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Public and Private Language by Richard Rodriguez - Article Example

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The public and private language is an article that was written by Richard Rodriguez in 1982 as a means of trying to define cultural identity. In his contribution to culture and identity, Rodriguez addresses the effects of bilingual education…
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Public and Private Language by Richard Rodriguez
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Download file to see previous pages According to Rodriguez, being familiar with the public language is more advantages to the private language. He notes that lack of public language may deny an individual his/her self esteem; therefore, he emphasizes for a need of bilingual education especially for the persons who do not share the public language with their immediate surroundings. From his personal and family experience, Richard Rodriguez explains how language or confidence of expression in public affects personal confidence, especially in the social life. He perfectly achieves this claim by using different experiences especially his personal experience and the experience his father had once they (his sister, brother, and himself) had perfected the public language. According to Rodriguez, he had no confidence in the classroom nor could he play or associate with neighborhood kids. Since his siblings and Rodriguez could not communicate freely with others, they come home too early and could lock themselves indoors unlike when they had been acquainted with the public language. Additionally, he perfectly rotates the events and they (children of the family) become fluent to the language than their parents. Rodriguez notes that as they became fluent in English to their private language, things started changing in their family as their parents started having difficulties in communicating with them. Hence, their parents especially his father opted to remain silent whenever the public language speakers were in the house. To denote how language affects an individual’s public confidence or individuality, Rodriguez compares his father’s communication and confidence levels when interacting with fallow Spanish and when interacting with the public. Rodriguez states that his father grew quiet in the house, a situation that his mother relates to his father’s childhood life. He notes that his mother explained that both of his father’s “parents died when he (his father) was eight. He was raised by an uncle who treated him as little more than a menial servant. He was never encouraged to speak. He grew up alone; a man of few words (Rodriguez 54).” However, Rodriguez emphases that this silence is nothing to do with his father’s childhood experiences, but to the power of language that brings the confidence of communication and interaction with other persons. Rodriguez noted his father was neither shy nor few of words. For instance, Rodriguez says that when his father was using Spanish and interacting with fellow Spanish men, “he was quickly effusive. Especially when talking with other men, his voice would spark, flicker, flare alive with sounds. In Spanish, he expressed ideas and feelings he rarely revealed in English. With firm Spanish sounds, he conveyed confidence and authority; qualities English could have never revealed in him (Rodriguez 54).” It is worth noting that using the above experience as examples indicate how perfectly Rodriguez has managed in developing ideas in supporting his theme. It is worth noting that Rodriguez in his article tries to address varied audients both young and old. The only main concern he had is to communicate the power of public language that he wants everybody to develop. However, he also addresses the necessity of sticking to some of the private languages. In different occasions, he did meet or encounter persons who reminded him of his youthful days when he had not been Americanized. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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