A longitudinal analysis of the effect of bilingual schooling on the educational outcomes of indigenous children in Mexico
Presentation at Population Association of America Annual Meeting, Detroit, 1 May
Publication date: 2009
Indigenous populations in Latin American countries face persistent disadvantages. Previous studies have shown that nonindigenous children are more likely to be enrolled in school and attain higher levels of education than indigenous children. This paper will explore the educational disadvantages that indigenous children face in Mexico and whether bilingual schools help mitigate these disadvantages. In particular, we will go beyond standard measures of education-that is, school participation and highest grade attained-and also look at differences in grade repetition, grade attainment for age, and cognitive skills between monolingual, bilingual, and nonindigenous children. We will use longitudinal data from the Mexican Family Life Survey (MXFLS) conducted in 2002 and 2005 and from the country's Secretary of Public Education (SEP). The longitudinal nature of the MXFLS allows to compare children's progress in school and in cognitive skills between the two rounds as well as to explore transitions from being monolingual to being bilingual.