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Stages of reversing language shift in the Basque country: Basque usage inside and outside the school Teresa Fernández-Ulloa California State University, Bakersfield Hernán Urrutia-Cárdenas University of Deusto, Bilbao (Paper, 2 nd Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities, Honolulu, HI, January, 8 -11, 2004)
1. - The Basque Country or Euskal Herria (land of the basque language), as the three million Basques call their nation straddles the French -Spanish border along the western Pyrenees. Through the centuries, waves of Romans, Visigoths, Arabs, French and Spanish overran their country. But the Basques endured, often taking their traditions to the hills and forests for safekeeping. The same Pyrenees that separate Spain from the rest of Europe united the Basques.
In 1980 the three Spanish provinces of Bizkaia, Araba and Gipuzkoa were officially joined as the Basque Autonomous Community. But the Basque Country spills beyond the official borders. Basques call their nation Euskal Herria, or "land of the Basque language". And it is their ancient mother tongue, an inflected language, that truly unites them. It was spoken here 5. 000 years ago, before the Indo-Europeans arrived and spread out across the continent.
This no-Indoeuropean language shows no ressemblance to languages in neighbouring countries, and this fact has led to the formulation of a variety of hypotheses to explain its existence. Owing to some similarities with the Georgian language, some linguists think it could be related to languages from the Caucasus. Others relate the language to non-Arabic languages from the north of Africa. One of the most likely hypotheses argues that the Basque language developed "in situ", in the land of the primitive Basques. That theory is supported by the discovery of some Basque-type skulls in Neolithic sites, which ruled out thesis of immigration from other areas.
Through the centuries, waves of Romans, Visigoths, Arabs, French and Spanish overran their country. But the Basques endured, often taking their traditions to the hills and forests for safekeeping. The same Pyrenees that separate Spain from the rest of Europe united the Basques.
Basque is an inflected language, the words we list here may have different suffixes depending on the case in which are used, for example: • etxe. . . home / house • etxearen. . belongs to the home / belongs to the house • etxea. . . the home / the house • etxeko. . . of the house • etxean. . . at home / in the house • etxetik. . . from the house • etxera. . . go home • etxerantz. . towards the house
The Basque Country has 2. 872. 593 inhabitants. Most of them, 2. 104. 041 (73, 25%), live in the Basque Country Autonomous Community (formed in 1980 by three provinces: Araba, Gipuzkoa and Bizkaia); 519. 277 (18, 08%) live in Navarra and 249. 275 (8, 68%) in the Northern Basque Country (Lapurdi, Benafarroa and Zuberoa).
In the Basque Country Autonomous Community 1. 565. 853 (54, 51%) speak only Spanish. In Navarra 361. 200 (85, 87%) speak only Spanish. In the Northern Basque Country 125. 100 (58, 80%) speak only French. BCAC: 1986= 71. 510 new Basque speakers 1996= 287. 413
2. - Bilingual education in the Basque Country: historicallegal aspects • The origin and development of modern bilingual education in the Basque Country is linked with the movement involving those schools (Ikastolas) dedicated to the teaching of and through the Basque language, particularly in the period from the 1960’s to the 80’s. • Significant changes took place during the XXth century: -The Basque language prohibited (1936 -1960) -Basque tolerated (1960 -1976) -The explosion of bilingual education (1976 -1982)
After Franco’s death, there was a series of relevant legislation: the Spanish Constitution (1978). The Basque Country Autonomy Statute was passed in the same year (1979) as the Decree on Bilingualism which laid down the basis for future education in the Basque Country. In 1982 the Law on Normalisation of the Basque Language made Basque and Spanish official languages in the Basque Country Autonomous Community (C. A. P. V. ) as well as the guidelines for guaranteeing them as such.
3. -The four linguistic models of schooling MODEL A All learning is carried out in Spanish or French. Basque is just another school curriculum subject. MODEL B Both languages are used as a vehicle of learning, about 50% in each. MODEL D All learning is carried out in Basque. Spanish or French are just other subjects MODEL X All teaching in Spanish or French, no teaching in or of Basque.
2001 -2002 (Basque Country Autonomous Community). Infant ed. A-X 6. 275 B primary D 17. 595 37. 077 A-X B Obligatory secondary D 20. 249 28. 300 48. 646 A-X B baccalaureate D 27. 155 19. 214 31. 427 A-X B D 21. 141 621 14. 937
Professional training A-X 24. 719 B D 1. 202 4. 005
w 4. - Stages of reversing language shift in the Basque country: Fishman´s (1990, 1991) Graded Intergenerational Disruption Scale for Threatened Languages: the Stage 8 Social • ofisolation speakers of the minority language. Need to record the language for later possible reconstruction. • Stage 7 Minority language used by older and not younger generation. Need to multiply the language in the younger generation.
Stage 6 Minority language is passed on from generation to generation and used in the community. Need to support the family in intergenerational continuity (e. g. provision of minority language nursery schools). Stage 5 Literacy in the minority language. Need to support literacy movements in the minority language, particularly when there is no government support. Stage 4 Formal, compulsory education available in the minority language. May need to be financially supported by the minority language community.
Stage 3 Use of the minority language in less specialized work areas involving interaction with majority language speakers. Stage 2 Lower government services and mass media available in the minority language. Stage 1 Some use of the minority language available in higher education, central government and national media. -Fishman, J. 1990. Limitaciones de la eficacia escolar para invertir el desplazamiento lingüístico (RLS). Primer Congreso de la Escuela Pública Vasca. Tomo I, Vitoria-Gasteiz. Servicio Central de Publicaciones del Gobierno Vasco. -----. 1991. Reversing language shift. Theoretical and empirical foundations of assistance to threatened languages. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters Ltd. -C. Baker, Foundations of bilingual education and bilingualism, Multilingual Matters, Tonawanda, New York, 2001, p. 76.
Throughout the four latter stages, Fishman is keen to point out that Stage 6 is still pre-eminent. When mass media, economic rewards and vocational opportunities exist through the minority language, it is still the family, the neighborhood and community language life that is vital to the long-term success of the language.
In a project of research finished in 1998 we examined the sociolinguistic factors related to the bilingual educational system in our Community and also the academic achievement. We worked with 1. 811 students from the last course of primary and the second of secondary of models A, B and D; private and public schools and ikastolas. (Urrutia, H. , L. Candia, M. ª D. Martínez y F. Milla. 1998. Bilingüismo y rendimiento académico en la Comunidad Autónoma Vasca. Bilbao: Jóvenes por la Paz. )
5. The research Global index of linguistic usage • 1: always Basque • 2: almost always Basque • 3: both languages • 4: almost always Spanish • 5: always Spanish
Table 1 LINGUISTIC USAGE Always Basque Almost always Basque Both languages Almost always Spanish Always Spanish DK/DA Index of linguistic usage INDEX 1. 00 2. 00 3. 00 4. 00 5. 00 Total Mean: 4. 1 FREQUENCY % 7 0. 4 121 6. 7 249 13. 7 575 31. 8 858 47. 4 1 0. 05 ---------1811 100. 0 Standard Deviation: . 94
Table 2 Index of linguistic usage according to knowledge and interlocutor (1=Basque – 5 = Spanish) Place School Interlocutor Teachers Index of use 3. 36 Family Mates Parents Br/Sis 4. 14 4. 33 3. 67
3. Linguistic usage with teachers Index INSIDE THE CLASS 3. 36 OUTSIDE THE CLASS 3. 70
4. Lenguage with higher percentage of usage (according to interlocutor and schooling model) A B D With parents Sp. 93% Sp. 66% Sp. 43% With teachers Sp. 84% Both 76% Basque 66%
5. Means of linguistic usage in more spontaneous situations (1=Basque – 5 = Spanish) Gossiping Telephoning Calculating Getting into a fight Index 4. 25 4. 43 4. 44
6. Linguistic usage according to first language in models B and D, and situation School D-Basque 1. 30 Outside the school 1. 89 D-Spanish 1. 63 2. 56 B-Basque 1. 90 1. 80 B-Spanish 2. 09 2. 61