[lg policy] Full article: Galicians demonstrate over draft bill to reduce Galician medium and replace with English

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at GMAIL.COM
Mon Feb 1 14:49:16 UTC 2010

Galicians demonstrate over draft bill to reduce Galician medium and
replace with English

Monday, 01 February 2010

60,000 people, according to the organizers Queremos Galego, 30,000
according to the police, marched through the Galician capital Santiago
de Compostela on January 21st to protest against a proposed bill that
will reduce the amount of Galician provision from 50% to 33 % -
introducing English in its place.
The demo was supported by close to 90% of teachers and students. The
Galician Academy and the Culture Council, the two most important
bodies that promote Galician language and culture, as well as
political parties, language NGOs, trade unions, parents' associations
and other groups, have already rejected the draft bill which aims to
delegate to parents the responsibility of choosing by ballot the
language of some subjects. The bill was introduced by the conservative
Galician Government on 30th of December and aims to reduce the
percentage of subjects taught through the medium of Galician from at
least 50%  to 33%

Promoting English at the expense of Galician and calling it ‘plurilingualism’

The leader of the Galician autonomous government, Alberto Núñez Feijoo
(PP), defended the Decreto do Plurilingüismo  (Plurilingualism Decree)
because “it brings English into public education,” setting out that
one third of  subjects will be taught in English with the remaining
third taught in Castilian. However, philologists, linguists and
teachers consider that it is “not possible” to establish this
trilingual model because of a lack of teachers qualified to teach in
English. Campaigners point out that in practice the English 33% will
simply switch to Castilian medium. Experts claim that it is bad
practice to bring English into the education process alongside the two
co-official languages (Galician and Castilian), and that the move will
severely undermine the success that the Galician language model has
had to date.

The Partido Popular strongly disapproved of the law passed in 2007 by
the previous coalition government (PSOE – BNG) because they considered
that the Galician language was “imposed” on children, and that the
right to choose which language Galician children are taught in was
undermined.  According to the Galician Statistics Institute (IGE),
more than 96% of Galician people understand Galician, with around the
same for Castilian, but with the number of Galician speakers falling
sharply over the last two decades. (Fernando Arrizado Abuin, EBLUL –
Eurolang 2010)

Links in Galician

Video Clip of the demo http://www.queremosgalego.org/



 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com


This message came to you by way of the lgpolicy-list mailing list
lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu
To manage your subscription unsubscribe, or arrange digest format: https://groups.sas.upenn.edu/mailman/listinfo/lgpolicy-list

More information about the Lgpolicy-list mailing list