While reading Aria by Richard Rodriguez I was very familiar with the similar situation. Growing up Portuguese was my first language and we spoken it all the time and rarely spoke English at home. So when I attend kindergarten I didn’t know that much English. But this lead me to struggle that first year and when it came time to graduate kindergarten my parents chose to keep me back because I wasn’t reading and writing at a good level as a kindergartner should. So I can relate to Richard very much in this article and how he was afraid to speak in class and was very shy because I was the exact same way. And I’m sure that just like my parents they didn’t teach him English as a first language because they didn’t know it well and wanted him to learn it the proper way. My father came here when he was 9 years old and my mother was 16 years old. My father went to middle and high school but my mother didn’t and in Portugal they only had high school till the 4th grade so her education level is not as high. My father speaks very good English but my mother’s English is broken and she has a heavy accent. She only took one English speaking course. My parents help me learn English just like Richards but it is very hard to learn a language that is not native and haven’t been speaking your whole life.
After awhile of speaking English at home I became very use too it just like Richard did. I remember telling my parents when they spoke in Portuguese “Stop speaking Portuguese you live in America!” I never understood why they keep speaking in it but as I got older I realized it was just what they are use too and if I we’re to more to another country I would most likely speak English in my home. But I do think that it is important for children to speak English first or at least know it before they enter school. It is important because they won’t struggle as much , be shy or afraid, can speak to the other children and make more friends and just to learn better in the when they are young and in the future. But I do feel like it is important to learn a different language also. For me if I didn’t know Portuguese I wouldn’t be able to speak with my grandparents who do not know English. Still till this day my parents speak Portuguese at home and to me and my sisters and I don’t even realize they do it has become so second nature and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Does anyone feel like English shouldn’t be a child’s first language?
This shows a teacher teaching his students English by songs, speaking games and fun