To date, knowledge of English in Latin America has reflected existing political and economic power structures. It has remained the preserve of the elite with access to private schooling, and as such it demarcates and divides social groups by reinforcing an unequal distribution of wealth, resources, and knowledge. However, the number of people learning English as a foreign language is growing across the region. This article analyses the “English Opens Doors Programme” in Chile, which aims to improve national economic competitiveness and promote equitable access to English language learning in all publicly funded schools. The article examines this initiative within the context of Chilean education policy since 1990, thereby acknowledging the influence of different stakeholders in this process, and the tensions between education for economic growth and education for social justice in a highly segmented and marketised system.