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Even though people do not recognize my language, mentioning the two Filipino languages that I speak thrilled me.
Everyone listened carefully as I barely payed attention because my mind was somewhere else. When my part came I read, “I have plenty of time to beat that tawr-toys(tortoise)...” My classmates bursted out in laughs and I wondered why until my teacher corrected me and said, “It’s tawr-tuh-s.” Then, I continued reading as I tried to ignore the fact that I just mispronounced the fancy word for a different kind of turtle and embarrassed myself in front of my classmates.
But, after that I realized that it really didn’t matter because I learned something on that day.
Language is not only important because it helps us connect and communicate with people but, it teaches us life lessons and help us value different cultures.
Throughout the years, I realized that I did not have a reason to be ashamed of my language.
Until one day, I pronounced a word in literacy class wrong.
We were reading a story in our literacy books as we gathered in a full circle as a class.Then, a student brought me down to the rustic basement for my first class, Art. The teacher’s face lit up as she came towards me and introduced herself. ” I lost my words so, I gave my teacher a humble laugh while the sound of the heater and shuffling of papers filled the silence in the room.My look of embarrassment gave away to everyone how I felt.It does not matter if you mess up your words or your pronunciation because it doesn’t change who you are as a person.It will only change the way you speak because you learn as you go while becoming a better speaker.Even though my language fascinated people, I felt ashamed of it.No matter how much I wanted to announce that I can speak another language I only kept it to myself at school as I tried my best to pronounce words and speak in English correctly.“Ethnic identity is twin skin to linguistic identity-I am my language.My ability to speak different languages did not only teach me to understand my struggles in a language such as English but it helped me understand the situations of others as well.If you learn how to accept and use your native language, you will value your culture and heritage. They bugged me and pleaded if I could even say one word in my language.One day, two of my classmates turned around from their seats to ask me if I can speak my language. As they continued, I ignored them until they would stop which they did.