Paraguay is unique among countries of the Americas in that a substantial majority of the population speaks an indigenous language, Guaraní. Socioeconomic and demographic dimensions of Paraguay Guaraní-Spanish bilingualism appear to favor the vitality of Guaraní, especially in the rural sector, well into the 21st century. The early nineties saw significant advances in language policy. Guaraní is now co-official with Spanish and bilingual education has been implemented in compliance with the standards for linguistic human rights of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States. Despite these positive signs, education for literacy in Guaraní is limited mainly to urban areas. Large numbers of speakers of Paraguayan Guaraní and other indigenous languages live in economic ZONES OF EXCLUSION. The challenge facing Paraguay is how to find the political will and economic resource to provide language education and other basic needs to all children in the country.
Southwest Journal of Linguistics
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Published by the Linguistic Association of the Southwest. This article is reproduced with their permission.
Gynan, Shaw N., "Paraguayan Language Policy and the Future of Guaraní" (2001). Modern & Classical Languages. Paper 59.