Questions for Discussion
1. One way to read Richard Rodriguez’s essay is as a discussion of two discrete educational philosophies. What are they? The two discrete educational philosophies are bilingual education and teaching a second language. 2. What does Rodriguez mean when he says, “[I]n a way, it didn’t matter very much that my parents could not speak English with ease…. And yet, in another way, it mattered very much” (para.15)? I think when Rodriguez’s said it didn’t matter to him he meant socially because his parents didn’t speak English that great but they were able to speak it to the attend of people understanding them and getting things done. It mattered to Rodriguez a lot emotionally because when you are young you look up to your parents to protect you and guide you and since they didn’t understand English that great it was hard for them to guide Rodriguez and it made him doubt his parents. 3. What does Rodriguez mean by calling Spanish a “private language” (para.17)? Even if you do not speak more than one language, does your family have what you would characterize as a “private language”? I believe that Rodriguez “private language” is Spanish to him. Rodriguez growing up in Sacramento led him to be an outsider because of the language English. However, at home his whole family spoke Spanish so Rodriguez being at home was being on a private getaway. As for my family, we all do speak English but we add a twist to the way we talk with nicknames and sayings that no one would understand but my family because it’s our “private language”. 4. Rodriguez admits, “Matching the silence I started hearing in public was a new quiet at home” (para.38). Later he says, “The silence at home, however, was finally more than a literal silence” (para.41). Does he convince you that this change in family relationships is worthwhile in terms of his “dramatic Americanization” (para.37)? Rodriguez did convince me that his change in family relations is...
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