"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."
School is suppose to be a place of acceptance. Being Bilingual is a great quality and has a positive impact on ones future. The ability of understanding multiple languages is praised in our society today. This quote caught my attention because Richard didn't feel accepted for who he is and where he comes from. When you don't feel accepted, you loose a sense of security. you loose the ability to trust others. Since Richard didn't feel accepted, he didn't trust his teacher. A student can't learn from a teacher that they don't trust and feel afraid of. Two words that caught my eye are "afraid" and "trust". These words caused Richard to loose the sense of feeling normal. A student that doesn't speak english should learn how to speak english. How can these students learn how to speak english when they don't feel comfortable with who they are? Students need to feel safe, accepted, and normal. They can't learn until this happens and it all starts by doing the little things to show acceptance.
"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."
This quote can relate to one common issue from my last post about communication. Richard and his siblings got better with speaking english over time. Over that time span, his family bond started to deteriorate. What once made his family different and unique that made their family so close was gone. Families all have differences that keep them close and which makes them experience a tight relationship. One of these differences involves communication, meaning what language you speak. Since his family talked more english and got use to that life style. His family started to grow apart. The reason for this change is because of our public separateness. English is the common language in America and is the one most spoken. Do I believe that you should learn English? I do, I believe that if you live in America you should be able to communicate in English. The same reason why I believe this is the same reason every country feels this way. Then again, being bilingual shouldn't affect who you are and your family. In Richard's case, I believe that his family speaking English more often caused him to confuse himself. To loose an idea of who he is and where he came from; That feeling of being lost. When you lived your life a certain way and it changes so dramatically. It can cause insecurity, which is why the family bond diminished over those years. We Teach English so we can get along with society, not change families beliefs and ways of being a unique family.
"But the bilingualists simplistically scorn the value and necessity of assimilation. They do not seem to realize that there are two ways a person is individualized. So they do not realize that while one suffers a diminished sense of private individuality by becoming assimilated into public society, such assimilation makes possible the achievement of public individuality."
At first, I had to look up the definition for assimilation when I read this quote. Assimilation means to adopt the ways of another culture. Adopting the ways of another culture is a way of becoming a part of a different society. Assimilation is simply the reason to become bilingual. I believe that we are focusing to much on the "necessity of assimilation" then on the lives of the students and their families. We need to realize that one language doesn't substitute another. Changing one's language is changing their family culture and unity. Is it a necessity to understand and get along with each other? It is to an extend, communication is key in our society. We have to be able to get along in society without sacrificing the individuality that makes everyone and their families distinct.
This link shows a picture that I think is good symbolism for this communication barrier.