Final Paper

Final Paper - Joseph Song FSEM 140 F inal Paper Language...

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Unformatted text preview: Joseph Song FSEM 140 F inal Paper: Language Choice as a Means of Shaping I dentity Born in Austin, Texas, to Korean parents, I was born in a household where Korean would strictly be the language of communication between me and my parents. I grew up in classrooms taught solely in English in Eanes Elementary School, and so I carried out most, if not all, my conversations with my friends in English. At the age of eight, I then moved to Guatemala where I found myself obligated to communicate in Spanish although my parents said it was not necessary. This probably arose from the fact that I wished to communicate with my Guatemalan peers and with Guatemalan citizens who I would naturally have to talk to. My education from that point was then bilingual in the American School of Guatemala where I would be taught in English and Spanish (and even French during high school). After learning so many languages, I noticed how language choice t ruly shaped the way people think and consequently identity, also known as the linguistic Joseph Song FSEM 140 relativity principle. As the principle states, one’s language shapes one’s view of reality. In the case of bilinguals and even multilinguals such as myself, I find it particularly noticeable on how code switching from one language to another changes how we perceive the world and in most cases, how others perceive us. Consequently, the linguistic relativity principle seems to be one that is inevitable and universal. First, in the case of my family, I have noticed how my mom will frequently alternate between English and Korean to emphasize the gravity of her tone, even though she is not fluent in English. For example, if I were in trouble, my mom would first catch my attention by calling my attention as always by calling me by my Korean name, or “Song Minho”. Then, if I were to not respond, she would then convey a stern attitude by calling me “Joseph” or, in the most serious of cases, “Joseph Song”. Korean has continuously been the main means of communication between me and my parents. Although the change to English seems spontaneous, English plays the role of the authoritative language in this situation, where English is regarded as the higher status quo within my family. Although English is rarely used in my family, it is used from time to time to emphasize important matters. This probably Joseph Song FSEM 140 arises from the fact that my brother’s and my native languages are English, which...
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Final Paper - Joseph Song FSEM 140 F inal Paper Language...

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