In the text ‘Learning to Read’ by Malcolm X, and in the text ‘Mother Tongue’ by Amy Tan, both authors similarly present the topic of education. Malcolm X expresses the difficulties he experienced in obtaining a self-taught higher education and being impacted by others. On the other hand, Tan demonstrates how stereotypes can affect the perception of others to a particular race and limit their resources by writing about her mother and her own experience. Both texts have shown how peers, outsiders, and role models can influence our learning experience by being a motivation to improve our education or cause disturbance of it.
Many people have found a source of motivation from where they can get inspiration to achieve their goals. An example of this is Malcolm X, who during the time he was in jail, spent most of his time reading books to educate himself. According to the text, “Bimbi was one of the people who influenced Malcolm X to get an education, X was so shocked by Bimbi’s knowledge that he even tried to imitate him” (X Malcolm 1). The writer says this to show that his desire for self-study influenced by someone else. As a result, it allowed him to become a better-educated man equally to a person with an expensive education graduating from an honorable college.
Similarly, to the previous example, in the case of this famous writer named Amy Tan. She was inspired to become an English Major with the idea of demonstrating that her teachers were wrong by discouraging the path of Asian students in writing because they are better in math. Based on the text, ‘ teachers who are steering them away from writing’ (Tan 3). This quote means that people judge others based on stereotypes that may be wrong. It was one of the reasons why Amy Tan decided to challenge such stereotypes and was influenced to become a writer.
At the same time, people around us can cause certain disturbances in our learning experience. In the case of Malcolm X, it was the guard the patrol during the night to make sure the prisoners were sleeping. Who disrupts the writer’s way of reading because he had to be attentive to the guard not to get caught. The text states, ‘ I will read another fifty-eight minute until the guard approached again'(X Malcolm 3). This quote shows that Malcolm X was willing to make sacrifices for his education. Besides, no matter who was to interfere with his learning process, he was able to achieve his goal.
For Tan, her mother’s incapacity to communicate well in English was a limitation which affected her a lot in her education. The text supports, “the author felt that her mother restricted her in the development of her academy” (Tan 2). It means that Tan sees her mother’s failure to speak appropriate English as something that also impacts her negatively by reducing her resources. After all, Tan is a living image that shows that we perseverance everything is possible. Tan did not let her mother struggle with the English language to prevent her from achieving her goal.
Furthermore, the article called ‘Barriers to Every Day Communication’ by Nancy J. Foster gives some examples of how people influence each other in our daily life. The article upholds, ‘The frustration of feeling misunderstood and being unable to make ourselves understood by another person’ ( Foster, 2000). In concern with the previous texts, it shows the relationship between Malcolm x and Amy Tan, who in both texts, explains how their own and other disability has affected them both in their learning experience.
In conclusion, outsiders can have a significant influence on our learning development. They can be a constructive impact by motivating us to continue our learning goal or be disrupting and cause a distraction for us. Finally, the best recommendation that the reader can take away from these articles is always to pursue their goals and not give up because someone is not helping then to achieve it. Instead, take it as an inspiration to improve their self-knowledge and help others around them.
Tan, Amy. ‘Mother Tongue.’ Home Is Where The Heart Dwells. Guo, Rui, and Peter Tang, 2008. Web. 17 Sep 2019.
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