Yurimi Grigsby

Yurimi Grigsby teaches at a private university in the Midwest. She received her PhD in ESL Education from the University of Tennessee.

Updated November 2011

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My Experience with Heritage Language Loss in America

During one visit home with my mother, she was watching the Weather Channel. “I always watch Weather Channel,” she said, “All day.” I asked her why and then said it again in my rudimentary Japanese, “Nande?” She smiled at my linguistic offering and replied, “Wakaranai.” I had to ask her what that meant. She said, “Mean ‘I do not know’.” Because I only knew one Japanese word for the phrase ‘I don’t know,’ I said, “I thought that was ‘wakarimasen’.”

“You and I are know each other,” she explained, “we friendly so we say wakaranai. Hmm,” she said, distracted ...

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