Inability to speak a given language fluently is a clear indication of missing mother tongue which renders one cultureless (Williford and Michael 513-5). It is important to realize that mother tongue is the most important aspect of cognitive skills development and language acquisition process. It is referred to as mother tongue as the mother is the first person that interacts verbally with the child. In regard to assertions of Tan, it can be seen that she acknowledges understanding the imagery and in-depth meaning of what her mother communicates with her imperfect and sketchy English.
The simple reason behind this claim is that Tan was brought up with the same English although she went ahead through school to fine-tune hers. Tan tries to explain that her mother’s inability to speak fluent English significantly affected her confidence to speak in any social setting hence need for an intermediate. This is true in real life as Tan put it because poor language mastery reduces one’s confidence to address various issues under fear of being despised. She however goes on to say that there is a long standing misconception that limited knowledge of English is a sign of low thinking ability. Taking the case of United States community, English is considered a superior language among the bilingual immigrants and minority communities. This is the basis of discrimination as failure to know English is likely to spell doom for one in everyday interactive experiences.
The audience of Tan is the general community when it comes to the significance of mother tongue and reality of language as a tool of interaction. She proves the society that despite her Asian background and imperfect English upbringing by the mother, she can make it big (Williford and Michael 515-6). The society needs to realize that failure to understand or master a given language say English is not a death