Original Paper

Language Policy

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 143-170

Attitudes and representations of Spanish and the spread of the language industries in Brazil

  • Talia BugelAffiliated withIPFW–ILCS–CM 273, Indiana University–Purdue University Email author 
  • , Hélade Scutti SantosAffiliated withSIP-4080 FLB–MC-176, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

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This paper analyzes the context of Spanish language teaching in Brazil. We examine the representations of and attitudes toward Rioplatense/Argentinean Spanish and Peninsular Spanish—and toward the speakers of each of these varieties—held by Brazilian learners of Spanish as a foreign language. To provide the context in which Spanish learning takes place in Brazil, we report on the changes that the teaching of Spanish language has undergone since the 1990s in that country. We used two complementary research methodologies—matched guise and open questionnaires—to measure the representations and attitudes of learners taking Spanish classes in the state of São Paulo. Findings suggest that attitudes were impacted primarily by the sounds characterizing each different language variety. From there the participants moved toward their representations of the people and their nationalities. Based on these findings, we propose changes in the treatment of linguistic varieties in the classroom.


Spanish Language varieties Attitudes Representations