Language education injustices in Mexican indigenous communities during COVID-19 pandemic


  • Lorena Córdova-Hernández Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca
  • Jorge Valtierra Zamudio Universidad La Salle, México


language education, social justice, indigenous education, endangered languages


In Mexico, due to the pandemic caused by COVID 2019, most students have received remote education through public television channels and video calls via payment internet services. Although these practices can provide helpful strategies for students to continue with their school training process, the distance education modality began to demonstrate the social inequalities most students find themselves in. This situation has increased students' social and educational disparities in the South of Mexico. In that case, many indigenous communities are good examples of language education injustices before the pandemic, which has become a more critical situation during and after the pandemic. For instance, classes are only in Spanish; some indigenous teachers do not speak the language or community language variety. There has also been a lack of teachers for more than a year in different schools. Based on endangered indigenous languages experiences, in this paper, we aim to reflect on the notion of the school as a space for the democratisation of knowledge. However, in indigenous contexts, one can see critical social injustice conditions for students instead of democratisation of knowledge, as we said before. For that reason, we argue that the COVID-19 pandemic is only an issue and a minuscule particle to show the historical and structural language education injustices for indigenous people. Hitherto, it is necessary to recognise this situation all the time.

Special Issue: Language Education for Social Justice


2022-08-25 — Updated on 2022-10-05


How to Cite

Córdova-Hernández, L., & Valtierra Zamudio, J. (2022). Language education injustices in Mexican indigenous communities during COVID-19 pandemic. Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies, 16(2), 41–56. (Original work published August 25, 2022)