Students' reflections on the social, political, and ideological role of English in Puerto Rico

Arlene Clachar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study takes the position that any analysis of the teaching and learning of English in Puerto Rico needs to be situated within the context of Puerto Rico's colonial relationship to the United States. For much of this century, there has been persistent resistance to the learning of English because of its perception on the island: English is the foremost symbol of U.S. political and ideological domination of Puerto Rico - the symbol of class differentiation and the erosion of Puerto Rican cultural and national identity. At the same time, knowledge of English is synonymous with prestige, power, social opportunities, and economic rewards. The study examines Puerto Rican students' perceptions, concerns, and ambivalences toward the English-language issue in the hope that as they "work through" the controversial nature of the issue, they will construct a pragmatic understanding and ameliorate attitudes and practices regarding the learning of English.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-478
Number of pages18
JournalHispanic journal of behavioral sciences
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language

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