Bilingual/Bilingue Research Paper Bilingual/Bilingue by Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Lastly, the more personal issue discussed in Bilingual/Bilingue
should be evaluated, and that is the relationship between the girl's father
and a second language. This is a primary focus of the work as her father
resists the English language and he is unable to accept it within his
household. This seems to confuse the girl in the poem, yet it does not
disturb her. She understands that it is her father who fails to understand
both her love for English and undying love for her father. This is
consistent with a recent psychological study entitled, "Effects of Language
Usage on the Emotional Experience of Spanish-English and English-Spanish
Bilinguals" in which bilingualism does not appear to hinder the emotional
experience of those children who are bilingual (Guttfreund 1990).
Nevertheless, bilingualism is a personal experience and the relationships
involved with language differences vary from person to person and there is
no way to fit all experiences with Spanish and English into one category.
Thus ultimately Espaillat's work could be considered as possibly the norm,
but not the only reaction for a child growing up in America in a Spanish
speaking household.
Bilingual/Bilingue touches on many aspects of bilingualism in America
and almost all are relevant today over sixty years after Espaillat
experienced a bilingual childhood herself. This is because the issues at
the heart of bilingualism cannot change over time, and although people's
opinions may change, the problems and possible outcomes of being bilingual
remain a constant. Bilingual/Bilingue is a poem about a personal
experience growing up in America in a Spanish household, and is a little
extraordinary in that the protagonist became an accomplished English
writer. Yet the themes, ideas, and notions present in it are reflective of
a multitude of issues involving bilingualism in America. Both research and
Espaillat's poem reflect the notion that bilingualism could be a hurdle,
but it is also something to be embraced. Not speaking English as a first
language can be overcome, and it is of course a good thing to have full
knowledge of another language as well. Specifically, in
Bilingual/Bilingue, and less specifically in all cases of a child from a
Spanish family learning English, language barriers are not entirely
restrictive. However, a child needs to be given the opportunity to learn a
second language, and it appears that efforts to teach children in their
native language are hindering such possible experiences. For instance,
although it is not documented, the viewpoint expressed in
Bilingual/Bilingue suggests that it is better to learn English as much as
possible and this means in the classroom as well. For if a child is to
learn English, he or she needs ample opportunity. But most importantly,
learning a new language does not mean that the old one will be forgotten or
a lost part of the person's identity. Rather real life examples and the
girl in Bilingual/Bilingue both show that the original language remains a
part of one's culture and identity and that language barriers are only an
obstacle, but not a permanent one.
Works Cited
Anonymous. "Stances on Multilingual and Multicultural Education." Language
Arts 84 (2006): 171. 15 Apr. 2007

Cox, Annabel. "Gustavo P?Rez Firmat's "Bilingual Blues" and "Turning the
Times Tables": Language Choice and Cultural Identity in Cuban-American
Literature." Neophilologus 91 (2007): 63. 15 Apr. 2007

Guttfreund, Daniel G. "Effects of Language Usage on the Emotional
Experience of Spanish-English and English-Spanish Bilinguals." Journal
of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 58 (1990): 604. 16 Apr. 2007

Pacheco, Mariana, Paula Carbone, and Ramon Martinez. "Building on
Strength: Language and Literacy in Latino Families and Communities."
Language Arts 84 (2006): 193. 15 Apr. 2007

Shaunessy, Elizabeth, Patricia Alvarez Mchatton, Mary Ann Ratliff,
Alejandro Brice, and Claire Hughes. "Understanding the Experiences of
Bilingual, Latino/a Adolescents: Voices From Gifted and General
Education." Roeper Review 29 (2007): 174. 15 Apr. 2007

Villalba Jr, Jos? A. "Culture-Specific Assets to Consider When Counseling
Latina/O Children and Adolescents." Journal of Multicultural
Counseling and Development 35 (2007): 15. 15 Apr. 2007

Cite This Essay:

"Bilingual Bilingue Research Paper Bilingual Bilingue By" (2007, April 17) Retrieved August 23, 2017, from

"Bilingual Bilingue Research Paper Bilingual Bilingue By" 17 April 2007. Web.23 August. 2017. <>

"Bilingual Bilingue Research Paper Bilingual Bilingue By", 17 April 2007, Accessed.23 August. 2017,