Opportunity and incentive for becoming bilingual in Colombia: Implications for Programa Nacional de Bilingüismo

  • José David Herazo Rivera
  • Sonia Jerez Rodríguez
  • Danilza Lorduy Arellano
Keywords: bilingualism, Programa Nacional de Bilingüismo, opportunity, incentive, language policy and planning, labor market, interlingual contact


The Programa Nacional de Bilingüismo (PNB) seeks to promote English proficiency in Colombian society in order to position Colombia within world communication processes, a global economy, and an increasingly multicultural world. Using documentary and statistical data within a case study approach, we characterize the PNB as a case of acquisition planning and argue that some of the social conditions that bolster bilingualism are not sufficiently developed in the Colombian context. Specifically, we maintain that the number of jobs requiring bilingual workers in Colombia's labor market and the patterns of international mobility of Colombians provide little opportunity and incentive for developing bilingualism to the extent envisioned by the PNB.Received: 08-02-12 / Reviewed: 26-04-12 / Accepted: 22-05-12/ Published: 01-08-12How to reference this article:Herazo, J., Jerez, S., & Lorduy, D. (2012). Opportunity and incentive for becoming bilingual in Colombia: Implications for Programa Nacional de Bilingüismo. Íkala, revista de lenguaje y cultura, 17(2), 199-213.


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