Políticas Linguísticas e impacto social: a língua estrangeira no Enem
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The objective of this study was to investigate how and which language policies justify and serve as a basis for Enem (Brazilian National High School Standardized Exam) foreign language (English and Spanish) tests; how this exam can impact classes, beliefs and practices of students and teachers; and, additionally, whether these beliefs and practices influence the official language policy. In order to achieve the established objectives, the theoretical foundation of this research was based on studies addressing language policies (SHOHAMY, 1993, 2006, 2008; SPOLSKY, 2004; TOLLEFSON, 1991, 2006; RAJAGOPALAN, 2013a e 2013b; RIBEIRO DA SILVA, 2011, 2016; RICENTO, 2006; CALVET, 2007, WILEY, 1996; among others) and social and political aspects of foreign language exams (SCARAMUCCI, 1999, 2001, 2005, 2010; MCNAMARA, 2001; BACHMAN; PALMER, 1993; CHENG, 2008; ALDERSON; WALL, 1993; among others). A qualitative, interpretative ethnographic methodology was employed. The research was developed in a Primary and Secondary Education municipal public school located in the city of São Paulo, and it involved 34 students and two teachers. Two questionnaires were used, one for the students and the other one for the teachers, and notes were taken during three consecutive months in the field from the observation of Spanish and English language classes taught to two groups of students. In addition, in order to understand the official language policy, we have analyzed the Brazilian Law of Educational Guidelines and Fundamental Principles (LDB) in effect between 1996 and 2015, the LDB significantly amended in 2016, Law 11.161/2005, regarding the offer of Spanish classes in High School and which was revoked in 2016, and the documents directly related to the exam and, mainly, to the foreign language test. The achieved results revealed students’ and teachers’ beliefs about foreign languages, college entrance exams, Enem and its foreign language test. An overestimation of English language was identified in the questionnaires; however, this estimation was not explicitly reflected in classes. Most participants agree that the exam should evaluate foreign language and deem the possibility of choosing between English or Spanish test to be positive. The impact of said exam is more evident in Spanish classes and nearly inexistent in English classes. Lastly, the changes in the official policy made simultaneously with the development of this study were discussed, and they suggest inconsistencies regarding the beliefs and realities of the investigated classes, indicating that the impact of the exam on official language policies is almost inexistent.