La politique linguistique et l'avenir du Francais au Mexique:etude du cas de l'universite de Veracruz
Hernandez Alarcon, M.M.
In a linguistic context where it seems the entire world is only interested in learning English, it is worth considering the idea of whether French still has a place in Mexico. In spite of the predominance of English, there is nevertheless a feeling that French remains alive in Mexico, and indeed in certain areas has retained its strength and appeal. This hypothesis was to put to the test by exploring the current linguistic environment prevalent in the state of Veracruz. An investigation in the form of questionnaires and interviews of all those connected to the teaching of French (including students, teachers and employees and directors of language schools) shows that the desire of the Mexican government of promoting English for everyone is not necessarily consistent with the desire and expectations of the general populace. This in turn suggest the need of adopting a policy that enables us not only to take into consideration what people seem to be telling us regarding the learning of foreign learning but also of what they are not telling us. If the teaching and learning of French as a foreign language remains strong in Veracruz, it is explained much more by the long and friendly relationship that people in the state have had with French people (and their culture) than it is by any instrumental needs of learning their language. This is seen in the fact that students here consistently describe their motivation for learning French from an emotional or affective standpoint rather than from professional one. It seems that the ties between the Mexican and French people remain solid. Another interesting characteristic of students of French in Veracruz is the positive attitude they seem to have regarding languages in general, which in turn enables them to take further advantage of the benefits made available from globalization. In reality, there exists no rivalry between French and English and therefore it is unnecessary to adopt measures that would address such struggle. It is however a matter of great urgency that authorities in the arenas of politics and academia take a closer look at the policies they design regarding the study of foreign languages in general, and that they consider, specifically, a wholly alternative to the one language model of teaching and learning of foreign language – in this case English-, a model that for all intents and purposes has failed. In the midst of a globalized world, and during this current period of increased linguistic activity, the aforementioned assertions serve not only to support my initial hypothesis, but also to help shake off the dust of some out-dated belief systems and lay down the framework for a new, better informed and well thought-out policy of foreign languages planning.