In his article, "Aria", Richard Rodriguez talks about how he grew up in a Spanish-speaking home, and when he was struggling with the transition into an English speaking classroom, his teachers asked his parents if they could begin speaking English at home to help him and get him more used to it. He talks about English being a "public language" where Spanish was his family's "private language."(34) This transition into English made his family lose a lot of their communication and culture. As they got older, Rodriguez and his siblings in some ways lost touch with their parents who were much more comfortable speaking Spanish.
Rodriguez argues that cutting out the first language from a student is not the way to teach them a second language. He uses his own, real life example to show the negative affects of eliminating the first language from a bilingual student. In "Teaching Multilingual Children", Virginia Collier would agree with Rodrigues in her Seven Guidelines to teaching to assist in teaching multilingual children. (223) Guideline #3 sticks out the most in agreement with Rodriguez, and that is "Don't teach a second language in any way that challenges or seeks to eliminate the first language." (227) This directly backs up what happened when Rodriguez, a Spanish-speaking student was put into an English-speaking classroom and expected to change completely to fit in and be like the other students, who were most likely white and middle class.
I think that it is so sad that Rodriguez lost so much of his family's language and culture because he wasn't taught in a way that could accept both his English-speaking peers and his Spanish-speaking family.