Debido a la alta cantidad de artículos pendientes de revisión y monográficos presupuestados, Lenguas Modernas no se encuentra recibiendo nuevos artículos.

Colombian English teachers’ use of textbooks and their appropriation of policy suggestions


  • John Jairo Viáfara González Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia
  • Natalia Cardozo Durán Universidad Surcolombiana
  • Lorena Lucía Lozano Bahamón Universidad Surcolombiana


Designing and implementing English language education policies, programs and curricula has emerged as a top priority of various Latin American countries. This qualitative study focuses on the particular case of Colombia and two textbooks, English Please! and Way to Go!, which were issued by the Ministry of Education as a means to improve English language teaching and learning in public schools. The study aims at determining the extent to which a group of teachers appropriated Colombia Bilingüe policy suggestions for English language education when using the aforementioned textbooks. Based on class observations, questionnaires and interviews, it was found that while participants appropriated the textbooks’ emphasis on transversality and their connection with the government curricular guidelines, they encountered challenges to enhance their students’ professional and employment chances through the books. Partial appropriation of the policy pedagogical suggestions involved fostering students’ cultural and intercultural learning, their development of communicative ability, 21st century and transferable skills.

Palabras clave:

Language education policy, English textbooks, Colombia Bilingüe, Language policy appropriation

Biografía del autor/a

John Jairo Viáfara González, Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia

Para correspondencia, dirigirse a: John Jairo Viáfara González (john.viafara@uptc.edu.co)

Natalia Cardozo Durán, Universidad Surcolombiana

Para correspondencia, dirigirse a: Natalia Cardozo Durán (nacadu2487@gmail.com )

Lorena Lucía Lozano Bahamón, Universidad Surcolombiana

Para correspondencia, dirigirse a: Lorena Lucía Lozano Bahamón (lorelu_20@hotmail.com)


Allwright, R. 1982. Perceiving and pursuing learners’ needs. In M. Geddes & G. Sturtridge (Eds.), Individualisation. pp. 24-31. Modern English Publications.

Arzoz, X. 2007. The nature of language rights. Jemie 6: 1-35.

Barahona, M. 2016. Challenges and accomplishments of ELT at primary level in Chile: Towards the aspiration of becoming a bilingual country. Education policy analysis archives 24(82): 1-29. http://dx.doi.org/10.14507/epaa.24.2448

Batista, F. C. 2020. English language teaching in Brazil: A Gap in policy, problems in practice. English Language Teaching 13(8): 135-140. https://doi.org/10.5539/elt.v13n8p135

Bonilla Carvajal, C. A. & I. Tejada-Sánchez. 2016. Unanswered questions in Colombia’s foreign language education policy. Profile Issues in Teachers’ Professional Development 18(1): 185-201. http://dx.doi.org/10.15446/profile.v18n1.51996

Brown, J. 1995. The Elements of language curriculum. A systematic approach to program development. Heinle and Heinle Publishers.

Cárdenas, R. & N. Miranda. 2014. Implementación del Programa Nacional de Bilingüismo en Colombia: un balance intermedio. Educación y Educadores 17(1): 51-67.

Cordero Gutiérrez, D. M. 2019. Proyecto piloto de mejoramiento del proceso de enseñanza- aprendizaje de la lengua extranjera “inglés” en el grado décimo de la Institución Educativa José Celestino Mutis de San José del Guaviare. Unpublished master’s thesis. Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Correa, D. & J. Usma. 2013. From a bureaucratic to a critical-sociocultural model of policymaking in Colombia. How Journal 20(1): 226-242.

Cruz Arcila. F. 2018. ELT policy interpretations and translations in rural Colombia. Current Issues in Language Planning 19(4): 363-382. https://doi.org/10.1080/14664208.2017.1377903

Cruz Rondón, E. J. & F. L. Velasco Vera. 2016. Understanding the role of teaching materials in a beginners’ level English as a foreign language course: A case study. Profile Issues in Teachers’ Professional Development 18(2): 125-137. http://dx.doi.org/10.15446/profile.v18n2.52813

Gibbs, G. R. 2007. Analyzing Qualitative Data. Sage. https://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781849208574.n4

Gómez Rodríguez, L. F. 2010. English textbooks for teaching and learning English as a foreign language: Do they really help to develop communicative competence? Educación y Educadores 13(3): 327-346. http://www.scielo.org.co/pdf/eded/v13n3/v13n3a02.pdf

Gómez Rodríguez, L. F. 2015. The cultural content in EFL textbooks and what teachers need to do about it. Profile Issues in Teachers’ Professional Development 17(2): 167-187. http://dx.doi.org/10.15446/profile.v17n2.44272

Guerrero, C. H. 2008. Bilingual Colombia: What does it mean to be bilingual within the framework of the National Plan of Bilingualism? Profile Issues in Teachers’ Professional Development 10 (1): 27-46.

Guerrero, C. H. 2010. Is English the key to access the wonders of the modern world? A Critical Discourse Analysis. Signo y Pensamiento 29(57): 294-313.

Henao, E., J. Gómez., & J. Murcia. 2019. Intercultural awareness and its misrepresentation in textbooks. Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal 21(2):179-193. https://doi.org/10.14483/22487085.14177

Hurie, A. H. 2018. English for peace? Coloniality, neoliberal ideology, and discursive expansion in Colombia Bilingüe. Íkala, Revista de Lenguaje y Cultura 23(2): 333-354. https://doi.org/10.17533/udea.ikala.v23n02a09

Johnson, E. J. 2012. Arbitrating repression: Language policy and education in Arizona. Language and Education 26(1): 53–76. https://doi.org/10.1080/09500782.2011.615936

Kaiser, D. J. 2017. English language teaching in Uruguay. World Englishes 36(4): 744-759. https://doi.org/10.1111/weng.12261

Lawrence, W. P. W. 2011. Textbook evaluation: a framework for evaluating the fitness of the Hong Kong new secondary school (NSS) curriculum. MA thesis, University of Hong Kong. https://doi.org/10.1177/1356389011421927

Levinson, B. A. U. & M. Sutton. 2001. Introduction: Policy as/in practice: A sociocultural approach to the study of educational policy. In M. Sutton & B. A. U. Levinson (Eds.), Policy as practice: Toward a comparative sociocultural analysis of educational policy. pp. 1-22. Ablex Publishing.

Levinson, B. A. U., M. Sutton & T. Winstead. 2007. Education policy as a practice of power: Ethnographic methods, democratic options. Educational Policy 23(6): 767-795.

Menken, K., & O. García. (Eds.) 2010. Negotiating language policies in schools. Educators as Policymakers. Routledge.

Ministerio De Educación Nacional [MEN]. 2006. Estándares básicos de competencias en lengua extranjera: Inglés. http://www.colombiaaprende.edu.co/html/mediateca/1607/articles- 115375_archivo.pdf.

Ministerio De Educación Nacional [MEN]. 2015. Colombia, la mejor educada en el 2025. Líneas estratégicas de la política educativa del

Ministerio de Educación Nacional. https://www.mineducacion.gov.co/1759/articles-356137_foto_portada.pdf

Ministerio De Educación Nacional [MEN]. 2016a. English, please! 1. Imprenta Nacional. www.colombiaaprnde.edu.co/colombiaBilingüe

Ministerio De Educación Nacional [MEN]. 2016b. Way to Go! 8th Grade. Impresión: Panamericana Formas e Impresos S.A. www.colombiaaprende.edu.co

Ministerio De Educación Nacional [MEN]. 2016c. Colombia Bilingüe: Conozca el programa.


Ministerio De Educación Nacional [MEN]. 2016d. Suggested Curriculum Structure: English 6th to 11th grades. http://aprende.colombiaaprende.edu.co/sites/default/files/naspublic/Anexo%2013%20Suggested%20Structure.pdf.

Ministerio De Educación Nacional [MEN]. 2016e. Basic learning rights; English grades 6 to 11.

http://aprende.colombiaaprende.edu.co/sites/default/files/naspublic/Anexo% 2011%20BLR%20English.pdf.

Ministerio De Educación Nacional [MEN]. 2016f. English, please! 3 Imprenta Nacional. www.colombiaaprende.edu.co/colombiaBilingüe

Mora, R. A., T. Chiquito & J. D. Zapata. 2019. Bilingual education policies in Colombia: Seeking relevant and sustainable frameworks for meaningful minority inclusion. In B. G. Guzman (Ed.). Bilingualism and bilingual education: Politics, policies and practices in a globalized society. pp. 55-77. Springer.

Peláez, O. & J. Usma. 2017. The crucial role of educational stakeholders in the appropriation of foreign language education policies: A case study. Profile Issues in Teachers’ Professional Development 19(2): 121-134. https://doi.org/10.15446/profile.v19n2.57215

Ramírez-Romero, J. L. & P. Sayer. 2016. The teaching of English in public primary schools in Mexico: More heat than light? Education policy analysis archives 24(84): 1-25. http://dx.doi.org/10.14507/epaa.24.2502

Roldán, Á. M. & O. A. Peláez. 2017. Pertinencia de las políticas de enseñanza del inglés en una zona rural de Colombia: un estudio de caso en Antioquia. Íkala, Revista de Lenguaje y Cultura 22(1): 121-139.

Sánchez Solarte, A. C. & G. V. Obando Guerrero. 2008. Is Colombia ready for “bilingualism”? Profile Issues in Teachers’ Professional Development 9: 181-196. https://revistas.unal.edu.co/index.php/profile/article/view/10715

Sevy-Biloon, J., U. Recino & C. Munoz. 2020. Factors affecting English language teaching in public schools in Ecuador. International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research 19(3): 276-294. https://doi.org/10.26803/ijlter.19.3.15

Sheldon, L. E. 1988. Evaluating ELT textbooks and materials. ELT Journal 42(4): 237-246. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=

Solino, A. P. 2012. Teaching and learning English in Costa Rica: A critical approach. Letras 2(52): 163178.


Stake, R. E. 1995. The art of case study research. Sage.

Tajeddin, Z. & S. Teimournezhad. 2015. Exploring the hidden agenda in the representation of culture in international and localised ELT textbooks. The Language Learning Journal 43(2): 180-193.

Tomlinson, B. 2010. Principles of effective materials development. In N. Harwood (Ed.), English language teaching materials: Theory and Practice. pp. 81-98. Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1080/09571736.2013.869942

Urrea Cortés, N. 2018. ¿Cómo finaliza Colombia Bilingüe? Unpublished Thesis. Universidad Militar Nueva Granada. https://repository.unimilitar.edu.co/handle/10654/18110

Usma Wilches, J. A. 2009. Education and language policy in Colombia: Exploring processes of inclusion, exclusion, and stratification in times of global reform. Profile Issues in Teachers’ Professional Development 11(1): 123-142.

Vargas, D. 2017. Bilingual Panama: EFL Teacher Perceptions, Study Abroad in an Immersion Environment. Journal of Language Teaching and Research 8(4): 669-678. http://dx.doi.org/10.17507/jltr.0804.05