Logotip de la revista Noves SL





Home, school and playground: linguistic usages when lessons are over. Summary and analysis of the socio-demographic and study at secondary schools in Catalonia, by Natxo Sorolla


Table 3 Language usages with friends. Socio-demographic and linguistic study at secondary schools in Catalonia, 2006

Always Catalan

A great deal
As much Catalan as Spanish
Never Catalan

With friends (from school)






With friends (from outside school)






One of the main factors explaining this reduction in the use of Catalan in informal contexts compared to the contexts mentioned before would be the strong link between the pupil's initial language and the language used with friends. So, everything indicates that, although initial Spanish-speakers make considerable use of Catalan in formal contexts at school, in informal contexts they maintain Spanish, their initial language. In addition, the use of Spanish with friends by initial Spanish-speakers is high: four out of every five (79.4%) never speak Catalan with friends from school. Catalan-speakers, although they mainly use Catalan with their friends, do so with much lower maintenance rates than Spanish-speakers: only two-thirds of Catalan-speakers (67.7%) always speak Catalan with their friends.

Concerning the type of school, it must be noted that at private schools forming part of the public system, although there is a lower relative presence of Catalan in the academic sphere, a larger proportion of pupils speak Catalan with their friends from outside school.

2.8. Cultural consumption, new technologies and language

The television and the Internet are the two most widespread cultural habits among pupils in the last year of compulsory secondary education. Given their importance, the statistic indicating that consumption in Catalan is very low in both media is an important one: of the channels or websites most seen, only a quarter are in Catalan. By contrast, in radio consumption, a less widespread habit, Catalan has a greater presence (54.4%). Even in the reading of books, Catalan has a considerable presence (53%), although this percentage must be handled with care because of the possible interference of school reading. In less popular practices, such as reading newspapers and magazines, Catalan is also well-established (43.6%). The lowest presence for Catalan is the cinema, where the last film seen by nineteen out of every twenty pupils was in Spanish.

Table 4 Language of cultural consumption and ICT. Percentages. Socio-demographic and linguistic study at secondary schools in Catalonia, 2006

Newspapers and magazines

Focusing attention on the group of initial Catalan-speakers and the group that generally uses Catalan more, these pupils consume radio, newspapers, magazines and books, in Catalan. By contrast, the television consumption of these Catalan-speakers did not exceed 50%. As for the most visited website, only one third stated that this was a site in Catalan. In the cinema, the positive results for Catalan are residual, to the point that the last film seen by only one in every ten initial Catalan-speakers was in Catalan. As opposed to initial Catalan-speakers, consumption in Catalan by Spanish-speakers is always far below that of Catalan-speakers, and only in the case of radio and books is consumption in Catalan well established, very close to consumption in Spanish. In the case of books, however, attention must be paid to possible interference from academic reading.

2.9. Opinions on linguistic usages

Concerning the results of the identification with a linguistic group (“I belong to the group of those who speak...”), the pupils are divided into three similarly sized groups: those who state that they belong to the group of those who speak only or above all Catalan (33.7%), the group of those who speak only or above all Spanish (24.5%), and the group of those who speak Catalan and Spanish equally (41.5%).

The majority of pupils indicate that, in general, they currently use Catalan either averagely (47.9%), a great deal (32.4%) or always (3.2%). On the perception of the development of the use of the language over the last five years, all the responses are quite balanced, and it seems that the most positive responses prevail. But, concerning the forecast development over the next few years, the majority of responses are opinions predicting stagnation in the use of Catalan. The most positive views of the general use of the language predominate among the people closest to Catalan, either as their initial language or language of general usage. But this same population is the one which sees the greatest stagnation and most setbacks for the development of the use of Catalan, either over the next five years or in future. The type of school does not seem to be an influential factor affecting linguistic representation; however, the size of municipality would be, as the perception of the use of Catalan is most optimistic in medium-sized municipalities (10,000-100,000).

No longer in the field of assessment of the presence of Catalan, but rather concerning pupils preferences for maintaining or changing language use, the majority of pupils would prefer the use of Catalan to grow and for it to be spoken always or a great deal. But it must be noted that it is the group of pupils closest to Catalan (as initial language or in general usage) which shows greatest uniformity concerning these preferences for the use of the language to increase, while those closest to Spanish tend to divide between those who would like it to be used more and those who would prefer it to be used equally. In addition, it is observed that opinions favourable to Catalan are highest for the general usage of Catalan, without specifying a preference for growing use in the current context (at school) or in future adult life (in their future job).

3. Multivariable analysis

The socio-linguistic situation at secondary schools is organised based on five factors, with the first being most important and the last the least important:(5)


4 de 8