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Academic Response - Essay Example

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Summary
Richard Rodiriguezs’s essay delves into educational and language of a bilingual child and what it means for such a child to use different languages in the public and private spheres. The essay also delves on how language in a bilingual society can contribute to family…
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Academic Response

Download file to see previous pages... In Rodriguez’s case, when his sibling started communicating to him in English at home in order to help him gain public confidence by learning a bit of English, the whole family underwent changes as the parents and the relatives were no longer at ease with him as marked by the silence spell in the house especially at dinner time. English transforms the entire family therefore limiting the intimacy they had with Spanish. This is a disadvantage to young children as supporters of bilingual education assert that children should first be taught in their first language.
Rodriguez also argues that the ability of a bilingual person to speak two languages especially a language spoken by most people in public makes him more comfortable when speaking in public. The use of the first language only impedes social growth as one cannot communicate in English effectively thereby causing alienation from the public. When Rodriguez mastered English, he started viewing himself and his family as part of the American society as he could now fit in the public. He learned that Spanish is something that was not socially acceptable and appropriate in public and he got the feeling that he has the obligation and the right to communicate in English. This made him feel like a complete fully-fledged and worthy member of the American society. He says, "At last…I was an American citizen."
Rodriguez also implies that speaking a language different than his private language in public makes the person lose a part of his identity. This is because bilingual education requires that the largest part of the first language is neglected thereby intensifying the separation among cultures. Rodriguez asserts that there must be a sacrifice in order to gain the acceptance and worthiness of being an American. His philosophy is that learning English requires that the native language is buried and forgotten in the mind of the students like the way he ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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