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Linguistics Essay

1638 words - 7 pages

Professor Deare 
English 101A 
09 March 2015 
                                Take Home essay #1 
In many different places of the world, many people have different reactions on 
what literacy is and how it is applied in life. Literacy is referred to a lot of people as “the 
ability to read and write” like how it is stated in the dictionary​
.  People think that having 
the knowledge of how to read and write that they know the meaning and don’t have to 
have any more interest in it.   After these few weeks of reading and comprehending the 
“real” meaning, it has changed the way I look at it and how it has actually affected me in 
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V. The 
only thing I ever came close to relating to English when I was younger was when I went 
out and I saw signs, billboards,etc. or my brother’s homework or books. I used to always 
try to read them even though I did not know how to pronounce the words. In the article 
Superman and me ​
By Sherman Alexie, I felt like the boy when he described not 
knowing the meaning of the words,“ I cannot read the words, but I assume it tells me 
that "Superman is breaking down the door." Aloud, I pretend to read the words and say, 
"Superman is breaking down the door”(Alexie 1).  When I started going to school, the 
thing I mostly focused on was learning how to read the words because I was really 
excited to get the chance to understand what all those words meant. Because of my 
excitement, I  started to learn English quite fast, but also I would confuse myself with the 
Spanish spoken at home. I would sometimes confuse my words and sometimes I would 
want to speak Spanish, but I would speak English or switch it around to where not a lot 
of people would understand me unless they knew both languages. The only thing I 
actually knew well  in English was how to write and read it. The outcome of this was that 
in elementary school I didn’t communicate with many classmates because I would just 
confuse them and sometimes they would mock me because I didn’t know that I was 
saying. Well to make it more simple, I wasn’t up to their “standards” and  the only 
person who understood me was my bilingual teacher. I felt like this reaction of the 



students is the same one as the one they expected the Native Americans to be in 
Superman and Me​
 By Sherman Alexie on how the now “natives” of the U.S expect to 
see the non­native “We were Indian children who were expected to be stupid. Most lived 
up to those expectations inside the classroom but subverted them on the 
outside”(Alexie 2).This still affects me today because I grew up with distancing myself 
from many classmates and just got used to it even though I have learned to separate 
my English and Spanish better now. 
Not only has the English language been challenging for me , but the Spanish 
language has also been challenging and has taken many effects in my life. For 
instance, when I travel to Mexico, I get picked on and criticized a lot. The natives there 
also have standards or discourses in their language. Some think if you are not apart of 
their people,  they don’t have to respect you as much, therefore, they try to take 
advantage of you or judge you how ever they want its as simple as that. Even me that I 
have parents that are Mexican like them, many of them choose not to interact with me 
for the right reasons because I am from and was born in the “famous” United States of 
America. For example, when I went to the markets in Mexico when I was younger and 

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