The Benefits of Spanish Speaking Home and English in School Essay

The Benefits of Spanish Speaking Home and English in School Essay

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I was only nine years old, the year 1991. I had to navigate from an English speaking classroom to a Spanish speaking home. From eight in the morning I was given instruction in English by my professors at school. After three in the afternoon at home I engaged in Spanish conversation with my mother, father, and siblings. When the summer vacation came around, it was back to speaking español only, and then I regained the Mexican accent that had faded away during the school year.
My experience learning English was different from what earlier Spanish speaking generations in the United States dealt with. In “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” Gloria Anzaldúa writes, “being caught speaking Spanish at recess…was good for three licks on the knuckles with a sharp ruler” (Anzaldúa 374). Born in 1942, a few years later Anzaldua was dealing with physical abuse discouraging her from speaking Spanish at school (Anzaldua 373). In my experience, learning a few words of English as a child was rewarded with stickers that read “good job” or “fantastic”. More than physical abuse Anzaldua experienced psychological abuse. Anzaldua writes, “if you want to be American, speak ‘American’. If you don’t like it, go back to Mexico where you belong” those were the words of the Anglo teacher reminding Anzaldua of the society she was living in (374). The little girl was a “sixth-generation Tejana”, and the only country she recognized as home was the United States of America (Anzaldúa 373). In spite of the physical and psychological abuse Anzaldua continue her American education, why? Her mother played a role. At home, her mother reminded her to, “speak English properly” and not “like a Mexican” to get a good job in American society (Anzaldua 374). Anzaldua writes, “Chic...


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...in the end she attended a University and became an English professor (373). Was having the ability to speak two languages a factor to her academic success?
What happens as the Spanish Speaking Population grows in the United States? Roca and Colombi explain that someone has to cater to the growing numbers (63). According to, Los Angeles Times, “there is a 35 million-strong Latino market in the U.S” (qtd in. Roca and Colombi 63). This statement was supported by Robert C. Wrights, chairman and chief executive of NBC (2001), “this is the most dynamic market in the U.S.” (qtd. In Sarkin 1). In other words, individuals who can speak, write, and read Spanish and English fluently have a good chance of acquiring better jobs than ¬¬¬¬monolinguals (Roca and Colombi 63). Latinos see this and they become motivated to make hold on to the Spanish language (Roca and Colombi 63).

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