Interlinguistic contact at school
Goi zikloko Erreformako Koordinataldea


In any school in the Basque Country, the use of three languages is being established, and the objectives are defined according to certain linguisitic models, but how far is the contact between the three languages taken into consideration? Having seen that this interlinguistic field has to be revised in the Higher Education Reform, we have decided to put down on paper the following points:

1. The objective is to make use of the contact between the languages.

Here we observe the following.

  • The level demanded of the pupil in each language must be decided upon. The desired competency in each language must be detined.
  • At the same time as the educational centres are surrounded by a totally different sociolinguistic reality, the same objectives have been imposed upon them.
  • The three model "A" centres which appear in the Refonn are in non Basque speaking environments but among the 5 model "D" centres there are children who live in a Basque speaking environment (Zaldibia), those who live in a bilingual Basque-Spanish speaking area (Eigoibar) and those who live in a Spanish only speaking environment (Bilbao) the need to reorganize the way Basque and Spanish are dealt with in these centres is evident.
  • Meanwhile, the children receive the three languages separately, without considering at any time what leaming three languages at the same time means, and what may be derived from an interlinguistic contact.

In our opinion, it is necessary to think whether the leaming of three languages at the same time brings about a new field of work and if an enriching relationship between them arises. We think it does.

All in all, the need to adapt the programme to the situation of each place is obvious and we are convinced that the contact between the three Ianguages must be positive, but in order that this occurs, a frame of work must be defined.

2. The framework.

There are 5 points to explain which define the work set out.

  • The strengthening of the changeover mechanism from one language to another, aiming for balanced bilinguism.
  • The organization in each centre of a more communicative programme so that the third language is present out of class. Be conscious of and take care that the three languages are present, taking into account the situarions in which various languages are used or a change of language must take place.
  • Realize the difficulty in changing from one language to another and accept the process of each and all.
  • Reach the knowledge of the identity of each language. Know how to differentiate the fields of action of each language on two levels: the structural and the significative.
  • Become agile in the decoding and recoding of the message. Adequately using a balancing criteria, knowing how to reason with the different options.

Of the five objectives mentioned, the 2nd and 3rd depend on the attitude, the 4th on capacity and the others on content. This differentiation is necessary to fully understand the idea.