The role of English as a foreign language in the reproduction of social and educational inequalities in Chile.
This piece of historiographical work explores the use of English as a foreign language within the context of educational and social inequalities in Latin America, specifically in Chile. It considers ideologies regarding concepts of development and modernity and the socio-historical, political and economic conditions that have contributed to the reproduction of unequal social structures in the country. Following Foucault’s ideas of genealogy (1984), I am interested in addressing questions such as (1) the conditions that made English emerge as a requirement for projects of modernization and development in Chile (Larraín, 2000); (2) The relations of power embedded into material and symbolic relations on the local level. (Park & Wee, 2012); (3) how language is constructed discursively in economic terms (Heller & Dûchene, 2012); (4) The role of language in the construction and/or reformulation of hegemonic discourses to rationalize social practices (Heller & McElhinny, 2017), in particular after the return to democracy; and finally, (5) The effects and consequences of these discourses and practices in education.
Duchêne, A. & M. Heller (eds) (2012) Language in Late Capitalism. Pride and Profit. New York: Routledge
Heller, M. & B. McElhinny (2017) Language, Capitalism, Colonialism: Toward a Critical History. Toronto: Toronto University Press.
Larrain, J. (2000) Identity and Modernity in Latin America. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Park, J. & L. Wee (2012) Markets of English. Linguistic Capital and Language Policy in a Globalizing World. New York: Routledge.