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The challenge of the Pilot Plans for increasing knowledge and use of the Catalan language: from knowledge to social use, by Dolors Solà


Graphic 1. Change over time in the percentage of immigrants from the different subcontinents: a comparison at 12/2001, 12/2002 and 06/2004

Graphic 1. Change over time in the percentage of immigrants from the different subcontinents: a comparison at 12/2001, 12/2002 and 06/2004

Table 5. Reus. Origin of those born outside Spain


Total population:

Born outside Spain:
10,329 (10,42%)

Origin of those born outside Spain





Central and South America


(1.837 persones)

Colombia: 8,27% (854)
Ecuador: 3,30%(341)

Reus has 99,046 inhabitants, of whom 10.42% are immigrants (10,329).

In terms of country of origin, the largest group come from Morocco: there are 4,511 Moroccans constituting 43.76% of the total immigrant population. The second largest group are the Colombians (854) followed by people from Ecuador (341). Latin Americans as a whole number 1,837 and make up 17.78% of Reus’s immigrant population.

Table 6. Comparative data: the total population and the foreign-born population in the city of Reus in the period November 2002 to December 2003

31stDecember 2002
31st December 2003
- Total population: 95,060
- Foreign-born pop: 6,403
- % population foreign-born:  6.74%
- Total population: 97,747
- Foreign-born pop: 9,034
- % population foreign-born:  9.24%

Table 7. Ulldecona. Origin of those born outside Spain


Total population:

Those born outside Spain:
1,393 (22,02%)

Origin of those born outside Spain

Eastern Europe



27,23 %

Central and South America


Interestingly, Ulldecona has an unusually high proportion of immigrants from the countries of Eastern Europe –half the immigrant population in fact. Just over a quarter of immigrants are from the second largest group, those from North Africa (the Magreb).They are from Morocco and speak Amazigh (Berber).

Table 8. Vic. Origin of those born outside Spain

Total population:
Those born outside Spain:
7,121 (18,94%)
Origin of those born outside Spain

North Africa


Central and South America


Rest of Africa


Europe Union


Graphic 2. Change over time: breakdown of immigrants per subcontinent in Vic with figures at three specific moments: 12/2001, 12/2002 and 06/2004

Graphic 2. Change over time: breakdown of immigrants per subcontinent in Vic with figures at three specific moments: 12/2001, 12/2002 and 06/2004

The criteria which were born in mind when choosing the municipal areas were:

  • Acceptance and interest of the municipal area in question;
  • Agreement between the organisations involved;
  • Coordination between the departments involved;
  • Geographical distribution in the territory.
  • A range of different sized municipalities (small, medium and large);
  • Immigrants with a spread of different places of origin;
  • Significant percentage of immigrants in the population.

The fact of an area being selected for the Pilot Plans in question does not indicate any kind of preference whatsoever, but simply the opportunity to assist with a project which will provide valuable experience for other areas to draw upon, once the results have been evaluated, corrections and adaptations applied if necessary, with the overall aim of making the Catalan language the common language in this country.

5. Organisations participating

Organisations involved in the Pilot Plans are:

  • Generalitat of Catalonia: Secretariat for Language Policy, Secretariat for Youth, Secretaria for Sports(Presidency Department ), Secretariat for Immigration, Sub directorate General for Language andSocial Cohesion, andSub directorate General for Adult Education (Education Department )
  • City councils;
  • Consortium for Language Normalisation;
  • Immigrant associations;
  • Parents associations;
  • Cultural and leisure organizations and bodies… in each municipal area.

6. Reference document for the Pilot Plan for increasing knowledge and use of the Catalan language

The Pilot Plans for increasing knowledge and use of Catalan are based on a document providing the same structure for each individual Pilot Plan. This basic scheme was as follows:

6.1. Sociolinguistic information on the municipal area

In this section the object is to obtain sociolinguistic information in the municipality, from the general census: information on the population in terms of the four basic language skills –understanding, speaking, reading and writing, the origin of the immigrant population and proportion of population in percentages...-, on the basis of such information it will be possibletoanalyse results and provide a basis for putting into writingthe main aims of the project.

6.2. Knowledge of surroundings

The general objective here is to obtain information on all bodies and organisations in each of the municipal areas to be able to include them in the project. Specific objectives here are:

  1. Obtain information on bodies and organisations working in the field of immigration in the territory.
  2. Get to know the actions and plans carried out by the bodies and organisations in question in order not to duplicate them but rather to complement them.
  3. Invite these bodies and organisations to take part.
  4. Set up efficient coordination for the project.
  5. Work together, especially in the case of the Language Normalisation centres and the Catalan offices and services working with adult education centres, to guarantee Catalan courses (including Catalan literacy courses)for non Catalan speakers, to provide continuity by joining end-on with the CPNL training courses.

Bodies and organisations working together to further the aims of the project are:

Local administration, whether county/territorial or autonomous region tier; immigrant organisations; NGOs and similar organisations; adult education; official language schools; Department of Education centres (CEIP and IES); educational services; AMPAS (parent-teacher organisations); school workshops...

The indicators literally indicate the results of the coordination with the organisations and the response to the project.

6.3. Language teaching

The teaching of the Catalan language carried out within the Pilot Plan has to be based on at least the following three criteria:

  1. Unusual ideas for organisation that are innovative and effective: new times slots, intensive language courses, Saturdays, holidays…
  2. Unusual methodologies which complement the traditional ones.The idea is that students should not just learn the language in the classroom. Rather, this training should be complemented by cultural and environmental studies, where possible, with the student signed up for the “Volunteers for Language” programme.
  3. Use of the new technologies in language learning combined, where necessary, with classic language teaching methods.

The activities that are planned need to be framed according to the following scheme:

  • Description of activity
  • Objectives
  • Aimed at?
  • Organisations that have participated
  • Human resources (managers and functions)
  • Timing
  • Budget
  • Finances
  • Indicators and evaluation

Activities plannedin common in the pilot schemes are:

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