Box #2: Language Policy & Literacy

Case Study of Mexico

"In Latin America , most Indian [Note 1] peoples are still far from enjoying the fundamental indigenous rights which are considered essential to create a context for autonomous development and thus the survival of indigenous ethnias." (Hamel, 1995, pg. 271) [Note 2].

  1. Look on map quest or some other map program and find Mexico on the map.
  2. Review the following web sites
    4. Review the website of Universidad de las Americas or Universidad de Monterrey , to identify the work that is happening there around language policy, literacy, and SPPA services to diverse cultural and linguistic groups.
  1. Look up and review the Mexican Federal Ministry of Public Education to learn of the educational and language policies put in place for individuals living in Latin America .
  2. Is there an official language in Mexico ?
  3. What is the economic and political context in which language policies were established in Mexico ? In other words, what else was going on in Mexico that made the government perceive that it was necessary to establish a language policy, if one was established?
  4. What groups have immigrated to Mexico ? What role will these ethnic groups play in the linguistic aspect of Mexico ?
  5. What about the languages of the indigenous people in Mexico ? What is the status of their language?
  6. From your readings, what do you think the de facto language policy is in Mexico ?
  7. Discuss the impact that this language policy may have on effective services for individuals from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

For the class presentation, lead us in a discussion about the situation in Mexico , and the three tasks outlined in the syllabus (page 3):

    1. Identify the problem(s) in Mexico
    2. Analyze the problems from various perspectives
    3. Propose various strategies for addressing the problem(s)
  1. Indigenous

  2. Hamel, R. E. (1995). Indigenous education in Latin America : Policies and legal frameworks. In T. Skutnabb- Kangas & R. Phillipson (Eds.), Linguistic human rights: Overcoming linguistic discrimination (pp. 271 - 288). NY: Mouton de Gruyter.

Copyright © Yvette D. Hyter May 2004