Sunday, September 25, 2016


"But the feeling at home was diminished by then. Gone was the desperate, urgent, intense feeling of being at home; rare was the experience of feeling myself individualized by family intimates. We remained a loving family, but one greatly changed. No longer so close; no longer bound tight by the pleasing and troubling knowledge of our public separateness."

In this quote from the text Aria, Rodriguez describes that due to process of training himself and his siblings into using the English language, the intimate relationship his family once had was now no longer. Because Spanish was Richard's language, he felt uncomfortable in the classroom setting which was taught in English. He had been observed as shy and timid, and when called on would mumble, so his teachers took it upon themselves to move the English language into Richard's Spanish-speaking home. Earlier in the text, Rodriguez states that learning the English language in his household was like a game, playing with sounds and making fun of certain pronunciations that they could not comprehend. I feel that the more they forced English to be a part of their household, the further it pushed away their heritage. For example, in the text Rodriguez explains that ever since he began to use the English language, he no longer knew how to address his parents. Before the transition to English, he referred to his parents as mamá and papá, but he felt that they would have been painful reminders of how much his life as changed. In the classroom, Richard was considered timid and shy because he was unfamiliar with the English language. Richard is now timid in his own household.

"Without question, it would have pleased me to hear my teachers address me in Spanish when I entered the classroom. I would have felt much less afraid. I would have trusted them and responded with ease."

The teachers in this text take it upon themselves to move the English language into Richard's Spanish-speaking household, but do they ever try to use the Spanish language in the classroom? Richard had felt clearly uncomfortable being in a room filled with people who only spoke English, to the point where he would mumble when asked questions due to his shyness or timidness.  If the teachers had taken the time to first make Richard more comfortable in the classroom using his own language, then his shyness and timidness would not have necessarily been a problem.

"I would have been happier about my public success had I not sometimes recalled what it had been like earlier, when my family had conveyed intimacy through a set of conveniently private sounds."

Because of the teachers actions, Richard and his family were now bilingual.  On a large scale, becoming bilingual is a success and great skill to have.  But on a smaller scale, when it comes to Richard and his family, the intimacy they had once had was no longer available. I believe that Richard realizes that becoming bilingual needed to happen, and he most likely thanks his teachers quite often for the opportunities that he has been given, but will be constantly reminded that the English language put a barrier between his old Spanish-speaking family and his new, English family.

1 comment:

  1. I like how you responded to this article. Nice work! I agree with you that Richard realized becoming bilingual needed to happen but will always be reminded that English language put a barrier to his Spanish-speaking family.