Gladys Rodríguez, Puerto Rico Language Policy Timeline

  • 1898 -1990

    1898 -1990
    Dr. John Eaton - Commissioner of the Department of Education in the United States and Victor Clark- Assistant Commissioner established that Puerto Rican teachers should learn English in order to have better opportunities of being hired.
  • 1900

    Creation of the Department of Education
  • 1900 -1902

    1900 -1902
    The educational politics was that Spanish language will be conserved and the English language will be acquired. Spanish in Elementary grades and English as a especial course. In high schools was all subjects were taught in English and Spanish was a especial course
  • 1902-1904

    The English language was increased with the idea to make it as the official language.
  • 1905 -1913

    1905 -1913
    Spanish was suppressed. All subjects were taught in English
  • 1915

    A project was presented to make compulsory Spanish as the main language for teaching
  • 1916 – 1934

    1916 – 1934
    The Spanish language was established as the teaching tool from first through fourth grade and English was going to be used in half of the courses from fifth through twelve grade.
  • 1917

    Puerto Ricans’ became United States citizens
  • 1920-1930

    United States teachers came to Puerto Rico in an effort to improve the quality of English
  • 1921

    Paul G. Miller (Commissioner of Instructions) and Jose de Diego defended the Spanish language
  • 1921-1930

    Li. Juan B. Huyke, who was the Commissioner of instruction established that more emphasis on the use of the English language inside and outside of the classroom by learners and teachers.
  • 1930

    Dr. Jose Padin introduced the use of English as a foreign language and Spanish as a tool for instruction . English was taught as second language.
  • 1936

    Jose M. Gallardo tried to implement a bilingual program. It was unsuccessful because people were under the impression that by using English was going to lead to assimilation and at the same time by not using it meant being anti-American.
  • 1942

    Spanish became the first language up to six grade. English was taught as a especial course.
  • 1948

    Spanish was the first language up to the ninth grade.
  • 1949 -1950

    1949 -1950
    Dr. Mariano Villaronga ended the debate of bilingualism. He established the used of Spanish in all levels and English as a especial course.
  • 1968

    President Johnson signed the United States Bilingual Act or Title VII
  • 1970

    Funds were requested to address students who return from the United States to Puerto Rico and were not dominant in Spanish
  • 1970-1980

    "Neoricans" were trained by the Department of Education here in Puerto Rico so they could become English teachers
  • 1972-1976

    Padre Rufo and Juan VIII- Bilingual Projects were implemented in Puerto Rico under the Democratic Popular Party
  • 1974

    Expansion of Bilingual Education in the United States by the famous decision of “Lau vs Nichols”.
  • 1975-1976

    Padre Rufo school started serving students who were returning to school of seventh through ninth grade. These students had deficiencies in Spanish because their vernacular language was English
  • 1978

    The United States of America Congress authorized the Bilingual Education projects had a better focus on teaching Spanish to returning students such as Title VII, Migrant Student Programs, Bilingual Programs Vocational, Adult Education Programs, Special Programs for Disadvantaged Students at University Level and Program (F.I.P.S.E)
  • 1979-1980

    During this year, 84.834 students returned to schools of which 59,810 required especial education services.
  • 1984-

    The Bilingual Education programs already establishedwas transferred tothe English Department by Romero Barcelo, but it was never implemented.
  • 1989

    Four projects were approved for the Department of Education in Puerto Rico. These were:Four projects were approved for the Department of Education in Puerto Rico. These were:The Metropolitan University, Sacrado Corazon for English as a Second Language and the other two for the University of Turabo
  • 1990

    Creation of the Department of Education
  • 1991

    Rafael Hernandez Colon declared Spanish as the island sole official language.
  • 1991-1992-

    Service programs are created for students such as: Project and Project SUCCESS CEMI –to strengthen language arts skills and students with limited proficiency in Spanish and/ or English, Using computers or to the operation of the basic skills of reading and writing in Spanish and English or literacy programs at home, and tutoring or parents to strengthen the education of their children.
  • 1993

    Projects from Bilingual education became autonomous
  • 1997-1998

    Pedro Rosello established an act where both English and Spanish are the offical languages in Puerto Rico
  • 2012

    Bilingual projects take place in Puerto Rico such as: BEC 21 Project for Elementary schools and ES 21 for Middle and High Schools.