Adjustments in 44% of the first circle of the President

Academic exhorts to celebrate the linguistic wealth of the country

Laura Poy Solano

Newspaper La Jornada
Saturday March 5, 2022, p. 10

The mother tongue is a way of seeing the world and in Mexico we are privileged, being one of the nations with the greatest linguistic diversity on the planet, said Dr. Rebeca Barriga Villanueva, professor-researcher at the Center for Linguistic and Literary Studies (CELL) of The College of Mexico (Colmex). However, she indicated, over time we have had a pendulum movement in language policies, particularly with indigenous peoples, who are either forced to castellanization or are taught in their mother tongues.

In interview with the daywarned that despite the multiple educational reforms in recent decades, in terms of teaching Spanish it follows between the conqueror and the missionary, between the sword and the cross.

Barriga Villanueva points out that public policies for the teaching of languages, both Spanish and indigenous languages, have been in contradiction for several years.

Starting with the government of Lázaro Cárdenas del Río, which apparently opens a watershed, he explains, there is talk of bilingualism, it is described as bilingual politics and then it evolves into bilingual bicultural, to later be bilingual multicultural. In (political) speeches it becomes bicultural, and it is not like that, it is multicultural. In the year 2000 the Constitution was reformed and reflected in its article 2.

Within the framework of the International Mother Language Day, commemorated on February 21, Barriga Villanueva urged to recognize and celebrate the richness of mother tongues in Mexico, because it should not be a day, language is daily life. It’s how we express ourselves.

In the challenge imposed by the loss of speakers of indigenous languages, there are wonderful efforts, localities that are testing the teaching of native languages. All is not lost, there are small achievementsalthough, he assured, we cannot forget that without utopia, there is no project.

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