Neoliberalism and ELT Policy in México: Analysis and Implications from a Political Economy Stance
Palabras clave:political economy, English language teaching, neoliberalism, ELT policy
The influence of Neoliberalism on domestic policies has been well documented in the literature. Broadly speaking, there is evidence that many countries have adapted their policies to neoliberal principles which, among other aspects, require governments to promote ‘the privatization of public services, the capitalization and commodification of humanity’ (Kumar and Hill, 2009p. 1). In terms of language learning and teaching, ‘there is little doubt that language is now treated as a skill that, in effect, can be bought and sold in job markets’ (Block, 2018 p. 14). Under this scope, Block, Gray and Holborow (2014 p.1) suggest “one blind spot in the interdisciplinarism of applied linguistics has been political economy and in particular a detailed critique of neoliberalism as the ideology driving the practice of economics by governments and international organizations today. This article derives from a broader study which aims at analyzing a) the orientations, enactment and social/institutional practices of the ELT policies in Mexico under the light of neoliberal ideologies. Here, the analysis -and results- focus on the identification of the relationship of neoliberal ideology and Mexico’s ELT policy. For the purposes of this delivery, the analysis consisted on the identification of the role that macro international organizations have played in shaping Mexico’s domestic education policy over the past three decades. Developing from this, an identification and description of the specific public policies which have emanated from the macro-organizations’ suggestions is also part of the analysis. Results confirm that there is a direct relationship between international recommendations and local policies. These results are discussed under the light of the political economy strand of research in linguistics.
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