Call for papers: URACCAN

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Mon Sep 18 18:43:29 UTC 2006

First Call for Papers
Call deadline: October 31st, 2006

URACCAN (The University of the Autonomous Regions of the Nicaraguan
Caribbean Coast), Bluefields campus, Nicaragua
24.4. – 26.4.2007

Language and mother tongue education: From policies to classroom
What’s new in Latin America and the Caribbean?

State-bound intercultural bilingual education (IBE) was first developed in
Latin America in the 1980s and 1990s in an effort to meet pressing
educational needs in countries with large indigenous populations such as
Bolivia, Ecuador and Guatemala. IBE, an educational model based on the use
of the mother tongue of the children, additionally contains a strong socio-
cultural component that makes minority language teaching and teaching in
the minority language more effective and meaningful, thus contributing to
the empowerment of the speakers.

In Nicaragua, the Law 571 on Education in the Languages of the Atlantic
Coast (1980) led, first, to a literacy campaign in the native languages of
the region (1980) and later to the establishment of a bilingual education
program (1984/5). The 1987 Law of Autonomy, a unique model in the Latin-
American context, provided a legal framework for the educational process
at large.

Caribbean Creole communities, albeit likewise speaking minorized
languages, have only recently started to catch onto educational models
comparable to IBE. This is at least in part due to their even more
conflictual self perceptions as distinct groups: while Latin American
indigenous communities were for a long time considered to represent
undesirable cultures and languages which should be given up for the
benefits of the socio-politically dominant language, Creole communities
were led to believe they had nothing of their own, just deformations of
the dominant languages and cultures. The case of Nicaragua can be
considered as an exception in the sense that, along with the indigenous
languages Miskitu and Sumu-Mayangna, Creole was incorporated into the
original IBE program. It is fair to say, however, that although pro-Creole
ideology was behind the program and Creole teachers carried it out, the
materials were elaborated in English as the language had not been

The aim of this conference is to compare recent experiences in mother
tongue education in two distinct but at times intersecting contexts: the
context of indigenous communities in Latin American countries and
Caribbean Creole communities. This main focus on mother tongue education
and IBE requires, however, that we also examine the language policies and
the state of the art in language planning which allow for the enacting of
such curricula.

Therefore, we propose three main sections into which contributions should
1. Educational Planning and IBE;
2. Language Policy and Language Rights;
3. Empowerment through Language Development

We are inviting contributions of 20 minutes, to be followed by 10 minutes
of discussion. The official languages of the conference are English,
Spanish, and English-based creoles. The fact that only English-based
creoles are cited as official languages reflects the venue of the
conference, not the Creole communities to be treated in individual papers.
Please submit an electronic abstract of approximately one page to one of
the two addresses below. If you are unable to send the abstract as an
attachment (word or rtf), you may paste it into the body of the e-mail
message. Alternatively, you may send us a hard copy through ordinary mail.
The deadline for sending in abstracts is October 31st, 2006.

Angela Bartens
Iberoromance Languages
PB 59
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki
angela.bartens at

Guillermo McLean
Puente El Edén, 1C. Este, 2C. Sur
D-10, Barrio Ducuali

Telefax: +505-2494114
ipilc at
gmclean at

Invited keynote speakers:
Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, University of Roskilde, Denmark
Rainer Enrique Hamel, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico
Ruth Moya, Ecuador
Nick Faraclas, University of Puerto Rico, USA

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