« The Education of Richard Rodruguez | Main | Hunger Of Memory »

Undecided

This article was interesting in that when I was done reading it, I did not necessarily know where I stood on the issue of bilingualism. I know that I do not think that kids should go to a school where the only language they are instructed in is Spanish or another foreign language native to them. But, I do not by any means think that this language should be given up. One of the things I wish I could have learned, if I could do my childhood over, would be to learn a second language while I was young. Therefore, if starting at a young age schools incorporated classes like Spanish, the Spanish speaking kids would not completely lose their sense of language and knack at speaking it. While preserving non-English language, it would give native English speakers a chance to develop a great skill also. As we learned in our first course reading, the window of opportunity for learning a language starts at a young age, and if children are able to master the languages early they will most likely have an easier time at it.
It was extremely interesting to get Ricardo’s view on the subject of whether your primary language should be taught in your school. A lot of our discussions mention this subject, but most of us cannot really known what is best for someone else, because we have not been put in his or her shoes. For Richard it seemed as though learning English and assimilating into the culture was best for him and helped him to find himself in the public. For him his language was acting as an inhibitor from learning English and mending into American society.

Comments

I agree with you on the language standpoint. I think it would’ve been very beneficial for all of us if we had an opportunity to learn a second language at a younger age. It would help us tremendously now with job opportunities and of course communication with others in our community. If students like all of us were fluent in another language like Spanish, we could be a further help to immigrants in our community by helping them to improve in English. It would build bridges amongst the nation as well.
I also agree with you that it is sad that Richard had to lose his efficiency in the Spanish language in order to gain it in English. Instead of sustaining his language capabilities in Spanish and English, he sort of decided to leave Spanish alone in order to gain confidence and to become comfortable in America. It’s too bad, but hopefully sometime in the future that problem will be resolved.

I am strongly against the idea of bilingual schools. It is necessary to be able to speak English in our society and I think that bilingual schools would cause major problems. The kids that would attend this schools would be able to learn a lot more due to the fact that things are being taught in their own language; however, what are these kids going to do with this knowledge. If a student goes to school and learns a lot about medicine in his or her own language, he won't be able to use this skill in society because nobody would understand him because he would be speaking in a language foreign to them.
Although, there are some exceptions to this idea. An example would be a doctor in Miami. There are many well-payed doctors in Miami that only speak Spanish. This works in this society because there is a large percentage of Cubans that live there and need a doctor who speaks Spanish.
Alex Christianson

I am strongly against the idea of bilingual schools. It is necessary to be able to speak English in our society and I think that bilingual schools would cause major problems. The kids that would attend this schools would be able to learn a lot more due to the fact that things are being taught in their own language; however, what are these kids going to do with this knowledge. If a student goes to school and learns a lot about medicine in his or her own language, he won't be able to use this skill in society because nobody would understand him because he would be speaking in a language foreign to them.
Although, there are some exceptions to this idea. An example would be a doctor in Miami. There are many well-payed doctors in Miami that only speak Spanish. This works in this society because there is a large percentage of Cubans that live there and need a doctor who speaks Spanish.
Alex Christianson

I think that bilingual schools would help our society in the long run. Some people might not agree with them, but it would be much more helpful for immigrants if people were bilingual. I agree with you about learning a second language when we were younger. It would have been so helpful if we learned Spanish back in elementary school, because we would be fluent in Spanish by now. I have recently visited my old elementary school and I actually saw signs all over the building in both Spanish and English. I talked to my second grade teacher and she told me that each teacher for each grade has a certain amount of Spanish they have to teach each year. I was really glad to hear this because those kids will be so much better off when they are older. I think that if our society became bilingual, more and more immigrants would be willing to learn English because we are willing to learn and speak their language with them.

It is really of good advantage if we know different languages. Especially those that we most often communicate with. Learning different languages should really start at a young age so that a person's effective communication skills could also be developed at a young age.

But learning other language doesn't mean leaving another one. It is important to know the language to whom we often communicate with for effective communication.

Developing your conversation skills can also help in improving one's communication skills. By engaging into conversations or small talks, you can practice the language you are studying.

Conversation skills is helpful also because you get to learn more from people who can speak the language well. Listening to them and join occasionally in the conversation and you'll surely improve.

Most learnings should really be acquired during childhood especially with a person's character and his way of living. Language is included of course as it is part of one's life.

But if a different language was not taught, though more difficult, one can still be able to learn it. He/She just needs to be positive about it so that he/she will be more determined to succeed in learning it.