Spanglish Is Also a Valid Dialect, Says Texas Teacher
It is a universal fact that language is dynamic, and nothing can stop it from evolving. Being the most essential element of communication, language is immensely affected by the changes in the world. Even a language has multiple dialects-meaning, one language may vary on some lexicons depending on the geographical and social factors. Language will always be influenced by outside forces but change can take place depending on how many people are open to these changes and apply them to their daily lives.
According to an article by NPR, college students in a university in Texas are using Spanglish, a version of Spanish has English influence. They have learned that this language is just as valid as any other Spanish dialect.
"Pure languages, don't exist," said Meghann Peace who teaches Spanish at St. Mary's University in San Antonio.
According to her, history has taught the world that only constant is change. U.S. Spanish has been included in the college curriculum for many years. In fact, a 2016 survey from New Mexico State University shows that more than 40 colleges across the country are teaching about it.
"When two or more languages are in constant geographic and social contact, there will always be linguistic consequences," she added.
Not everyone, however, are receptive to this language dynamism, especially those who are native speakers of both Spanish and English languages. Even in Texas, where almost 30% of the population uses Spanish as their medium of communication at home, people believe that it is better to speak "pure Spanish".
Peace challenges her students who mostly grew up in a community which uses both Spanish and English, to overcome those negative perceptions towards the language.
For freshman Angie Bravo, 18, who grew up in Laredo, Texas and whose first language was Spanish, and she wishes she were better at speaking the language. But this semester, she has learned there is nothing wrong with using Spanglish because it just a different dialect from the one usually used by natives of Madrid or Mexico City.
Meanwhile, some of Peace's students receive negative reactions for using Spanglish.
According to Mary Villines, a biology major from the Rio Grande Valley, people who speak either pure Spanish or pure English sometimes assume she doesn't speak their language well and correct her.
"But what bothers me is that they only speak one language," Villines explains in Spanish adding that these people have the audacity to correct her when they don't even know what she is saying.
On the other hand, other students such as Elisha Carrillo, an international and global studies major, feels the pressure to speak Spanish flawlessly since her mom and grandma speak Spanish. Carrillo was not taught at home how to speak Spanish, instead, she learned the language in school.
"My grandparents talk a lot about being discriminated in school for speaking Spanish," Carrillo says.
With the number of immigrants in U.S., it is undeniable that Spanglish is not the only dialect that emerged-there are others such as Franglais or French ang English, Taglish or tagalog (Philippines) and English, and Portuñol or Portuguese and Spanish.
While Spanglish seems like a random mishmash of two languages, Peace reminds her class the dialect follows both languages' rules when code-switching.
As an example, Peace wrote on the classroom's whiteboard the phrase, "a girl who was walking her dog." In Spanish, it would be "una chica que estaba paseando su perro." Meanwhile, it would be "una girl que estaba walking her dog." in Spanglish.
Peace stressed that those who want to use Spanglish have to be very familiar with both languages in order to code-switch in the same sentence.
Meanwhile, to those who believe Spanglish is an attack on a "pure" language, Peace responded, "A standard dialect is simply the standard because the people who are in power made it the standard."
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