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Title: Constructing Inequalities in Bilingual Spaces: Teaching Catalan to Female Immigrants
La construcció de desigualtats en espais bilingües: l'ensenyament del català a dones immigrants
Other Titles: La construcción de desigualdades en espacios bilingües: la enseñanza del catalán a mujeres inmigrantes
Author: Caglitutuncigil Martínez, Tulay
Others: Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)
Keywords: language and immigration
female new speakers of Catalan
Issue Date: 1-May-2014
Publisher: Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
Published in: 2014;16
Abstract: Immigrants are generally expected to learn and use the legitimate language as a practical means of access to welfare services and employment. This argument creates a hypothetical connection between the established language regimes and social and economic integration. Although it is not explicitly defined, this connection implies that integration is a unilateral process that should be undertaken by the immigrant population through language acquisition. Nevertheless, language is symbolic capital that can also be used as an empowering or disempowering tool. Access to the legitimate language, distribution of linguistic capital and strategies of legitimization and de?legitimization in specific fields like adult language schooling can indicate how social inequalities and hierarchies are constructed. In this paper, I focus on Catalan language classes provided to Moroccan immigrant women in a small town north of Barcelona. Basing my analysis on a set of qualitative data collected between December 2013 and January 2014, I argue that these classes contradict public policies that promote the use of Catalan. This is because the Catalan language skills that are supposedly taught are, in fact, under-distributed, with the female new speakers mostly legitimized as Spanish rather than Catalan speakers.
Description: Peer-reviewed
Language: English
Appears in Collections:2014, no. 16

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