Linguistic and cultural self-management: some mesoamerican examples

Karla Avilés González – Labex-EFL, Paris 7, Francia

Karla Avilés González, 2017: "Autogestión lingüística y cultural: algunos ejemplos mesoamericanos", Onomázein – N.º especial | Las lenguas amerindias en Iberoamérica: retos para el siglo XXI, 224-245.
DOI: 10.7764/onomazein.amerindias.12

This paper deals with the language policies implemented in Mexico and, specifically, in formal educational settings, particularly in schools. Both the limits and the scope of current official bilingual education programs will be highlighted, and particularly those self-managed projects targeted towards the development of its autochthonous languages and cultures. We will especially focus on the more than 30 co-participative educational workshops held in the last few years with speakers of several Mesoamerican languages. The critical analysis of the methodology, interaction and teaching materials brings up the following questions: When does linguistic and cultural self-management begin? Should self-management projects be only monocultural? Is it possible to learn to be self-managing from interculturality? Our findings suggest that during these intercultural workshops speakers perform grammar recognition processes, which means learning and developing a continuum of orality-writing-orality beyond the pedagogical limitations of official policies (Léonard et al., 2013). These workshops also contribute to implementing pedagogical contents which are culturally relevant, and making visible the local and global issues that threaten Mesoamerican languages and cultures. In doing so they also offer a way to highlight processes of minoritization and resilience, denaturalizing Spanish linguistic hegemony. Finally, most of these workshops are available online, spreading their impact and potential applications, and therefore promoting a kind of revitalizing documentation (Léonard & Avilés González, 2015).