European Journal of Language Policy

The linguistic regime in Catalan Schools: some survey results

European Journal of Language Policy (2020), 12, (1), 85–108.

Abstract

The linguistic immersion policy implemented in Catalan schools, whereby Catalan is the only language of instruction (llengua vehicular), has been the focus of an intense debate in both Catalonia and Spain. Notwithstanding the political saliency of this debate over the last decades, no research has studied the preferences of the Catalans on the linguistic regime in the school system. This article is the first to consider Catalan opinions about this issue. Based on a survey of a representative sample of the Catalan population (N=2,200) launched in 2016, this article examines the preferences of the Catalan population regarding linguistic immersion and alternative linguistic policies. Results show that even when support for linguistic immersion and alternative policies are divided, preferences about the distribution of Catalan, Castilian and English teaching hours in the classroom are not polarised. The article also explores the alignment of preferences regarding linguistic policies and pro-independence sentiment in Catalonia, as well as the demand for English as a language of instruction.

La politique d’immersion linguistique mise en œuvre dans les écoles catalanes, selon laquelle le catalan est la seule langue d’enseignement (langue véhiculaire), a fait l’objet d’un débat intense en Catalogne et en Espagne. Malgré l’importance politique de ce débat au cours des dernières décennies, aucune recherche n’a étudié les préférences des Catalans sur le régime linguistique dans le système scolaire. Cet article est le premier à prendre en compte les opinions catalanes sur cette question. Basé sur une enquête auprès d’un échantillon représentatif de la population catalane (N = 2200) lancée en 2016, cet article examine les préférences de la population catalane en matière d’immersion linguistique et de politiques linguistiques alternatives. Les résultats montrent que même lorsque le soutien à l’immersion linguistique et aux politiques alternatives est divisé, les préférences concernant la répartition des heures d’enseignement du catalan, du castillan et de l’anglais en classe ne sont pas polarisées. L’article explore également l’alignement des préférences concernant les politiques linguistiques et le sentiment d’indépendance en Catalogne, ainsi que la demande pour l’anglais comme langue d’enseignement.

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Author details

Garvía, Roberto

Santana, Andrés