ELF in Brazil

Recent developments and further directions

Authored by: Telma Gimenez , Michele Salles El Kadri , Luciana Cabrini Simões Calvo

The Routledge Handbook of English as a Lingua Franca

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138855328
eBook ISBN: 9781315717173
Adobe ISBN:


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As we write this chapter, a major turn in our foreign language education policy has taken place, with English replacing Spanish as the compulsory subject at high school level via a presidential decree. As it would be expected, this is not without angry rebuttals from the academic community that sees in the initiative another move towards a neoliberal vision of education and one that clearly marks the connections between language and the economy. That political decision, largely influenced by the private sector interests and in the name of economic recovery, represents a big change in relation to a multicultural perspective that has, if only on paper, been endorsed in the last decades. It is true, though, that making the offer of Spanish compulsory at high school level in 2005 challenged that open approach to the teaching of foreign languages, but the non-obligation of students attending classes was a manoeuvre that kept the spirit of multilingualism alive. 1

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