Both Malcolm X and Richard Rodriguez frame language in terms of political and social power. Malcolm X and Richard Rodriguez both comment on the power of language to demark social status. Language is also a form of empowerment, both personal and political.
Rodriguez focuses on the social and political implications of bilingualism. The author shows that in the United States, English is the language of the dominant culture and all other languages including Spanish are segregated as private languages. Rodriguez states, "As a socially disadvantaged child, I considered Spanish to be a private language." Proponents of bilingual education do not understand the political implications of bilingual education, claims Rodriguez. A monolingual education in English would equalize the playing field, by allowing English Language Learners to assume the language of the dominant culture as their own. The situation would be different if all students in the United States had access...
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