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Sociolingüística catalana

Linguistic skills and language use in the Balearic Islands. A review of the studies carried out by institutions and other organisations, by Joan-Albert Villaverde i Vidal


5.2.5 Knowledge of Catalan by the pupils of the Balearic Islands

During the 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 school year two studies were undertaken to evaluate the knowledge of Catalan language attained by pupils when they receive their school diplomas at the end of secondary education. The objective was to determine whether their linguistic skills were comparable to those required to be awarded certificates B or C of the Junta Avaluadora de Català (Catalan Evaluation Board). The results were useful in achieving homologation (equivalence) between the language courses of the regulated school system and the Catalan Evaluation Board certificates. Table 13 shows the equivalencies which were established after this study. (6)

Table 13. Equivalencies between the level of knowledge reached during regulated education and the CEB certificates

Equivalent certificate

Final score of language at 4th grade of ESO C (Aprovat-Bé) Certificate A, of oral knowledge of Catalan
B (Notable)
A (Excel·lent)
Certificate B, of basic knowledge of Catalan, oral and written
Final score of language at 2nd year of high school 5, 6 o 7
8, 9 o 10 Certificate C, of middle knowledge of Catalan, oral and written

6. Work in progress

In conclusion, we will refer to two studies in progress. The first is the 2001 census of population and housing in which the question on linguistic skills was reintroduced. The experts of the Directorate General for Language Policy took active part in the phrasing of this item in the questionnaire. The initial idea (to retain the use of the term Catalan language, and to complete it with an explanation of the identity of the language) was rejected due to the limited space the INE (National Institute of Statistics) left for this question in the official form. Finally, the question was asked in the following terms: "Knowledge of Catalan language (Balearic or other varieties): don’t understand; understand; understand and read; speak; speak and read; speak, read and write". Clear instructions were given to interviewers about this question so that they could dispel any doubt or misunderstanding.

The second study is the survey of the sociolinguistic map of the Balearic Islands. Scholars are now working on the questionnaire aiming to compile information about the linguistic background of the interviewees, their linguistic skills and usage in different situations, their attitudes towards the language issue and their subjective perception of the vitality of Catalan. The first results are expected to be available in early 2003.

7. Appendix

Technical files of the surveys and studies reviewed in this article and bibliographic references where results have been published.

Name of study: 1986 Municipal Census list
Bibliographic references: IBAE 1989; Melià 1993; Alomar 1995a; Ginard 1995
Institution in question: Each of the municipal areas. On the overall processing of the data: Instituto Nacional de Estadística. On the processing and tabulation of data relating to the Balearic Islands: Institut Balear d’Estadística
Fieldwork date: 1986 Scope: All population of Balearic Islands over six. (N=626.956)


Name of study: 1991 Census
Bibliographic references: IBAE 1993; Melià 1993; Alomar 1995a i 1995b; Ginard 1995
Institution in question: Instituto Nacional de Estadística
Institut Balear d’Estadística
Fieldwork date: 1991 Scope: All population of Balearic Islands over six


Name of study: Estudio CIS 2052. Bilingüismo. Balearic Islands
Bibliographic references: CIS 1993; Siguan 1994
Institution in question: Centro de Investigacions Sociológicas
Fieldwork date: 16-26 April 1993 Scope: Population aged 18 or more in the Balearic Islands(and other communities with two official languages)
Sample: 473 individuals (Balearic islands only). Level of confidence: 95.5% (2 sigmas), p=q; accurate to: ± 4.59%


Name of study: Estudio 2228: Conciencia nacional y regional (Baleares) [2228 Survey: National and Regional Awareness (Balearic Islands)]
Bibliographic references: CIS 1996
Institution in question: Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas
Fieldwork date: November-December 1996 Scope: Population of Spanish state aged 18 or more Sample widened to include non Castillian regions, as well as Andalusia and the Canary Islands.
Sample: 300 individuals (Balearic Islands only). Level of Confidence: 95,5 % (2 sigmas), p=q; accurate to: ± 5,77 %


Name of study: Estudio CIS 2300. Uso de lenguas en comunidades bilingües: Baleares (Islas) [2300 CIS Survey. Language use in bilingual communities: Balearic Islands]
Bibliographic references: CIS 1998; Siguan 1999
Institution in question: Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas
Fieldwork date: 8-21 October 1998 Scope: Population of the Balearic Islands aged 18 years (and other communities with two official languages)
Sample: 473 individuals (Balearic Islands only). Level of Confidence:  95,5 % (2 sigmas), p=q; accurate to: ± 4,60 %


Name of study: Enquesta sociolingüística als Països Catalans
(Sociolinguistic survey in the Catalan countries)
Bibliographic references: Argente i Bibiloni 1998
Institution in question: Institut d’Estudis Avançats de les Illes Balears – UIB
Fieldwork date: 1991 Scope: Population of Catalonia the Balearic Islands and Valencia, aged 18 or over.
Sample: Total no. of individuals interviewed: N=1742. Total no. of individuals interviewed in the Balearic Islands: N=575. The level of confidence and the percentage level of accuracy are not mentioned, but, from the sample size, we can take it that, for a level of confidence of 95.5% (p=q), the margin of error is a little broader than ± 4% (specifically ± 4.17%). Sample compiled from the electoral roll.


Name of study: Tercera encuesta básica [Third basic survey]
Bibliographic references: De Zárraga [unpublished]
Institution in question: Conselleria de Presidència del Govern de les Illes Balears [Presidential Ministry of the Balearic Islands Government].
Carried out by the SondyMark company
Fieldwork date: 8 May – 5 June 2002 Scope: Balearic Islands inhabitants aged 18 years or more, with Spanish citizenship
Sample: 1,600 individuals: 400 in Palma, 400 in the rest of Majorca, 400 in Minorca and 400 in Eivissa and Formentera. Sample stratified by municipality. Sample balanced in terms of political leanings of the population. Sample weightings based on the 1999 electoral census. Level of confidence: 95%; accurate to different percentages depending on the source of the sample:
(50%): ± 7.1% (N=200); ± 5.0% (N=400); ± 3.5% (N=800); ± 2.5% (N=1600).


Name of study: Enquesta sociolingüística sobre la població de Mallorca
[Sociolinguistic survey on the Majorcan population]
Bibliographic references: UIB-CIM 1986
Institution in question: Consell Insular de Majorca [Council of Majorca]
Universitat de les Illes Balears
Fieldwork date: November 1985 – June 1986 Scope: Population of Majorca
Sample: Sample obtained by stratified random sampling (strata: municipal areas). N=1.052. Confidence interval 95%; accurate to: ± 3%

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