In this unit, we learned about the power and need for language. We learned the different applications of language. This essay talking about the pitches and tones that I use to define myself. 

The air around me was chilly, just like winter should be. I shifted my fists a bit deeper into my hoodie pocket, but it only let them go so far. I raised my lip towards my nostrils to check and see if my nose a bit cold. Of course it was, I was sitting on a ledge near a large window in the middle of January. I held my legs closer together and to my body. I shifted my eyes around me and everybody was basically doing them same thing, trying to keep warm. It sounds stupid that we’re sitting near a window in the middle of winter, but there was nowhere else quiet to go. SLA is a loud place in itself, with very few quiet areas. Anyways, it was the normal meeting spot for me and my friends during lunch: Peter, Edgar, Gabby, and Tytianna.


Everyone was talking, talking like they do with friends. We were joking around, making fun of each other and other things. I happened to use my naturally deep and smooth voice, in which I use around people I’m comfortable and close with. “... and then I told my mom no, and then I swear she was gonna -- “ I stopped right in my tracks. I heard footsteps of an unfamiliar person coming towards us. I naturally paused myself because what I was about to say could basically offend any teacher or adult nearby, so I hushed until whoever passed on by. Well it turned out to be Mr. Latimer, my Algebra 2 teacher. I actually had a question to ask him about my standard retake, to see if he got it for next week.


“Hey Mr. Latimer, I have a question to ask,” I asked in a higher-pitched tone, which I use for teachers and adults and the like. It was natural for me to do such a thing. Mr. Latimer perked his eyebrows up, signalling I could keep going. “Did you get my standard submission for next week? I was just wondering because I wasn’t sure you got it or not ... “ I ended in a quiet voice, still quite high-pitched in comparison to my voice from before. It wasn’t as smooth and didn’t flow out my mouth like it did when I spoke to my friends. “Yeah, I got it,” he said nonchalantly. I smiled and nodded, and he walked away like nothing ever happened.


I’ve always switched between tones and the pitch of my voice. I do it subconsciously, out of pure instinct. I usually notice the way I’m talking with certain people  in comparison to others. It’s not like a switch between slang and standard english. It’s a switch between the tone and pitch of my voice. Naturally, it’s deep. Not a grown man’s deep, but deeper than the average female. I’m able to speak in different pitches and tones. With my friends, I tend to use my unchanged, natural voice. It sounds really deep, especially when I get back from talking to someone I don’t talk to often. When around people I’m just acquainted with, my voice tends to raise an octave, becoming a bit more feminine than usual. Then with complete and utter strangers, I use a very quiet and light voice that can be barely heard. It’s not like I necessarily do it because I want to, it’s just natural.



When my voice changes, I feel a little bit of me curl up in the corner and hide away. Using a light voice doesn’t make me feel completely like myself; it’s like I lose a part of myself. I’ve been a bit embarrassed about my voice ever since I was little. Everywhere I went girls had high - pitched voices that sounded feminine. I wanted to be like them, to sound like them. It was even worse when I heard my voice recorded, when I didn’t hear it come out my own mouth. It sounded manly and disgusting, like sharp metal pieces grinding against each other in imperfect harmony. I believe I started to use different pitches around different people because I was embarrassed about how I sounded. Using the higher-pitched voice around people I didn’t know made me sound prettier and nicer than I usually sound. It was like creating a separate identity for the people who didn’t know me.


Everybody bases their thinking of a person on the first impression. Society bring forth these “rules” and expectations that females must sound like females and males must sound like males. Based upon what you sound, look, and act like, people will judge you accordingly. During first meetings, job interviews, even paying for something at a cash register someone will judge you on how you sound and speak. No one wants to sound ugly or funny to someone else. Everybody wants to sound like the way they’re supposed to. Some even go to the extent of changing their voice boxes to make their voice different and more pleasurable. And then you have people like me who just simply change the pitch and tone of their voice when around different people. When you think about it, it’s a shame. It’s a shame that we have to change the way we speak around others to make others happy. We lose ourselves when we try to change the way other people look at us. We feel like if we make others happy regarding us, we’ll be happy too. Personally, I would love to stop changing my voice around others, but it’s harder than you think.


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LanguageAutobiography: Does language determine you?

In this unit of english class,​ we worked on autobiography's about what language means to us. I wrote about what language was like for me growing up and how language has a lot to do with your everyday life and how people view you.

When I was in elementary school, I always wondered why people made fun of the way I spoke. They told me it was because I talked “white”. “What does talking “white” even mean I thought to myself?” The way I speak isn’t the way they were raised to When I asked my mom, I remember her telling me that it meant that I was educated and that I didn’t talk like a normal “black” person. I asked her “does that mean black people aren’t educated”? I knew that my mom was educated, she finished college and got her masters degree and she’s part black. So I knew that couldn’t be true. Most people in my family finished college. Whites still overruled blacks in education. In this society, that’s the way it appeared. More white’s finished college, or even went to college than blacks did. That’s the way it’s always been in America.

As I grew up, all I was told by my peers was that “you talk like a white girl”. I started playing soccer when I was nine or ten years old, and to my african american peers, that was a “white sport”. I listened to songs that were sung by people that were white also. That gave them a bigger reason to call me a white girl. To them, everything I did or said was “white”. They thought playing basketball was a “black sport” so I played to fit in with everyone else. I barely got any playing time, but being apart of the basketball team at my middle school was all I needed to make me seem black. Everything was categorized at my school before I came to high school. I learned to embrace the way I talked.

When I was in 8th grade, I was attending a dominantly african american school. There were less than five students that were of another race. All of the kids there barely spoke proper english. Most spoke broken english, even the teachers, principal and other staff members. Everyday in the school there was a physical fight or close to it. In a private school I thought, there wouldn’t be any fights. The closest thing to a fight would be a argument. I had never experienced that type of environment before. It was different for me because in my household, no one talks broken english, but soon I caught on to the way they talked at my school if I wanted to fit in. But when I was home or around family, I spoke the way i was taught to. Speaking differently than the way I was raised was discriminated against in my household. It was like either you speak the way you are supposed to, or don’t speak at all.

Most of the people I knew growing up stereotyped different races. Each race had a certain way of talking and doing things. My friends portrayed blacks as being loud and ghetto all of the time. In some cases to me, that is true. Despite me being part black, that’s not the way my family acts not that wasn’t the way they were raised. But that being said, the white part of family did act the way others stereotype them. They all spoke properly, ate crackers and cheese and other things along that line. Owned big fancy houses and cars. Had well paying jobs and spoiled children. But that never affected me because I live in a big fancy house, my family has nice cars and I am also spoiled. So to me it didn’t matter what color you are, it’s how you were raised to act. The people I grew up around definitely had a huge impact on me and they are part of the reason why I am who I am today.

I recently read an article on language by James Baldwin. In the article, he discussed how “black” english contributes to standard english and that black english plays a big part in how we all speak today. “People evolve a language in order to describe and thus control their circumstances, or in order not to be submerged by a reality that they cannot articulate.” - James Baldwin. In this quote, he is saying that in different places, people speak a certain way to fit in. You wouldn’t speak the same way you speak to your friends while you are in a workplace. People have to switch the way they talk to meet the criteria of certain situations or will be looked at differently.

People are always going to be discriminated and talked about by others who speak differently than they do. But if everyone talked the same, there would be no diversity among us. Every person would be looked at the same.

The way you talk in this world determines who you are to some people. To me, thats not how I think of others. You could be well educated and still speak broken english. Or you could be uneducated and speak better than someone with a college degree. The color of your skin, or even where you come from should determine your class.

In the world, the way you speak determines your place, only if you let it.



Here is the link to my video.




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