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An overview of Indigenous peoples in Chile and their struggle to revitalise their native languages: the case of Mapudungun

Moya Santiagos, Paulina; Quiroga-Curín, Javiera; (2022) An overview of Indigenous peoples in Chile and their struggle to revitalise their native languages: the case of Mapudungun. London Review of Education , 20 (1) , Article 10. 10.14324/LRE.20.1.10. Green open access

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Abstract

Languages are not just sets of words. They are powerful tools essential to carry history, traditions, culture and wisdom. In Latin America, Mapudungun, the native language of Mapuche people – the largest ethnic group in Chile – can be threatened. A substantial linguistic shift has characterised the panorama of native languages of the current territory. However, language and education policies have been insufficient for their preservation. This article analyses Mapudungun from a general historical perspective to define Indigenous communities’ experience in the country: insufficient state support for revitalising their languages and decolonising the Chilean national curriculum. An overview of Mapudungun in the last century is provided by explaining relevant linguistic and educational policies. The PEIB (Intercultural Bilingual Education Programme), a linguistic and educational policy in Chile, is considered in depth. It aims to improve the quality and relevance of learning from curricular contextualisation. It also seeks to teach Indigenous children their culture, traditions and languages. However, the lack of support for traditional educators and the decontextualised curriculum have further impoverished their background and increased the gap between native peoples’ languages and Chilean society. The article ends with a call to policymakers to recognise the importance of the construction of Chilean identities.

Type: Article
Title: An overview of Indigenous peoples in Chile and their struggle to revitalise their native languages: the case of Mapudungun
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.14324/LRE.20.1.10
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.14324/LRE.20.1.10
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY) 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited • DOI: https://doi.org/10.14324/LRE.20.1.10.
Keywords: Programa Intercultural Bilingüe, Intercultural Bilingual Education Programme, Mapudungun, Chilean educational policies, Mapuche
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10148402
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