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Bilingual Obstacles


Having Spanish speaking parents affects many students in PRHS

Many students at PRHS have parents that primarily speak Spanish. In fact, the United States is the second country that has the most Spanish speaking people following Mexico. The Census Office predicts that by 2050 there will be 138 million Spanish speakers, resulting in the United States being the largest Spanish-speaking nation. 

Sophomore Zaira Gomez was impacted at a young age. At six years old, Gomez and her family moved to Mexico where she had to learn fluent and proper Spanish. “When I moved back to Paso Robles I was in third grade. Only speaking English with my siblings and watching videos online. Both of my parents encouraged me to try and keep up with the kids in my grade and I had to take a grade lower in English because I needed extra practice,” Gomez said.

Gomez had to learn two different languages at a young age. Even though this was difficult, she was able to jump back and continue with her age group. Growing up bilingual can be an obstacle but students like Gomez are able to overcome and succeed.

“Looking back at how I first started speaking English, I can see a difference in how much I’ve advanced in the language and how I got in exceeding English classes in middle school and how I’m English honors. I can see myself advancing and learning,”Gomez said. 

Zaira Gomez, 10

  Now Gomez is eligible to be in English honors and AP Spanish. Gomez is one of many students that have gone through similar situations. 

  Junior Ximena Ortega faces day-to-day hardships.

Ximena Ortega smiling with her parents

  “I don’t get help from my parents on my school work because they wouldn’t know how to, but a benefit from this is if they can’t help it gives me the chance to be self-sufficient,” Ortega said.

Although Ortega’s parents are unable to help her with her school work they do attend school events to support her.

  “My parents go to assemblies and conferences to help me out. They’re always checking up on my grades, checking if there good or not. If they’re not they push me to try harder to achieve better grades.” Ortega said.

  Despite some challenges, having Spanish speaking parents is also a huge benefit, “Knowing more than one language can give you a big boost professionally, and in today’s economy, that’s something everyone can use.” According to 7 Benefits of being Bilingual That’ll Change Your Life.

With Spanish expanding in the U.S. what it is important to practice both languages; speaking Spanish opens job opportunities, school options, and travelling. 

“Many companies have international offices, sell their products abroad and have production facilities in other countries. These companies want to hire versatile employees who can speak other languages and navigate different cultural expectations.”

  Students are not alone in this situation and will continue to work hard for all the sacrifices their parents make for them to have a bright future. 

  “I don’t feel alone because I know other people are going through the same thing and if our parents make sacrifices it’s on us to make them too., senior Santiago Neri said. 

Santiago Neri and his mother celebrating his birthday

  Neri is an AP and AVID student who is working hard for a good education. 

  “I took AVID because I know it is a vital step to reaching my college goals. It is also my second family.” Neri said. 

There are people at PRHS that can help students get to where they want to be in the future whether it be an AVID teacher or counselor. Whatever obstacles the students face they are able to overcome them due to their supportive parents. 

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