English Puerto Rico Fostering English Instruction in Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

English Puerto Rico

Fostering English Instruction in Puerto Rico

Language can carry powerful cultural and economic implications. The use of language as a political weapon against ethnic minorities, the imposition of language as a way of asserting occupational authority over a colonized culture or the use of linguistic barriers to exclude certain groups from the economic and power structures of a society all demonstrate that language can be an apparatus of broader and more insidious agendas. Simultaneously though, language can be an instrument through which barriers are broken down, cultural gaps are bridged and shared opportunities are realized. This is the dichotomy defining the issue impacting my home province of Puerto Rico, where the English language has experienced a history of divided interests. The present discussion provides a brief overview on the central divides shaping the debate over the fostering of English language instruction in Puerto Rico and subsequently offers some general recommendations on how to overcome this divide.

As the text by Pousada (1999) indicates, the instruction of English in Puerto Rico has long been complicated by its political and cultural relationship with the United States. Pousada reports that "As is often the case in situations of language contact, attitudes towards the language have blurred together with attitudes towards the people who speak it and the government behind them. Despite the role of English as a language of wider communication on a global scale, in Puerto Rico it is most often associated with the United States and its policies. As a result, to study the history of English on the island is to study the history of Puerto Rico's uneasy relationship with the U.S. And its political, economic, and cultural implications." (p. 33)

Pousada reports that for many Puerto Ricans, the use of English invokes a sense of 'assimilationism' whereas a use of Spanish invokes a…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited:

Pousada, Dr. A. (1999). The Singularly Strange Story of the English Language in Puerto Rico. Milenio, 3, 33-60.

Pousada1, Dr. A. (2006). Fostering English Instruction in Puerto Rico From a Global Perspective. PRTESOL Metro Chapter Conference: Universidad Metropolitana.

Suarez, S.L. (2005). Does English Rule? Comparative Politics, 37(4).

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