The Generalitat hides behind a study to endorse its offensive to reinforce Catalan
Teachers, parents, directors of educational centers, unions, representatives of the Generalitat … The entire educational community, represented in the School Council of Catalonia (CEC), staged yesterday in Santa Coloma de Gramanet (Barcelona), a town where in 1982 language immersion began to be applied in an embryobaric way, the symbolic start of what some sectors already describe as ‘second immersion’, the offensive promoted by the parties nationalists to reinforce the use of the Catalan language in educational settings.
The retired professor of Linguistics at the Autonomous University of Madrid, Juan Carlos Moreno Cabrera, spoke at the conference, stating that the Supreme Court ruling that sets a minimum 25% of Spanish “is based on the Spanish language supremacism».
Moreno Cabrera was in favor of Spanish ceasing to be an official language in Catalonia: “It represents a very great handicap for the progress of Catalan.”
In parallel, the president of the School Council, Jesús Viñas, explained that they are working on a proposal to modify the Catalan Law on Education to circumvent the judgment of the Supreme Court.
In the ‘day of reflection on the use of Catalan in education’, the results of a survey carried out by the Higher Council for the Evaluation of the Educational System, a body attached to the Generalitat, were presented, which, together with the survey promoted by the Catalan Ombudsman Greuges, and the macro-study that the Ministry has commissioned to the universities in order to have a complete photograph of the use of Catalan In all educational stages, they will serve to build the strategy to reinforce the autonomous language in teaching. As was recognized yesterday, it is about having the theoretical basis on which to act.
In the ‘XXIX Conference of reflection on the use of Catalan in education’ the results of a survey carried out by the Higher Council for the Evaluation of the Educational System, a body attached to the Generalitat, were presented, which, together with the survey promoted by the Catalan Ombudsman de Greuges, and the macro-study that the Ministry has commissioned to the universities in order to have a complete picture of the use of Catalan in all educational stages, will serve to put together the strategy to reinforce the autonomous language in teaching. As was recognized yesterday during the conference, it is about having the theoretical basis on which to act.
The results of the ‘Sociodemographic and Linguistic Study of students in the fourth year of Compulsory Secondary Education (ESO)’, which analyzes and crosses the data of the surveys carried out on the students of this stage in the 2006-2007, 2012-2013 and 2020 academic years. 2021 (a total sample of 3,205 fourth-year ESO students from 55 randomly chosen schools) show, in general terms, a loss of weight in Catalan as the language used by students and also in school relations.
Through the students’ responses to the 153 questionnaire questions, the study carries out a rigorous X-ray of the students and their families, from the sociolinguistic and socioeconomic point of view, and concludes, in general terms, that Catalan has lost weight as a language used inside and outside the classroom, confirming the theory of linguistic emergency situation in which the Generalitat relies to justify its new offensive.
The counselor of the branch, Josep Gonzàlez-Cambray, in this line, assured yesterday, in the Parliament of Catalonia, that he has commissioned a study similar to the one already carried out for the students of the sixth grade of Primary, and thus have a more complete overview of the situation linguistics in schools.
What language do you use when you do sports?
What language do you use at home ?; Do youIn which language do you inform yourself?; What language do you use when you practice sports or communicate on social networks? These are some of the questions that the students surveyed had to answer.
The report that collects their responses detects a sustained drop in the weight of the Catalan language as a language of identification for students and for use in classrooms, both by teachers and students. “Although it is in the formal uses or institutional in the school context where Catalan is more consolidated, there has been a setback that places it in uses of 15 years ago, both when it is the teachers who use it in the classroom and the students “, says Carles Vega, president of the Higher Council for the Evaluation of the Educational System.
Regarding the language used by the teacher in class, where Catalan is more consolidated, there has been a slight decrease compared to 2013, reaching levels similar to those of 2006. In 2013, the percentage of teachers who barely spoke Catalan in class it was 7.4%, compared to 15.4% in the last year. When it is the student who addresses the teacher, the use of Catalan has also decreased reaching levels similar to those of the 2005-2006 academic year. The report also scrutinizes the use of Catalan among students and teachers outside the classroom. The data reveal that the use of Catalan in relations between the two groups has dropped ten points in recent decades.
Beyond the classrooms, the study focuses on the social use of the autonomous language by students. According to the research, consulted by ABC, in the informal uses of the language, Catalan also maintains a low presence, although without a significant drop -similar to the one it had in the 2012-2013 academic year-. However, one of the issues that most concern educational authorities is the level of identification of students with the language. “The desire to use catalan it has decreased in the last three decades, with a higher rate of disaffection among students born outside of Catalonia, “says the president of the Higher Assessment Council.
Parallel to that less manifest interest on the part of the student body in using the Catalan language, a worsening of the image of Spanish is also detected among students. According to report conclusions Regarding the desire to belong to a linguistic group, Spanish is the language that has fallen the most since 2006, 18.6 points less, while Catalan, which has also fallen, but only 2.1 points.
The study also shows that the autonomous language is in a “frank minority situation” in the leisure activities in which the students participate, sports, audiovisual consumption, social networks or interpersonal relationships, although “in parameters comparable to those of eight years ago.” The data in the report offer the Government ammunition to deploy its plans for the Catalanization of educational environments in the next four years. The Ministry will also ask educational inspectors to become more involved in language control.