The results of the two studies, in
terms of the main sociolinguistic indicators, are very similar, so that it would seem that
the period of five years that had elapsed between the two studies was not enough to
consolidate sociolinguistic changes in Vigo society that could be detected by
macro-sociolinguistic inquiry. We should lastly mention another piece of work that the
Consello da Cultura Galega commissioned via the Arquivo de Planificación e Normalización
Lingüística (Archive of Language Planning and Normalisation); the carrying out of an
external quality control evaluation of the language normalisation services, concentrating
on county-level linguistic service (cf. Fente, 2000) and a service concentrating on
language use in companies (cf. Lorenzo, 2000). The results of the evaluation were
presented in 1999 in the seminars on language normalisation organised annually by the
Consello da Cultura Galega.
evaluation of the county-level linguistic service, a series of conclusions were presented
relating to the organisational design of the service, the activities and results, and the
degree of user satisfaction. This process of external evaluation, a total innovation in
the context of normalisation management in Galicia, seems not to have significantly
changed the organisation and development of the activities of the language services and
the work of the technicians engaged in language normalisation.
5. Non-university education
non-university sector of education was the object of several pieces of research,
concentrating in the main on the obtaining of data and information on the presence of
Galician in the school community and, more specifically, on the achievement of objectives
relative to education specified in the Lei de Normalización Lingüística
(Language Normalisation Act) passed in 1993. The most relevant of these are shown below,
in chronological order.
beginning of the nineties, the Xunta de Galicia published a piece of work on the situation
of Galician in elementary and primary education (cf. Rubal, 1991). This work, resulting
from research carried out by a team from the Instituto de Ciencias da Educación (ICE) of
the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, aimed at determining whether the central
objective for non-university education fixed in the Ley de Normalización Lingüística
was being achieved or not. This was the stipulation that the Galician education system
should guarantee the acquisition, by the student population of Galicia, of a similar level
of competence in both the official languages. The information was obtained by using the
teaching staff and management of pre-schools and primary (EGB) schools as consultants for
the research. Three types of questionnaires were sent out to the schools, and were to be
answered anonymously. The intention was to obtain information on the competence and
patterns of language use of school pupils, the competence and use patterns of the teaching
staff -in a addition to attitudes towards language normalisation- and the degree of use of
Galician and Spanish as languages of instruction. To check the validity of the answers,
these were compared with data obtained directly by the research team with a sample of 36
schools distributed across 12 counties, with the same proportions as applied in the main
conclusions to be drawn were very clear: the position Galician found itself in education
at that moment was largely thanks to individual efforts; there needed to be more and
better planning, and greater involvement on the part of the institutions, or there would
be no significant improvement in the situation.
diffusion and impact, the results were frankly worrying in terms of the (non-) fulfilment
of the linguistic objectives set in the Ley de Normalización Lingüística for
non-university education. Soon after this, in 1995, the Xunta de Galicia modified and
updated linguistic practice in non-university education (in accord with Decree 247/1995).
This modification was not unconnected with the quite alarming findings to be observed in
research evidence such as this.
academic year 1997-98, the Dirección Xeral de Política Lingüística (Directorate
General for Language Policy) carried out a statistical survey on the use of the Galician
language in all non-university centres of education in Galicia, both in administration and
in teaching. This was an exhaustive study which included all state schools and private
schools in Galicia, obtaining information on almost all schools and on every classroom
within them (cf. Dirección Xeral de Política Lingüística, 1998).
previous research, this study did not select a representative sample but instead included
all scholastic centres in non-university education in Galicia. Interestingly, it employed
a different questionnaire for each of the cycles and stages: infant education, primary
education (first cycle), primary education (second and third cycles), compulsory secondary
education, BUP and COU, and professional training in further education. This division
corresponded to that established in Decree 247/1995 which regulates the use of the
languages in education, since a fundamental aim of the study was to find out to what
extent this ruling was being put into practice or adhered to. Each questionnaire contained
three types of forms: one, to be filled in by the management (school hierarchy); a second,
for the person in charge of ENL; and a third, to be completed by the teacher who was tutor
of each of the classes of the school. In the first two types of questionnaire there were
questions on the school taken as a whole; in the third type, the questions referred to
each of the classrooms in particular.
the results of this investigation was very limited indeed, and it did not even get to be
published in book form. We can take it, therefore, that exploitation of this valuable
information was left exclusively in the hands of the admin department of the Xunta.
In the case of
the school situation in the Galician-speaking areas beyond the borders of Galicia (the
so-called Outer Galicia'), in the provinces of Asturias, Leon, Zamora and
Caceres we have a study promoted and published by the Consello da Cultura Galega at
the beginning of the noneties (cf. Rubal Rodríguez, X., D. Veiga Martínez & N. Arza,
1992). This study deals with the Galician of the school population and their teachers in
areas where Galician is spoken, but where the language has insufficient official
this section on non-university level education, we should recall that in section 3
(Language policy) we made reference to the report of the Consello da Cultura Galega
entitled El proceso de normalización del idioma gallego (1980-2000) devoted
specifically to education. At the time of writing this is the most up-to-date and in-depth
study of the situation of the Galician language and the process of linguistic
normalisation in infant and primary school education in Galicia.
6. University Education
Turing now to
university education, two research projects were carried out by the universities of
Santiago de Compostela and Vigo, respectively. In the Santiago de Compostela study, this
resulted in the report O idioma na Universidade de Santiago de Compostela
(languages at the University of Santiago de Compostela (cf. Rodríguez Neira, 1998). This
was based on a questionnaire administered during academic year 1995-1996 to the three
sections of the university population: students, lecturing staff and administrative and
service staff. The information gathered in this study was subsequently used as an
empirical basis for the design of a significant part of the USC's linguistic normalisation
plan (cf. http://www.usc.es/~snlus/pnl.htm),
which was eventually passed by the Senate of the University in October 2002.
In the second
case, in 1995 an interdisciplinary team produced the sociolinguistic report of the
University of Vigo (cf. Lorenzo Suárez et al., 1997). This, too, was to be based on a
questionnaire given to the students, teaching staff, administrative and service staff in
order to gauge the use of the Galician language. In the case of the students a stratified
sample was used and in the case of the teachers and administrative/service staff a
questionnaire was sent to individual people and was answered by those who cared to do so.
The contents of the survey were the usual ones in this type of quantitative survey.
Special attention was accorded to the patterns of language use of the three sectors in the
functions, tasks and activities within the university itself, to be able to gauge the
extent to which Galician was used in the university as an institution.
indicated a population that was very castilianised (i.e. had become increasingly
Spanish-orientated) with, however, an excellent interest in knowledge and use of Galician
but with scant use of that language in such centrally important areas as research and
teaching. In contrast, the administrative and service staff showed a greater tendency to
use Galician in their ordinary everyday activities, especially in writing. Up to the time
of writing, this sociolinguistic report and the information it contains has not been used
for any applied end.
7. The media
and studies on the use of the Galician language in the mass media are few and far between.
Nonetheless, it is important to note the sociolinguistic information forthcoming from the
series of reports on communication in Galicia, which are issued regularly by the
Communications section of the Consello da Cultura Galega (cf. López García, 2000; 2002).
public institution was responsible for the publishing of a report on the working and
professional profiles of employees working in the Galician media (cf. Túñez & López
García, 1998). It includes a description of the patterns of use, linguistic skills and
opinions of the professionals with respect to the Galician language.
8. Other areas: companies, advertising and church
section we include the most relevant research on language use in Galicia, in the areas of
business and companies, advertising and the church.
In the world
of business and companies we really don't have in-depth monographic studies, but we do
have relevant data and information arising out of other studies: for example, Bouzada
& Lorenzo (1997) and Ramallo & Rei-Doval (1997).
In the Bouzada
& Lorenzo (1997) study, mentioned earlier (see section 4. Administration), a
substantial part of the report is devoted to the situation of the Galician language in the
workplace and in business. To do so they utilised flexible and varied research
methodology. On the one hand, they selected a representative sample of all the important
social actors involved in the socio-economic activity of Galicia, and they carried out
personal interviews using an open questionnaire covering various topics. On the other
hand, a questionnaire was used with 118 companies in Galicia in order to obtain direct
evaluation on a limited but strategically significant number of sociolinguistic
The results of
the study point up the factors that are behind patterns of language use (use of Galician)
in these sectors, factors relating to the weakness of the status and social prestige of
the language, at the same time as it registered the good predisposition of the social
agents and employers in Galicia to gradually introduce Galician into their routine
specifically in the commercial world, in another study published by the Consello da
Cultura Galega, Ramallo & Rei-Doval (1996) looked at consumers and commerce, and
analysed what the public reaction would be to an increase in the use of Galician in firms
and in businesses (shops, etc) and, complementing this, the opinion was also sought of the
employers and business people, who would actually have the task of bringing in increased
use of Galician.
In the first
part of this study, then, the attitudes of consumers to use of Galician in advertising and
notices in shops as well as customer - sales person interaction. Quantitative methodology
was used for this, and a questionnaire was designed that was administered to a sample
stratified by age and place of residence (1209 interviewees).
In the second
part the opinions were sought of both company management and people in trade and commerce:
a stratified sample of 33 subjects was selected from this population and information was
gathered by means of a semi-directed interview.
conclusions drawn by the investigation are eloquent enough: there was considerable caution
concerning the "galicianisation" of economic, commercial and corporate
activities -caution based on the inertia of the past, on the additional costs that this
would involve, and the supposed wariness of the customer or end user faced with
'linguistic change', but overall the attitudes expressed by this population regarding
increased use of Galician were clearly positive and favourable.
In the area of
advertising more specifically, the Consello da Cultura Galega carried out a study on the
introduction of the Galician language in this domain, and subsequently published their
findings (cf. Ramallo & Rei-Doval, 1996). This was an investigation into the fortunes
of the Galician language in commercial communication and advertising. The inquiry
specifically sought to attain the following objectives a) look at awareness that
Galician was adequate and fitted to carry out communicative functions; b) gauge
attitudes concerning the use of Galician in advertising messages; c) look at links
between the Galician language and the values habitually expressed in advertising
(prestige, confidence, status, etc.); d) attitudes towards the use of Galician in
labels and signs; and e) receptivity to the use of Galician on a personal level in
face-to-face commercial relations.
questionnaire was designed containing 46 questions to be answered by a representative
sample of the Galician population (1209 interviewees in a sample stratified according to
type of habitat: rural, small town and urban).
conclusions of the study basically indicate a good level of acceptation for Galician both
in advertising in particular, ands in the dynamics of commercial interchange in general.
These data pose a direct challenge to the idea that Galician is an inappropriate or
impractical medium for advertising and the commercial world. Furthermore, for a growing
sector of the population, the use of Galician would encourage the consuming or acquisition
of products. As the authors of the study point out (page 81), "we need to revise our
vision of the use of Galician in the world of advertising and commerce; this is because
the power of communication that this language currently commands gives it enormous
commercial value, since it carries values like quality and trustworthiness with great
regard to the domain of religion and the church, the Consello da Cultura Galega also
carried out a study on receptivity to the use of Galician in the liturgy (cf. López
Muñoz & García Cendán, 2000). The aim here was quite simply to seek out the
opinions of the Galician population concerning the introduction of Galician as the normal
medium for the liturgy. Notice that the main arguments used by the leaders of the Galician
clergy to oppose the increased Galicianisation of the mass, were that the general public
would reject this, and that there was no demand for religious services in Galician. The
purpose of this work was to probe the opinions of individuals on these questions.