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Language-in-education policies in the Catalan language area

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The territories where Catalan is traditionally spoken as a native language constitute an attractive sociolinguistic laboratory which appears especially interesting from the point of view of language-in-education policies. The educational system has spearheaded the recovery of Catalan during the last 20 years. Schools are being attributed most of the responsibility for the (failure of integration) of past and current immigrant waves.
There is a historical, demolinguistic and political fragmentation of the linguistic area of Catalan because at least 8 different national and sub-national authorities have a say in the definition of language policies in education. This circumstance has led to the establishment of a number of school models which deal differently with each of the challenges described before. In this contribution, an overview is produced of the main school models which are currently running in the Catalan language areas from a comparative perspective, highlighting their points in common and their differences. The article also provides a summary of available research results in connection with language learning, language practices, the impact on social integration and cohesion, and on academic achievement. It does review some of the challenges that will have to be faced by each system in the near future.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 June 2008

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