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ERIC Number: EJ1116752
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Aug-1
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1068-2341
An Exploration of the Effects of Language Policy in Education in a Contemporary Puerto Rican Society
Maldonado-Valentín, Mirta
Education Policy Analysis Archives, v24 n85 Aug 2016
During the Spanish regimen, Puerto Rican education was limited and restricted to Spanish language as the medium of instruction. It was not until the U.S. colonization of the island that public education was introduced. As a result, English replaced Spanish as medium of instruction in the new educational system. Immediately after, Puerto Rican elitists and politicians ignited a political movement against using English (Algren de Gutierrez, 1987), resulting in a language battle fought through a series of educational language policies. In the end, policymakers enacted a language policy that reinstated Spanish as the official language of Puerto Rico's education system. Consequently, policymakers also strengthened the use of Spanish instruction in Puerto Rican schools and universities while English was taught as a subject through all grade levels (Canino, 1981). Thus, this policy secured the island's status as a "monolingual Spanish speaking society". In addition, the enactment of this language policy also legitimized English as a de jure second official language, with the possibility of recognizing Puerto Rico as a "bilingual speaking society". This paper discusses the impact of these language policies on the use of Spanish and English in education and presents a case study of Guaynabo City to exemplify the effects of these language policies on a contemporary Puerto Rican society and its acceptance of or resistance to becoming an English-speaking society.
Colleges of Education at Arizona State University and the University of South Florida. c/o Editor, USF EDU162, 4202 East Fowler Avenue, Tampa, FL 33620-5650. Tel: 813-974-3400; Fax: 813-974-3826; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Puerto Rico
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A