Language revitalization in the Andes: Quichua instruction, use, and identity in Saraguro, Ecuador

Kendall Amy King, University of Pennsylvania


This dissertation examines the process of Quichua language revitalization in two communities of Saraguro, Ecuador. Qualitative data were gathered through one year of residence in the Andean region, during the course of observations in communities, schools and homes, and interviews with community members, teachers, and political leaders. Language revitalization is considered from three perspectives. First, the study describes the goals, curricula, and pedagogical practices of the programs to teach Quichua as a second language in the schools. Second, it considers support for Quichua language and identity outside of the school through description and analysis of how members use Quichua and Spanish in the home and community and how they view and value Quichua language and ethnic identity. Third, the study analyzes how the above both support and undermine Quichua acquisition and revitalization. The data reveal that Quichua is used and valued in distinct ways in each Saraguro community and school, and that attitudes and use of Quichua are further complicated by the varied distribution of two varieties of Quichua. In neither community is school instruction or home exposure sufficient to allow for Quichua acquisition. Based on comparison with other second language acquisition research and sociolinguistic case studies, the investigation concludes with program and policy suggestions for Quichua revitalization in Saraguro and for language revitalization in general, and a discussion of the implications for the field of language planning.

Subject Area

Bilingual education|Multicultural education|Cultural anthropology|Linguistics

Recommended Citation

King, Kendall Amy, "Language revitalization in the Andes: Quichua instruction, use, and identity in Saraguro, Ecuador" (1997). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9727250.