The Strong Disapproval of Richard Rodriguez on Bilingual Education

In the essay, “Aria: A Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood”, Richard Rodriguez introduces his experience growing up in the American culture as a son of two Mexican immigrants He shares his experience to show his disapproval of “bilingual education”. Rodriguez considers bilingual education a “scheme” and explains that it is “a program that seeks to permit non-English speaking children (many from lower class homes) to use their ‘family language’ as the language of school”. He continues, “I hear them, and am forced to say no: It is not possible for a child, any child, ever to use his family’s language in school.

Not to understand this is to misunderstand the public uses of schooling and to trivialize the nature of intimate life”. Although Rodriguez struggled with attending an all-English school when he was only able to understand “some fifty stray English words”, it was that persistence that made him grow as American citizens.

As a little boy who was constantly feeling like a foreigner in this “so-big world”, it pushed Rodriguez to isolate himself from the “gringos”.

At home, his parents and siblings were always speaking Spanish. His home was his comfort zone. After school, he would rush home so he could hear the familiar language that he was accustomed to It wasn’t until Nuns from his school came to his home and asked his parents to speak English at home, that the gringo language invaded his comfort zone. A few weeks later, Rodriguez finally had the courage to believe in himself”0ne day in school, I raised my hand to volunteer an answer to a question.

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I spoke out in a loud voice and I did not think it remarkable when the entire class understood Taken hold, at last, was the belief, the calming assurance, that I belonged in public“. Due to the support from his teachers and family, to expand on the language, it finally gave him the courage and confidence to realize that he was also an American and was “no longer an alien in gringo society”.

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The Strong Disapproval of Richard Rodriguez on Bilingual Education. (2023, Mar 12). Retrieved from

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