Date of Graduation

Spring 4-17-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Studies


International Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Emma Fuentes


In our globalized world today, English has developed into the worldwide

language. Chilean leaders, in connection to their development goals to reach a developed

country status by 2020, have highlighted the need for Chilean citizens to become

bilingual in order to attract foreign investment and further integrate into the world

market. Leaders also highlight how English education will serve as an equalizing

measure to combat the socioeconomic inequality that has plagued this country since

Spanish colonization. While the economic benefits are clear, questions remain as to what

the social and cultural costs will be. This research project presents how a group of

Chilean students feels in regards to their leader’s goal of creating a bilingual citizenry: do

they see English proficiency as advantageous or a threat to Chilean cultural individuality.

This thesis answers the questions: (a) do Chilean students agree with the government that

becoming bilingual will raise Chile to a developed country? (b) do they think that they

will personally benefit from learning English and (c) what changes do they deem

necessary if English education programs are to continue in Chile?