The Importance Of English Language As A Foreign Language

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In your company, a position that pays a higher salary and has more regular work hours opens up so you decide to apply for the job. Your supervisor tells you that you cannot be considered for the position because although you are fully fluent in English, you have a Vietnamese accent. Instead, another employee who speaks with a British accent is interviewed for the position. In Myriam Marquez’s article “Why and When We Speak Spanish in Public” and Amy Tan’s article “Mother Tongue” we get a taste of what it feels like to be linguistically impaired and discriminated against. Through exploring Tan’s and Marquez’s articles, one can see the importance of learning a certain amount of English so one can get far in life and not be taken advantage of,…show more content…
Marquez states in her article that, “It’s not meant to be rude to others… We know that, to get ahead here, one must learn English. But that ought not mean that somehow we must stop speaking in our native tongue whenever we’re in a public area, as if we were ashamed of who we are, where we’re from”(512). While most immigrants know that English is the common language of this country and one of the most common language used in international business, many kept their language through the first and second generation. Bilingual people speak in their language so that their cultural roots would not vanish and so they can show respect to their ancestors. Since many immigrants come to America with “limited English”, it can be difficult to express their thoughts perfectly. The quality of one’s English can have an impact on how they are treated. In Tan’s article, she explains, “… that people in department stores, at banks, and at restaurants did not take her seriously, did not give her good service, pretended not to understand her, or even acted as if they did not hear her”(212). Because her mom spoke with “broken” English, people thought it was okay to mistreat her since she may not understand and be clueless to what was going…show more content…
Having parents who are unable to speak “perfect” English may affect their child’s possibilities in life. Sociologists believe that peers have an influence on a person’s developing language skills. According to Tan, she states “…language spoken in the family…plays a large role in shaping the language of the child. And I believe that it affected my results on achievement tests, IQ tests, and the SAT” (213). Because Tan scored higher in math and science and teachers began to steer her away from writing. She was also told by her former boss that writing was her worst skill and that she should hone her talents toward account

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