NATIONALISM, NATIVE LANGUAGE MAINTENANCE AND THE SPREAD
OF ENGLISH: A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE CASES OF GUAM, THE PHILIPPINES AND
A Dissertation Submitted to theDepartment of Graduate Studies, Faculty
of Education University of Puerto Rico In
Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education
UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO RIO PIEDRAS CAMPUS FACULTY OF EDUCATION DEPARTMENT
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In 1898, the United States received Guam, the
Philippines and Puerto Rico from Spain as part of the Paris Treaty. The
implementation of school systems imported from the United States began
almost immediately, marked by the mandate that all instruction be given
in English. The results of this and subsequent language policies
formulated for the nation and school in terms of native language maintenance
and the spread of the English language are the principal subject of research
in this study. An attempt was made to answer the question "What has been
the role of nationalist movements in native language maintenance in Guam,
the Philippines and Puerto Rico when faced with the possible spread of
the English language to the public school system and other societal institutions?"
A historical comparative design was used to examine similar variables in Guam, the Philippines and Puerto Rico. Language shift and language maintenance factors including societal bilingualism, migration, industrialization, the school and other governmental use of the language, urbanization and the prestige level of the languages in contact were studied through document
research, field observation and informal interviews. Documents were used from the years 1898 to 1993. The existence of nationalist movements that may have played a part in native language maintenance and language planning efforts were also looked for in these sources. The three countries were then compared to expose similarities and differences.
The major findings of the study included the apparent relationship between the existence of an educated elite and native language maintenance. Language planning efforts aimed at preservation of the native or national language were found to be present only if or after the presence of an educated was on the scene. Whether English was seen as a threat to the native
language or culture was also found to have some relation to the activities carried out by the intelligentsia.
The results of this study led to the recognition of the importance of adequate language planning in order to assure maintenance of the native language while attempting to incorporate an additional language into a society.
Recommendations for language planning efforts included planning for maintenance as well as spread, providing for adequate institutional support and dissemination of information related to policy formation and implementation.
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