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Aria: Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood by: Richard Rodriguez

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Ryan Lee

on 16 April 2014

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Transcript of Aria: Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood by: Richard Rodriguez

Aria: Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood
by Richard Rodriguez

Main Ideas
Bilingual Education
Rodriguez challenges the idea of bilingual education in this essay. He feels that bilingual education is something that hinders rather then helps young people that speak a language other than English. He explains how he believes that implementing more English is how a smooth transition is made, not through avoiding its usage.
Public versus Private
Thesis Statement
Rodriguez also looks into the two sides of his childhood: his public language and his private language. His public language of a very rough English was used in the classroom at school and when he was on the streets of town. His private language of Spanish was used at home and he often felt a sense of safety in this.
Although bilingual education has some merit, avoiding the implementation of the popular language of a country is detrimental to the incorporation of young people in society and hinders their ability to develop a strong sense of identity.
Topic Sentences
1st Paragraph
Overall Message
The overall message of this essay is that the avoidance of learning English or whatever the native language is in an individual's country is detrimental to not only a person's education, but for their identity. Having to live a life of two languages leads to an insecure identity. Rodriguez argues that learning both languages and using them rather than avoiding one leads to a better sense of identity and freedom.
1st Paragraph
Students for whom English is a second language should be taught English because it will enhance their education.
2nd Paragraph
Many students that complete a bilingual education have a harder time developing a sense of identity because they often do not easily mesh into society.
3rd Paragraph
Even though bilingual education is an action that is done to help young people in school, it keeps these people from having a sense of freedom from being contained to a minority language in a country.
Avoiding the use of English will allow for these students to perform better in school.
ESL students do not usually have the same kind of scholarly opportunities as those that do know the English language.
These students will not be able to perform as well in the workplace and the real world.
2nd Paragraph
English is the dominant language in America, so speaking a different language as your first language can hinder the true sense of identity in society.
Not knowing how to fit in with society can lead to not knowing how to find a place and identity in the real world.
3rd Paragraph
A foreign language is a good thing to have, but it is not good for it to be the main language of a person.
The freedom associated with fitting into a society and being able to communicate with people is a large part of gaining an identity.
Concluding Thoughts
The overall purpose of bilingual education does not allow for the students to benefit in the long run. The students are avoiding being taught English and this inhibits their abilities in the future. This argument against bilingual education shows how it may be okay for a short amount of time, but will not benefit the individual in the end.
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