New Language, Better Identity
In a personal narrative titled “Native Tongue-Twist,” I described my transgression from only being able to speak Spanish to learning English as well as assimilating to the American culture. During this process I fulfilled the role of shifting identities, which Bronwyn T. William discusses in his work Heroes, rebels, and victims: Student identities in literacy narratives. The Shifting of my character from a positive, as I progressed in the United States, to negative as my knowledge of Spanish deteriorated proposes that the passage “not all identities students adopt in literacy narratives are empowering or positive,” is true. However, although the degradation of my character may be true due to my loss of a deeper understanding of Spanish, Suresh Canagarajah in Translingual Practice propogates that in essence I created a richer identity in doing so.
In his work Canagarajah proposes the notion that the practice as well as the skill of being able to conduct codemeshing which is what I do now that I am bilingual, leads to a better form of communication than monolingualism. Therefore, although I may have lost proficiency in one of my languages, they both are complementary to eachother by knowing the other since “all languages contain some form of translingual practice”. Because of this I can further argue my point that my shift in identity is not uncommon, since the Sri Lankan youth Canagarajah introduces suffered the same outcome when introduced to foreign languages, and it ultimately initiates an even more positive identity than before.