40 years have passed since the then president of the Generalitat, Jordi Pujol, ordered linguistic immersion in all public education centers in Catalonia. Apart from social integration, the main goal is and is to promote the use of Catalan, making the language the only vehicle language in the classrooms.
Four decades later, basic aptitude tests conducted revealed the flaws in this model. Not only in the exams for Primary and ESO students where students show better skills in Spanish than in Catalan, but in the decreasing social use of the language.
The oral communication evaluation exams of sixth grade Primary and fourth year ESO students showed a greater deficit in the Catalan language than in the Spanish language.
This is reflected in the results published by the Higher Council for Evaluation of the Educational System, which show that in all the indicators evaluated, students get worse results in Catalan than in Spanish.
As an example, the fourth year ESO tests show that in the Spanish language there are 10% more students who are able to use a rich and accurate lexicon than in the Catalan language. In the same line, the data show that in the sixth grade, 80% of students vocalize clearly, pronounce all the sounds and do not use crutch words, while in Catalan the percentage is 72 %.
Oral communication exams are held for the first time to students in the sixth year of elementary school and the fourth year of ESO. In the case of the last year of Primary, the indicators evaluated are lexicon and morphosyntax, fluency, non-verbal language, adequacy, coherence and participation. And, in the case of the fourth year of ESO, lexicon, morphosyntax, fluency, interaction, adequacy and structure are examined. For evaluation, four levels are used: excellent performance, exceptional performance, satisfactory performance and no performance.
In the sixth year of elementary school and in the fourth year of ESO, the report from the Higher Council for Evaluation of the Educational System shows that students have a greater command of oral communication in the Spanish language than in the Catalan language.
In this way, one of the conclusions is that Catalan students improved their results in English and mathematics in Primary and ESO, but their average in Spanish worsened in both periods and in Catalan, although they started to progress “little.” in Primary, they are worse in ESO.
It is noted that, although the measures remain low, due to the impact of the pandemic, they have started to improve in some skills.
The results show that in Primary there is a “recovery” of the drop in math results, raising the average by 2.5 points, but “it does not reach” data from previous years, such as 2018 when the steps began to drop in. on this topic. On the other hand, the Spanish average decreased 1.9 points compared to 2022 but in Catalan it increased “slightly” 0.2 points, and it improved in English (0.9 points more).