chapter  8
20 Pages

Writing in Two Languages/Living in Two Worlds: A Rhetorical Analysis of Mexican-American Written Discourse

It is 9:40 in the morning and the warm late August wind blows in Luis’s face as he

crosses the campus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Luis is a freshman.

This morning, he is tense because in less than 20 minutes he will be-for the first time in

his life-in a Spanish language class. This seems odd to him because he has spoken

Spanish all his life, at home, with all his friends in Chicago, and around Pilsen and La Villita. Moreover, he listens to music and sings in Spanish, has traveled to Mexico to visit his relatives, and sometimes flips through Latino television channels, Univisión and Telemundo. So far, he has had no problems speaking, understanding, and even reading Spanish-language magazines and newspapers. However, he has never attended a Spanish class

in his life and that makes him feel uncomfortable and insecure about his language abilities.