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Yasmin Al Buainain Dr.

Jan Rieman 18th September, 12 English 1101 Literacy Narrative Draft #1 My Literacy Narrative

Al Buainain 1

I was born and raised in Saudi Arabia, a country that speaks perfect Arabic like what every Arab country would claim. Yet, some cultural and social barriers kept me from learning Arabic in an early age. I intend to spend most of my time inside the house with my mother who barely spoken in Arabic and made friends with her non-Arab friends children. As much as I have benefited from encountering my mothers multinational friends, I also almost failed in my own mother tongue. My father used to speak to me in Tagalog or English because he saw me struggle to understand what he says in Arabic, he just did not want to give me a hard time at all. Well, by the time I was supposed to be ready for my school, I was still very poor in Arabic language. I hated school very much because it was too difficult for me understand what my teachers and classmates say, I could not even complete a whole day at school, they always ended up calling my father to pick me up because I was drowning in my own tears. My father then realized that I have to learn Arabic as soon as possible before this matter would result in getting me expelled from school. I started by memorizing short Surats from the holy Quran. I did not know what they meant that time but my father did a good job in explaining and reciting them to me (he had to recite them for me to memorize because I still could not read and write in Arabic). So my school took part in teaching me alphabets and how to read and write while my dad polished it every single day. Despite the fact that I made a fuss in the school on my first few weeks, I still managed to make friends who really helped my Arabic literacy. Little did I know, I actually started talking in Arabic with my father and siblings, I do confess that they always make fun of how words would come out of my mouth but that only encouraged me to be better and more fluent I suppose.

Al Buainain 2 As soon as I became fluent in Arabic which is supposed to be naturally, I started drawing my attention to my English literacy. I mentioned earlier that my father would speak to me in English sometimes rather than Arabic. Ever since I was a child, my mom always encouraged me to watch Disney cartoons to adapt the English language in an early age. I was 13 years old when I started reading books in English. The first English book that I have read is Sabrina the Teenage witch. I remember hesitating to buy one her books because I was too unconfident to actually read a book in English. Subsequently, I have begun reading novels that really built up my English literacy. My favorite novel was Born under a Million Shadows by Andrea Busfield, this book is absolutely amazing. Its about a young man from Afghanistan who fought for his country under the Talibans cruel regime at Afghanistan, with a glimpse of his touching love story with a beautiful Pakistani girl as he described. I just could not get enough of that book when I first read it, I used to write down new words and phrases then look them up in the dictionary. I also tried using some of the words but after some time, I became conscious that there are certain words in English that is written but maybe not spoken, like; Thus it just did not sound right when I used it in my sentence while talking. I would say that this book definitely contributed on my reading skills in English. Writing in English was and still a challenge for me. Studying Academic English oversees helped me a lot to enhance my writing skills and specially my spoken language as well. For some reason, I just found writing a bit hard for me; I was always short of words and vocabularies. Until one day, our teacher asked us to write not for the whole entire time in class, but for a whole day! Dr. Zia wanted us to communicate, say what we feel, plan our day and talk about what we are doing and what we are about to do, only by writing. Dr. Zia spent that day with us students and took us to different places around the city, all we did that was writing. I remember he gave us a long list of expressions and adjectives that we can use in our writing to express ourselves in different ways, I also recall him saying you can laugh in your writing, dont be too shy eh. Consequently, writing is not too hard and difficult. Although, sometimes I still struggle to find words to write about certain topics. But overall, I would say that my several experience in writing made a great deal in my English literacy.