Saturday, September 27, 2014

Richard Rodriguez Aria- Argument

Which students is english not their first language? 

Rodriguez makes a strong argument when he says, “children lose a degree of ‘individuality’ by becoming assimilated into public society” (38). He shares his experience about when he was a boy and his teacher asked his parents if they can speak English at their homes because it will help their kids do better in school. I know some people who have different backgrounds say they don’t know their first language because their parents also became Americanized and spoke English at home but it was the parents’ choice. The other article we looked at this week, “Teaching Multilingual Children” taken from Virginia Collier’s book, talked about how to include multilingual students and how it was a great opportunity for both the teachers and students and there are different ESL programs that offer students the extra help and attention. The article said, “Young children should be permitted to speak the language they know best” (229). Going back to Rodriguez’s article, Do teachers like the one that Rodriguez had, have the right to tell the parents that or is that overstepping boundaries in how involved teachers get with certain families? As his parents followed his teachers request Spanish soon became something that Rodriguez soon didn’t recognize, “One Saturday morning I entered the kitchen where my parents were talking Spanish. I did not realize that they were talking in Spanish however until, at the moment they saw me. I heard their voices change to speak English” (35). It was sad to see that this made Rodriguez lose touch with his heritage and his family. Because they became more Americanized and especially because his father struggled with English his family began to talk to each other less and less. I found an interview on YouTube, with Rodriguez. In this video he speaks perfect English and you can’t hear a hint of his Spanish background.

Students like Rodriguez were at a disadvantage and even after he started speaking English, he still seemed discouraged as a student and was questioning why him, why couldn't his peers learn his language. When I was a sophomore in high school, there was a bunch of ESL students in my history class. These kids should have already graduated and I feel like they didn't care about the work because English didn't come as easily to them. I found online ideas how to help ESL students


  1. I like the question you have in regards to teachers overstepping boundaries with families and their languages.

  2. I thought it was sad that his family lost communication too, especially with his father who had a hard time learning and speaking English with them.

  3. I agree with you that the nuns may have possible been stepping over the line join to his house. Like Shannon said as well it was sad that his family started losing communication.