Language-in-education policies, immigration and social cohesion in Catalonia: The case of Vic

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Abstract

This paper analyses the language-in-education policies implemented to integrate international immigrants into the Catalan language community in Vic, Catalonia. It focuses on the Catalan Government’s ‘Languages and Social Cohesion Plan’ (LIC) plan, Vic city council’s local education plans, which were adopted as part of LIC plan, and the EBE centre, a Catalan Government initiative that was opened in Vic as an educational welcome space for newly arrived immigrant families. Drawing upon empirical data gathered from semi-structured interviews and substantiated with analysis of policy documents, this paper advances three main claims. First, that immigrant families and community members in Vic have played a vital role in reinforcing the city’s language-in-education policies. Second, that immigrant parents can contribute to their children’s linguistic integration, even when they are not fluent
in the minority language. Third, that the wider discourse of social cohesion in
Catalonia has facilitated this greater participation amongst the immigrant family and community members. Together, these three claims present a counterargument to the growing belief in the literature on minority language revival and revitalisation that the family and the community no longer play a significant role in minority language maintenance. Document embargo until 01/10/2016
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)530-545
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism
Volume19
Issue number5
Early online date01 Apr 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2015

Keywords

  • language-in-education policy
  • Immigration
  • social cohesion
  • Vic, Catalonia
  • Catalan
  • Minority Languages

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