Essay Mother Tongue Quizlet Vocabulary

  • variation

    something a little different from others of the same type

    I cannot give you much more than personal opinions on the English language and its variations in this country or others.

  • evoke

    call forth, as an emotion, feeling, or response

    I spend a great deal of my time thinking about the power of language--the way it can evoke an emotion, a visual image, a complex idea, or a simple truth.

  • wrought

    shaped to fit by altering the contours of a pliable mass

    --a speech filled with carefully wrought grammatical phrases, burdened, it suddenly seemed to me, with nominalized forms, past perfect tenses, conditional phrases, all the forms of standard English that I had learned in school and through books, the forms of English I did not use at home with my mother.

  • intimacy

    a feeling of being close and belonging together

    It has become our language of intimacy, a different sort of English that relates to family talk, the language I grew up with.

  • transcribe

    write out, as from speech or notes

    So you'll have some idea of what this family talk I heard sounds like, I'll quote what my mother said during a recent conversation which I videotaped and then transcribed.

  • belie

    represent falsely

    You should know that my mother's expressive command of English belies how much she actually understands. She reads the Forbes report, listens to Wall Street Week, converses daily with her stockbroker, reads all of Shirley MacLaine's books with ease--all kinds of things I can't begin to understand.

  • wince

    make a face indicating disgust or dislike

    Like others, I have described it to people as "broken" or "fractured" English. But I wince when I say that.

    "Wince" also means "draw back, as with fear or pain"--this also fits because Tan does not want others to see her mother as "broken" because that, especially when she was younger, made her feel broken and ashamed.

  • empirical

    derived from experiment and observation rather than theory

    And I had plenty of empirical evidence to support me: the fact 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.

  • guise

    an artful or simulated semblance

    When I was fifteen, she used to have me call people on the phone to pretend I was she. In this guise, I was forced to ask for information or even to complain and yell at people who had been rude to her.

  • impeccable

    without fault or error

    And sure enough, the following week there we were in front of this astonished stockbroker, and I was sitting there red-faced and quiet, and my mother, the real Mrs. Tan, was shouting at his boss in her impeccable broken English.

    "Impeccable" and "broken" are opposites that would not usually describe the same thing. But Tan's use of the phrase "impeccable broken English" 1) mocks the ideas of "impeccable English" and "impeccable manners"--both of which Mrs. Tan is not displaying in the example sentence's situation; 2) contrasts with Tan's adolescent and unconvincing perfect English; 3) gives more respect to her mother's language.

  • regret

    sadness associated with some wrong or disappointment

    And when the doctor finally called her daughter, me. who spoke in perfect English--lo and behold--we had assurances that CAT scan would be found, promises that a conference call on Monday would be held, and apologies for any suffering my mother had gone through for a most regrettable mistake.

  • insular

    suggestive of the isolated life of an island

    But I do think that the language spoken in the family, especially in immigrant families which are more insular, plays a large role in shaping the language of the child.

  • moderate

    being within reasonable or average limits

    In grade school I did moderately well, getting perhaps B's, sometimes B-pluses, in English and scoring perhaps in the sixtieth or seventieth percentile on achievement tests.

  • bland

    lacking stimulating characteristics; uninteresting

    And the correct answer always seemed to be the most bland combinations of thoughts

  • semantic

    of or relating to meaning or the study of meaning

    The same was true with word analogies, pairs of words in which you were supposed to find some sort of logical- semantic relationship

  • associative

    resulting from bringing ideas together in the imagination

    "A sunset precedes nightfall" is the same as "a chill precedes a fever." The only way I would have gotten that answer right would have been to imagine an associative situation, for example, my being disobedient and staying out past sunset, catching a chill at night, which turns into a feverish pneumonia as punishment, which indeed did happen to me.

  • hone

    refine or make more perfect or effective

    I started writing nonfiction as a freelancer the week after I was told by my former boss that writing was my worst skill and I should hone my talents toward account management.

  • quandary

    state of uncertainty in a choice between unfavorable options

    Here's an example from the first draft of a story that later made its way into The Joy Luck Club, but without this line: "That was my mental quandary in its nascent state." A terrible line, which I can barely pronounce.

  • nascent

    being born or beginning

    "That was my mental quandary in its nascent state."

  • essence

    the choicest or most vital part of some idea or experience

    and for that I sought to preserve the essence, but neither an English nor a Chinese structure. I wanted to capture what language ability tests can never reveal: her intent, her passion, her imagery, the rhythms of her speech and the nature of her thoughts.

  • AP Students - Please take some time to browse through this site: The Forest of Rhetoric

     AP Assignments Quarter 2 - 11/10/14-1/14


    12/8-due Thursday Two Ways to Belong in America - Complete the Requirements on this file: Mr. Gunnar's MC Strategies


    12/5 - Synthesis Essay Rubric (Page 1) - Sports Synthesis Prompt - via Mr. Gunnar


    Widmaier's letter (SOURCE I)


    11/10- 1/20 - due at end of quarter - Purple Hibiscus, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Dialectical Journal Assignment (at least 10 entries from throughout the novel) - to meet the author, watch the Ted Talk - Danger of a Single Story

    AP Assignments Quarter 1 - 9/5/14 - 11/7/14

    10/15-11/3 - Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway, Independent Reading & Writing Assignment

    11/6-7 - Multiple Choice On Laziness

    11/3-6 - Genetically Modified Foods Synthesis Essay

    10/9 - Joan Didion and Annotating/Graphic Organizer

    10/8 - "Bird" Passage and Rhetorical Effects

    10/7-Read Chapter 2 of Text and Review Terms at end of chapter, quiz Friday

    10/6 - Education Synthesis Essay Due10/3 - On Work - Read and complete the GUNNAR strategy

    10/3 Review Multiple Choice strategies 

    9/25  Summer Presentation

    9/24  I Just Wanna Be Average - reading and Multiple Choice

    9/15  Summer Reading Assignment Due

    9/12 Education Synthesis Essay- Due 10/6

    9/12 Hackschooling - Watch the video, consider the speaker's CLAIM about education. Read "Learning to Read" by Frederick Douglas, answer the first AP Simulated Question, and answer all of the Multiple Choice Questions. THEN CONSIDER: How was FREDERICK DOUGLASS a HACK-schooler?

    9/10 - Part 3 (see Below) for Langston Hughes' Theme for English B - Use the Discussion Questions & Completed SOAPSTone to help you formulate your response. Please follow the class model for the Suli Breaks' song.

    9/9 - Part 3 Common Core ELA - Noticings and Wonderings, Begin MODEL for Part 3 with Suli Breaks' piece; HW: Discussion Questions Theme for English B

    9/8    Literary Devices Informal Assessment and New Device Review Sheet- Link to Glossary of Terms

    9/5   Theme for English B Assignment- SOAPSTone

    9/5    Suli Breaks - I Will Not Let an Exam Decide My Fate - Lyrics



    MAY 2015 - AP English Language and Composition Exam-Check out the Handouts link -in this section- for more detailed information on writing the essays on the exam. Additionally, review AP CENTRAL to review student writing samples for each essay. Here's a quick summary:


    The argumentative essays reveal the students' ability to build/create arguments of their own from a prompt.

    The synthesis (Q1) requires that students include support from a selection of sources being provided, thus revealing the students' facility with selection and notation of source material to support the student's overall argument. (Review March24-31)

    The AP analysis essay (usually Q2 on the exam) is a rhetorical analysis of someone else's argument. Students are asked to select strategies they see the author using and show how those strategies effectively support a claim or establish a position. This essay shows how the student is able to deconstruct someone else's argument.  (Review March 17-21)

    The open argument (Q3) presents a premise or question for the student to argue. These are sometimes guided by a defend/challenge/qualify statement,but the last couple of years have been more philosophical in tone. In eithercase, the student must develop the argument and select all of the supportindividually. (Review April 1-April 8)

    Mar 4 - Independent Reading Project- Three Parts - 1) Chapter Analysis-due weekly (Fri), 2) Rhetorical Analysis-due Mar.30, 3) Project - due Apr. 7


    TED TALK of the WEEK



    Weekly Rhetorical Precis - Rhetorical Precis EXEMPLAR -

    Every Monday beginning February 3rd: TED Talk Rhetorical Precis- Please review the attached instructions. Other materials needed to complete this task successfully: SOAPSTone and Rhetorical Precis graphic organizers, a list of RHETORICALLY ACCURATE VERBS, and a list of TONE words.





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    Rhetorical Terms to know and LOVE:



    EXPLORE THE Advanced Placement Website:

    What is Rhetoric

    Room For Debate - NY Times site for Controversial Issues:

    Helpful Article on AP Credit in College:

    Inaugural Speeches at American Rhetoric :




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