The teaching of English in public primary schools in Mexico: More heat than light?


  • José Luis Ramírez-Romero Universidad de Sonora
  • Peter Sayer University of Texas at San Antonio



National English program, Mexico, PRONI, PNIEB, primary English language teaching


The national English program in Mexico was formally launched in 2009. The new program supplanted various state programs, and aimed to create a coherent, uniform curriculum that extended English instruction to all public school students across the country. The article describes the development, evolution, and changes as the program was piloted and implemented. The authors synthesize various sources to identify the accomplishments of the program and the challenges that remain. They argue that a main concern, from a policy perspective, is that the program has not been conceptualized as part of a broader coherent language education policy, and that the program has been implemented not as an education policy, but as a series administrative and fiscal actions. Hence, while the program has succeeded in expanding access to English in public schools, it has not had continuity and has been characterized by inconsistency and change. 


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Author Biographies

José Luis Ramírez-Romero, Universidad de Sonora

José Luis Ramírez-Romero is professor in the Department of Foreign Languages at the Universidad de Sonora. His research interests include primary language education and the state of the art of Foreign Language Teaching in Mexico and Latin America.

Peter Sayer, University of Texas at San Antonio

Peter Sayer is an Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics/TESOL in the Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies. He holds a doctorate in educational linguistics from Arizona State University and has been involved in research and teacher training in English language education in Mexico for many years. He is the author of Ambiguities and Tensions in English Language Teaching (2012, Routledge).  




How to Cite

Ramírez-Romero, J. L., & Sayer, P. (2016). The teaching of English in public primary schools in Mexico: More heat than light?. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 24, 84.



English Language Teaching in Public Primary Schools in Latin America