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Language Planning and Language Learning in Catalonia: mens and womens experiences Anna Comas-Quinn April 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Language Planning and Language Learning in Catalonia: mens and womens experiences Anna Comas-Quinn April 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Language Planning and Language Learning in Catalonia: mens and womens experiences Anna Comas-Quinn April 2009

2 Legal Framework Dictatorship 1978 Spanish Constitution 1979 Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia 1980 General Directorate for Language Policy 1983 Law of Language Normalisation 1998 Law of Language Policy 2003 Law of Catalan Universities 2006 Law of Reform to the Statute of Autonomy

3 1983 Law Compulsory education (81% Catalan, 18% bilingual) Public administration Media and cultural industries (subsidised by the Catalan government) Catalan courses for adults

4 1998 Law The 1983 Law increased knowledge but not use Responding to the pressures of globalisation Duty to know and right to use both languages Socio-economic sphere and new technologies Media and cultural industries (quotas) Areas under central government control: judiciary, tax system, law and order (but Mossos desquadra – Catalan police force)

5 The spirit of the 1998 Law… the [1998] Act seems to protect the survival of the Catalan language beyond the interests of its speakers. This protection is understood as a collective right of the Catalan nation, which has to be weighted against the rights of individuals. (p. 420) (Costa, J. (2003) Catalan linguistic policy: liberal or illiberal, Nations and Nationalisms 9 (3), )

6 Using census data to identify differences in competence between men and women Official statistics act as technologies of truth production (Urla, 1993) the rare opportunity in sociolinguistic studies of having data for an entire population rather than for a sample (Reixach, M. et al, El coneixement del català, Generalitat de Catalunya, 1997, p.7) Self-reported data / Collective reporting

7 Evolution of language competence

8 Writing according to sex and level of education

9 Writing according to age and sex Women Men 40-44

10 Sex and language competence Given the same educational level, womens competence is higher than mens Amongst the younger generations, womens competence is higher than mens Mens competence is slightly higher than womens because women are overrepresented in the lower educational levels, but this will change with time.

11 Can language policy be gender-neutral? The nature of decision-making groups Impact of language policies on women and men The value of language competence for women and men

12 Institutional sexism a clearly sexist culture which passes for normal social behaviour (ICD, 1994) General Language Normalisation Plan presented as a collective macro- decision, relying on the maximum involvement of society, through the participation of all institutions and social groups (but only included 15% women representatives) Decree 2005 on the make up of the Language Social Council: to guarantee gender parity at least 40% of representatives from each sex. Law of Reform to the Statute of Autonomy (2006) highlights the importance of language and culture, rights and duties, knowledge, training, social cohesion, sustainable development and equality, nowadays specially between men and women.

13 Impact of policy on men and women in the workplace Focus on compulsory education 74% women in primary, 51% in secondary Focus on public administration 70% of non-academic civil servants in Catalan universities are women Higher education - no progress in implementing compulsory Catalan competence for academics (only 65% of lessons are in Catalan) 70% men in academic positions

14 The Catalan premium speaking and reading Catalan increases the probability of being employed between 3 and 5 percentage points, whereas writing Catalan does so by 1 to 4 percentage points. This premium is higher for women than men. (Redón, 2003)

15 Issues post 2001 census Immigration & linguistic competence Language transmission

16 Impact of immigration on population ( ) more immigrants in the five year period (from to ) total increase in population in Catalonia Immigration accounts for 90% of the population increase in Catalonia

17 Knowledge of Catalan amongst the population not born in Spain Understand74%61% Speak40%27% Read43%28% Write22%13% TOTAL96,275303,104

18 Immigration and language: Gender issues Poor levels of literacy, specially amongst women of African origin. Mothers need to understand what is going on at school (in Catalan). Demand for women-only groups from the North African community

19 Language transmission: Gender issues Couples communicate in Spanish except when Catalan is the mans main language. Couples never communicate exclusively in Spanish with their children, even when this is the main language of the mother. Mother tongue? 83% of women are employed while children are looked after in nurseries, by babysitters, grandparents and domestic workers – which language do they speak?

20 language planning can be engaged in side by side and simultaneously with efforts to foster human freedom, greater power sharing and the ability to resist excessive control of the expression and the selection of ideological and behavioural preferences (Fishman, 1994)

21 Anna Comas-Quinn FELS/DoL The Open University Walton Hall Milton Keynes MK7 6AA

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