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Mother Tongue by Amy Tan: How Does Tan Avoid Stereotyping

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Mother Tongue by Amy Tan: How Does Tan Avoid Stereotyping essay

Asian-American Stereotypes

In the article “Mother Tongue,” the author Amy Tan expresses her opinion on both the english language for asian-american stereotypes and their culture based on their degree and language “classes” during school years. As a writer of the story, Amy feels as if the teachers have been forcing asian-american students into math and science based classes and steering them away from english and writing based classes, therefore their english and grammar became “broken” or “limited”. Tan became shocked when she discovered that there has been very few Asian american students in Creative Writing and rarely any in American Literature, which concludes that the students do significantly better on math achievement tests. rather than in English tests. Which, on the other hand, led to her discovery that so many Asian-americans go into the fields of Engineering at college instead of other careers such as Psychology.

Since Tan is correct about Asian american stereotypes based on their grammar and career. I have to agree on her part to both my personal experiences, and stories I’ve read and summarized, however there’s also been more things going on other than just what Tan mentioned. Such as asian parents trying to force their kids to study in medical fields such as a doctor or surgeon, and then dragging them to study outside of school times and enroll them to classes outside of school. In fact, there’s also more going on for the stereotype other than just the english language on their part.

On the other hand, religion also plays a major role on the asian stereotype. From based on my experience, they’ll only have a set of expectations for grades, for nearly every subject they have on hand, especially math and english. But for Buddhists and/or immigrants, they expect that their kids make it to top colleges in the United States, such as Stanford, MIT, Harvard, Yale, any top ten colleges on the list. Which is also suspicious that their language may also become a different story for both inside and outside the classroom. For Catholics or Christians, only a specific amount of grades is decent enough. Getting into University of Texas at Austin, University Of Houston, Texas A&M at College Station, University of Texas at Dallas is more than enough for the religious asian stereotypes based on my experiences with mine and friends’ combined. Aside from that, there may be numerous occasions that will impact the Asian-American stereotype in the future.

There’s also been studies that Asian students end up doing crazy things such as rebelling once they reach college as studied by Philip Guo. Also on the other hand, they only go for Business, Engineering, and Medical fields in college, and rarely anyone of them go for something different at the beginning of the semester or the year. Like Amy Tan, her mother got her into a business major, but then she changed her mind and got into an English Major and started writing articles, and stories during her college years. At first when she started writing, all Tan did was use the English language that she grew up with and simplified it in order to get her mother to read because Tan claimed that she has numerous stories about her in mind. The language and terms may be “broken”, Tan spoke the differences between the chinese and english structures in the end, as well as improvising the differences. In the end Chinese stereotypes based on the English language is different from any other stereotype based on education.

The English language around makes an impact on any and all immigrant stereotypes by far, but not only that. As what Amy Tan had mentioned in the end, was about Asian-American students that spoke “English” that became a different story here and there. In which is heavily involved in Standardized Tests, as well as their skills and logic in math. Instead of the average stereotype on Asian-Americans, they don’t go for other majors due to the conflicts Amy Tan has mentioned, and go into a field of engineering. By which, may be their only chance UNLESS they take their chances in improving their English language as much as possible.

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Mother Tongue by Amy Tan: How Does Tan Avoid Stereotyping. (2018, December 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 22, 2022, from
“Mother Tongue by Amy Tan: How Does Tan Avoid Stereotyping.” GradesFixer, 11 Dec. 2018,
Mother Tongue by Amy Tan: How Does Tan Avoid Stereotyping. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 22 Sept. 2022].
Mother Tongue by Amy Tan: How Does Tan Avoid Stereotyping [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Dec 11 [cited 2022 Sept 22]. Available from:
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