Bilingual Education and the Use of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in the Essay Aria Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood by Richard Rodriguez

Are you bilingual? Did you receive a bilingual education?

In the essay “Aria: Memoir of a bilingual childhood” written by Richard Rodriguez, Rodriguez addresses tell the reader his thoughts of bilingual education. To clearly argue that the use of bilingual education is unnecessary. He develops this argument through the use of narration appealing to Ethos, Logos, and Pathos.

Rodriguez appeals to pathos by telling the reader about the hard times of being a bilingual child. In paragraph seven he tells about a time when two or three of his neighbors tried to make his family feel unwelcomed by saying “keep your brats away from my sidewalk.” This makes the reader feel bad for rodriguez and his family. This is just a part of his hard childhood with primarily speaking pish and not much english.

Rodriguez’s appeal to ethos happens in the first few paragraphs partly through the use of anecdotes but also in the first sentence when he says ” I remember to start with that day in Sacramento-a california now nearly thirty years past- when I first entered a classroom, able to understand some fifty stray English words.” This give the reader a feeling that he knows what he is talking about. The fact that he has lived the life that he is discussing in this essay makes Rodriguez easier to trust.

Logos is also used to help Richard Rodriguez to further his argument. He uses

this device when he says “It is not possible for a child- any child- ever to use his family’s language in school. Not to understand this is to misunderstand the public uses of schooling and to trivialize the nature of intimate life- a family’s language.” Rodriguez says this to make the reader and the activists rethink their argument. He knows that it is impossible and is showing others the same thing.

Richard Rodriguez’s uses of pathos, ethos, and logos through his use of

narration effectively develops his argument by drawing his audience in emotionally. Also by making the reader feel like he was knowledgeable in the subject and also by creating a reasonable doubt of why the activist may be wrong.

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