b) Types of data
obtained are of three types: 1) what was stated, on use in the home, 2) what was observed,
on language use in recreation time (recess), and 3) test results, from tests on language
exploration of the data
Up to the
present, some articles have been published relating to the survey, details of which are
given below. In addition, the quantitative findings of the study have been the object of
exhaustive analysis by researcher Mireia Galindo (University of Barcelona) as a part of
her doctoral thesis which she envisages defending at the end of 2003 or beginning of 2004.
Some of the
most notable sociolingüístic findings
most useful data, since virtually no other survey provides them, are the observed data -
that is, pupils' language use in the playground (recess). Information provided on this
question is of two types: speech listened to and speech produced. The results indicate
that the primary school students whose first language is Catalan get more input in Spanish
(listen to more speech in Spanish) and make a greater use of that language than Spanish
speakers with respect to Catalan. The predominance of Spanish in this sense can largely be
explained by the existing norms of language selection, which favour Spanish over Catalan.
access to the information
quantitative data of the study are to be published in the upcoming:
Vila i Moreno
F. X., Vial i Ribs S.: "Les pràctiques lingüístiques dels escolars catalans:
algunes dades quantitatives", (in preparation) Escola Catalana.
results from this work have been presented at various conferences, and the presentations
in question will be appearing soon in the corresponding proceedings. References for these
are as follows:
Vila i Moreno
F. X., Vial i Rius S.: "Els usos espontanis de lalumnat a Catalunya al voltant
del mil·lenni: aproximació quantitativa." 3r Simposi dEnsenyament de
Català a no Catalanoparlants. Vic, 4, 5 and 6 September, 2002.
Vila i Moreno
F. X., Vial i Rius S.: "Models lingüístics escolars i usos entre iguals:
alguns resultats des de Catalunya." In: Actes del XXIII Seminari Llengües
i Educació, Universitat de Barcelona, 30 i 31 de maig 2002.
Vila i Moreno
F. X., Vial i Rius S., Galindo M. (2002): "Language practices in bilingual schools:
Some observed, quantitative data from Catalonia." Segundo Simposio Internacional
sobre O Bilingüismo: "Bilingüismo e educación, da familia á escola".
Vigo, 23-26 October 2002. [Soon to be published in a volume by the Europa Landom
3.8. "Llengua i escola a lensenyament primari a
(Language and school in primary education in Catalonia)
(SEDEC) and Santi Vial (SEDEC)
consider that in Catalonia the school rolls are no longer a sufficiently effective
instrument in gauging the linguistic situation in the schools, and accordingly they
devised and implemented a survey that could carry out this function in the current
situation. This survey set out to achieve the following:
instruments that could yield information on the different degrees of language
normalisation in the primary schools.
- Provide an
assessment of the sociolinguistic situation in the schools of Catalonia based on each of
its defining characterisistics.
the degree of language normalisation in the schools.
- Find out the
factors that have an influence on Catalan and Spanish.
- Study the
factors that have an influence of the use of the Catalan language by the pupils.
To an extent,
the intention here is to carry out a diagnosis on the way in which schooling is done in
Catalan and the results achieved in terms of language competence and use of the pupils.
The sample and data collection
A sample of
132 schools was built up by distributing the schools across three categories, in each of
which schools were chosen at random. The categories into which the schools were divided
- Those where
all teaching was in Catalan and less than 30% of the pupils were from Catalan-speaking
families - that is, schools on the immersion model.
- Those where
all teaching was in Catalan and more than 30% of pupils were from Catalan-speaking
families - that is, schools not on the immersion model.
- Those where
teaching was bilingual. These are a minority.
composition of the sample, the authors consider that the results are not fully
representative from the quantitative point of view, but are indicative. Data collection
took place in school years 1998-1999 and 1999-2000.
At each of the
schools selected, the information was collected using the following means: 1) tests of
knowledge of Catalan and Spanish given to the fourth year primary pupils, 2) a
sociolinguistic study of these same pupils, 3) another questionnaire given to coordinators
of the years in question (last cycle of primary), and 4) an interview with the head
sociolinguistic information sought was on competence in the two languages among teachers
and pupils, and the language use of the teachers and pupils, both in immersion and
expoitation of the data
A first report
has been written which deals with the first two objectives, and work is now going forward
on the presentation of the information relating to the other three objectives.
Some of the
most notable sociolinguistic findings
interesting finding is that students of the Catalan immersion schools have much greater
knowledge of Spanish than Catalan, while the non-immersion schools (but with Catalan as
the language of instruction) the opposite is the case. Another interest fact to emerge is
that in their personal relationships students claim to speak a little more Catalan than
Spanish at school, and much more in Spanish than in Catalan outside the school, which may
indicate a certain positive impact being made by the school in the use of Catalan, but not
enough to further promote the use of Catalan in the wider society.
Gaining access to the
Up until the
time of writing nothing has been published on this survey, but at the III Simposi sobre
lensenyament del català als no catalanoparlants, which was hold in Vic
(Catalonia) in 2002, the authors presented a report on the subject, entitled "Llengua
i escola a lensenyament primari" (Language and school in primary education). To
have access this report and the corresponding data, contact the authors at the SEDEC.
Taken as a
whole, the studies we have just reviewed certainly offer us a considerable quantity of
up-to-date sociolinguistic information which is wide-ranging and basically reliable. In
the widest sense, if we bear in mind both the surveys presented here and those
commissioned by the DGPL, (5) which are also many and
varied, we can say that the information available on the sociolinguistic situation in
Catalonia are more plentiful than ever before. For some time now there has been a lot of
information on knowledge of Catalan, thanks above all to the exploitation of the
linguistic questions in the national census and local register, but until a short while
ago, information on language use has been insufficient. Over the last few years,
however, this absence of information has been steadily overcome. An ever increasing number
of surveys have come available with sociolinguistic content and including questions on
use, and these surveys have become progressively more reliable and, in many cases, feature
large samples. What is more, the considerable period of time that has passed since data
were first gathered on the subject means that comparisons can be made between surveys
widely separated in time, enabling us to see trends and developments. Thus we are better
informed than ever on the sociolinguistic situation, trends underway, the obstacles and
shoals threatening the language and the factors that have to be borne in mind for the
future. To make progress, it could be useful to carry out in-depth analysis of all aspects
of the work done, based on the data from each of the surveys and their exploitation in
subsequent work, and on the results of surveys whose findings are about to become
available. This operation could be very useful in initiating renewed action in favour of
Catalan, a necessary stop to assure the future of the language in a difficult and changing