Sunday, February 21, 2010

Talking Point 2

Aria, by Richard Rodriguez, was a great article. I liked the fact that it was in story format and in one person’s point of view. In every other article read for class, many examples/ perspectives were given, but in this particular article the reader could focus on one. The technique used could help the reader get more of an in depth look into what the author is trying to say. Here are 3 quotes that I felt were most important in this article:

1.) “… I came to believe what had been technically true since my birth: I was an American citizen.” (36)
- This would be a part of public individuality. Richard did not consider himself an American because he felt as though he did not belong. This was due to him not being able to speak and understand society’s language, English. Later becoming confident in himself, he found a part of who he was, an American.

2.) “We remained a loving family, but one greatly changed.” (36)
- Richard was Americanized. Since he learned English at an early age he had forgotten his native language, something that held his family together and kept them unique from the rest of society. In order for Richard and his siblings to have become successful in the country of which they lived, they had to transform and become something who they were not. Because the parents were not getting any help to improve their English, the relationship with their children began to deteriorate. This goes to show how not only the child is affected, but the family as well. With the language barrier separating them from communicating, Richard’s mother became “restless” while his father became increasingly “shy”.

3.) “They do not seem to realize that there are two ways a person is individualized.” (38-39)
- Those two ways are private individuality (which is who you are at home and with those who you are close to) and public individuality (which is who you are when you are around strangers or people who you want to impress). It is important for people to know their native language because it is a part of who they are. But, it is also important that they know the language of their own society because it is the language that it runs on; their primary language. We need to find a way in which non-Americans can learn English without having to take away their private individuality, and native language. Instead of turning the children bilingual we are turning them into plain old Americans.

Here is a video given the history of bilingual education:

This website gives some statistics based on non-Americans…


Yana Stetsyuk said...

Great video! I cant believe that this is something still discussed. I thought specialized classes for English language learners was a given.