Bilingualism in Latin America

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9781444334906
StatePublished - Oct 3 2012


  • Andean region
  • Bilingual education programs
  • Bilingualism
  • Caribbean region
  • Latin America
  • Linguistic criteria
  • Sociolinguistic characteristics
  • Southern cone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


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