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« Multilingual Policies put into Practice: Co-participative Educational Workshops in Mexico » (2013)

Avec Avilés González Karla & Gragnic, Julie. In Hogan-Brun, Gabrielle (éd.), 2013. Applied Linguistics, Sociolinguistics/Current Issues in Language Planning: Language planning as a complex practice, 14, 3-04, pp. 419-435

In a national context where the language rights of indigenous people have been recognized constitutionally since 2003, we deal with the following questions: How can bilingual education programmes in Mexico be clearly defined and applied? And what exactly are the final objectives of a bilingual education programme? We shall address the issue of the potential forms and contents of bilingual education from the standpoint of our experience working with schoolteachers, in co-participative educational workshops in two multilingual areas in Central and South-Eastern Mexico, from 2009 to 2012. Indeed, the multidimensional use of native languages and knowledge through workshops held in a number of Mexican languages, in which the participants produce texts and drawings in their native languages, directly raises pedagogical issues on language planning in the classroom,. The dominant model for Bilingual & Intercultural Education (BIE) in Mexico today corresponds to a model of incorporation through subtractive bilingualism: teaching in the native language, switching then to Spanish in order to teach the official pedagogical contents, and in detriment of language and culture specificities. Our work suggests that BIE could represent a constructive, empowering alternative, adapted to local community contexts, yet steering away from the segregationist model of education.