Class Notes: 10/10

Starts off with questions:


Discourse Community-text and language (little d)


Communities of Practice-other stuff, values, etc. + little d = “D”

  • Shared interests, involvements


Discourses come from Communities of Practice


Social, Political, and Recreational Communities: 

  • Communities are separate from communities of practice
    • If you’re not involved in some ways, you’re not involved in that community of practice.
    • Example: Moving to a different state and joining a new church, a different community of practice. 
    • John’s says that different ideas and viewpoints develop within a community of practice, since we are all part of different discourses, we bring those in with us. 
    • There would be no growth is everything was the same. We challenge each other and push each other. 


Want to target audience to be very focused and narrow so that you are able to determine the discourse.


Academic communities texts are supposed to be heavy and slow down the reader, you should have questions after reading them.


Class Notes 9/23

Class Notes: 9/23/13

  • Language is a way to identify yourself and other people
  • Why is it necessary to identify yourself in 10 different ways with many different languages in such a small region?
  • Our region ties our identity as well.
  • Being the right who, doing the right what.
    • Little d and Big D in discourse was relevant.
  • It was a little inconvenient to translate what she was saying during the reading, but it left an impact and forces the reader to understand what it is like to constantly translate what you are saying and writing in order to communicate with others.
  • Her language was very masculine and dominant so she would say Chicanas rather than Chicano because she was emphasizing that feminism is significant.
  • Gloria is literate because she knows when to switch her different discourses based on the situation she is in and who she is talking to.
  • How To Tame a Wild Tongue is referring to her home language as being a “negative thing,” so it’s interesting that the title of this describes her perspective of her language and how she feels there is a need to defend it.

Reading Response 5: How To Tame a Wild Tongue

As I read, How to Tame a Wild Tongue, I was very inspired and interested in learning more about the Chicano culture, language, and discourse. Gloria Anzaldua’s words were so powerful and it was evident that she was passionate about her language and identity. I found it extremely fascinating that Chicano Spanish is as diverse linguistically as it is regionally. Gloria explained that if you want to really hurt her, talk badly about her language. As I came to this point in the text, I began to realize that we are our language. I also began to examine myself and noticed that I can be rather defensive when it comes to my own home language. It makes me who I am today and it’s upsetting that some people would try to diminish that part of me. Before reading this, I had not put much thought into the concept that our language determines our identity, and that language and identity go hand in hand, but I’m grateful that this reality has now been brought to my attention. This was a defining moment when my perspective began to change as Gloria pointed out “to be close to another Chicana is like looking into the mirror.” We take our language for granted in America, mainly due to the fact that it is dominant in our society. English is a very powerful language and not only does it affect the culture of United States citizens, but it also influences the literacy, discourse, and culture of people who are not Americans. In addition to discourse and identity, Gloria explains, “Chicanos and other people suffer economically for not acculturating.” This is quite obvious in our country today. The struggle of identities and borders inside and outside of our country causes people to feel like “outsiders,” or people who don’t belong. There is a constant power struggle for people whose primary language is not English and it saddens me that they feel rejected because of that. It’s important to be considerate of other people’s language, culture, and discourse, simply because their language has every right to survive, just as much as ours does.

Notes for Reading Response 5

Free Write: What does discourse have to do with writing?

What does discourse have to do with writing?

 I would say that discourse plays a significant role in writing. The author typically writes to a certain audience and has certain purposes for their writing. A doctor’s discourse, meaning their language, value, dress, thinking, interacting, etc., is much different compared to an elementary school teacher’s discourse. This doesn’t necessarily mean that one or the other is wrong, it just proves that our discourses, primary and secondary, determine how we write, what we write, why we write, and who we are writing to. A school teacher that teaches first graders is going to use grammar quite different compared to a doctor. Even though she speaks differently on a regular basis, it doesn’t affect her knowledge or ability in comparison to the doctor.