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Working Papers in Educational Linguistics (WPEL)

Pages

25-53

Abstract

This paper speculates on the possibilities for planning for language maintenance in one particular case. It considers the pros and cons of using Quechua in schools serving Quechua-speaking communities in rural highland Puno, Peru, from the point of view of its bearing on Quechua language maintenance.

The paper is based on a two-year ethnographic sociolinguistic study in two communities of Puno. The study compared uses Quechua and Spanish in the communities and their schools, one of which participated in a bilingual education project. It also compared attitudes of community members toward the two languages. The paper draws from the findings of the research in discussing two questions:

  1. Can language maintenance be planned?; and
  2. Can schools be agents for language maintenance?

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