Profile Issues in Teachers' Professional Development (Apr 2009)

Education and Language Policy in Colombia: Exploring Processes of Inclusion, Exclusion, and Stratification in Times of Global Reform

  • Jaime A. Usma Wilches

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 11, no. 1
pp. 123 – 141


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This paper examines the National Bilingual Program in connection with other education and language reforms in Colombia and some of the processes of inclusion, exclusion, and stratification that accompany current school reforms. The author outlines some patterns that have accompanied language innovations in the country and highlights some interconnected processes that seem to be favored in international reform and are reflected in current national policy agendas; namely, the externalization of policy discourses; the instrumentalization of languages; the stratification of groups, languages and cultures; and the standardization and marketization of foreign language teaching and learning. This paper attempts to demonstrate that processes of inclusion, exclusion and stratification through schooling are favored not only through the overt exercise of power and control, but also through the introduction of new discourses, policies, and practices.