Compare and Contrast

Topics: Multilingualism, Second language, First language Pages: 3 (944 words) Published: April 13, 2009
Richard Rodriguez and Amy Tan are two bilingual writers. Rodriguez comes from a Latin background where both his parents speak Spanish. Tan is a child of Chinese parents. Though they share some of the same situations; each has a different way of portraying it. This gives the readers two different aspects of being bilingual. Rodriguez told his story in Aria: a Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood. Tan told hers in Mother Tongue. In spite of the fact that they both wrote about their experiences of being bilingual, they told their stories were for very different reasons. Rodriguez argues in his essay, whether bilingual education is appropriate for school. Rodriguez states that “It is not possible for a child, any child, ever to use his family’s language in school” (Rodriguez 60). I would think that the author would enjoy going to school speaking his primary language, or family language while being challenged with a new language. In his opinion, he believes it is not okay for a student to learn in a language spoken at home. As a premature English speaker in Catholic School, he was shocked with how Americans pronounced and spoke in their language. The way it made him feel about English brought out his belief about bilingual education. He went to a catholic school where all his classmates were children of American families. This means they were all fluent in English, while Rodriguez started school only knowing fifty five words. He stood out as the odd ball of his class. Rodriguez’s improper knowledge of English made him stand out as the kid that was behind. Tan portrays her experiences as a child of Chinese parents growing up in an American culture. She constructs a view showing the reader the vast differences between language at home and language in public. She explains some of these languages through instances with her own mother. Tan often explains her mother’s English as “broken” or “fractured” and is often feels embarrassed by this because she feels it shows lack of...
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