Martin Espada And Richard Rodriguez's Hunger Of Memory

865 Words 4 Pages
Suddenly, America has become extremely diverse, and with the array of languages forming from that, it would be unprecedented to think that every person can speak English. Two authors, Martin Espada and Richard Rodriguez discuss the issues and challenges towards bilingualism. “The new bathroom policy at english high school “ by Martin Espada and “Hunger of Memory” by Richard Rodriguez, each have opposing views on the same topics involving languages. Ranging from political issues to social/ family issues, these essays cover them all.
In Martin Espada’s essay, “The new Bathroom Policy at English High School,” focuses on bilingual education and politics. The essay goes through Espada’s own personal experiences with bilingual discrimination, as
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Rodriguez defines public language as the way that a person speaks in society and around one's peers. On the contrary, a private language, described as the method of communication within a person’s family, and friend group. These two categories of language define bilingualism as a way to communicate with others. Rodriguez grew up in a Spanish only home, he “considered Spanish to be a private language” but he did not know that he “had the right-the obligation-to speak the public language” of English. (19) Rodriguez went to an all English catholic school and was practically forced to speak English. Because of this experience, Rodriguez became bilingual, and learned to speak English and therefore gained a public identity. Because of this experience, he favors the idea of making kids in schools speak english , because it gave him confidence and …show more content…
I have witnessed discrimination and bullying within my school because of it. I often see students being ridiculed, called out, and reprimanded for speaking a language besides the dominant English. To me bilingualism represents a mixture of both Espada and Rodriguez’s arguments, it not only connects the speakers family and heritage, but also communicating within the society. I don't necessarily see all of the “issues” that Spanish speakers face, but I can recognize that it could be hard for a person to be ridiculed for speaking a language. I agree with Rodriguez on bilingual education, that English should be taught and required in schools. English is a key to success as well as a major component in the “American dream”, something every American citizen strives for. I somewhat agree with Espada about English becoming official language could be a foundation for discrimination against Latinos. I may be insensitive because I have never experienced this issue, but I think that Espada blows the issue out of proportion. I like how Rodriguez addresses the problem, but doesn't dabble in it. He just makes his point which is also opposite of

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