Ideologies Regarding the Implementation of Foreign Language Policy in Chile: A Case Study
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The Ministry of Education of Chile declared in 2003 the importance and the necessity of incorporating foreign language teaching to the public education after the educative reforms done in the 90s. The official Language Policy was conducted as the result of the globalization and the future requirements that students will face after graduating from high school. This study explores the Policy declared by the Chilean government regarding the incorporation of English language to primary school up to secondary education, by analyzing the last year of secondary school. The study also explores how it has been implemented and the ideologies of the stakeholders. The aims of this study are (1) to explore the design, implementation and execution of the policy as an official clause to Chilean law, which establishes the reasons, aims and the procedure to bring a foreign language to every school and classroom in Chile. (2) How stakeholders value learning a foreign language considering that the acquisition of a foreign language is a major requirement of the global world. For this study 57 students from fourth year of high school were surveyed, interviewed and observed, as well as two English teachers. Students were asked to value classroom practice, the importance of learning a foreign language and the accomplishment of the standards designed by the Ministry of Education and teachers on their knowledge regarding the policy and what they think of it. The survey conducted to students provided quantitative data, whereas interviews and class observation gave qualitative information. The study gives insights into the successes of the language policy implementation as well as challenges and areas of improvement.
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