Literacy Narratives and Translations

Below is a selection of student literacy narratives produced in Emerson WR121: Research Writing Courses.

The Language of Empanadillas” by Amanda Flores: Mandy Flores focuses on learning a new language through experience and personal connection in this literacy narrative. She also writes about her experience translating that narrative to a podcast, which enriches the piece by allowing readers to hear the piece through Mandy’s own voice.

In those cooking lessons, we said almost nothing, yet conversed freely. We used words and phrases, but nothing considered proper. We built our own language, one in which she was able to speak freely about her childhood, culture, hopes, dreams, and I was free to do the same. We created an emotional connection with the motions, actions, looks, and choice cooking words/phrases. We were not limited by the rules of a “proper” language. A “proper” language, whether English, Spanish, or “classroom” Spanish, is built upon millions of words and grammatical conversions. Yet, we lose the emotional connection with one another because of the rules, and therefore lose the purest and strongest form of communication.”

Full text here.

Multimodal translation:

“Why settle for one world: a literacy narrative” by Firen Hodges: This literacy narrative connects Firen’s literacy development with her physical locations throughout childhood and in to college.

“My role in literacy has become something both intimately internal and external. I find that instead of focusing on the thoughts of others, we are encouraged to develop thoughts of our own. Reading provides a platform for discussion and writing is the official way of expressing it. Dreams of different worlds are filtered away. The issues of this present reality replace them. My previous means of escaping this world are now my means of facing it.”

Full text here.

Multimodal translation:

“Words” by Carrie Cullan: This piece focuses on literacy development in relation to siblings and the way the power the literacy has to transform your life.

“For my entire life, literacy has been my strongest power. I knew this from the moment I gained the ability, when every word I read opened magical doors of possibility, and every sentence I scribbled painted a masterpiece of wonder. I believe literacy, which I personally define as an identity and culture sensitive ability to communicate and understand with others, strengthened my understanding of the world and my self-identity.”

Full text here.

“The Refinement of a Country Bumpkin” by Dylan Walton: Relationships with literacy sponsors or instructors is addressed in this piece. Dylan focuses on his development as an orator in high school.

“To this day, [Mr. Kenneth Michael LaFrance] remains a close mentor and a closer friend, which is more than I could ever ask for and something I will always be grateful for. However, as much as Mr. LaFrance likes to think he “fixed me,” I look back and I don’t really think I was ever truly broken in the first place, yet I will admit, that he was a catalyst into me learning how to utilize the tools of language and speech that remain essential to every facet of my livelihood, but there is more to me than learning how to properly pronounce the word regime. Even though I may be refined now, I know that I will always honor my country bumpkin heart and all the color that comes with it.”

Full text here.

“How Music Speaks” by Anonymous: A literacy narrative that connects communication with musical literacy. This narrative takes a long view of the writer’s development of musical literacy.

“In my years of study as a musician, I have learned how much easier it is to communicate a feeling or idea with a melody then it will ever be with words. My ability to speak at all would be drastically different if it weren’t for music. To this day, any time I have pent up emotions, I pick up my guitar and try to play them out. It’s like speaking a language in a dialect.”

Full text here.

“Defining My Literacy Narrative Through ‘One’ Language” by Anonymous: A literacy narrative that explores speaking American and British English. This narrative complicates the idea of being “monolingual” and comments on discourse communities.

“Though I am happy with where I am today in my personal literacy narrative, I regret allowing others to dictate how it came to be. When I think back to my childhood, I wish I had embraced my accent and use of British English vocabulary. I focused too much on what others thought of me, and took it out on my own culture. Being ashamed of how I spoke or wrote effectively forced me to turn my back on my mother and grandparents, because I was ashamed that didn’t quite sound like those around me.”

Full text here.

 

Back to “Literacy Narratives, Genre Awareness, and Knowledge Transfer: A Case Study” from 4Cs 2016