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Instituto de Investigación y Capacitación Pedagógica y Social (Bolivia) [WorldCat Identities]

Language attitude and identity Language attitude is a ley 1565 reforma educativa perspective in bilingualism; language is accompanied by attitudes and values held both by its users and by persons who do not know the language. Language is not just an instrument of communication.

It is also a symbol of social or group identity, an emblem of group membership and solidarity and serves several communicative functions: One may feel more at home with one of them, but have emotional and identity ties with both.

In bilingual families different family members may have differing ties to the languages used at home. In a TV program in Norwegian television some years ago two young Sami sisters expressed this. They had not learned Sami at home as the parents did not want the daughters to experience ley 1565 reforma educativa.

However, now one of them was learning Sami and wore traditional Sami clothing ley 1565 reforma educativa the other did not express interest in recovering her Sami identity.

Language attitudes play an important role in a society where different languages coexist. Where two languages are in contact, usually one is considered more prestigious, more beautiful, more expressive, more logical, and better able to express abstract thoughts, and the other language is felt to be ungrammatical, concrete, and coarse.

This situation is known all over the world where language has been used by the people in power to subjugate minority groups.

Even after the Bolivian revolution ofSpanish continued to be the language of prestige; the main policy on the societal-political level was assimilation into Hispanic language and ley 1565 reforma educativa.

School and education are important instruments in creating language attitudes.


The linguistic task of the school was to ley 1565 reforma educativa Spanish language and the culture of the Spanish speaking population to the "primitive and undeveloped" natives with the aim to eradicate their culture and make them monolinguals in Spanish.

Bilingualism has been considered a necessary evil a minority speaker must overcome.


The members of ethnic groups, in order to be accepted, had to become as much like the elite as possible and give up their special characteristics, language, culture, etc. A teacher would ask a child: Studies on attitudes toward bilingual persons show a difference between bilingualism in people in the higher stratum of society who have become ley 1565 reforma educativa through language studies or by living abroad, elite-bilingualism, and folk-bilingualism.

The ley 1565 reforma educativa refers to people who have been bilingual by necessity, generally belonging to minority groups and in many countries from a marginalised minority group.

In Latin America it has been more prestigious to speak English or French than to know an indigenous language[21]. The United Peasant Union of Bolivia expresses the feeling of permanent devaluation in a document on the educational situation in the indigenous areas: Education has given us the idea that everything that was ours was bad: Nevertheless indigenous people may hold their language in esteem for social or emotional reasons and feel loyalty to it.

Language attitudes also influence the learning of the home language; parents tend to want their children to speak the dominating language well and neglect the mother-tongue so they can dissociate themselves from the stigmatized indigenous population[22].


Since identity is strongly tied with language, the danger in shifting from monolingualism in a minority language to Spanish monolingualism is a risk of alienation, ley 1565 reforma educativa and problems of identity.

Education The Bolivian history from the conquest through republican time till the s shows little interest in the multilingual society Bolivia always has been. Indigenous children met a school where the framework of understanding based on the home language was not linguistically relevant, and severe learning restraint and high drop-out rates have been a consequence.

However, ley 1565 reforma educativa the Spanish colonisation led to an integration of different ethnic groups in a society run by Spaniards and their offspring, they did not succeed in the attempt to assimilate the indigenous population.

The challenge of bilingualism in a multilingual society: The Bolivian Case

It was not allowed to use any other language than Spanish in the classroom until the educational reform Yapu C.

The reform was an important step in the right ley 1565 reforma educativa embodying a bilingual intercultural education program for the whole country incorporating all Bolivian Indigenous languages, beginning with the three largest.

According to the Act education is intercultural and ley 1565 reforma educativa because it respects the heterogeneity of the country. Such programs function well in many countries. I have seen all this on my visits to Bolivia.

In a primary school in the country many students did not start school 6 years old because they had to walk for an hour or more to get to school and therefore parents would not send them.

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