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In recent discussions of the literacy narratives “Always Living in Spanish” by Marjorie Agosin and “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan, several competing ideas have emerged that include the influence of language and how it affects a person’s life. A controversial issue has been that language does impact a person’s life positively and negatively. On the one hand, some argue that the way you present your language to society can show how weak your grammar is. From this perspective, if someone does not speak English perfectly it can convey that that person is not educated. On the other hand, however, others argue that there is more than one proper way to communicate with each other. In the words of Amy Tan, one of the view’s main proponents, “But to me, my mother’s English is perfectly clear, perfectly natural” (651). According to this view, her mother was treated poorly because of her “broken” English, however, Tan sees the beauty in her mother’s broken English even though it is different. The simple English spoken in her family has become a language of intimacy and it provides this closeness with her family. In sum, then, the issue is whether someone who does not speak perfect English should be judged, rather than appreciated. My own view is that I agree that there is more than one proper English to communicate with each other because I have experienced that myself. Though I concede that having correct grammar is vital to life, I still maintain that people should be more accepting to those who can not speak English properly. For example, just because you can not understand a person’s tongue does not mean that person should be punished. Although some might object that people who speak broken English are represented by the way that they speak as unintelligent, I would reply that someone’s most frequently spoken version of English may not be society’s perfect version of English, but the language that they learned first or speak with family is what matters. The issue is important because a person’s limitation to English should not reflect who they are in society. They should embrace the variations of English that they are surrounded by.

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