A Longitudinal Analysis of the Effect of Bilingual Schooling on the Educational Outcomes of Indigenous Children in Mexico

Erica Soler-Hampejsek, Population Council
Kelly Hallman, Population Council

Indigenous populations in Latin American countries face persistent disadvantages. Previous studies have shown that non-indigenous 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— school participation and highest grade attained—and also look at differences in grade repetition, grade attainment for age and cognitive skills among monolingual, bilingual and non-indigenous 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. The longitudinal nature of the MXFLS allows us to compare children’s progress in school and in cognitive skills between the two rounds as well as explore transitions from being monolingual to being bilingual.

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Presented in Session 107: Indigenous Peoples