Peer Review

Your name:Kamel 

Reviewing: KARA

Evaluation Criteria for the Exploratory Essay – Peer Review Worksheet
Stance. Are new and more complicated ideas/conclusions pulled out from the synthesis to establish the writer’s thesis/stance? Is the thesis relevant, explicit, specific, qualified, and complicated?  The stance is built on the idea that Black English is rejected as a language which is a stance I haven’t heard before, it is relevant to our time since slang is a large part of this generations culture.          
Evidence. How effectively are ideas and sources delivered and developed in the essay? How effective, specific, and appropriate are the examples and passages used? How effective is the relationship between thesis and evidence? How well are the writer’s ideas distinguished from the ideas of sources? All the evidence used correlated to the ideas being presented, and she used a good amount where she had enough to back up her points while also not being overbearing and consuming the paper.          
Summary and paraphrase. How effectively and accurately does the essay introduce and summarize the rhetorical situations and main ideas from each source used? How effectively are more specific ideas/passages paraphrased? The main ideas are supported by evidence but her main points are all her own, each piece of evidence is described in her own words.            
Synthesis. How effective is the synthesis in the essay? Are the perspectives across texts treated dialogically and are the relationships across texts named explicitly—are ideas from across texts shown as supporting, extending, complicating, and/or challenging one another? Each idea has its own section where the idea is explained and supported, all the ideas support one another and come together to support the thesis of the paper.            

Critical Analysis Essay

Kamel Williams

April 28, 2020

English Composition

New York City is a melting pot of thousands of people from many different cultures. When they immigrate to the United States in search of opportunities in her infamous city trying to take a bite of the Big Apple, they bring along various customs and languages with them. Unfortunately, not everyone can be appreciative of cultures that are different from their own living in the same city as them. article that I chose to read was one published by the New York Times by the name the title “Man Threatens Spanish-Speaking Workers: ‘My Next Call Will Be to ICE.’” This article written on May 18 of 2018 reports a racist and xenophobic encounter between a white customer and the Spanish speaking staff working at a restaurant called Fresh Kitchen. The article is complemented by a video of the whole incident. The video shows a white man yelling and berating the workers for speaking Spanish and criticizing the management for allowing such an encounter where the staff communicates with the customers in Spanish. He then continued on to remind them of their geographic location, emphasizing the ‘America’ as he yells “this is America.” He even went as far as to threaten to call ICE (the Immigration and Customs Enforcement) claiming that their lack of English diction mean that they must’ve been illegal and didn’t belong there and could be removed if he or any other xenophobic nativist with a phone pleased to do so. This video prompted responses from many angry viewers on social media platforms and even a statement condemning the man’s actions.

This video was just utterly disrespectful and hard to watch. The United States of America has a long history with its clouded sense of national identity, false sense of exceptionalism and history of mistreatment received by minorities, in this case Hispanics, from the majority group which are also known as white people.on major misconception held by xenophobes is the belief that English is the set and official language of this country, that is in fact false. The entire United States of America does not have an official language at the federal level.  What the english language is actually the de facto language of this country, seeing as it is the language used mainly for communication. It works more like a  lingua franca, it is not the arbitrary language of the land and therefore not the language that all its inhabitants should be able to speak in order to consider themselves to be American or determine their right to be here or not.  Another issue is the outlook on immigration and the automatic association of Latin Americans as foreign and not . New York is what is known as a sanctuary state when it comes to immigration meaning that they are a bit more lax when it comes to their immigration policies and shouldn’t be as surprising considering the fact that a good percentage of its population and even as we see now, it’s essential workers are immigrants.

This view of English by the man of the video is similar to the second myth discussed in the book Language Myths by Bauer and Trudgill. The second myth of the book is entitled “Why are some languages not good enough?” This chapter is written by Ray Harlow and it  speaks on the ways in which a language may be considered useful and based on the settings. The chapter even goes on to state that ”all languages are capable of expressing the same range of structural meanings.” 

It doesn’t come much as a surprise that there was Spanish dialogue within the city setting. According to worldatlas.com, Spanish is the second most spoken language in New York. It in fact makes up 49 percent of the linguistic population. This huge population doesn’t go unrecognized. Usually official state governments are written both english and also in Spanish due to the vast majority of spanish speakers in the country. Businesses would even record and advertise their products and services they offered in spanish in hopes of appealing to the huge spanish speaking populating 

This video reflects an attitude held by a scary amount of people. This view that English is superior to other languages is an unfair and unkind view. That vision is what deserves to be deported, not the innocent workers. However, this is unfortunately not a very uncommon outlook and attitude. 

EE Final Draft

Here is where I paste in my EE Final Draft.

Kamel Williams April 1, 2020

Freshman Composition

Êtes-Vous Français? The Struggle of the Second Generation Maghrebian Citizens in their quest for Cultural Citizenship

Everyone is born with the need to belong. Whether it be to an institution. cultural group, or even a national identity, we all yearn to be a part of something bigger than us that helps to give us a sense of identity. Citizenship is defined by Oxford Dictionary simply as “the position or status of being a citizen of a particular country,” but what happens

when you are denied citizenship to the culture of the country you were born in? No one knows this to be more true than the second generation children of immigrants originating from the Maghreb region of North Africa, including Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria, living in France.This group, although citizens by virtue of being born in France, are not accepted into the culture and also not recognized as a separate group from

mainstream France. I will focus on on how the French’s attitude of treating minorities, their ideas of what constitutes citizenship and their attitudes heavily impact the

marginalization of this predominantly Muslim, Arabic and French speaking minority group. The goal of this essay is to show the treatment of these people and the response to their cultural exclusion by declaring themselves French and claim that it plays a role

in their own identities regardless of who might disagree with them.

The vast population of France holds the belief that being french is more than just being born and or raised on French soil. To the mainstream society it is believed that to be french you must fit into what is stereotypically french, not necessarily wearing a beret or holding a baguette but rather being typically of caucasian descent. It is also a

requirement to claim France as your only culture and nationality. This of course can be very problematic and such is the case for the focus group of our essay. s Dr. Jean Beaman, Assistant Professor in Sociology at the Ubiversity of California Santa Barbara’s, in her book, Citizen Outsider: Children of North Africa Immigrants, asserts that the belief of what it takes to be French is dependent on racist and xenophobic

ideals. She backs up this claim by going to France and interviewing forty five different second generation magribean immigrants specifically in areas of Paris and it’s

roundabouts and compared the ideas of politics and republicanism and feelings of nationalism to France of her interviewees to better understand the general feeling of Maghrebean descendants surrounding the issue of their marginalization. Dr. Beaman appears to write in hopes of finding the root of the marginalization due to racial ethnic origin in order to bring to light the racist and xenophobic idea of citizenship and french

exceptionalism. One of the important things we learn from Beaman is France’s attitude towards the recognition of her racial groups is different from that of the American

method. Here in America, they are counted to see how much of the individual groups

make up a percentage of the population, creating the idea of the majority and minorities. France is a little different. France’s national motto “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité,” is said

with the goal of gaining equality for all french citizens, leading to the idea of categorizing different racial, religious and ethnic groups is viewed as discriminatory and contradictory to the belief of égalité, or equality. This leads to marginalization and discrimination to certain groups and no sure way of understanding the number of these groups and how to address these issues. One of the interviewees, Khadijah, a 46 year old frenchwoman of Moroccan descent stated, “we are invisible in the eyes of our national government…

it would be better to know how much of people like me are there than feeling like an outsider in my own country”.

Language is also a very important part of citizenship. France’s official language French is famous for being la langue d’amour, or the language of love. French has been the

language of the french for centuries and it is the surest way to prove to someone how french you really are. However, what happens when french is not the language that the people of France speak? What happens when the latin script is not the first thing that children learn to read and write and what they do learn is a language has a completely different writing system. That is the case for most of the second generation french citizens and while learning the language of their home and of the streets simultaneously, they may sometimes confuse the complex french grammar or apply

rules of arabic grammar to a french sentence. In her narrative, Mother Tongue, american writer Amy Tan asserts that different types of english have been adapted by

immigrants due to their adjustment to american culture by addressing the belief of what is considered standard english and what is seen as seemingly the lingua franca of

immigrants, broken english.Due to how differently she speaks English, she is often

looked down on and not taken seriously by those with a different perception of what English should sound like. On the last paragraph of the second page, Tan states, “I think my mother’s English almost had an effect on limiting my possibilities in life as well.” As Beaman points out, this is also true for most of the people of Maghrebean

descent. The Maghreb encompasses three different countries where Arabic is the first language and due to colonialism, French was widely spoken and incorporated in the Arabic language. This led to the first generation immigrants to have some level of communication in French but it was not always enough fluent, leading to their children acting as their translator. This can sometimes lead to the parent being regarded as uneducated and the child, unable to learn from the parents, uneducated as well and

being perceived as foreign. This can be extremely stressful for these second generation Maghreb and can sometimes lead to them repressing their language and culture in an attempt to fit into what is considered more French which brings us to my third source.

(Beaman, Citizen Outsider:Children of North African Immigrants in France)

The struggles faced by these children linguistically are very exhausting. This negative outlook can lead to them feeling excluded, marginalized and ashamed of their own culture and backgrounds. On September 13th, 2018, Nadia Daam wrote an article entitled “I Know Why I Don’t Get a Word of Arabic,” in the French magazine Slate FR. She is a second generation Frenchwoman of Alegerian descent. She recollects her experience growing up ashamed of her parents’ native tongue. She would adamantly

refuse to understand her parents when they spoke to her in arabic and would, after a period of time end up losing her skills in arabic. She reflects on how the same people who bullied her as a child growing up because of her linguistic capabilities turned around to be patrons of the language themselves, learning and boasting it in their complicated subjects.

Chicana femenist writer, Gloria Anzaldua, in her semi-autobiographical book,Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, published in 1987, addresses the topic of mexican american identity and argues that her mixed cultural upbringings allow her to form her own vision of her identity. Anzaldua’s purpose is to provide her readers the reason why the Mexican American Chicano language evolved the way it did in order to show the treatment and outlook of different groups given to people of Chicano descent . Though Anzaldua’s presented Mexican American response to marginalization in creating a new method of communication and method of self identification is different from the French Maghrebean approach, their circumstances are rather very similar.

Anzaldua states that these chicanos are not fully accepted by the culture of their parents and would be considered a foreigner if they were to go to their family’s country of origin while at the same time they are seen as foreign and outsiders in the country they were born and raised in. Similarly, the second generation Maghrebeans oceans away are in a very comparable situation. They were born in a country that questions their “Frenchness” because of their religion and culture and when they return to the bled

(arabic for country or homeland), they are thought of as too foreign to understand the issues and customs there, too “Frenchified.”

Work Cited

  1. Anzaldúa Gloria. Borderlands -: La Frontera. Aunt Lute Books, 2007.
  • Beaman, Jean. Citizen Outsider Children of North African Immigrants in France.

University of California Press, 2017.

  • Daam, Nadia. “‘Je Sais Pourquoi Je Ne Pige Pas Un Mot D’arabe, Qui Est Pourtant Ma Langue Maternelle.’” Slate.fr, 13 Sept. 2018,

www.slate.fr/story/167168/langue-arabe-maternelle-oubliee-honte-intergration-ecole-me dias-famille.

  • Tan, Amy. “Mother Tongue.” [Threepenny Review 1990; 1989.] The McGraw-Hill Reader: Issues across the Disciplines. Ed. Gilbert H. Muller. 11th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill , 2011. 76-81. Print.

Researched Exploratory Essay

Here is where I will introduce the goals of the EE.

Kamel Williams

March 24, 2020


France is one of the oldest and most popular countries in the continent of Europe. With its vast colonial stretch, many different areas of the world were once colonies of France, most notably for the purpose of this essay, The Maghreb. The Maghreb refers to the francophone Arabic speaking areas of North Africa that were once under French colonial authority. These countries include Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria, which also happen to be the areas from which the majority of immigration to France occur from since the 1960s. This essay focuses on the islamophobia, marginalization and racism faced by these immigrants and their children. Despite their legal french citizenship achieved by  either birth or naturalization, the exceptionalist French Society does not allow for them to be regarded as french, denying them cultural citizenship. I will explore how the legal colorblindness of a society affects those living in it.

Rhetorical Precis of Sources

  1. Chicana femenist writer, Gloria Anzaldua, in her semi-autobiographical book,Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, published in 1987, addresses the topic of mexican american identity and argues that her mixed cultural upbringings allow her to form her own vision of her identity. She supports this claim by providing personal anecdotes as well as historical data. Anzaldua’s purpose is to provide her readers the reason why the Mexican American Chicano language evolved the way it did in order to show the treatment and outlook of different groups give to people of Chicano descent. She adopts a passionate tone for her audience, the readers of Mother Tongue and others interested in the topic of Chicano SelfIdentity.
  2. In her narrative, Mother Tongue, american writer Amy Tan asserts that different types of english have been adapted by immigrants due to their adjustment to american culture by addressing the belief of what is considered standard english  and what is seen as the lingua franca of immigrants, broken english.    By supplying the reader with information about  her mother’s  and  her very own experiences,Tan builds her claims about  how the type of english spoken by immigrants can cause them to be looked down on. Amy Tan wishes to convey to readers the importance of being mindful of the hurdles faced by those who don’t speak the standard english  in order to change the way in which broken english is associated with a certain type of people with a certain level of education.The author’s audience likely consists of those interested in language and association to intelligence as is evident through her references to her mother and how she would be perceived by those around her.
  3. In the narrative, Citizen Outsider: Children of North African Immigrants by author Dr. Jean Beaman, Assitant Professor in Sociology, asserts that cultural exceptionalism is alive and well in France and suggests that the belief of what it takes to be French is dependent on racist and xenophobic ideals. She backs up this claim by doing the following: first, she goes to France and interviews 45 second generation magribean immigrants specifically in areas in Paris and it’s roundabouts next she compare the ideas of politics and republicanism and feelings of nationalism to France of her interviewees to that of an average French citizen. Beaman appears to write in hopes of finding the root of  the marginalization due to racial ethnic origin in order to bring to light the racist andxenophobic idea of citizenship and french exceptionalism. Because of the author’s passionate and informative tone, it seems as if she writes for both a french and international audience.
  4. Writing for well known Newspaper,The New York Times, Craig S Smith, in his article, “French Born Arabs, Perpetually foreign, Grow Bitter,” , published December 26, 2003, addresses the topic of racism and marginalization of Arabs, arguing that they have been alienated from French society due to their foreignness. He supports this claim by providing historical context, quoting political authority and interviewing people to hear their views on the situation. Smith’s purpose is to spread awareness of the issue in order to speed up a change in the way these people are marginalized and treated. He adopts a formal and informative tone for his audience, the readers of the article and others interested in the topic of immigration.


In this essay, I plan to use all four of my chosen sources to provide as much accurate information to my readers surrounding my topic. The first source I will be talking on is a course text. Using the narrative written by Amy Tan, I will connect with the way in which Tan’s mother used an English that was less than traditional standard American English to the French spoken by Maghreb immigrants and their children and how it is viewed by the typical French public.

The second and one of the most central sources I will be focusing mainly on is another course text by the name of Borderlands written by Gloria Anzaldua. I will compare the feeling expressed by the author throughout the book of feeling like she was not fully accepted by her cultural Mexican community and feeling like a foreigner in her native country to the similar feeling Maghrebian immigrants feel in their native France and the impacts it has on their perception of their identity.

The third source is from the New York Times. This is the oldest source but it’s antiquity is relevant to its purpose in my essay. This essay is from 2003 and will show how little things have changed in terms of outlook and marginalization of these Maghrebean communities. The fourth and  final source I will be using is Jean Beaman’s Citizen Outsider: Children of North African Immigrants in France. This is the most essential text to my essay as it provides statistical data and insight from a large group of people of Maghrebean descent.

Work Cited

  1. Beaman, Jean. Citizen Outsider Children of North African Immigrants in France. University of California Press, 2017.
  2. Smith, Craig S. “French-Born Arabs, Perpetually Foreign, Grow Bitter.” 26 Dec. 2003, https://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/26/world/french-born-arabs-perpetually-foreign-grow-bitter.html.
  3. Anzaldúa Gloria. Borderlands -: La Frontera. Aunt Lute Books, 2007.
  4. Tan, Amy. “Mother Tongue.” [Threepenny Review 1990; 1989.] The McGraw-Hill Reader: Issues across the Disciplines. Ed. Gilbert H. Muller. 11th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill , 2011. 76-81. Print.

Language and Literacy Narrative Final Draft

February 24, 2020

Learning to read is an experience often accompanied by a sense of accomplishment and pride after having finished your first book. It is usually met with encouragement from those around you to hone this valuable life skill. Well, this was true for me within the walls of my home but at school, I was met with a different reality.

I was born to a Cuban immigrant family in Clarendon, Jamaica. Most of my family members fled their homeland due to the political climate and came to this foreign land not knowing a drop of English or the island’s creole. I was therefore educated in the language they were most comfortable in, Spanish. My first words were in Spanish and so were the words of the book I ever learned to read at three and a half years old. I remember the first book I ever read named “Cenicienta”, the Spanish counterpart of Disney’s Cinderella. I remember tripping over words like “cascarrabias” and wondering if my madrina was a hada like Cenicienta’s. Classic fairy tales surrounding evil witches and beautiful princesses pricking their fingers on spinning wheels seemed to be my main interest while learning to read. I remember one instance when for Christmas, my grandmother sent from Cuba a vintage storybook entitled “Blancanieves,” the Spanish version of the tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. I was so excited to read it that I finished it that very night. 

 My family was impressed with my ability to read fluently at such a tender age and decided to send me to preschool. I was so excited to go to school and learn how to do new things and more about the world around me, however, my teachers did not share in my excitement. When I began school, I was met with xenophobic abuse by my educators and peers because I did not speak the same language they did. I was presumed to be disadvantaged because I had not learned “the language of the land.”

Jamaica is an English-speaking country with virtually no Spanish speakers outside the few that are employed to teach the language throughout the island.  Everyone who attended and were employed at my primary school were unable to teach me due to our language barrier. They blamed my mother for not having taught me English and taught me a language that was” useless” to my education. I was seen as a lost cause and was seated at the back of the class for they feared that I would distract my classmates with my “gibberish.” I would sit in the back of a class of fifty students trying to get the teacher’s attention when I would hear my fellow classmates trying to pronounce their letters. “Porque ellos están repitiendo ese sonido “buh”?”  I would ask myself, confused by the sound of my classmate’s annunciating the sound of their letters. The teachers gave up on me before they even tried, but my mother did not. She tried her best to teach me a language unfamiliar to her, studying English grammar from thick textbooks for hours to later turn and teach me and my siblings the simplified version of what she had learned. She would play games with us, label every item in the out with both their Spanish and English counterparts. Las luces turned into lights and the word “carpet” rolled off my tongue faster than “alfombra” ever did. By the age of 5 I was reading far above my grade level and had an impressive vocabulary. 

I would read the Spanish tales and compare them to their English counterparts and notice the difference in grammar and realize expressions unique to both languages and false cognates, for example, “morro viejo nunca sera buen cristiano” doesn’t really make sense when translated to english and “un delito” is definitely not a delight.  I would go on to read books from the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series to reading Franz Kafka at age 12. 

I developed a love and great appreciation for literature and its connection to language. Questions regarding slang and idiomatic expressions began to float around my head like “why is it that in English we call a toilet the john,” or questions like “why do we in the Dominican Republic ‘estoy en olla’ when they are not saying anything related to being in pots?”  I became obsessed with highlighting expressions that would not translate well in the two languages before learning a couple more to add to the mix. By the time I was 15, I was reading Alexandre Dumas’ “Les Trois Mousquetaires” and translating the dialogue to Italian to see how different the two really were.

Reading has grown to be my greatest superpower and one of the most impactful skills in my life. I enjoy burying my nose in the pages of a novel and analyzing texts a few centuries my senior. I never seem to get bored while reading and could do it for hours on end.  I don’t exactly have as much time for reading stuff I personally am interested in as I did during the earlier years of my youth, but I have continued to analyze and collect books outside my course required materials. Contrary to the previously widely held belief that learning to read and write Spanish first would leave my intellectually impaired, I have used the Spanish language as the basis for learning four other foreign languages and further my thirst for knowledge. It has also played a key role in me deciding to pursue a profession in Education, specializing in teaching children with English as a second language. 

Language and Literacy Narrative

MAY 20, 2020

Here is where I will introduce the goals of the LLN.

This assignment was the most enlightening in a most unexpected way. I was made to call upon the literary experience, well literary experiences rather, that I had as a child. That originally was particularly hard for me. I thought to myself, how do I confine the skills I have acquired and the related experiences I’ve been through in the past to fit the academic standard and college level grammar. This was my biggest worry while writing an outline for this paper, however, as soon as I realized that this assignment really had no censorship of my linguistic skills and my multilingual sentence. After that realization, pen was put to paper and I just took off flying. I was reminded of the hurdles I had to face just to get to where I am and the little words of encouragement that kept me going.

My absolute favorite part of this assignment was surprisingly the peer review. This assignment not only allowed me to reevaluate and better appreciate my accomplishments, but it also introduced me to two of my peers with a completely different experience than mine that were simply amazing. It is through our narratives that we fostered a friendship that I had no expectations of having in the first place. 

Self Reflection Essay

Kamel Williams 

Self Reflection Essay

Of the three major essays that we have done in this class, I feel like the essay that truly helped me achieve the objectives set by this class is the second essay we completed. This was by far the most dense essay I have written during and prior to this class. My essay focused on the attitudes of the  French public towards the second generation Maghrebean population of France and specifically on how they are marginalized due to their cultural differences. 

This essay focused on how society sets a standard of how they believe things should be and if one is not in accordance with said guidelines, they do not make the cut. They are seen as foreign because their predominant religion isn’t the French Christianity which one thinks of when they think of France. The language they grew up hearing from their parents, Arabic, was not synonymous with the French culture and was believed to make them too foreign to be French despite having been born there. I feel like this essay’s main thesis helped with the achievement of the first outcome which as it states, helped me to  “recognize the role of language attitudes and standards in empowering, oppressing, and hierarchizing languages and their users.”  It showed how two sides of the objective actually. The sources uses by me showed how some spoke their Arabic and embraced their differences in an empowering way like the majority of people we had Seen in Citizen Outsider: Children of North African Immigrants in France. One other source shows how oppressive the forcing of French can be when pushed on these second generation Maghrebeans that can sometimes push them to forsake their native and cultural language in an effort to assimilate and adhere to the unwritten rules of French citizenship. 

I feel like a very important step in writing this essay was the feedback I had received from my peers and professor alike. Two of the objectives  in our syllabus had called for us  “explore and analyze in their own and other’s writing a variety of genres and rhetorical situations” and to” develop strategies for reading, drafting, revising, and editing” was exercised during our peer feedback. We read each other’s work with a very critical eye and provided constructive criticism on each other’s work. We would then do as another objective states,” develop and engage in the collaborative and social aspects of writing processes” when we incorporate the recommendations made by our peers and our professor in the final version of our essays.

CUNY’s One Search on the City College database was instrumental in my attempt to “locate research sources (including academic journal articles, magazine and newspaper articles) in the library’s databases/archives and on the internet and evaluate them for credibility, accuracy, and bias.” After a detailed explanation from our professor and a quick to the City College Library pre quarantine era, I learned how to find sources for my exploratory essay. I was able to find the adequate amount of peer reviewed articles that had been required for the essay. I would then try to find outside sources and bearing in mind what constitutes a source, I made an attempt to do as the final objected listen in the syllabus states, “understand  and use print and digital technologies to address a range of audiences.”

While writing my exploratory essay and other essays for other classes after that, I began utilizing the proper form of citation required for an essay of that sort. I was able to “practice systematic application of citation conventions” after reading the Norton’s Field guide provided by my instructor. I was able to prepare a work cited page as well as provide in ext citation for the document.