“Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan Teaser/Anticipation Question • List three (3) different dialects/accents of American English. – What are the stereotypes or generalizations of each listed? – Give some characteristics of the people that speak in these certain tongues. Reading Questions “…the forms of standard English that I had learned in school and through books…” • How do you think she feels about presenting this in front of her mother? Why do you think she feels this way? Cite an example from the text to support your answer. “It has become our language of intimacy, a different sort of English that relates to family talk, the language I grew up with.” • Predict: What type of English is she used to? • Why do you feel that this is a language of intimacy? • What tradition, rituals, etc. do you have with your family that you don’t do with others, or some things that you link with your family? • Can you think of any instances where discrimination has occurred around you, to you, or to someone you know? Explain the situation. • How did it play out? • How did it make you feel? • You are in a class based on a score given from a standardized text like this. Do you feel these tests are accurate? Why or why not? “…the answers on English tests were always a judgment call, a matter of opinion and personal experience.” • Why do you agree or disagree with this? • The answer to this question lies solely on the fact that you are able to fully explain or defend yourself. “…would finally prove I had mastery over the English language.” • Why do you think she has to prove she has “mastered the language?” • Who is she really trying to prove it to? Why do you think this? “A terrible line, which I can barely pronounce.” • Why is this terrible? • It sounds very intelligent. Explain why she dislikes it so much. “The English I spoke to my mother, which for lack of a better term might be described as “simple…” • What type of writer do you think she will become with “all the Englishes?” “I wanted to capture what language ability tests can never reveal…” • When she uses all the Englishes, what type of character does she create of her mother?