The book In English, of Course follows a young girl’s journey in adjusting to life in a new country as she balances her pride with her desire to connect and adapt to the new heritages that are present. Josephine, an immigrant from Italy, struggles to communicate and connect with her American peers. Demonstrating how a child can find their voice in another language, and by extension, their agency, In English, of Course is as meaningful as it is thought-provoking.
In English, of Course depicts students from a wide array of backgrounds. These students share their heritage with each other and come together in their pursuit of learning English and maintaining their roots. Ling-Li, a student from China, talks about her culture while Juan, an immigrant from Puerto Rico describes his home country. Finally, its Josephine’s turn to share; she describes her old life and learns new English words simultaneously. She describes a story about a cow, a river, and a pig and making new friends. When her teacher asks her, “Did you live in a farm?”, Josephine struggles to find the words to explain the magnificence of Naples and the prestige of her parents’ professional background.
In her struggle to communicate, Josephine learns patience and learns new words such as “falling down,” “dragging,” and “push.” By the end of the book, she can communicate more effectively, and she is inspired to learn more English words. In English, of Course portrays an immigrant’s journey from uncertainty to empowerment.
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