Roman Aguyayo


Interviewer: So the first thing we need you to do is say your name and then spell your first name and then spell your last name. OK? Are we ready? What’s your name?

Roman Aguyayo: My name is Roman Aguayo.

Interviewer: OK, how do you say it again?

Roman Aguyayo: Roman.

Interviewer: And your last name?

Roman Aguyayo: Aguyayo.

Interviewer: OK. Very good. OK. Um, tell me how long you’ve been in the United States and when your family came and who is in your family.

Roman Aguyayo: I’ve been here for like two years and a half and I live with my parents and brother and…

Interviewer: Do you just have one brother?

Roman Aguyayo: Two.

Interviewer: Two brothers.

Roman Aguyayo: Yeah.

Interviewer: How old are your brothers?

Roman Aguyayo: Uh, one is 22 and the other is 23.

Interviewer: So you’re the baby of the family.

Roman Aguyayo: Yeah.

Interviewer: OK. We won’t call you a baby again. I’m the baby of my family…

Roman Aguyayo: All right.

Interviewer: …and I don’t look much like a baby anymore either. OK, tell me where you’re—what country you’re from.

Roman Aguyayo: I’m from Mexico, Halisco.

Interviewer: When you were in Mexico did you like going to school?

Roman Aguyayo: Yeah.

Interviewer: Tell me about how school in Mexico is different from here.

Roman Aguyayo: Uh, school in Mexico’s like more—like smarter and—like the teachers just teach—one teacher teaches all the classes, all the like math and geometry, uh history—US—I mean, Mexico history.

Interviewer: Was that in elementary school or in high school too?

Roman Aguyayo: Uh, in junior high school—junior high school.

Interviewer: So in junior high you had one teacher for all those subjects.

Roman Aguyayo: Yeah.

Interviewer: What was the hardest thing when you first came? Think back to when you first came to the United States. What was the hardest thing?

Roman Aguyayo: Hmm. Like don’t speak English—I didn’t speak English at all.

Interviewer: How did that make you feel?

Roman Aguyayo: It makes me feel like if I didn’t success to something I’d done.

Interviewer: Did people talk to you at school?

Roman Aguyayo: Yeah, they asked me questions but I had a friend and he translated for me.

Interviewer: When you think about the very beginning and you think about now, tell me how much English you’ve learned.

Roman Aguyayo: Um, I learn like uh 70 percent of English—uh, 65.

Interviewer: What do you like about English now?

Roman Aguyayo: Hmm. I have a lot of friends and…

Interviewer: Do you speak English with them or Spanish?

Roman Aguyayo: It depends on who I’m talking to. A Mexican—I don’t speak English with my Mexican friends.

Interviewer: Tell me why.

Roman Aguyayo: I don’t know. I just—I don’t need it to talk with them. I just speak English with an American person.

Interviewer: Would you feel dumb speaking English to your Spanish-speaking friends?

Roman Aguyayo: Yeah.

Interviewer: Yeah. Um, when you’re at home what do—what do you use—when do you use English and when do you use Spanish at home.

Roman Aguyayo: Uh, I speak Spanish all the time in my home.

Interviewer: Um, do you ever speak English at home?

Roman Aguyayo: Sometimes in—when my dad asks me something I would say something.

Interviewer: Do your mom and dad speak English?

Roman Aguyayo: Just my dad.

Interviewer: What does your dad do?

Roman Aguyayo: He works—he works in construction.

Interviewer: Do you ever help your mom and dad when they don’t know—do you know more English then they know?

Roman Aguyayo: No, my dad knows more then me. My mom doesn’t speak very well.

Interviewer: So do you ever help her?

Roman Aguyayo: Yeah.

Interviewer: How do you help her?

Roman Aguyayo: Like she—she was—she—she goes to school and then when she has a question or something then he tells me and I help her.

Interviewer: What do you miss about Mexico?

Roman Aguyayo: My friends. My other brother, he’s in Mexico. My niece.

Interviewer: Do you miss anything about school in Mexico?

Roman Aguyayo: I don’t think so.

Interviewer: No? Well, what do you like about American schools?

Roman Aguyayo: Um, I don’t know.

Interviewer: Is there anything different that you really like that’s different from Mexico?

Roman Aguyayo: Yeah. I think graphics—the class of graphics. I think they don’t have that in Mexico. I like graphics.

Interviewer: Um, what’s your favorite subject?

Roman Aguyayo: Graphics.

Interviewer: Why do you like graphics so much?

Roman Aguyayo: I don’t know. They—you make things and stuff. I like computers and they—we use computers.

Interviewer: That’s cool. What about reading. Today we sat and we heard you in reading class. Do you like to read? What kinds of things do you like to read?

Roman Aguyayo: Uh, stories sometimes.

Interviewer: Do you ever read at home?

Roman Aguyayo: Sometimes.

Interviewer: No very often?

Roman Aguyayo: No.

Interviewer: No. What’s the—your favorite story that you read in Miss O’Connell’s class?

Roman Aguyayo: Um, “The Sign Of The River”

Interviewer: Tell me about that story.

Roman Aguyayo: It’s about um like um English guy and then a—and an Indian. Then they’re—the English guy went like to camping or—I don’t remember very well but I remember they live in the camp—or they went camping. Then he meets the Indian guy and then he teach him a lot of things like from animals. What the marks—what—they—he teach him how to fish with the—with an arrow—arrow or something. And I don’t know, like to make signs, to—for not get lost in the forest.

Interviewer: OK. When you think of uh your Mexican culture and American culture, do you consider yourself all Mexican? “I’m a Mexican.” Or are you a Mexican/American? Are you American? Or—what do you think about that when people say, you know, “Who are you?”

Roman Aguyayo: I don’t know. Every time they ask me that uh I just say that I’m just Latin Hispanic.

Interviewer: You don’t feel more Mexican—or you only feel Latino?

Roman Aguyayo: Like…

Interviewer: Is there anything about American culture that you feel is becoming you?

Roman Aguyayo: Um, just…

Interviewer: You can’t think of anything, huh?

Roman Aguyayo: No.

Interviewer: What do you do when you don’t know a word or when you’re in class and you need help? Talk about some of the strategies you use to learn more English.

Roman Aguyayo: Like I ask to a friend and if he doesn’t know then I go talk with the teacher, ask her.

Interviewer: Uh, when you think about in the time you’ve been here…

Roman Aguyayo: Mm-hmm.

Interviewer: …you’ve come to a new country, you’ve gone to school in a new place and there are things that are hard about school work and things that are hard about friends and social things, and then there’s language. Which is the hardest? Schoolwork, your social things or the language difference? Tell me what’s been the hardest.

Roman Aguyayo: The classes. Like the—where you need like English like to talk very well. Like geography or something like that.

Interviewer: Why is that harder then say graphics?

Roman Aguyayo: Because in—in geography you need to like to read and then answer questions and…

Interviewer: What kind of student are you in class? When somebody—if I were to come and watch you in several classes, would you be a student who volunteers and participates a lot or are you someone who’s kind of quiet and waits for the teacher to call on you.

Roman Aguyayo: I don’t know. I think I’m both.

Interviewer: Tell me how you usually think about yourself in class.

Roman Aguyayo: Sometimes I feel bored.

Interviewer: When do you feel bored?

Roman Aguyayo: Uh, when I didn’t sleep very well.

Interviewer: Are you working yet?

Roman Aguyayo: No.

Interviewer: You just stay up late and watch TV.

Roman Aguyayo: Yeah.

Interviewer: Yeah. Hmm. Is there any special story that you remember about school?

Roman Aguyayo: Where?

Interviewer: That was particularly harder or a happy day at school this last year uh, that had to do with the language?

Roman Aguyayo: Uh-huh.

Interviewer: Do you feel accepted by the American students that are in this school?

Roman Aguyayo: Some of them.

Interviewer: How can you tell? What do you—how do you decide?

Roman Aguyayo: Well, there are some kids that treat me like—different then the others. There’s someone that—they have friendship and the others like—like they don’t like us or something.

Interviewer: Have you ever felt that people were prejudice against you because you were from Mexico?

Roman Aguyayo: Yeah.

Interviewer: Has that happened at school?

Roman Aguyayo: Yeah.

Interviewer: Well, what do you do when that happens to you?

Roman Aguyayo: I just ignore them.

Interviewer: Does that make it hard?

Roman Aguyayo: Kind of.

Interviewer: Mm-hmm. Well, kids are mean to everybody, right?

Roman Aguyayo: Yeah.

Interviewer: Sometimes it doesn’t matter what culture they’re from; they’re mean to everybody.

Roman Aguyayo: Yeah.

Interviewer: Some people are just mean that way. Well, let’s see. When you think about your language ability, do you think your writing is better then your speaking or your speaking is better then you’re writing?

Roman Aguyayo: I think my writing is better then my speaking.

Interviewer: Tell me why you think that.

Roman Aguyayo: Um, by like—uh like I see a word, write it, then there are some words that I don’t know how to say, but I know how to spell it and then I just write it down and they understand what I’m saying.

Interviewer: When you think about the future, what do you think you want to do when you graduate from high school?

Roman Aguyayo: I don’t know. I think I’m going to—I’m going to be in electronics—electronics.

Interviewer: Something in electronics?

Roman Aguyayo: Yeah.

Interviewer: Anything in computers or just electronics?

Roman Aguyayo: Oh, I don’t know yet.

Interviewer: You don’t know yet. Are you thinking of going to college?

Roman Aguyayo: Maybe.

Interviewer: Have any of your brothers gone to college?

Roman Aguyayo: No.

Interviewer: No? You’d be the first one, huh. Yeah, if you went.

Roman Aguyayo: Yeah.

Interviewer: OK. Um, one last question. Uh, what do you think you do really well in school?

Roman Aguyayo: SEOP.

Interviewer: Tell me about the SEOP—SEOP.

Roman Aguyayo: Um, it’s about computers too but you write in the computer and—I don’t know. You do graphs and you learn a lot of stuff.

Interviewer: So you’ve been good at that.

Roman Aguyayo: Yeah.

Interviewer: OK. Well, good. Thank you very much. Was that hard?

Roman Aguyayo: No.

Interviewer: No. Uh-huh. That was good. (interruption) So let’s get your name and the spelling of your last name on tape. We’ll do a mike test with that. What’s your name?