Language Learning Autobiography

Like an art form to me

A creative process with many different layers, all taking shape to produce a masterpiece.

I was born and raised on a small island in the Pacific Ocean, where my parents spoke to my sisters and me in our native tongue at home, and grew up as a simultaneous multilingual.

Guam seal, satellite view of Guam, Tumon Bay, Two Lover's Point, latte stones, coconut crab, caribou
Where America's Day Begins

First languages (L1): Taiwanese & English

I acquired the English language from growing up in a community where English was the dominant language spoken and through my formal education.

Formal language school of Mandarin lessons took place twice a week after my regular schooling. Although I had earned a diploma at the age of seventeen, certifying my language proficiency equivalent to an elementary level, I have forgotten most of what I had learned.

Students writing sentences on board probably using provided vocabulary above (cut off in photo)

Learning to speak and read in Chinese during my early childhood included knowing a phonetic system, unique to Taiwan.

Consists of 37 (21 initials & 16 finals) characters and 4 tone diacritics

I became dependent on these phonetic writings besides the Chinese characters, particularly paying attention to the tonal marks to help myself read in general especially with the correct inflection. This was a difficult and necessary challenge to overcome, because it stopped appearing in textbooks after a certain grade.

In addition to learning Mandarin Chinese...

I chose to learn the Japanese language in high school to fulfill my foreign language requirements; I studied four years in high school, including honors program senior year, and four quarters in college.

I also took a quarter of American Sign Language in college for fun. I wish I took more classes.

Grateful that both my parents instilled in me the preservation of their native tongue.

Charlie Brown with American Sign Language alphabet letters on his dress shirt

Whether it is learning a second language or L1, both are lifelong process that take continuous usage and refinement in one's craft.

My last name means "yellow," thus "Through My Yellow Lens."
Created with images by Fæ - "Chinese Styles of Writing, China, ca. 1905-1914 (IMP-CSWC47-LS1-49)" • avrene - "Layers" • Lel4nd - "Guam Seal" • NASA Earth Observatory - "Guam" • shishamo72 - "PC045188" • aaronx - "2008-01-20_00-18-39.t.jpg" • jetalone - "Latte stone" • ninacoco - "latte stone" • aaronx - "2008-01-11_23-37-11.s.jpg" • skeeze - "crab coconut macro" • delphinus18 - "Carabau" • Free Grunge Textures - - "Guam Grunge Flag" • DOTCALM9 - "Bougainvillea" • <cleverCl@i®ê> - "Chinese class" • The Wu's Photo Land - "Sam's Chinese homework today was to write about her hometown. She chose to write about Siping. #四平 #chinahometown" • timtak - "Texture" • A.M. Kuchling - "Charlie Brown: Charlie Brown Understands American Sign Language" • A.M. Kuchling - "Charlie Brown: Charlie Brown Understands American Sign Language" • avrene - "Layers"

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