October 27, 2010
The Negative Impact of Bilingual Education
It is true that, fitting in and adapting to two different linguistic and cultural world can have lasting impacts on individuals, hence, Richard Rodriguez, in his book “Achievement of Desire”, addresses his struggles as a young boy, trying to adapt to a bilingual education and how that education alienated him from his uneducated Mexican parents. Additionally in the excerpts “How to Tame a Wild Tongue,” Gloria Anzaldua, while she mainly focuses on the language of “Mexican” people in different aspects, also mentions her strife as a bilingual student. Although these two stories are different in many ways but they both reflect the negative impact of living in the “borderlands”. To better understand those cultural conflicts, it is essential to know exactly what the borderlands consist of and who spans there, but most importantly what they represent in this context.
The concept of “ the borderlands” informs “a variety of disciplines at the start of the twenty-first century, with many studies focusing on the boundaries where two or more disparate conceptual, social, or political entities overlap productively”(Ybarra, 1-3). However, Anzaldua’s idea of the borderlands as an active place where people can form their own identity and political resistance remains the most influential according to multiple respected scholars. Understanding the bioregional and ecological aspect of the US-Mexico borderlands, amplifies our knowledge of how colonization, exploitation, and racism impact the land and mostly the Chicanos. Furthermore, one can attribute the concept of borderlands with bilingual education with both English and Spanish being the two territories in question, as experienced by both Anzaldua and Rodriguez.
In Anzaldua’s essay “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” she describes her early childhood struggles in school. One of her memories from elementary school was when she was speaking...