29. Bilingualism in Latin America

  1. Tej K. Bhatia and
  2. William C. Ritchie
  1. Anna María Escobar

Published Online: 3 OCT 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118332382.ch29

The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism, Second Edition

The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism, Second Edition

How to Cite

Escobar, A. M. (2012) Bilingualism in Latin America, in The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism, Second Edition (eds T. K. Bhatia and W. C. Ritchie), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118332382.ch29

Editor Information

  1. Syracuse University, USA

Author Information

  1. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 OCT 2012
  2. Published Print: 7 NOV 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444334906

Online ISBN: 9781118332382

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Keywords:

  • Andean region;
  • bilingual education programs;
  • bilingualism;
  • Caribbean region;
  • Latin America;
  • linguistic criteria;
  • sociolinguistic characteristics;
  • Southern cone

Summary

The discussion on bilingualism in Latin America divides the countries in Latin America into groups – Mexico-Central American region, Caribbean region, Andean region, and Southern cone – according to sociohistorical and linguistic criteria. The chapter describes the current sociolinguistic characteristics for each regional grouping. The social aspects of their multilingual situations are indicated by data on language policy, bilingual education, urbanization, and illiteracy rates. The sociolinguistic characteristics of bilingualism with indigenous languages in Latin America are defined by the number of languages in the country, the size of the indigenous language populations, their areas of concentration in rural and urban areas, the poverty levels of rural and urban areas, the government's language policy, and the presence of a predominant indigenous language population.