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Essay on Bilingual Journey

April 16th, 2010 No comments

Imagine walking into a classroom on the first day of school. Imagine not knowing anyone. Imagine being filled with fear, nervousness, anxiety, frustration, and excited all at the same time. You take a seat and look at the person sitting next to you, he or she starts talking and you cannot understand anything they are saying. You try to talk back and everyone looks at you as if you were an alien. Rodriguez and Villanueva have experienced situations similar to this, due to the fact they were children of immigrants, living for the first time in America, not able to speak fluent English, if any at all.

Growing up Rodriguez only spoke Spanish, while his parents spoke fluent Spanish and broken English. His parents never spoke English to anyone other than “los gringos.” When Richard first attended school, he could hardly understand English let alone speak it and this gave him the name of the problem student in his classroom. Richard feared the sounds of the English language. Speaking Spanish in the house gave the family a sense of security, a sense of closeness. It was Spanish which calmed his nerves and made him feel secure. “I live in a magical world, surrounded by sounds both pleasing and fearful”. Richard attended a Catholic school taught by nuns. One day the nuns took it upon themselves to encourage the Rodriguez’s to practice the English language at home by asking, “Is it possible for you and your husband to encourage your children to practice their English when they are at home”. As the children are being taught English in school and it is their primary language, incorporating the English language into the daily routine of the Rodriguez household would be beneficial to all the children.
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