Samantha Torres QuintanillaMark DuCharmeENG 122January 27 2018English As A First LanguageMillions of people in the United States have come from every part of the world.
They all come from distinct places they call their homeland and each has a variety of ways to communicate. The extensive backgrounds of each individual are each accustomed to speaking their native language that when they are placed in a setting where the universal language is used, they freeze and become muddled with the thought of not knowing how to communicate. Although many stay with only knowing one language, many do indeed decide to learn English. English and literature come hand-in-hand and they each help expand the knowledge of other cultures and help with a better understanding of the literature to become better writers.
Allowing for the interaction of literature and the english speaking language helps the individuals gain an advantage towards a better determination for success that only an education can bestow. “Scholarship Boy” by author Richard Rodriguez discusses about his family life and his world of academic achievements. Rodriguez discusses about his family and the fact that his parents did not have the opportunity at a proper education. Rodriguez states many times of a yearning thirst for more knowledge that makes him determined to find new ways to study and school himself. Rodriguez makes the connection of how education, especially in literature, creates a bridge for a better future and a successful life. He states the ways he became a different person from his family and how he alienated himself from his family in order to advance and even stated that “I had become the prized student-anxious and eager to learn. Too eager, too anxious” (Rodriguez, 25). He had become someone who had lost all traces of his past in order to keep marching forward even stating proudly when he was praised for barely hearing the his Spanish accent at school by one of his teachers.
Another author that published an article on the importance of a literature education is Gerald Graff. He discusses his transformation from hating any kind of serious books, to becoming a college professor. Graff was unable to relate to any books and upon entering college Graff continued to find ‘serious reading to be difficult in which it caused him to worry about flunking out of college. Graff states it was during his junior year in college that he was able to connect his life with that of a novel and was able to get a better understanding of literature. Graff points out how difficult it is to read without having a critical vocabulary and states the advantage of how reading helps with the understanding of literature and a better understanding for the english speaking culture as a whole.
Having English as a second language is a merit in itself, but learning to use the learned language and apply it to education and literature is more rewarding for the long run. Learning English has helped many people become someone never deemed possible. According to Jesse Chase-Lubitz, author to ‘Learning Heaven’ and intern at Foreign Policy, she states that “Title III of the Every Student Succeeds Act, signed by former President Barack Obama in 2015, requires all public schools in the United States to provide language assistance to students who need it” (Chase- Lubitz, 10). Chase-Lubitz writes on the different backgrounds from which all the people that are learning English as a second language came from and how as each class progresses they were able to determine their choice of path towards success in education as a whole. She establishes the function of how many refugees and immigrants were allowed the chance to better their education by starting with establishing English as their second language and in turn allowing them to understand more variety of concepts in the education system and also in literature and culture.
Teaching English has become an institution that has been set as a priority in the United States. It is the founding steps for a better understanding of the world by expanding the viewpoints of all the have an educational background. Horizons are becoming broadened, and each moment spent learning the English language is each moment closer to becoming aware of how to help the world and the problems that are faced all around. An article called ‘Home Visits’ by author and teacher Louise El Yaafouri- Kreuzer wrote, “I had 17 students total…
representing 15 countries, more than a dozen languages, and six religions…Some possessed vast amounts of background knowledge and a beginning handle on English; others required skill building around letter recognition and developing fine motor skills. This was differentiation on the grandest scale” (Yaafouri- Kreuzer, 21). Being able to understand the vocabulary and the basic vowel distinction of a word helps with word differentiation. Majority of countries have each distinct languages but having English as a backbone can help influence many individuals to wanting to better themselves with education.
Richard Rodriguez author of ‘Scholarship Boy’ wrote, “A primary reason for my success in the classroom was that I couldn’t forget that schooling was changing me and separating me from the life I enjoyed before becoming a student” (Rodriguez, 26). School and the education that takes place achieves knowledge that allows an opinion on the pressing issues of the world. A finer perspective of how life functions and the role each individual holds is learned in the learning process of education and literature.
The debate of education actually being a means of giving knowledge has been a conversation for many years. Education is indeed knowledge but it has to be taught first, but without being able to understand knowledge, educated is first introduced by knowing English. Literature is a prime example of being capable of interpreting things because it allows for a vast range of education through words, author of ‘Disliking Books’ Gerald Graff wrote, “Many literate people learn certain ways of talking about books so long that they have forgotten they ever had to learn them.
” (Graff, 36). Graff is explaining the overall concept of how the education system works, learning to first understand the meaning of what the words say and what the author wants the reader to understand is vital before reading them. Having a strong background on the English language can make the journey of reading and understanding a book far more simpler. According to author Patriann Smith…(qtd Ofelia Garcia, Kate Menken) she states “We have failed to develop fair assessments that can distinguish what students know from the way in which English is used by plurilingual students Smith also interviews middle school students that say sometimes we say words that are words and we develop our story and then our teachers don’t know what we are talking about” (Smith, 35). Smith has conducted an experiment in which she has been able to find the way of helping many plurilingual students with learning how to properly speak English.
She has read and informed herself on the issue that is placing a stop to many children that can not place a step forward because of not being able to understand the curriculum or even the teacher speaking in front of the classroom. Knowing English is very important in understanding the knowledge presented in a classroom to better the future of every individual.Knowledge is given through education and education is presented through the basic principles of knowing English. Learning English as a second language is vital to making opinions and having a background as a literate individual. Literature as well as other ways of education changes every person for the better by allowing a better understanding for the world, culture, diversity,and even the past.
Every form of education (literature) is a way of bettering oneself for a higher way of living not only physically but also philosophically.