Around 1959, bilingual education took flight in the United States. Starting in Miami and quickly making its way San Francisco, bilingual education soon led to the Bilingual Education Act, which promoted “No Child Left Behind”. Only twenty years later, the act acquired the attention of high schools around the country. Nonetheless, bilingual education is not always taken to be the cure-all for acclimating immigrants to the United States. In his article “Aria: A Memoir of Bilingual Childhood”, Richard Rodriguez argues that students should not take part in bilingual education by explaining how it takes away individuality and a sense of family through the use of ethos, diction, and imagery; Rodriguez also uses parallelism and ethos to point out how a bilingual childhood can help students feel connected to society.
Throughout his writing, Rodriguez utilizes ethos to express the loss of private individuality that comes with a bilingual education. When he was a student, Richard’s “teachers were unsentimental about their responsibilities” and they focused on the fact that what he needed to learn was to “speak public English”. They believed that it was more important for him to know and be able to use English rather than for him to feel comfortable while doing it. However, when his teachers forced him to “[assimilate] into public society”, they did not realize that by doing so, they were taking away all the things Rodriguez valued. After a long day of speaking English at school,
When Rodriguez’s brings up his bilingual childhood, at the time when he had difficulties with English, he tells about how he only spoke Spanish while at home using it as “my private language, my family’s language,” informing the reader that while at home he was able to speak Spanish with an ease feeling that he belonged (Rodriguez 573). However, whenever outside of his house he sensed that “the sounds of the gringo, reminded me that in this so-big world I was a foreigner,” still new to the language, he felt that he did not belong (Rodriguez 593-594). Only after his parents began speaking to him in English and asking him “speak to us en ingles” Rodriguez felt encouraged to learn classroom English, which led to him taking a leap and answering a question in class giving him “the calming assurance, that I belong in public,” feeling part of the classroom when he was understood by the others (Rodriguez 577). He also had thoughts like “I finally came to accept what had been technically true since my birth:
In “Aria: A Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood” by Richard Rodriguez, he reveals the hardships he faced growing up as a young Hispanic boy with a bilingual tongue in an American Society. Rodriguez felt that being bilingual was more of a burden rather than an advantage, by cause of his parents not allowing him to speak English in their home, he felt that he was being yielded from learning English as well as impeding his social growth outside of his home. Rodriguez argues that because of his alienation from the community and lack of orientation in self-identity, he believes that bilingual education should not be something that should be integrated into a child’s life, but have children assimilate to the country they are in as well as the predominant
More young americans nowadays are being raised in homes speaking non-English, but these students are falling behind in schools where there is not a bilingual program available. According to the U.S. Department of Education, in schools without a bilingual education program, 71% of English speakers are at or above the basic requirements for fourth grade reading while merely 30% of non-English speakers reach this level. 35% of English and 8% of non-English speakers reach proficient reading levels while only 9% of English and 1% of non-English speakers perform at advanced levels. It’s evident that the availability of a bilingual program is crucial to the success of an individual who needs the resources that can be given to them through the use of bilingual education. The percentages of the non-English speaking students previously mentioned could undoubtedly be comparable to those percentages of the English speaking students if the education they were being provided with was cohesive to their comfortability, and the material being taught was in a language they could better understand.
The particular focus of Rodriguez’s story is that in order to feel like he belonged to the “public society” he had to restrict his individuality. Throughout his story, Rodriguez discussed such topics as assimilation and heritage. He goes into depth about the pros and the cons of being forced to assimilate to the American culture. Growing up Hispanic in America was a struggle for Rodriguez. This was due to the fact that he was a Spanish-speaking boy living in an English-speaking society, and he felt like he was different than the other children. Rodriguez writes, “I was fated to be the ‘problem student’ in class” (Rodriguez 62). This is referring to Rodriguez’s improper knowledge of English. It made him stand out as the kid that was behind. He wanted to find the balance between the public and private face. He believed both were important to develop. As I read this story it changed the way I looked at people who speak different languages, and how it must be hard to fit in with society if you are not all fluent in English.
I taught for 25 years at an inner city school. My students were all second language learners, and often their parents were totally illiterate. I entered this career not as a teacher, but as a social worker turned teacher. The Los Angeles Unified School District was in dire need of bilingual educators, so they offered a district intern program where I took college courses while I worked in the classroom.
As the previous discussion has shown, the notions bilingualism and bilingual education are pretty complex. Summing up, bilingualism exists in different levels, which are defined as termed individual bilingualism and societal bilingualism. These forms are typical either for the whole language minorities (communities) or for an individual. This should be taken into account for bilingual education, which can be described as language possession at the individual level. From the research that has been carried out, it is possible to conclude that this issue is very complex and can be described by various dimensions, such as language ability, achievement, competences, performance, proficiency and skills, as well as the age of language acquisition, the balance of two languages, context of language usage.
Having to live a life of two languages leads to an insecure identity. Rodriguez argues that learning both languages and using them rather than avoiding one, leads to a better sense of identity and freedom. Thus, his intended audience are people who are of higher education, scholars, and educators. Both himself, and the audience have shared values which entail: “independent thinking, self-knowledge”, education, “commitment to the affairs of the world”, and scholarship and intellect. Rodriguez convinces the audience to seriously consider his claim through effective appeals to ethos and pathos. Ethos is developed in the area of authority by personal anecdotes and in the area of credibility by shared values. Pathos is effectively evoked via experiences he had that make the audience more likely to pause and consider his claim.
His public language of a very rough English was used in the classroom at school and when he was on the streets of town. His private language of Spanish was used at home and he often felt a sense of safety in this. Comparing the Spanish his parents spoke at home to the English they spoke outside can prove and support his argument. Because Richard Rodriguez was raised in a Spanish-speaking Mexican immigrant family and moved into the U.S. during his childhood, so he earned deep insights on the educational benefit of using one language, English. Rodriguez received the immersion education where he has to speak English for entire time. This education is largely different from the bilingual education that many supporters in the era had proposed as a national policy for general education of American immigrant children. As the supporters argue, bilingual education is supposed to raise a healthy private identity and cultural heritage which are undoubtedly lost in the process of immersion education. However, Rodriguez disagrees with argument that such losses would accompany without bilingual education. He claims that immigrant children can still maintain their intimacy and cultural heritage. He also proposes his perceptions that bilingual education restrains children from achieving linguistic proficiency and concrete public identity. He believes that they necessarily have to sacrifice a
Rodriguez describes his youth as a child of Mexican immigrant studying in America, where he had difficulty communicating at school because he did not understand the public language, English. In the beginning, he was shy and afraid at school because he was feeling uneasy with the English language, but with his parents and teacher’s help he “raised his hand to volunteer an answer”, from that day he” moved very far from the disadvantage child…” (987).
Rodriguez builds a formidable case against bilingual education with his bilingual childhood experiences. Rodriguez grew up speaking Spanish, but then learned how to speak English later in life so he knows what effects bilingual education has on bilingual kids who grew up speaking a private language at homes. When Rodriguez first came to the United States in Sacramento, California he understood “about fifty stray English words” (Richard Rodriguez “Aria: A Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood”). He was a Mexican immigrant whose family only knew how to speak Spanish. The neighbors of Rodriguez’s family didn’t like them, so when they were out walking they would tell Rodriguez’s parents “Keep your brats away from my sidewalk!” (Rodriguez 571). Rodriguez loses the “special feeling of closeness at home” when he learned English (Rodriguez 577). Personal experiences are what makes him a credible author. Rodriguez used strong ethos and pathos appeals, but he didn’t use strong logos appeals. He didn’t use facts or reasoning in his memoir to prove his points against bilingual education.
Bilingual Education where Supporters feel that students miss a great deal by not being taught in their family’s language. That children that retain their family’s language will retain a sense of individuality. Their ethnic heritage & cultural ties. Helping Students acquire the skills of a classroom crucial for public success. Rodriguez also discusses the use of teaching and using a single language.
Soon after his first opinion is stated, Rodriguez dives into another story, this time detailing his mother and father’s struggle to speak English in public: “In public, my father and mother spoke a hesitant, accented, and not always grammatical English. And then they would have to strain, their bodies tense, to catch the sense of what was rapidly said by los gringos. At home, they returned to Spanish. The language of their Mexican past sounded in counterpoint to the English spoken in public. The words would come quickly, with ease” (Rodriguez 572). This is the sad fate of many immigrants, as well as many people learning to speak a second language. The fact that this young boy noticed that his parents struggled is touching and sweet, while
During the nineteenth and early twentieth century there was no set way of how to teach an English-language learner. Some schools practiced bilingual education. Other schools placed immigrant children in English-language learner programs to prepare them for the English-only classroom. Other schools segregated schools specifically for the immigrants aimed at teaching them the language. Some schools just placed immigrant children in English-only classrooms and hoped they would learn. Even though schools like those in New York reported that 60 percent of their student body was immigrants in the early twentieth century, there was no law or regulation of how to teach the students. This varied across the country and two counties in the same state could have differing policies. It depended on the superintendent’s and school board’s view on language programs.
Bilingual education is an academic approach followed by some instructors, which is using the native language for new English learners for instructions. Within the international context, bilingual education has become a necessity due to the high number of immigration, colonialism and the great number of local languages (Yushau & Bokhari, 2005). This approach in instruction has reflected back positively or negatively in many dimensions such as social, psychological, and pedagogical. However, bilingual instruction is an effective way of teaching English as a second language, in case of well implementation it can be seen as an educational advantage. This literature covers a wide variety of opinions that revolves around a topic that researchers find it controversial, this review will highlight the major question and findings which emerge in
Based on my experience, the findings of this study are not surprising. Science has become a major challenge for bilingual students at the elementary school level particularly those in fifth grade who are scheduled to take the Science STAAR (in the past the TAKS) for the first time. In the schools I taught, many students struggled with the Spanish version of the test. Teachers and administrators claim that the reason for the students’ failure is the vocabulary. According to them, the Spanish version contains science terms that are too sophisticated which make this test harder than the English version. Coming from a science background and having received science education in both Spanish and English I found this intriguing. Soon I discovered that many teachers lack of basic science skills and knowledge. Consequently, they rely on the resources provided by the district, which were in occasions erroneous. In addition, most bilingual teachers in these schools did not have teaching degrees or significant teaching experience. In situations like this the availability of professional development for science bilingual teachers becomes of critical importance. However, most training is designed for monolingual English speaking students. Bilingual educators are left with the task of adapting materials in order to satisfy the needs of their students. This attempt often causes translated materials to be inaccurate and inconsistent with the original materials. Another factor that I noticed