May 12 2012

Negativity Of Code Switching: Assimilating To The English Language

Published by at 2:34 pm under Uncategorized

Mexican American novelist Richard Rodriguez put the consequences of English monolingualism and subsequent dissonant acculturation in a more poignant personal vein: “I knew that I had turned to English only with angry reluctance…I felt that I shattered the intimate bond that once held the family close… I was not proud of my mother and father.. I was embarrassed by their lack of education… simply what mattered to me was that they were not like my teachers. (Portes/Rivas 232)

This quote has significant relation to the text “Aria” by Richard Rodriguez in the sense that it refers to the idea of code switching and assimilating to the English language. This quote supports the idea of how language has significance to people’s cultures and has meaning behind it that reflects a person’s identity. In the view of Richard Rodriguez he approaches the idea of assimilating to the English language with great negativity. For instance, “I knew I had turned to English only with angry reluctance…I felt I had shattered the intimate bond that once held the family close..” This quote from Rodriguez shows how he did not support the idea of assimilating to the English language leaving his native language behind. It shows the great significance of language and how a person should always hold on to their native language because that language connects to their identity. In this case Rodriguez doesn’t support the idea of code switching since he feels that switching over from his native language to only English as his primary language makes him feel empty and disconnected from his identity and native language.  I found the last line of this quote to hold significance when he states “simply what mattered to me was that they were not like my teachers”; I felt that this shows how the process of assimilation can be difficult for immigrant families and their children and how the children start to recognize how their parents are not able to help them like their teachers because their parents are unfamiliar with the English language whereas their teachers help them assimilate to the English language through their education.

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