Miquel Iceta 2/12/2019
Images: Leonar Beard
Miquel Iceta, leader of the Socialist Party in the Parliament of Catalonia: we have to adapt to the sociolinguistic reality of each school and institute. And ensure full command of Catalan, Spanish and English by all students live wherever they live.
Sí, comprèn-la i fes-la teva també,
des de les oliveres,
L’alta i senzilla veritat de la presa veu del vent:
“Diverses són les parles i diversos els homes,
I convindran molts noms a un sol amor”
Salvador Espriu (Catalan poet 1913-1985)
With pleasure I respond to the kind invitation of Joan Tardà to comment on the socialist proposal to make linguistic immersion more flexible, far from the noise and simplification of Twitter, which both Joan and I know well.
We defend a model that receives criticism from the supporters of monolingualism, both the contents of the Koiné manifesto and the Spanishizing objectives of the supporters of former Minister Wert.
Already in 1981, in a statement by the PSC management, we committed ourselves to “a permanent and vigilant work in favor of the restoration of the normality of Catalan as its own language of Catalonia [statutory definition], a firm attitude in the defense of the rights of people in their language, whether Catalan or Spanish: a rejection decided against any attempt to divide the working people of Catalonia. “
We Socialists want to propose an alternative to make the immersion more flexible and modern, having as an inspiring principle the equality of opportunities because we have always understood that equal opportunities are the best tool to ensure social cohesion.
Political and cultural plurality
We know that Catalonia, as Vicens Vives said, has been and is “the fruit of many seeds” and that it can only guarantee its continuity and build a common future from the respect for its political and cultural plurality and from the common denominator that blends and merges. Whoever attempts against this broad consensus attempts against Catalonia that we have built, that we want and that we will defend.
It is not with the consolidation of two disjointed communities or, worse, in conflict, as Catalunya should be built: in this way only falls apart. We have always said it and we have exerted hinge and crucible against this evil. The linguistic policy that we have promoted at all times has been a key factor in this direction.
Three criteria have inspired the language policy of the PSC:
- Absolute respect for the linguistic rights of speakers, both in Catalan and Spanish.
- Place the Catalan language as a center of gravity of the educational system and of the public media of communication and promotion of Catalan in the global context.
- Common school, in order not to separate children because of language.
We think it’s time for an update. The current linguistic reality has little to do with that of the 80s. The three criteria must remain valid in the current reality. As? Adapting to the sociolinguistic reality of each school and institute. And ensuring full command of Catalan, Spanish and English by all students live wherever they live. In some places Catalan will have to be reinforced, in others Spanish and English everywhere. Who can be against this principle? Only those who pursue a monolingual society.
The document of the Department of Education ‘The linguistic model of the education system of Catalonia. Learning and use of languages in a multilingual and multicultural educational context ‘published in October last year is very clear in this regard: “Curricular languages (Catalan, Spanish and foreign) are treated as learning languages and as vehicles of contents during school time and school time according to the linguistic projects of each center “.
Move towards a multilingual model
Therefore, it is necessary to continue moving towards a multilingual model in education that makes Marta Mata’s wish come true to make “our children know and love Catalan and Spanish”. Socialists now add English.
We must avoid any political instrumentalization of languages. Languages are to understand the world, to communicate, to speak, to understand each other. And it cannot be accepted that no one converts them, intentionally or not, into ammunition against the other, into an exclusive battlefield that plays against plurality and equal opportunities.
In the congress that we will celebrate in a few days, the Socialists will discuss this flexibility of the linguistic policy to modernize it, with the maximum empowerment and support for the teachers, along with proposals such as making, in a progressive way, the emission by defect of the media is in the original version subtitled. This will also be an instrument to know and love all languages.