Language & Literacy Narrative Brainstorm Sheet
Instructions: Please respond to the questions that follow with as much detail and description that you can. The more you put into reflecting now on the complexities of your language and literacy development, the better off you’ll be in completing our major assignment for our first phase of this course. Take as much space as you need.
When it comes to your experiences with language (speaking and listening) and literacy (reading and writing), what specific moments in your life can you recall that are particularly vivid or that emerge as being significant to you? Yes, it could be an example from your earliest memories of learning to speak, read, and write (in school or elsewhere), but it doesn’t have to be. It could be a memorable encounter—a moment of tension, confusion, or triumph. It could be about experiences developing additional dialects/languages and advanced literacies (i.e., learning to speak/write in different peer groups, at school, at work, with family, online, in different locations across the nation or world, etc. Please select 3 moments to describe. Then, explain why each is interesting or significant.
1. I would say that one memorable moment that I had when it comes to my experiences with language is the first time, I started learning a different language in middle school. The reason to why this is a memorable moment is because it was something new to me, something that I have never done before. This journey for me throughout middle school didn’t only involve confusion but also provided the satisfaction of triumph when I was able to accomplish something.
2. Another memorable moment for me is when I started to learn some phrases in my own language that way whenever I was back home, I would be able to communicate to my family better since English was not their strongest language. I remember the shock in their faces when they first started hearing me speak my home language again, it has been so long since they have heard me speak it. It is a moment that I will always cherish since it brought me closer to my family.
3. And lastly one other memorable moment that I have had is when me and family visited Japan. I am a fan of Japanese culture, so this was a trip that I was certainly looking forward to. In preparation for this trip, I decided to learn some phrases in Japanese that way I would be able to get out of my comfort zone and maybe talk to some of the people there. Let’s just say that I was thankful that I did. I felt like I was able to learn more of the culture through the people and how different things can be in Japan compared to NYC (spoiler alert it’s just a lot better)
What specific materials or artifacts (i.e., objects, writing, learning materials, pictures, video recordings, etc.) from your past can you locate/recall and that in some way represent a meaningful moment in your reading/writing development? This can be something like a journal or book, but also anything at all (e.g., a toy, piece of furniture, cereal box, art supplies, etc.) What memories and feelings can you extract from these examples you’ve gathered/recalled? Explain.
4. One thing that will always represent a meaningful moment in my life is when I first decided that I was going to journal. Although I don’t do it anymore, I started at a time in my life where you could say I was quite confused on who I was and what my purpose was. By journaling I was able to discover things about myself that I never knew was there and was able to come clean with my own emotions and come to a better understanding with them.
For better or worse, who and what impacted how, when, and why you developed your languages and literacies? Who in your family, at school, among your peer group, or in your community played a part? How did your particular situation or experience shape your literacy? That is, what sorts of issues, experiences, organizations, or life circumstances played a part? What kinds of languages and literacies did you gain from those people and your particular situation? How? Why? Explain.
5. I would say that generally speaking from my family, friends, and school peers they all had a positive impact when it came to the development of my languages and literacies. When it came to my family it motivated me to try and learn my language again that way, I am able to communicate with my family easier in the Philippines. When it came to school and trying to learn Spanish in middle school to Italian in High school not only my peers, but my close friends made learning a new language fun no matter how difficult it was. I was able to develop new skills through the help of the people around me in my life.
In what ways do you see your language, reading, and writing capabilities as having social consequences or impacting your life circumstances—that is, what advantages did/do you have and what disadvantages did/do you face as a result of your language and literacy learning?
6. I wouldn’t really say I have had any disadvantages when it came to my language and literacy learning since I’ve only really benefited through those experiences. I think that expanding my language and literacy skills opened a door of new opportunities for me in my life. Although it was a challenging journey all the failures that I have had only prepared me more for the future and continued to teach me more things.
How might your experience with language and literacy connect to larger social realities (e.g., of your life, family, generation, gender, race, culture, nation, geographic location, historical moment, etc.)?
7. I feel like my experiences in learning a new language will be able to connect me not only to my family better but also towards other ethnic groups that I may encounter throughout the entirety of my life. I think that this will give me more opportunities later on that I could look forward to.