chapter  19
21 Pages

English and English teaching in Colombia: Tensions and possibilities in the expanding circle

ByAdriana González

This chapter presents a general picture of the current status of English in Colombia. Along with many expanding circle nations, Colombia is experiencing a growth in terms of the presence and roles of English. The interest from the population to learn it, the need to have teachers prepared to teach it, the establishment of language education policies to regulate its practices, and the academic debates around all these issues reflect the new relationships between language and society. I attempt to contribute to the field of World Englishes from the Colombian perspective in

my various roles as a non-native-speaker teacher-educator who was once a learner and a teacher of English. I would like to re-evaluate the traditional views of English in our country with a view to transforming Colombian ELT and teacher education. Two main issues will guide the analysis: the tensions and the possibilities concerning

the status of English in our nation, analysed from the perspective of its current teaching endeavours. First, however, I will present some background information about Colombia and the history of English in the country. Regarding the tensions and possibilities, I will explore the new language policies that the national government issued to improve the quality of education and English Language Teaching (ELT). Finally, I will summarize the main points presented in the chapter.