In the article, “Aria”, by Richard Rodriguez, it discusses the concept of bilingual education for children. Richard Rodriguez begins this article with discussing how he grew up in a Spanish speaking family. He and his family had a bond that to me was loving and caring. Rodriguez and his family spoke only Spanish at home to each other so he and his siblings experienced English as their second language. Rodriguez viewed the idea of the relationship between a person and language as only being singular, meaning that a person should only have to focus on one language. When going to school he was faced with the nuns telling Rodriguez that he would not be able to function in the United States because English is the primary language where as Spanish is seen as a secondary language. The nuns went to his family and told them that English needed to be brought into the home so their children would be able to succeed in the future, considering English is the primary language in the States. His parents enforced English in the household, creating the bond that the family once had to drift. Rodriguez says, “Those gringo sounds they uttered
startled me. Pushed me away. In that moment of trivial misunderstanding and profound insight, I felt my throat twisted by unsounded grief”. (35) Going from having Spanish being the first language in your household to having to completely change the way we speak. After reading this article and seeing the tough times that Rodriguez faced with learning English it was heartbreaking to watch the bond between children and parents drift apart. Rodriguez’s main point is that when a child is going from speaking their native language to learning the primary language, English in this case, it should not be what exactly molds a person’s public identity. Rodriguez makes a point in this article and says, “I would have been happier about my public success had I not sometimes recalled what it had been like earlier, when my family had conveyed it’s intimacy through a set of conveniently private sounds.” (38) This stuck out to me because Rodriguez felt that because he had to learn English that he had to completely drop his native Spanish language, which I feel is completely untrue. I feel that being bilingual is an advantage in today’s world especially in teaching. In classrooms, especially in public schools, there are more children who are from a Spanish speaking home. When a child gets older they are going to encounter getting jobs that are going to deal with the public. All throughout elementary, middle, and high school I have made friends who are bilingual and have received great praise about it in their jobs and in school. Rodriguez feels that being bilingual is a disadvantage for having to “drop their native language” when in all actuality it is a completely advantage that I truly wish I had.