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Appears in:
Pages: 8653-8663
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.0592

Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain

TEACHING AND LEARNING ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE IN A PLURICULTURAL CONTEXT: A HISTORICAL AND NORMATIVE COLOMBIAN BACKGROUND

M. Bonilla, J. Lopez, H. Caro

Universidad Santo Tomás (COLOMBIA)
In 1991, Colombia was recognized as a pluri-ethnic and pluri-cultural country according to its Constitución Nacional, which means that Spanish and natives languages were considered official and must have been taught in equal conditions, in fact, many natives communities were considered bilingual since they were already experiencing a process of second language learning. Nevertheless, a few year later in 1994, the government released the General Law of Education which stated the compulsive action of including a foreign language in the National Curriculum ignoring the pluri-cultural background and the bilingual processes that had already been carrying out in some regions of the country.

General Law of Education was the starting point for the arrival of foreign languages in the country. Year after year, the Colombian Government tried to propose actions to lead the country towards the inclusion of a foreign language which becomes the tool for an economic and commercial development. That’s why, they decided to take English as the language to be taught in the official education limiting the concept of bilingualism to Spanish and English languages.

Hence, the Colombian government, in an attempt to find the best way of teaching and learning English, based its policies on external theories, approaches and methods, which were not motivated on the inner characteristics of the national context. As a consequence, all the actors involved in this process have been limited to fill formats and accomplish legal requirements in order to get international certifications and accreditations resulting in a deficient understanding of bilingualism in our multicultural context. For instance, the Ministerio de Educación Nacional de Colombia (MEN, 2006) established in its National Bilingualism Program is limited to “To have citizens who are capable of communicating in English, in order to be able to insert the country within processes of universal communication, within the global economy and cultural openness, through internationally comparable standards.”(p.2)

Actually, the current national program of bilingualism “Colombia Very Well” keeps ignoring the multi-literacies and intercultural characteristics of our country (Bonilla & Tejada, 2017) and worst, the teachers’ voices have not been taken into account for making decisions about when, who, what, and how to teach a foreign language (Quintero, 2009) in spite they are the main agents who face the true teaching in the classroom. As a further matter, in words of Cadavid, McNulty & Quinchía (2004) regardless the motivation behind these policies, the reality is different and many studies determined that the school system was not ready to introduce foreign language classes in the educational system. Consequently, there is a generalized feeling of dissatisfaction and frustration in the field of teaching and learning languages (p. 45).

Henceforward, the main objective of this paper is to depict the historical and normative background that have ruled the teaching and learning of English as a foreign language (EFL) in Colombia. This project emerged as part of a hermeneutical perspective of documentary research that is being carried out at Universidad Santo Tomás – Colombia. It took into account instruments like official governmental documents, academic papers, bibliographical record forms and matrixes. As further proposal we intend to achieve a reconfiguration of pedagogical practices within the educational context.
@InProceedings{BONILLA2018TEA,
author = {Bonilla, M. and Lopez, J. and Caro, H.},
title = {TEACHING AND LEARNING ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE IN A PLURICULTURAL CONTEXT: A HISTORICAL AND NORMATIVE COLOMBIAN BACKGROUND},
series = {11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-05948-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2018.0592},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2018.0592},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {12-14 November, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {8653-8663}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Bonilla AU - J. Lopez AU - H. Caro
TI - TEACHING AND LEARNING ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE IN A PLURICULTURAL CONTEXT: A HISTORICAL AND NORMATIVE COLOMBIAN BACKGROUND
SN - 978-84-09-05948-5/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2018.0592
PY - 2018
Y1 - 12-14 November, 2018
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2018 Proceedings
SP - 8653
EP - 8663
ER -
M. Bonilla, J. Lopez, H. Caro (2018) TEACHING AND LEARNING ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE IN A PLURICULTURAL CONTEXT: A HISTORICAL AND NORMATIVE COLOMBIAN BACKGROUND, ICERI2018 Proceedings, pp. 8653-8663.
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