Friday, September 16, 2011

Spanish or Catalan? A controversy that is anything but academic

Education experts fear that students will suffer as long as sterile arguments over outdated "linguistic immersion" approach rumble through the court.

 

Héctor García could well symbolize the success of the Catalan education model: at age 26, he is the son of parents from a small village in León, and considers himself a happy bilingual speaker. After two decades living and working in Barcelona, neither one of his parents - who moved here when Héctor was three - is able to sustain a five-minute conversation in Catalan.

Marina, on the other hand, symbolizes the other side of the coin and embodies the controversy sparked decades ago over the issue of linguistic immersion. This mother of a gradeschooler who does not wish her real name to be used to avoid being called "españolista" (pro-Spain, rather than pro-Catalonia), turned to the regional government to demand more classes in Spanish for her daughter. "I am not against Catalan; I want her to learn it and speak it correctly," she says. "But I think it is totally exaggerated to leave out Spanish."

Read the complete article written by FERRAN BALSELLS 15/09/2011 in ELPAIS.com in English

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