“Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan

The writing that selected for the critical analysis project is called “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan.

After carefully reading and analyzing the article, it can be stated that the author’s purpose in completing this work was to prove that the way people speak English does not indicate their intelligence. Various cultures pronounce specific words differently or use a limited vocabulary during communication; however, it does not mean that the representatives of these nations do not possess enough language abilities. My decision regarding the goal of this article is based on the author’s personal example. Even though people told her that she would never succeed in writing, she mastered the English language and became a writer.

The first key point supporting the purpose of the article is its subtitle – “Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover … or Someone’s Intelligence by Her English.” This sentence provides readers with the basic idea of the writing and establishes its purpose. It supports the main goal of the article by creating a foundation for it in one sentence. The second point is the story about Tan’s mother, who understands English perfectly, communicates with people, and reads magazine reports even though her language is “broken.” She experiences specific language barriers but freely discusses various topics with others; therefore, her pronunciation and vocabulary do not determine her intelligence. The third key point included in the article is the example of Asian-American students who mainly study math and science. While their English is not very good, it does not prevent them from succeeding at math and science; thus, English skills do not signify one’s intelligence.

I believe that the target audience of this article is individuals who participate in intercultural encounters daily. By writing this text, the author aims at showing that different cultures use different variations of the English language and teaches to become less judgmental of others’ pronunciations and vocabularies. The most obvious potential challenges that can be faced by the author are the audience’s counterarguments concerning the topic. Individuals may claim that there is only one right way of talking in English, and if people are unable to do so, it means they are not intelligent enough.