From Transnational Language Policy Transfer To Local Appropriation: The Case Of The National Bilingual Program In Medelln, Colombia

  • Publish Date: 2015-08-31
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Author: Jaime A. Usma Wilches
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Looking at the relationship between current reform associated to English as an international language and transnational policymaking, the author of this book explores the way Englishas a synonym of education quality and competitiveness during the current timesis being emphasized in countries such as Colombia, and how these policies are being played by different educational actors and organizations at the macro and micro level according to the multiple contextual factors that interplay in the continuous reinterpretation and final enactment of policy.

Along the text, the author illustrates the way local policy actors and teachers reinterpret these discourses and agendas by adopting a nurturing or an academic approach in their final appropriation of the initial policy texts. In this manner, this study highlights the unpredictable nature of policymaking processes, even when transnational organizations act as policy lenders and guarantors of success and credibility, and policy mandates are accompanied by standards, tests, frameworks, and timelines that do not necessarily respond to the local needs and expectations of local educational actors and communities.

With this analysis, the author illustrates the multiple difficulties experienced by different schools communities across cities, and how a breach between public and private institutions is created and fed as a consequence of the uneven conditions in which English as a foreign language is taught in countries such as Colombia, which ends up creating a gap between the official discourse of innovation, competitiveness, education and bilingualism, and actual reality. In this manner, the study alerts about the multiple challenges faced by countries such as Colombia and cities like Medelln adopting imported discourse around education quality, competitiveness and bilingualism, and how these policy discourses may become simple slogans as educational communities lack the required conditions to successfully achieve the expected goals.