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Literacy Narrative - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Class 9 September 2012 English is the lingua franca of the world. It is the first or second language in many countries. Many people learn it because it is the international language in education, business, science, and technology, and so acquiring English literacy promises professional and business success…
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Literacy Narrative
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Literacy Narrative

As a result, I have not developed excellent English literacy and the confidence to use it. I realized that I can use my strengths of perseverance and good study habits to develop my English skills, but I continue to struggle because of my shyness and anxiety in speaking and writing in English. Nevertheless, I continue learning English through using personal, social, and academic resources, as well as imbibing positive psychology in learning a language that is so different in terms of values and structure to my native language, without weakening my cultural identity. My personal traits of shyness in using English resulted in anxiety that impeded my early progress in learning it. My school was a firm believer of immersion, where speaking in Chinese in the school is not allowed. Teachers easily embarrassed students who did not speak in English. My classmates and I preferred silence then, since we were not that good in English. This is what Kingston referred to as being tongue-tied in her essay “Tongue-Tied.” Our tongues are tied due to not being able to speak a language that we have little knowledge of. One time, I forgot to speak in English in my class and my teacher berated me in front of so many people. I was so mortified, and since then I spoke very little. I did not want to make any mistake again. However, as I learned, bilingual education is also an effective means of teaching English to non-native speakers (Rhodes, Ochoa, and Ortiz 58). Bilingualism at the critical stage of my life would have helped my development of better English skills. The critical stage for me is during grade school (Gonzalez 3). Using Chinese to learn English would have helped me transition into English. By this time, however, I was not very confident in my English reading and writing skills. I became very conscious of my accent and choice of words because other students would laugh at me. I know they were just being children, but the impact on my self-esteem was devastating. The feeling of inferiority affected my motivation to learn English. I learned how to speak it in a form of conversation, but academic English is different. My shyness resulted in anxiety, which affected my confidence in learning English. To some extent, being a good student gave me high expectations of myself, which obstructed my language learning process. I am a good student and have strong studying skills. I have high grades in most of my subjects. English, however, is harder for me because I lack enough knowledge about it. It became my Achilles’ heel, and I felt disappointed with myself. This disappointment turned into a strong fear of failure. I did not want to fail as a language learner, and this hindered me from learning English. I also lacked practice in using English before, since we do not speak it at home. My parents wanted me to learn it fast, but they are not aware of how important the home environment is in learning new languages. In our neighborhood, we also did not use English. As with many non-native English learners, we lacked practice in everyday settings. Without practice, I did not feel confident in using English and I did not have anyone to test my skills on. That is also frustrating for students like me, who are used to attain their goals. When I came to America, I became more diffident as a language lea ... Read More
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