Aria: A Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood
Richard Rodriguez, in his article, deals with the issue bilingual learning and culture. He disputes that it is unnecessary and impossible for learners to apply or utilize their indigenous or native language together with English in public life and school (Rodriguez 222). The followings are his arguments and reasons why he disputes students to use their native language:
Rodriguez believes that the use of Spanish, which is his mother tongue at home His use of his parent’s native language at home encumbered his social growth. His parents did not understand and speak English made him and siblings not to learn English. Consequently, he could not communicate efficiently, which made Richard think his family and himself were not part of the American citizens. Conversely, before he became an expert and skilled English speaker, he perceived that his native language was a private language, a language that was not socially acceptable or appropriate (Rodriguez 224) He developed a desire to learn the English language, which he perceived as the universal language. Apparently, after he had learned the English language, he finally felt that he has become a fully-fledged and worthy person of the American Community. He quotes in his article, “At last seven years old, I came to believe what had been technically true since my birth: I was an American citizen.”
Read also The History of ESL / Bilingual Education
Rodriguez confronts the thought and idea of bilingual education. He believes and considers that bilingual education is something that deters instead of helping students that speak other languages apart of English. Also, he argues that employing more English contributes to a smooth transition, where learners develop confidence and intimacy of the English language. He believes that speaking Spanish in his family created a bond between his family members. Conversely, Spanish secluded and cut off his family from the traditional world, hence, establishing a codependency, and closeness, which was lost when him together with his siblings switched or changed to English. Further, when he advanced in age, and he was able to recognize the intimacy and variation of emotions in all languages (Lee 1). He apprehended that intimacy is created not through the use of any language, save for the people who speak the language. As a consequence, he argues that he required learning English, so as to seek opportunities and rights essential and required for full public independence.
Additionally, Rodriguez disputes the general intention and purpose of bilingual learning. He states that this kind of knowledge does not permit learners to profit and benefit in the long run. Further, he argues that any student resisting to be taught English will slow down with their abilities and capabilities in future. However, he says that it is okay to implement bilingual learning although it does not help or profit the students (Lee 1). Consequently, Richard Rodriguez felt that he was socially estranged and separated by his native language, which made him perceive that he was not a real American, till when he became competent with the English language. The break from his native language or Spanish permitted for his advancement in the public community, and the closeness and intimacy he had with his family, which he had attached and connected it with his native language did not lessen or diminish. As he was able to comprehend that the intimacy was related not to the words alone, but it was linked with the inflection.