The Importance Of Bilingualism In A Foreign Language

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At Clackamas High School in Portland, Oregon, the school I attend, counselors and teachers offer a variety of foreign language courses to teach the culture and dialect. Students may take up the opportunity to achieve a minor or major in a foreign language, because they have a passion for it. Martin Espada and Richard Rodriguez, two men who grew up with bilingual hardships, portray the significance and passion they feel for bilingualism in their essays. Both authors base their support upon real life events and experiences, but their ideas beautifully contrast in a way that expresses the true meaning of bilingualism. In reality, bilingualism exists as the encompassed ties of an individual with two languages to treasure in their heart.
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In educational zones, one would believe that teachers would support the students and their freedom of expression, while they do their best to speak a public language such as English. However, Espada explains that educators often mistrust bilingual speakers in his poem The New Bathroom Policy: “The boys chatter Spanish/ in the bathroom/ while the principal/ listens from his stall/ The only word he recognizes/ is his own name/ and this constipates him/ So he decides/ to ban Spanish/ in the bathrooms/ Now he can relax” (9). Paranoid English speakers fear the domination of foreign languages, and strive to maintain their position of superiority. Similar to the principal, the speakers also fear the unknown, such as adolescents speaking those languages inside of school. However, the principal simply expects the students to follow the rules, similar to how teachers expect students to follow the “No-cell phone” policy. Adolescents stealthily skip past the warnings of the restrictions, and freely use their devices without consequences most of the time. The outcomes of both the cell phone and bathroom policies result as equal, for students wouldn’t just abandon their culture and passion for the sake of the school law. Martin Espada also conveys his passion in …show more content…
A minority of students, such as myself, delve deeper into the arts of Spanish, French, or Japanese for more than just a good mark or good look on a college resume. In my Spanish 3 class, we learn about the countries, the opportunities, and the wonder within the beauty of this foreign country. As Espada claims, “Yo hablo español con mi corazón,” and that applies to me as much as any other bilingual speaking person in the world (7). The purpose of learning a language normally serves as a passion, and vice versa. However, public languages and lingua francas, mutually understood languages, continue to dominate over private languages like Spanish due to vast and swift diffusion over the world. I might not have experienced the same events as Espada and Rodriguez, but I do believe that striving to achieve bilingualism is a risky maneuver. With the language of the classroom and language of home hanging in the balance, focusing attention on one or the other would cause a challenge in the act of maintaining in a foreign individual’s culture.
English speakers and critics should not shame bilinguals for speaking their hearts out. Bilingualism takes on a huge role in a cultural identity, which people hold dear to their hearts like a golden relic. Espada discusses his position and his relic of bilingualism in a professional manner, which . On the other hand, Rodriguez holds his

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