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Richard Rodriguez 's Hunger Of Memory

Decent Essays
Language is defined as a system for the expression of thoughts and feelings by the use of spoken words (dictionary.com). We hear our first language before we are born. We enter the world with the ability to be comforted by the sounds we came to understand before we came out of our mother’s womb. As we grow, we use our words to express who we are becoming as an individual. We may use the same words as others, but the style of speaking we use is one that we develop over time, and is specific to us. Our language is a part of who we are and can separate us as individuals. It is a part of our personal identity. Knowing who we are also means knowing where we come from and having a connection to our heritage. In the first chapter of Richard Rodriguez’s Hunger of Memory, he begins to tell the story of his decision to give up his native tongue of Spanish and begin to assimilate to American culture, with the belief he can be more successful speaking English. He argues that it is best for the student in the long run to be fully immersed with the English language, and does not believe that bilingual education, in which non-English speaking students are taught English language courses together with other subjects in their native language, is beneficial. By basically being thrown into a foreign world of words, Rodriguez tells of the initial difficulties he faced to learn a new language. Born in 1944, he was in school before any bilingual education policies were being enforced in the
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