April 21, 2024

Non-partisan and pluralist communication and debate platform

Home » Content » Spying on schoolchildren
The paranoid obsession "Don't touch our Catalan language" - Reportingspain.blogspot.com

The language battle in Catalonia has reached the stage where a publicly funded organisation can spy on children in school playgrounds to discover which language they are speaking to interact with each other and with teachers. This is part of a campaign to eliminate the Spanish language entirely from Catalan schools, even in children’s free time. A member of the Catalan parliament, Sonia Sierra Infante of the Liberal Ciudadanos Party, reports that the pro-Catalan-language pressure group Plataforma per la Llengua (PplL), which receives a hefty subsidy from the Catalan government, was secretly observing language use in schools.
According to figures published by the Catalan government itself, Spanish is the usual language of 50.73% of the population of Catalonia  compared to  only 36.29%  who speak Catalan. The Catalan-only policy in schools is a blatant attempt to engineer language use away from reality towards the nationalist fantasy world. PplL reached these conclusions after making “incognito observations” in 50 Catalan primary and secondary schools of the “language behaviour” of children and teachers. It recognises that “the schools were not informed of the full reality of the activity” and that “it was not possible to tell anybody of the purpose of the research to avoid of risk to the reliability of the data.” The schools where the observation took place are not identified, calling into question the methodological reliability of the study. The schools did not know that they were being analysed because they had been asked for permission to do research “from a game activity during playtime that had nothing to do with language”. In each school, 15 children and one teacher were observed (the one on playground duty) through a game activity in which, in fact, the only purpose was to find out what was the usual language that the pupils and teacher used “spontaneously” with each other without knowing that they were being investigated. According to the authors, “nobody” was informed of the real goal of the research in order not to prejudice the reliability of the data, although the Catalan Education Ministry “knew what we were doing” And it was not vetoed. PplL concluded that Catalan was spoken in only 24% of school playgrounds in Catalonia and 27% of secondary teachers spoke Spanish with children at playtime, with the use of Catalan by children  falling to 13.8% “in the areas where it is most necessary”. It describes this as an “anomalous situation” that is not in line with the legal requirement that Catalan should be the only language used at all in schools. Catalonia is the only place in the world where children are denied education in the official language of the country. The Catalan Education Minister Josep Bargalló, of the extreme Catalan Republican ERC party, denies all knowledge of the matter, claiming to have had no contract with Plataforma per la Llengua since a previous matter. “I have no idea about it. I can assure you that I have no idea of where this comes from”. Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he? How the spies acted.

  • Incognito. The language spies carried out “incognito observation” because “if the subject of the study is aware, it is highly probable that they will not act naturally”.
  • In English. They pretended not to speak either Catalan or Spanish in order not to condition the class. They spoke to the teachers in English and then went on to do the observation.
  • Notes. Then they withdrew to “a corner”, where they “made a note of the language in which the interactions between each pupil and between teacher and pupils took place.”

(Spanish)El MundoTorra permite espías en los recreos para comprobar si los niños hablan catalán ([Catalan premier] Torra allows spies at playtime to check whether the children are speaking Catalan) ABCEl castellano supera al catalán en 14 puntos como lengua habitual en Cataluña (Spanish esxceeds Catalan by 14 points as thge suual language in Catalonia) El Español‘Topos’ en el recreo de los niños catalanes: así les espiaban cuando hablaban castellano en el patio (“Moles” at playtime for Catalan children: how they were spied on when they spoke Spanish in the playground) (Catalan)The 29-page PplL report (pdf)

Update 17.20 CEST 19 July 2019. This link now returns a 404. The report has already been pulled by PplL. It certainly  existed. I have a pdf file.



View all posts

Add comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *