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Sociolingüística catalana

Acquisition of the Catalan language by Moroccan students in Compulsory Education, by Lluís Maruny Curto and Mònica Molina Domínguez


proficiency in reading informative texts

As mentioned above, the results from writing exercises do not give us a satisfactory base from which to make any generalisations.

Other variables under consideration, apart from the length of residence factor, i.e. student gender, the educational stage of the student and the age at which he/she arrived, have not resulted in significant differences.

Quite probably, many professionals in the education sector will be surprised – as we ourselves were – that the age at which the student is incorporated into the educational system was not significant. We applied this variable to the students in group C, i.e. those who have spent most time in Catalonia. From this group, those students who were incorporated into the educational system as infants or in the first Primary years do not show better results than those who were incorporated at an older age. As proof, we can see the results of reading comprehension of different texts in group C students, arranged in order of their age on arrival in Catalonia [see figure 9].

proficiency in reading expository texts

Even allowing for the fact that the sample in this case is very small (16 students) and does not permit generalisations, the results certainly invite us to question a belief which is widespread within the educational system. In fact, students of Moroccan origin do not have any specific support for learning Catalan until after the third Primary year, at least in the schools in the area under study.

The variable factor of grouping students according to whether they are in Primary or Secondary education does not have any particular significance on results either. It is worth mentioning that the lack of information on the level of schooling reached by students in their country of origin hinders this variable being taken into consideration; this information would doubtless have given us a very interesting perspective.

reading proficiency according to age on arrival

7. Results of the process of learning catalan by students of moroccan origin in compulsory education

Analysis of the body of data gathered enables us to put forward an initial general description of the linguistic processes through which the Moroccan students have successively progressed in the process of learning Catalan. Bound by limitations of space, we will restrict ourselves to making a fairly brief summary of these linguistic systems. This summary, however, is limited to the factors within this study: the analysis of errors, grammatical output (phonological, lexical and morpho-syntax); speech proficiency, reading and writing.

In order to give voice to the students themselves, we will take a segment from each group which seems the most representative of language acquisition at that particular point. To facilitate comparison, we will follow the same sequence in each case: the explanation of a popular festival, chosen by the student. The transcriptions have been written using standard spelling and punctuation to make them easier to read.

Linguistic process, group A (less than 18 months in Catalonia)

  • Hesitation over E / I vocal sounds; slightly less over O / U; only occasionally A / E. Frequent errors through lack of knowledge of the correct expression.

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