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Growing Up Bilingual

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Submitted By sgarcia23
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Growing Up Bilingual Growing up knowing more than one language has many advantages but then again people do face challenges. An advantage in being bilingual would be the obvious of getting a job adding to that would be the salary being received. Another up would be being able to travel to where your second language is spoken and not feeling like an outcast. Now having that in mind if you are an immigrant that has recently moved somewhere where your native language is not spoken that would be a problem because now you would feel like an outcast. On top of being an outcast you have no way of communicating with anyone because your native language is, let us say Spanish, and you live in Houston where the dominate language is English. But, after a while you learn your second language and can start passing up your downs and receive your advantages of being bilingual. As your growing up your learning your “new” language but before that you were “socially disadvantaged” as said in Richard Rodriguez’s “A Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood”. This is said to be a disadvantage, not of being bilingual but it is the step you have to take before being able to be considered bilingual. As Rodriguez stated in his short story he was also the “problem student” only because he was not completely familiar with this new language he eventually had to take up. His family was also part of being “socially disadvantage” they hardly knew any English and had trouble communicating with their surrounding neighbors. They spoke what was known as broken English, they were understood but at times people had no clue of what they spoke of. Being the outcast anywhere and not being able to communicate with anyone is the worst. But once you have learned the “public language” you tend to fit in with the rest of society around you.
Once you have learned your second language or even if you already knew it you automatically receive all the advantages of being bilingual. Now a day some jobs require you to be bilingual only

because they teach it at schools and it is easier to learn a new language now than in the past. Companies have now opened their doors to those who are bilingual. Our nation is drastically growing with so many different ethnicities that it helps out the company when they hire a bilingual employee because their native language can bring in people from that race. Since it is a skill to be bilingual your salary expected can be greater than those who only speak their native language because you are bringing more to the table. That would be your advantage work-wise; you have a better job opportunity and have a higher salary. For your personal experiences you can interact with people who are familiar with your second language. You have more people to communicate with and are able to understand them. Knowing you can communicate with people who understand you, you can travel to places around the world where your second language is common or used. Besides being able to communicate with others around you, you will not feel like such an outcast because of the fact you can understand them and talk to them back. In conclusion, being bilingual brings difficulties and advantages to your life. Once you have learned your second language you tend to “hear words, not sounds” as Rodriguez mentions. You develop a new person within yourself because you have a new language that you have evolved. Rodriguez also mentions that, “bilingualists over simplify when they scorn the value and necessity of assimilation. They do not seem to realize that a person is individualized in two ways.” Those two ways breaks down who you are now and who you were then. Though being bilingual has many advantages it also has its disadvantages.

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