Colóquio Internacional TLSA-PT

Timor-Leste:A Ilha e o Mundo

7 a 11 de setembro 2020Colóquio Online

Constructing a common language-in-education policy: Portuguese, Brazilian and Timorese collaboration in the reintroduction of Portuguese in Timor-Leste

Alan Silvio Ribeiro Carneiro Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP), BRASIL

The final decolonization of Timor-Leste, in 2002, happened during an era characterized by intensification of globalization processes and, as a result, the reconstruction of the country involved diverse types of multi-lateral and bi-lateral cooperation. The cooperation projects of Portugal and Brazil took on the main role in the development of new language-in-education policies contributing, for example, to the construction of the legal framework for education, the national curriculum and the training of teachers. The first objective of this paper is to present an analytic account of the trajectory of the Portuguese and the Brazilian cooperation initiatives in Timor-Leste in the field of teacher training. The second objective is to analyse the positionings of social actors who had an involvement in one project, in relation to the processes involved in language policy implementation since Independence. The data to be analysed in detail in this paper are from narratives emerging in interviews conducted during fieldwork in Timor-Leste in 2012. The focus of my analysis is on the interviewees’ lived experiences and the ways in which they indexed the multiple language ideologies circulating in this context - ideologies that shaped the process of reintroducing the Portuguese language in the country. The interviewees’ accounts brought to the fore different ways of accommodating tensions and achieving consent in the construction of language-in-education policies in post-colonial contexts such as this one, reminding us of the importance of looking, in close detail, at the constant negotiation and recasting of priorities even among social actors aligned in the same politically hegemonic field.