Mexican Secondary School Teachers’ Linguistic Expression of Attitude towards the National English Program in Basic Education

Jorge Luis Mendoza Valladares, Ruth Roux


Teachers’ attitudes play an important role in the implementation of educational reforms and innovations (Avramidis & Norwich, 2002; Fullan, 2001; Rogers, 2003; Waters, 2009; Wedell, 2009). Desired changes can successfully go through only if teachers respond positively to putting into effect those changes. Mexico is at present facing the challenge of an educational reform in basic education that involves adopting a new English as a second language program. Information about teachers’ attitudes towards the change is crucial to anticipate possible ways in which the process could unfold. This study explores the use of Appraisal Theory (Martin & White, 2005) to examine the linguistic expressions of attitude toward the Mexican National English Program for Basic Education. Data came from 12 focus group discussions conducted as part of a state-wide project with 86 secondary school teachers and supervisors in the northeastern corner of the country. Findings indicate that teachers’ negative attitudes towards the program were associated to their negative evaluation of the procedures to disseminate information about the program, and the quantity and quality of teacher training. Findings also shed light on the conventions related to the roles that teachers and administrators play in the reform implementation process. Implications of the findings are briefly discussed.



Appraisal theory, attitude, systemic functional linguistics, English as a second language, language teachers

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