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    Meza 1

    Melissa Meza

    Professor Ludlow-Mattson

    English 114

    02 October 2013

    Literacy Narrative:

    Reflective Cover Letter

    By writing this essay I wanted to explain to the reader the struggles that I had to endure in

    order to learn how to write in a secondary language at a young age and how I ultimately learned

    how to write in the English language. I wanted the readers to understand that it was important for

    me to acquire this language because I knew that it was necessary in order to do well in school

    and to become a successful individual in this country. I was not only working hard to acquire

    knowledge about something new, but I was also working hard in order to stop feeling like a

    failure and to assure myself that I am capable of accomplishing my goals and aspirations.

    Throughout this essay I accomplished all of the things that I wanted to accomplish by clearly

    explaining why it was important for me to learn how to write in a new language, the struggles

    that I had to endure, and how I learned to write using proper English. I provided examples to

    such situations such as when I was unable to answer questions correctly in front of my class,

    which made me feel humiliated and like a failure. Throughout my essay, I explained the primary

    method that I used in order to learn how to write in proper English, which was to copy the

    contents of children picture books and eventually chapter books. My determination to learn how

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    to write in a new language can be depicted in my essay when I describe all of the effort and time

    that I put forth in order to learn how to write in a secondary language.

    Throughout the course of time that I spent working on my literacy essay I learned several

    techniques about conveying ideas to a reader. By doing peer-reviews during class and reading

    several literacy narrative essays I learned many techniques that I in turn used in my essay in

    order to attract the readers attention. For example, by reading Superman and Me, by Sherman

    Alexie, I learned that a writer can convey ideas to a reader by using repetition. In my essay, I

    repeatedly stated why it was important for me to acquire a new language and what method I used

    in order to learn how to write in a secondary language as well as to improve my writing skills. In

    addition, by reading Sherman Alexies short essay I learned that a writer can also convey ideas to

    a reader by changing tenses within the writing in order to make the essay more personal.

    Throughout my essay I changed tenses several times in order for the readers to understand that

    my essay was my personal story and that acquiring a new language was very important for me.

    For example, I used present tense when I explained how my parents motivated my brother and I

    to try our best in school and I used past tense when I described the moments that I felt like a

    failure and ignorant for not knowing when to write correctly in English.

    My opinion of learning how to write in a secondary language remains the same after the

    completion of my essay as it was when I first began this essay. I am glad that I had to endure

    struggles in order to learn how to write proper English. I strongly believe that it is those struggles

    that I had to endure at a young age that have motivated me to put forth my best effort in all that I

    do in order to accomplish every single one of my goals and to ultimately become a successful

    individual. I am glad that I had to endure such struggles at a young age because they taught me

    the importance of acquiring a new language and the commitment that one must put forth in order

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    to accomplish their goals. In addition, learning how to write proper English by using the method

    of copying the contents of books have led me to improve my writing skills, enjoy writing, and

    encouraged me to want to earn a degree for journalism. My opinion with regards to my story

    remains the same to when I first began my essay because I learned several lessons, which include

    that I should always work had for what I want, I should never give up, and that I am more than

    capable of accomplishing my goals and of succeeding in life.

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    My English Endeavour

    I learned how to write in the English language when I was almost five years old. At that

    time my parents only knew a slight amount of English and my brother, who is only two-and-a-

    half years older than me, was still very young and unable to teach me a lot about writing in that

    language. He could only teach me how to speak from what he had learned at school, so I learned

    how to speak English by listening to him speak in English to me and by looking at illustrated

    cards that contained the English words above the subjects being portrayed. I also learned how to

    speak some English by attending pre-school. I do not recall learning much other than speaking

    English because it was similar to a day care center where we had more than plenty of time to

    play with our peers and most, if not all of them, spoke Spanish. I did not learn how to write in

    English at home because it was a secondary language. My primary language was Spanish. Both

    of my parents, who are Mexican immigrants, were only able to teach my brother and I how to

    speak and write in Spanish because that was the only language that they knew.

    I did not learn how to write in English until I entered kindergarten. I attended a bilingual

    school whose primary goal was to teach Hispanic students how to speak and write proper

    English and excel as bilingual students. I distinctly remember that my primary motivation upon

    first entering school was to learn how to write in English. I wanted to know how to express

    myself by writing in that language because I was aware that it was necessary in order to earn

    good grades and to succeed in school. I knew that I would make my parents exceptionally proud

    by acquiring and learning that language because it would open up many great opportunities for

    me in the future, which is what they have always desired for both my brother and I. During my

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    childhood and to this day my parents have repetitively told my brother and I that they want us to

    take advantage of every opportunity that we are offered and that we should always try our best in

    school in order to accomplish all of our goals and to become successful individuals. It was why I

    realized at an early age that I had to fully acquire the language in order to succeed in this

    country, which not only meant speaking English, but being able to know how to write it properly

    as well.

    I clearly remember that my kindergarten teacher began emphasizing that we would learn

    how to write the fundamentals of proper English throughout the course of that school year, which

    included how and when to capitalize letters, end sentences, and how to spell words correctly. I

    recall doing various activities in which she wrote words and phrases on the white boards

    repeatedly and as a class we would review what the words meant. After going over the meanings

    of each of the words and the phrases various times, the teacher would have each student write the

    words and phrases on their own. I always paid a great amount of attention to these lessons

    because I wanted to learn how to write without having to be assisted by others as soon as

    possible. I was like a child who really wanted a prize that the teacher was giving away, but in my

    case, the prize was learning how to write properly in a language that I had yet not fully acquired.

    Whenever I returned home, I would continue to practice writing the words and phrases that we

    had gone over in class that day until I memorized what they meant and how to spell them

    correctly.

    I practiced how to write a lot during my own time at home because I really wanted to

    write correctly without the assistance of others. Throughout certain days of every-other-week,

    my teacher would have our class write journal entries about random subjects. During most of the

    school year I would blank out and not know how to write many words correctly, capitalize

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    letters, or even when to end a sentence when we were given these assignments. These instances

    made me feel like a complete failure and greatly decreased my confidence as I observed other

    students writing with what seemed to be with no struggles at all. There were also instances in

    which my teacher would call on me to answer questions about how to spell certain English words

    and I did not know the correct answers. During those instances I felt very ignorant and ridiculed.

    As a result, when I returned home from school, I would read picture books that my parents had

    bought for both my brother and myself and I would then copy all of the books content on my

    own. Eventually, as the school year progressed I began to fully understand when to capitalize

    letters and when to end sentences. I even began to practice my writing during my lunch times

    because I began to enjoy writing and I was excited that I was finally learning