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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Reflecting on Aria by Richard Rodriguez

Rodriguez wrote this peice about being a bilingual student growing up in America. He explained how difficult it was growing into culture and changing himself along the way.
Despite living out in Glocester I have had some experience knowing bilingual students. One of my friends in elementry school and my two cousins are bilingual. My friend, Liz, from school was bilingual with spanish and english. Her grandparents came from Boliva and do not know much english. A few times when I went over I remember Liz introducing me to her grandparents in Spanish, they said hi to me in english to be polite but it was obisious that they were uncomfortable with it. Her mother, who was fluent in both english and spanish, was an spanish teacher at Bay View Acadamy. When Liz went into High School as one of her electives she took spanish. At the time I thought it was unfair because she had been exposed to it all her life an knew what most of her other class mates were trying to learn. Now, a few years later and after reading Rodriguez, I can see what a good decision it was; to better learn and maybe get back some of what was lost with her Spanish Heritage.
The other bilingual kids I know are my cousins. So its a little partial only because they are so small, and learning 2 langues is not so hard for them, but it was strange for the rest of us. My aunt is orgionally from the Phillipeans and Thiland. She married my uncle in 2001( maybe 2000) and lived in Pensylvana. When they came to visit there was always something new to learn, and most of it was in Thai, very few I remember today. The few words I remember is because when my cousins were born they would not know the english version of the word, only the Thai or Tagalog ( one of the many dialects in the Philippines). Theres tubig or water, and gatas is milk, and tsokolate gatas is chocolate milk. With out my cousins asking for that all the time I would not have learned what I did. They might not realize it now but they are very lucky to be learning Tagalog, the Spanish had a huge influence on the islands and there are a lot of similarities.
This brings me back to spanish. I do believe as Rodiguez that kids should not be taught bilingual. Not because I do not want them to learn but because it will open up so many doors for them. they should be in an els ramp up type of class so that they can learn the regular material in their native langue but also learn english and not be intimidated by the other children.


  1. I at first thought that it was not fair for native speakers or at least people whose family speaks the language to take the class in school either.
    But now I agree that it is a way to help them get back a little of their culture. Not to mention I know some bilingual people that can speak it but their grammar and writing is not that great so it helps with that

  2. I like the connections you made to your life

  3. its important not to lose self identity

  4. very interesting and nice connections.