IndexplÓ. What is it?
features of IndexplÓ
Utility of IndexplÓ in laguage planning
Appendices. Weighting of indicators in each factor
1. IndexplÓ. What is it?
IndexplÓ is a
computer programme that makes it possible to measure the extent of language normalisation,
first version of the IndexplÓ programme, in use from 1995 to1998,
was an application of Excel created by a team (1)
at the Consortium
for Language Normalisation (CPNL), a division of the Directorate
General for Language Policy (DGPL) and a coordinator for computer
version of IndexplÓ was in existence, in September 1995, its use was piloted in a dozen
organisations in different ambits. This trial run made it possible to improve the tool
before applying it in a widespread or general way.
the application of IndexplÓ and the experience accumulated over the course of more than
two years made it possible and indeed desirable to create a second, improved version, with
contributions and suggestions from technical people who had been using it. Thus an
enlarged working team (2) began working on this second
version in 1998.
new team (3) is busy developing another
version of IndexplÓ which will be a web application with a database that will collect
historical information on the new corporation. The working methods will be much more rapid
-based on questionnaires- and they will substantially increase opportunities for the
exploitation of the data obtained. It is also planned to have a self-administering version
on the Internet.
Main features of IndexplÓ
indicators used are grouped according to six factors:
Images and signs
Linguistic convergence of the
Criteria for language use
Documents for external use
Internal documentation and
of which have a value or score of 0 to 100.
mean is also obtained which has a value of between 0 and 100, and which gives the level or
index of language normalisation (ILN) of an organisation as a whole.
enables us to arrive at a graph which shows the level or index of linguistic normalisation
(INL) of an organisation at a particular moment in time on a scale from 0 to 100. Knowing
this level allows us to fix objectives and evaluate achievement, in accordance with the
interests of the organisation. It is important to bear in mind that IndexplÓ is not a
tool for obliging an organisation to take particular measures, but rather is there to
serve the needs determined by the spokespeople of the organisations in question.
2.3 It is easy
to apply because it simply puts into systematic form the information that is habitually
obtained on a regular basis from an organisation. And it is, at the same time, practical
because the indices are homogenous and allow immediate evaluation and comparison between
different stages in the implementation of the same plan -progression- and between all
organisations under study.
is an instrument intended to be applied to any organisation of any type, from the simplest
to the most complex, given that it is based on common variables with their equivalents in
all organisations. What is more, the methodology and the language which is used are those
typically used in connection with organisations (planning, management and evaluation). In
any case, organisations have to have a minimum structure to make the use of IndexplÓ
worthwhile. In this respect, very small associations, without premises of their own and
with a limited output of written texts will need more help with "dynamisation"
(revitalisation or boosting) rather than with planning.
was decided to have one single version of IndexplÓ for all organisations and to increase
flexibility when selecting elements to evaluate for each indicator. This is to make it is
possible to obtain observations which reflect the degree of normalisation exactly, using
the same parameters, whether we have to do with an organisation large or small, or with
one territory or another.
Because of the large amount of information that the plan requires, it is applicable to
organisations collaborated with on an ongoing or regular basis. It would not be worthwhile
to use it with studies to determine the language normalisation index in a sample of
organisations. It is, then, an instrument for the evaluation of results of a process of
linguistic change, which makes it possible to evaluate very well the situation at the
outset and after a course of action has been taken.
2.7 It is an
instrument that makes it possible to evaluate all degrees of normalisation using a score
from 0 to 100. It is useful, therefore, when applied to all language plan needs, since it
can be adjusted to any of the objectives -partial, temporary or general- for any
2.8 It is
extremely sensitive to change. It makes it possible to evaluate and quantify any progress
made in linguistic normalisation in an organisation, however small it may be. A single
page can show graphically the comparison between observations taken at different times.
indicators are associated with a factor that they are affected by in particular. Despite
that, they are also interrelated with other factors and they affect them to a secondary
extent. It is for that reason that a change in value in a single indicator can have a
detectable effect on a range.
factors and indicators, as well as the scores and weightings have been analysed in depth
so that the result, while arbitrary is the outcome of consensus. The attribute for each
indicator has been analysed individually in relation to each of the factors and has been
compared across all the indicators.
The weighting assigned to each factor in the ILN (weighted mean), which reflects the
degree of language normalisation of the organisation has also been subject to consensus.
These criteria, which have been modified for the second version are currently:
convergence of the staff
for language use
for external use
documentation and communication
2.12 IndexplÓ makes it possible to set up typologies of organisations according
to the degree of normalisation, and these typologies are more useful from the point of
view of the internal dimension than the external:
Organisations which have achieved a level of normalisation (ILN between 60% and 80%),
which implies a certain level of incorporation of Catalan language in the internal and
external image and communications. Normally these are organisations that have decided to
use Catalan above all in their image, advertising, external communications etc., but which
nonetheless show some important shortfalls in the linguistic convergence of the employees.
Organisations which have achieved a high degree of use of Catalan (ILN above 80%). These
organisations normally score very highly in factors like image, external communications
(perhaps less so for linguistic convergence, which might have a medium score).
Utility of IndexplÓ in language planning
are instruments that the CPNL uses basically to provide the services that it offers to
organisations, and which enable it to manage the latter's language needs. The language
plans incorporate the aspirations of the organisation, determine objectives, actions to
carry out and devise systems of evaluation.
been applied to a large number of organisations of different sizes and types (private
companies, hospitals, association, town halls, etc.) and territories with very different