Frank Smith once said, "One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way." In two different writings, it is shown how people who aren't able to master the English language experience hardship in their lives. In his excerpt from "Test Day" , Frank Bures describes the struggles and bleak future of young kids in Africa, while Amy Tan explains how a mother struggles in everyday life without proper English in "Mother Tongue" . Although Tan's essay and Bures' essay differ in audience and style, they both discuss the effects of not being able to speak a universal language, the struggles people face, and the frustration of others.
Both authors are similar in the way they started writing and made their breaks into the writing world. Frank Bures is a travel writer who made his first break by publishing Test Day in a magazine (Travel Writers) . Test Day is a true personal story of when Bures went to Tanzania to teach African kids the English language. The fact that he was chosen to teach them and the positive comments received from the kids gives Bures a great amount of credibility (Bures 510) . Similar to Bures, Amy Tan also made her first break through writing for magazines. One of her biggest achievements was producing The Joy Luck Club (Bio) . Just like Test Day, Mother Tongue is also a true personal story of Tan's mother which gives Tan credibility (Tan 417) . Both authors also went to multiple colleges in pursuit of different degrees before they settled to writing. Although both Tan and Bures come from different backgrounds their stories both talk about the struggles of learning a new language.
Even though both the stories discuss the same main idea and have a similar message, the purpose and audience intended for each piece is completely different. The purpose of Bures' story is to show how frustrating it is for a teacher to teach students without proper materials and how hard it is for the students to learn as well because of the poor conditions. In the passage it says "The walls of our classroom are whitewashed and the room is packed tight with desks and stools. The blackboard at the front is badly chipped and overhead are corrugated iron sheets, with one plastic panel to allow the su nshine through " (Bures 511). This shows the conditions in which the students had to study in and relates to people who have been in that situation or have been able to experience such conditions. The audience that this story is intended for is secondary school kids in Africa and other kids in poor countries. Similarly, Tan's story is also intended for teenagers, but in this case it is for teenagers who have parents who have a different first language. The story can also relate to older people who are from a different country and are trying to learn English . The purpose of " Mother's Tongue " is to show how language affects the way people are treated. Even though both of these stories were written almost more than a decade ago, they still relate to today's world.
Unlike Tan's essay, Bures makes his essay relatable to the children in Africa specifically because that is where the story takes place. Although the world has made many improvements in education and technology, there are still many rural areas that don't receive the necessary elements. Today, many places such as Africa and Honduras, don't have a proper education system and the schools are similar to the one describe in " Test Day " . This essay shines a light on such situations and brings people's attention to the extent of the adversity that is still going on.
"Mother's Tongue" , unlike "Test Day" relates to today's world in a completely different way. When it was originally written in 1991, there were many people immigrating into the United States from other countries. Today, there are more people entering the US looking for a better life and many of these people aren't proficient at English. This essay serves as an example to show how much of a struggle