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How fascinating! I have nephews and a niece who have been brought up bilingual, and I often come across bilingual students. What I notice about the students is that they often lack those deep roots in either of their languages, you know, the kind that mean you can play with language and reach for unusual ways to express yourself when you want to say something difficult and nuanced. That could of course be simply because they are young. But I'd be very interested to read this essay.


Litlove--I thought it fascinating as well. My niece is bilingual--she spoke only Spanish until she went to school and now does very well in English, but I wonder if she's not quite up to where she should be in her reading and writing if she only had spoken English (and she can't write or read well in Spanish). But she is still very young so maybe with time she'll pick up the more difficult things. Anyway, I did find the essay online if you want to read it and don't have a copy of the essay anthology on hand:

Dorothy W.

I love this essay. I've taught it a few times, and it's always interesting to think about the ideas. I had to read Rodriguez's book Hunger of Memory in college, and I enjoyed that as well. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about bilingual education either, but Rodriguez certainly does have some good arguments here. And I think he writes really well.


Dorothy--Yes, he is a good writer and I think I will have to read the other essays that are in my anthologies by him. I guess I was thinking as someone who grew up in that environment he has the experience so I have to concede a little bit to his argument. It would be a great one to teach as there seems to be lots to discuss especially as I think the argument these days is for bilingual classrooms.


What an interesting essay. I've read Rodriguez before, not this one though, and like his writing. I'll have to make the time to read this one.


Stefanie--It really was very interesting as it was so personal yet he talked about a lot of broader ideas, too. I had heard of some of his other books but didn't put two and two together to realize who he was. I hope to read more of his essays and have found a few online even (published in Harpers).


Ordinarily, I wouldn't be all that interested in a topic such as bilingual education, but your post has hooked me and I am keen to know more! Thanks for that.

I would say that any child who was brought up with two languages, if not quite at first, will eventually flourish in both and later be grateful that they had learned both at an early age, which is, of course, the absolute best time to learn language. Children are sponges!


Joanna--Had I not started this essay project (I've been trying to read an essay a week this year), I wouldn't have read this either, but I'm really glad I did. Aside from being a good writer and an interesting one, he does raise some interesting/thought provoking arguments. Still not sure where I stand, but I think you're right that kids are sponges and later in life they will appreciate being able to be fluent in more than one language!


what are some discussion question in this essay

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