In his article "Why my mother can't speak English" Garry Engkent explains that getting into a new country or merging into a different culture is not that easy. That too when you have spent half of your life in some other country giving your best to your family. The Author explains how difficult was it for his mother to be a part of new environment. The biggest barrier she faced being a new immigrant was the language barrier. She eventually had to be present in front of a judge in order to get the Citizenship of Canada. So, to explain his article he uses some techniques those are Anecdote, Jargon , tone.
Firstly, the narrator uses Anecdote as a technique. A brief narrative tales that focuses on a particular event or incident. The author narrated a short tale which reflected his memories with his father and mother when they were in china. Also, the author focused on that phase of his mother's life when she worked in the restaurant and how his father stopped her mother to learn English. There is also a incident where author gives brief description which shows that how her mother felt insecured and thought that his husband can marry second women. As her mother said to author "A second mother will not treat you so well, would you even like another mother at home?. This shows that somehow the thought of second wife was disturbing her.
The second technique author uses to describe this article is Jargon. Jargon means specialized language or vocabulary of a particular group or profession. For example, Garry Engkent frequently mentioned that to get citizenship in Canada she should know English. There is one incident happened where the judge during the citizenship interview also told the author that the requirements are that a citizen must know English." The requirements are that the candidates must be able to speak either French or English, the two official language of Canada. This shows that Canadian laws have special language requirements. The author also mentioned the china's language Mandarian. He frequently mentioned that her mother was a china's resident and hence she knows Chinese language very well. This again showed the use of jargon technique i.e specialized language is used by the china residents. That's how, he explained that it was very difficult to learn English for his mother because she thought that she would lose her Chinese soul after learning another language.
Lastly, Tone is the technique which author's uses to describe her article. His mother was helpless. The author describes that she knows little about English. The author and mother also had an argument where the author's mother was in a hurry to get citizenship but the author was constantly explaining the fact that such processes cannot be happen so soon.
The author's mother was feeling lonely also when the author was not agreeing with her. She started saying that she will be kicked out back to china. The author was still seen as continuously providing comfort and assurance that nothing such will happen until he is there.
There was also shown that the attitude towards her mother was seen as very caring when he took her to citizenship court and supported her in front of the judge. For instance, it can also be
seen when author taught her mother some English phrases which were to be used in taking oath. He did every duty of a son and helped and supported her mother throughout.
To conclude, why my mother can't speak English by Garry Engkent is a beautifully written article which shows how a language can be helpful to you in any aspect of life. It highlights that there is no age of learning and a person can learn anything at anytime. It also shows how difficult it is for a widow women as she feels insecure emotionally and how a son can act as a pillar to her in that stage.
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