Language Policy in Higher Education in Catalonia

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Language policy in Higher Education in Catalonia: from Catalan ‘normalització lingüística’ to multilingualism

EUNoM Seminar. Linguamón – UOC Chair in Multilingualism
Barcelona, 7-8 September, 2009

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  • Agraïment i responsabilitat
  • Language Policy in Higher Education in Catalonia

    1. 1. Language policy in Higher Education in Catalonia: from Catalan ‘normalització lingüística’ to multilingualism EUNoM Seminar. Linguamón – UOC Chair in Multilingualism Barcelona, 7-8 September, 2009 Marta Estella Language Service Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
    2. 2. Languages in Spain <ul><li>Some figures </li></ul><ul><li>41 % of the population lives in territories with two official languages. </li></ul><ul><li>One in every four Spaniards (27.5 %) lives in a Community in which Catalan is the official language. </li></ul>Barcelona Source: Lingcat
    3. 3. The Catalan language <ul><li>Some figures </li></ul><ul><li>Area covered:68,000 Km² </li></ul><ul><li>Population:13,529,127 </li></ul><ul><li>Those who understand Catalan: 11,011,168 </li></ul><ul><li>Those who speak Catalan: 9,118,882 </li></ul>Catalonia Valencia Balearic islands Eastern Aragon South-Eastern France Andorra Alghero (Italy) ‏ Barcelona Source: Lingcat
    4. 4. Languages in Catalonia A multilingual society 250-300 languages spoken Two widespread languages Catalan and Spanish The role of English as a lingua franca
    5. 5. <ul><li>Spanish Constitution (1978) </li></ul><ul><li>Statute of Autonomy (2006) </li></ul><ul><li>Act on Language Policy (1998) </li></ul><ul><li>University Statutes </li></ul>Legal framework I <ul><li>Key points </li></ul><ul><li>Asymmetry of Spanish / other languages </li></ul><ul><li>own language / dual officialdom </li></ul><ul><li>own language of education; individual right to choose official language </li></ul>
    6. 6. Legal framework I I Statute of Autonomy (2006)‏ 1. Catalonia’s own language is Catalan. As such, Catalan is the language of normal and preferential use in Public Administration bodies and in the public media of Catalonia, and is also the language of normal use for teaching and learning in the education system. 2. Catalan is the official language of Catalonia, together with Castilian, the official language of the Spanish State. All persons have the right to use the two official languages and citizens of Catalonia have the right and the duty to know them
    7. 7. Universities in Catalonia <ul><li>Universities in Catalonia ‏ </li></ul><ul><li>12 universities: 8 in the Barcelona area, 1 virtual (open), 4 private </li></ul>The Vives Network ‏ An association of universities of Catalonia, Valencian Community, Balearic Islands, southern France and Andorra (linguistic bonds)
    8. 8. Languages at University: until now <ul><li>Catalan is the University’s own language </li></ul><ul><li>Catalan and Spanish are the official languages </li></ul><ul><li>Students and teaching staff can use the official language of their choice </li></ul><ul><li>The teaching staff must have sufficient knowledge of both official languages </li></ul><ul><li>Students are not divided by language </li></ul><ul><li>Catalan is used in local communications </li></ul><ul><li>Spanish and English are used in international communications </li></ul>
    9. 9. Language uses in teaching
    10. 10. The context of the first few years I <ul><li>The imaginary </li></ul><ul><li>getting to the end </li></ul><ul><li>the day we can go home </li></ul><ul><li>Social adhesion to the idea of ‘normalització lingüística’ </li></ul><ul><li>the lack of definition of the term </li></ul>
    11. 11. The context of the first few years II <ul><li>Key points </li></ul><ul><li>full recovery of the communicative functions </li></ul><ul><li>need for a language plan accepted by governing bodies </li></ul><ul><li>regulation of own languages </li></ul><ul><li>requirement for linguistic accreditation of academic staff </li></ul>Extracted from the conclusions of the I Jornades de Normalització Lingüística Universitària, 1989
    12. 12. “ The Rectory of Barcelona University wishes for the Catalan language to be the natural language for communication , expression and work at all universities without exception, but respecting the individual right to express oneself in either of the two languages stipulated by the Constitution”. “ The UB’s plan foresees that within a period of 10 years full normalisation of the language can be achieved”. Pla de normalització lingüística de la UB (1989)
    13. 13. <ul><li>Normalisation/normality </li></ul><ul><li>associated to norms : what is adjusted to the law </li></ul><ul><li>associated to habit : what tends to happen </li></ul><ul><li>associated to prevision : what is to be expected </li></ul><ul><li>interrelation between the three visions </li></ul>Point of inflection Bofarull, Jordi; Ginebra, Jordi (1996) “Normalització i normalitat lingüístiques a les universitats catalanes”. A: Marc legal i normalització lingüística a les universitats: minutes of the VI Trobada de Serveis Lingüístics Universitaris. URV, Tarragona The feeling of stagnation The need for a horizon VI Trobada de Serveis Lingüístics Universitaris, 1994
    14. 14. “… defining a horizon for ‘normalitat lingüística’ that guarantees the habitual use of the Catalan language in administrative and academic areas, within the context of increasing multilingualism at the University”. Conclusions of the VI Trobada de Serveis Lingüístics universitaris (1994)
    15. 15. <ul><li>Factors of change </li></ul><ul><li>increasing internationalisation </li></ul><ul><li>increase in the number of universities </li></ul><ul><li>competition between universities </li></ul><ul><li>public / private dissolution </li></ul><ul><li>expansion of ICT </li></ul>A new context in Catalonia Diversification of visions Reorientation of approaches
    16. 16. The European context I <ul><li>emergence of linguistic policies at European universities </li></ul><ul><li>diversity of models </li></ul>XV Trobada de Serveis Lingüístics Universitaris, 2006 Tudor, Ian (2006) Les stratégiesmultilingues des universités européennes dans l’EEES A new framework strategy for multilingualism , EC (2005) Multilingualism: an asset for Europe and a shared commitment , EC (2008)
    17. 17. The European context II The Commission’s multilingualism policy has three aims: • to encourage language learning and promoting linguistic diversity in society; • to promote a healthy multilingual economy, and • to give citizens access to European Union legislation, procedures and information in their own languages. [...] Higher education institutions could play a more active role in promoting multilingualism amongst students and staff, but also in the wider local community. It needs to be recognised that the trend in non-English-speaking countries towards teaching through the medium of English, instead of through the national or regional language, may have unforeseen consequences for the vitality of those languages. The Commission intends to study this phenomenon in more detail shortly. A New Framework Strategy for Multilingualism
    18. 18. <ul><li>First initiatives in Catalonia </li></ul><ul><li>Programme for training in third languages (2001) </li></ul><ul><li>EVIU, Virtual language School (2002) </li></ul><ul><li>PUC, university certification test (of English) (2003) </li></ul>The arrival of third languages / English <ul><li>Catalan in a multilingual context </li></ul><ul><li>from threat to opportunity: English as an ally for Catalan </li></ul><ul><li>multilingual linguistic services </li></ul><ul><li>plans for ‘normalització lingüística’ > plans for multilingualism </li></ul>
    19. 19. University: from now on <ul><li>English also as a vehicular language (CLIL) </li></ul><ul><li>English also via mobility or certification </li></ul><ul><li>English as a staff requirement </li></ul><ul><li>Legal status of English </li></ul><ul><li>Linguistic security </li></ul>The mainstream Some other trends <ul><li>Multicultural competence </li></ul><ul><li>Mutual comprehension of Romance languages </li></ul><ul><li>Linguistic skills in Catalan and Spanish </li></ul><ul><li>Internationalisation at home </li></ul>
    20. 20. Thanks. [email_address] Servei de Llengües

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