Growing Up Speaking Spanish Essay

Growing Up Speaking Spanish Essay

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Growing Up Speaking Spanish

Many people immigrate to the United States from different countries to begin a better life. Once in the American territory, the first step for success is to learn the English language. Richard Rodriguez, the writer of "Aria: A Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood" describes the language decisions he faced as a child: "Outside the house was public society; inside the house was private" (16). The English language is the primary language in the United States, and it must be learned to be able to communicate with the public world. The language that we speak at home is considered to be private because it is only used in the presence of the people we feel comfortable with, our family. Families immigrate to the United States from Mexico to find and give their children a better opportunity to succeed. The children of immigrants who have been raised or born in the United States were able to adapt much faster to the English language. The Spanish language, in the case of Mexicans, is part of our origin that most of us inherit from our ancestors although in the United States many, including me, seem to add a new language, which gives us better opportunities.

My parents decided to immigrate to the United States when I was six years of age. As we established ourselves in the United States, my first language was only Spanish. Spanish was the language that I was taught at home, and it was the only language to be spoken at home. Rodriguez describes when he first entered his classroom where he was introduced to a formal English-speaking context, writing that, ?I remember to start with that day in Sacramento-a California now nearly thirty years past-when I first entered a classroom, able to understa...


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In conclusion, learning English was a challenge when it was first introduced to me, but now I have overcome that challenge. I am able to defend myself in the outside public world of English with no shame at all. I now understand how fortunate I am to know another language different from my own. For me, it is important to still have my first language because it is a way to retain the Mexican culture. It is just the way I was raised to believe.

Works Cited

Malpezzi, Frances M., and William M. Clements. ?Conversation.? Italian-American Folklore. Little Rock: August, 1992. 43-57.

Mellix, Barbara. ?From Outside, In.? Writing Lives: Exploring Literacy and Community. New York: St. Martin?s, 1996. 75-84.

Rodriguez, Richard. ?Aria: A Memoir of a Bilingual Education.? Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez. New York: Bantam, 1982. 11-40.

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