Prospects for indigenous language bilingualism in Mexico
This retrospective overview looks back twenty years to the first series of reports from the field on a study of bilingualism and literacy learning. Continuing research in the same community during this period allows today for a reassessment of the claims, proposals and overall approach of the project. The particular language contact situation, that of indigenous language (IL)-national language (NL) bilingualism, adds an important dimension to the discussion, one that has attracted much attention in recent years: the problem of language erosion/language shift in the context of widespread mastery of, and expanding literacy in, the national language. This condition of language replacement still requires further study for the purpose of gaining clarity on important theoretical questions as well as pressing practical applications related to the development of language abilities among the new generation of school-age bilinguals.