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Bilingual, Bilingualism, And A Forgotten Language

825 words - 4 pages

Jose Santos
Professor McGuire
English 111
26 July 2014
Bilingual, Bilingualism, and a Forgotten Language
In the essays “Aria: a Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood” written by Richard Rodriguez and “Loss of Family Languages: Should Educators Be Concerned” written by Lily Wong Fillmore, the authors are concerned about immigrants forgetting their native languages as they get Americanized. Both authors are targeting a mature audience of immigrants, which have come to America to become citizens. Both authors use concerned tone with hopes that their audience will want to contribute to change. Furthermore, Fillmore draws her evidence from stories of other writers’ essays. Rodriguez, on the ...view middle of the document...

For example, “Once, I learned the public language; it would never again be easy for me to hear intimate family voices” (Rodriguez 220). Even though both authors' evidence differs, both are trying to inform the readers about the benefit of bilingual education in schools.
Both Fillmore and Rodriguez narrate in similar tone, which show concern. Fillmore illustrates her concerns by asking question like, “What can educators do to make the process of learning the school language and adapting to American culture easier on immigrant children and their families” (Fillmore 271). In contrast, Rodriguez demonstrates his concerns as he draws back to a memory from his childhood. He remembers Bilingual educators visiting his parents and suggesting, “to insist that a student should be reminded of his difference from others in mass society, of his heritage” (Rodriguez 220). Both authors discuss their concerns about wanting to preserve native languages as well as showing the importance of English as a Second Language (ESL) in schools.
The styles used by both writers, Fillmore and Rodriguez differ in syntax. Fillmore writes in a formal tone, where the style of writing is impersonal and informs the audience with statistics and other writers’ quotes. For example, she starts off her essay quoting a statistic “3.5 million children in U.S. ‘schools are identified as limited in English proficiency’ (LEP) (Macias)” (Fillmore 260). On the other hand, Rodriguez writes informally, where he uses personal experiences and pronouns such as “I, me, and my.” For example, when he speaks about his troubles in class, “I couldn’t believe English could be my language to use” (Rodriguez 216).
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