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Education programme of the Alliance of Portuguese & Spanish speakers (AIU) in the UK.[]


This document describes a supplementary “multi-heritage” education programme developed for and by Spanish and Portuguese speaking people in the UK. It is complementary (extra and compatible) to those in colleges, Saturday schools and so on - it is developed with their students in mind but also aims to reach other groups across the country (tutorials, classes, study & research groups). The topics reflect the history and heritage of more than thirty countries / regions that have Portuguese and Spanish as their national, official or majority language. Within this “ibero-phone” area several hundred other “lesser-used” (EU terminology) languages are spoken. The complexity of creating and delivering education resources for such complex heritage patterns is daunting but the Alliance believes it will be able to “crack the problem” using the “methodology” of the pilot “History of Peru” series (see below).

The context.[]

The education program of the Alliance is part of an overall programme of community support and promotion including:

  • The Alliance is requesting support from the Mayor of London for a special series of events in 2010 to celebrate the “outbreak” of independence (movements) in Latin America and Britain’s role (1810-1825) and contribution to that independence.
  • The Alliance is also requesting recognition of Spanish and Portuguese speaking people as a group or category for purposes of the Decennial Census, anti-discrimination data collection etc, and seeking support for a “multi-heritage” education programme for individuals in this category.
  • The preparation of information packs for City Hall
  • A cycle of conferences at Bolivar Hall and City Hall
  • Information leaflets for colleges
  • Plans for a statue commemorating the contribution of Britons to South American independence
  • A special exhibition in the London and other museums

This is a draft for presentation to . . .[]

This is a draft presentation by the Culture and Education Commission of the Alliance of Spanish and Portuguese speaking communities in the UK. (For presentation to the Mayor of London, the Home Office and the Department for Children, Schools and Families) - V2 8/10/09. Note. For Version 1 see article "Education in a multi-heritage society: the case of Latin Americans and other Spanish & Portuguese speakers in the United Kingdom."

You can contribute to this document online[]

This is a collaborative document and is "open" for you to comment on and edit. How? By clicking on the "Edit" tab on the internet version of this page at and/or clicking the "Discussion" tab.

Spanish and Portuguese (Iberian) speakers in the UK[]

Spanish and Portuguese speakers in the UK come from the following groupings /categories:

  • Afro-Portuguese
  • Latin Americans and “Ibero-Americans” from the US
  • Brazilians
  • Portuguese and Spaniards
  • Others (incl. British-Iberians)

(If the category to which you believe you belong is not listed you may write or add it here – click edit at the internet version above.) Their geographic distributions are analysed in the following documents (see Zotero for bibliography): Mateos, (2007) PhD Thesis. An ontology of ethnicity based upon personal names. provides a useful summary of the issues surrounding the use of race, ethnicity, linguistic[1] and other markers. See for example Section 2.3 on page 49. (Please add other online sources here)

General - A feel for the issues[]

The word multi-heritage is used in preference to multi-cultural. See the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust document “Combining diversity with common citizenship” (Click to download which explains why “muli-culturalism” has come under increasing attack. A multi-heritage society is one – at least in one of its definitions - where all or most achieve a common citizenship and, in part, elements of a common culture(s), whilst individuals retain diverse aspects of family and group (perhaps - community) “heritages”. (It could be noted that “Britain” has always “contained” a society with multiple heritages.) In the case of Latin Americans in London and the United Kingdom, the Runnymede Trust has reported on some of the “communities” in the United Kingdom. The report on Ecuadorians can be found at: and the report on Bolivians at These reports and other sources reveal several issues which challenge the viability and health of a multi-heritage society -

Issues in multi-heritage education[]

There are a range of problems which need to be / could be addressed when designing new materials and changes to learning systems and curriculums. These are itemised below:

  • There are wide educational and social divides within the community with “older” groups more privileged than newer arrivals. Class and racial barriers are to an extent imported and aggregated to indigenous (British) barriers. (Are educationally-qualified Latin Americans - and others - “helping” those who are not?)
  • Deskilling (working at a less-skilled job than you are qualified for) is a common phenomenon for émigré (migrant) labour.
  • Low levels of self-esteem and an unevenly developed sense of identity are particular problems which educators have the opportunity to address.
  • Legalisation and education. How can materials and courses be delivered in cases where the potential student does not have citizenship or a visa. Or may be working extremely unsocial hours?
  • There are specific problems in the English school system which relatively new arrivals face and which may not have been present in their root country. (The default male anti-learning culture in some schools is often quoted in this context.)
  • Deracination (nor referring to racism) is the process of “uprooting” which occurs – sometimes several times over – in the process of migration. Losing one’s friends, work environment, local contacts, cultural activities are examples.
  • Concept of the "history of the British". As the contemporary composition of “the British” changes, the challenge for educators will be (and is) how to include all the “histories and heritages” present in their learning group, class, or tutorial. (How can we include, for example, a relevant Latin American history for a thinly spread & dispersed population of children with Latin American roots?)
  • The "History of Peru" project being developed for Peruvians in the UK aims to (a) combine a multi-heritage approach, (b) be adaptable to specific British - Latin American and Peruvian-British curriculums and (c) contribute to cross-cultural education. The next section outlines the project within the context of a wider programme for Latin Americans in the UK.

Additional education for Latin Americans and their families in the UK Editorial note. Please list here the aspects of your education institution or facility, which might be of interest to those with Latin American connections / roots. Include nursery, primary, secondary, tertiary (including university and college), adult, part-time, weekend schools, workshops, online etc. Click edit to access the joint editing page:

Example “History of Peru” for Peruvians and their families in Ireland, the UK.[]

The preface to the online materials starts off as follows: Welcome to the History of Peru project. In a nutshell the History of Peru project aims to provide - particularly for those with Peruvian ancestry- a "knowledge-sharing" and "collaborative research" system and hence access to cohesive but open learning schemes on the theme of Peru. It is hoped that this resource will be of interest also to many who have no direct Peruvian connection. See section "I am". For those who are in schools and universities - with 20,000 or more families with some Peruvian roots spread around the country[2] this is a growing occurence - it is hoped that interest groups, schools and universities will subscribe to (click "groups" in the top of page contents) a partnership with Peruvian scholar(s) or to a collaborative research project (click "universities"). An idea of the contents is given by the introduction page – click Intro on the menu below. All these topics are in the process of being developed and depend on the collaboration of community members. Preface | Intro | Index | Caral | Chavín | Moche-Nazca | Incas | Conquest | Viceroyalty | Reforms | Tupamaru | Independence | Confed | Guano | Nitrates War | WW2 | Economy | Special | Templates | Group | Universities |


1. ↑ By priviledging national/ state / imperial / dominant languages as an ethnicity variable (for whatever reason: e.g. to pull more punch.) the issue of sub-dominant, indigenous, local, ancestral, regional, parental-tongue, diglossic languages is neither dispelled nor (should it be) forgotten. It may be that somewhere in the UK there are speakers of (all) the world's national languages but at a deeper cultural level the 5,000* odd diglossic languages are struggling for recognition. And the estimated x-hundred thousand Portuguese and Spanish speakers (n the UK) have an ancestry (in some /many cases) where and when other - whether diglossic, lesser-spoken, repressed, or perhaps still vibrant - tongues (from Quechua to Catalan) were common. References [edit] Retrieved from "" Categories: Journal of Peruvian Studies | History of Peru Guarnizo, Luis Eduardo (2008) Londres Latina: la Presencia Colombiana en la Capital Británica. Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas: México.