Born and raised in Los Angeles, I am a second generation Armenian immigrant. I consider my Armenian culture essential to my identity, and that has a lot to do with my upbringing. The Armenian population has always been a small minority across the globe and in order for us to maintain our race, we make a conscious effort to keep our culture alive close to our hearts. A key component that unites us as a race is our unique language of Armenian. We are fortunate enough to have maintained our spoken and written language for over two thousand years. In order to teach the language to new generations of Armenians who live in the diaspora here in Los Angeles, several Armenian private schools have been established throughout this city. I was lucky enough to attend this school from pre-school until high school graduation.For the fifteen years that I attended this institution, I had classes every day in both Armenian and English which focused on all aspects of speaking, reading, and writing. Armenian was the main language spoken in most of our households, so as children it was new and exciting to speak English with one another on the playground. Since Armenian was our native language, we spoke with a heavy English accent and mispronounced several words. However, as we continued developing our English speaking skills with each other and advanced in our curriculum, we were exposed to Social Sciences and Math, in which all classes were all taught in English. Speaking Armenian was now an hour of our day at school while the rest was focused on English. This is when I began to consider myself bilingual in Armenian and English. My parents were upset that I started speaking English at home, so speaking Armenian was still heavily emphasized within my family. Now that I attend a university constantly surrounded by non-Armenian speaking people and don’t learn Armenian language skills in class, I find myself only speaking English. However, I believe that...
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