Draft of paper 1 - Oluwatoyin Akinola February 4 2015 The...

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Oluwatoyin Akinola February 4, 2015. The feelings of illiteracy Have you ever been condescended to the point that you begin to feel like you have no level of education at all? I have had several experiences during this first year of my stay in this country. I came into this state precisely on Sunday May 11 2014. The first experience I had been stereotyped was at the airport. Because there was no straight flight from my country (Nigeria) to Iowa, so we landed at JFK, New York. Being my first time in the country they took me and other first timers to a room where we were being interviewed. The main issue I faced was difficulty in hearing them clearly and grabbing their very fast English, so the man interviewing has to repeat his questions slowly, before I could get him. He looked at me and shook his head sideways, I was ashamed of myself because, I used to think language can never be an issue in English speaking countries but to my utmost surprise the accent and the pitch made English sound like gibberish to me. English in Africa is quite different and slower. Similarly, later that day when I got home seeing my Aunt, nieces and nephews we greeted each other, but I discovered that each of them (I mean the children) when I was trying to talk with them they were trying to avoid me and most of the questions I was asking them they couldn’t answer me, they were directing them to my Aunt. I later noticed it was because they couldn’t hear me that was the reason why they were avoiding me and could not answer everything I asked them. Also since I came into this state I noticed I have to repeat myself before I could be heard, I was confused why they couldn’t hear me once, but my husband later told me that it’s because of my accent. Some people are nice enough that they will smile and ask me “can
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you please say that again” while some will just squeeze their faces and walk away from me.
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