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The intended audience for Richard Rodriguez’s essay titled “Aria” would seem to be people who have an open mind about the topic of bilingual education. It seems doubtful if Rodriguez’s essay would change the minds of many people already strongly committed to such education. Various aspects of the essay seem to support the claims just made. These aspects include the following:
- Rodriguez begins the essay by discussing his own childhood. He thus seems to assume that discussing his childhood will help put his opinions in a personal light and make them more persuasive. People who already have their minds made up about bilingual education are not likely to be persuaded or moved by this autobiographical approach.
- Very soon into the essay, Rodriguez makes his opposition to bilingual education quite clear and emphatic. After quickly explaining the arguments of proponents of bilingual education, he strongly responds by writing,
I hear them and am forced to say no. It is not possible for a child – any child – ever to use his family’s language in school.
- Rodriguez’s heavy emphasis on his own Hispanic background suggests that his intended audience consists, in part, of other Hispanics who may be tempted to agree with bilingual education but who can be persuaded not to accept it.
- Rodriguez’s arguments would obviously appeal to people who already are doubtful about bilingual education or who are already strongly opposed to it.
- Rodriguez’s intended audience would probably also include immigrants who were proud of having learned English and of not having relied on bilingual education.
- Rodriguez’s intended audience obviously includes proponents and theorists of bilingual education, but it seems unlikely that he hopes to change their minds. Rather, he seems to seek mainly to challenge them.
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