Written Language and Literacy Narrative

Written Language and Literacy Narrative

Cover Letter

In this writing piece, my intended audience was of course my classmates and professor. Following the prompt and intention of the Written Literacy and Language Narrative, I try to appeal to my audience through descriptive writing and transparency of my writing. This phase helped solidify the fundamentals taught to me previously in my AP English classes, while also allowing me to adjust to a college level English environment. In addition, the importance of making connections to real life strife and injustices was taught to me. During our SLLN, many of the presentations included difficulty adapting to this English speaking environment which persists as a social issue to this day, shunning and rejecting those who have poor spoken English skills from opportunities. A terminology that greatly impacted my learning this phase was exigence and seeking context along with an author’s background. Instead of just asking ourselves what the author tries to say, we should be looking at historical context, literal context, their purpose in writing the text and the personal reasons that led up to their publication of the text. This phase’s assignment helped me achieve many of the Course Learning Outcomes, such as number one, recognizing the empowering and oppressing power of language. In learning about the different dialects of English that many consider less intelligent and “ghetto”, I see how a large social group is lessened and put down at a lower level in the hierarchical society. By reading and listening to more experiences of others of language and accents while completing rhetorical worksheets, I am actively exploring and analyzing rhetorical situations of different genres, from speeches to narratives. Finally, in writing my WLLN, I improve greatly on the Course Learning Outcome number 3, rereading and collaborating with my peers to help improve my writing.


I was never much of an English or linguistics person. Growing up I’ve always had an aptitude for mathematics. Perhaps interpreting and finding deeper meaning in literary works was too difficult and subtle for me to handle. I needed exact answers. In math, I could learn a way to solve a problem, and continuously apply that same method to solve any similar problem. Reading a book was seldom something I did. I was not imaginative enough to visualize what I read, nor patient enough for books. Writing however, was different; I could express my ideas and creativity. Although I couldn’t imagine what authors attempt to depict, I could imagine what I wanted to depict.  

The first story I wrote was in fifth grade. It was about a pirate crew sailing the seas and exploring the world. Although this plot may seem out of the blue(pun intended), it spoke upon my longing to venture outside as well as establish deep connections with others. Spanning over twelve looseleaf papers, I was surprised I could write so much effortlessly. I sat myself in my room, stacks of looseleaf and rows of pencils at hand, and let my imagination flow. It played in my head like a full episode. Any silly decision my brain subconsciously makes, I write down. The end result was never really how I intended, eleven-year-old me would often get distracted and bored out very quickly. I’d consider the story to be about them finding treasure and fighting other pirates, but as I wrote on, I found myself changing the scope of the story. It went from them sailing as a newly established crew to fighting krakens (a mythological giant octopus that eats ships whole) and other gigantic creatures of the sea. Again, not exactly what I intended the course of the story to be, but nonetheless genuine and interesting as how I imagined it to be in my head. This freedom I felt and the rush in my head as I wrote became the initial spark for my enjoyment of English and writing. In math, I could browse my imaginary library of formulas and theorems, but when writing, it was more of an adventure. Subconscious paths that adventurers take which will lead up to the treasure. Each word, phrase, punctuation, and structure that I include into my writing is a choice among many choices, like the divergent paths in Robert Frost’s “The Road not Taken”. Although I won’t make all the right choices, the treasure will always be at the end of the writing piece; even if it may be more or less than what I anticipate it to be.

Initially it was intended to only be kept to myself. I thought to myself, “No eyes shall gaze upon the mockery that I have subjected the English language to in my story”. However after a few deliberations here and there, I finally decided to share it with my friends. At first I was hesitant, things like “how would they feel about it?” or  “Would they think I’m lame and nerdy for writing so much?”, silly concerns about my self image being modified by something I chose to do. But as I thought about it, things became clearer. If I’m only writing to myself, then what is the point of writing? I could just as easily write my daydreams on a piece of paper, and escape into them whenever I feel like it. Sharing your stories to others is a very surefire way to let people really know who you are. Maybe this was the way to form deep connections with others; by allowing them a pathway into the machinations of your mind. So during recess on a moderate fall school day, I grabbed my twelve page story held together by a paperclip, and walked around with it like it was the textbook for my next class. Of course, my classmates took notice: “Whatcha got there?”. It was nerve wracking. The moment of truth. I handed the paper over to my curious friend and eerily waited as he skimmed through each page. Each time he flipped the page, my heart dropped from where it started. No words, no change in facial expression from the initial curiously peering expression he had before. He finished reading, and was ready to give his judgement: “Hey it’s pretty good!”. These words felt like a divine spell casted to call for rain to end an eternity long drought. I thought that was it; I succeeded in sharing my story to someone, but like gossip on the streets, if one person knows, they must all know. Everyone saw me giving my friend the twelve page story and the sea of compliments and suggestions he is giving. So as the curious fifth graders that they are, came up and wanted a piece of the story. My story was getting passed around like the coronavirus (oops), everyone read it and by the end of recess, my entire class knew about my whacky pirate story. 

Garnering praise and admiration motivated me to continue writing. Even though I may not be the most voracious reader, I can still improve upon my English by continuously writing, revising and rereading. I get to read out my imaginations that are often lost in the hectic day at school, as well as to express my thoughts without the implications of following a prompt or identifying and supporting an author’s underlying message. For the first time, I actually enjoyed English and writing; something that was very rare for most non-native English speakers. I knew my stories were written poorly and underdeveloped, but it was fine for me. The flaws and jumble of information spread around like stacks of paper blown by a large gust of wind was needless to say a huge aspect of my writing pieces, but I was allowed to make those mistakes. Writing became my escape, the freedom from judgement and immunity to criticism. Writing for myself, I felt safe. Similar to my first storyI felt like a pirate, freely exploring my wild imaginations and unchained by the shackles of prompts and traditional writing conventions.

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