European Journal of Language Policy

The linguistic regime in Catalan Schools: some survey results

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


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.

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Author details

Garvía, Roberto

Santana, Andrés