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Spain: Controversy After Supreme Court Nullifies Catalan Immersion

Protest in Barcelona against the Supreme Court Ruling. Image uploaded by Twitter user @jordiborras

Protest in Barcelona against the Supreme Court Ruling. Image uploaded by Twitter user @jordiborras

Note: The hashtags referenced in this article are #somescola and #ANCat. #somescola translates into #WeAreSchool, while #ANCat is for tweets supporting Catalan independence from Spain.

Once again, the debate over language in Catalonia has heavily occupied the blogosphere, after the Spanish Supreme Court's recent ruling [cat] that nullifies linguistic immersion for children between three and six-years-old. Linguistic immersion has been the educational model that guarantees proficiency in Catalan for native speakers of other languages.

Certain online commentaries highlight a strong sentiment among diverse sectors of Catalonian citizens that the ruling was the latest in a series of attacks on the Catalan language by the Spanish government, which has arguably contributed to rising support for secession among voters. Querbosch, on his blog El Mont [cat], asserted that the Supreme Court's ruling will do nothing more than solidify the possibility of independence:

Així que ja poden començar a prohibir el Català, que així començarem  més aviat a costruir l'Estat català.

As long as they can go ahead and ban Catalan, we can go ahead and build a Catalan state.

Ramon Farré, also wrote about the case on his blog, Coca de recapte [cat]:

Altre cop el Suprem torna a sentenciar en contra del català. Així de clar. Sense subterfugis. La sentència afegeix una nova càrrega a l’ús normal del català a l’aula. I de l’aula, a la societat.

Once again, the Supreme Court has ruled against the Catalan language. It's hardly subtle. This is just another blow to regular use of the language in schools, and conversely, in society.

Aside from blogs, the Court's decision has made way for a surge of passion on Twitter, with the new hashtag #somescola (#WeAreSchool), defending the use of the language in Catalonia's schools:

@PerLaGarrotxa Recordem que la comunitat educativa està organitzada entorn a #SomEscola per defensar l'escola catalana. Més info: http://www.somescola.cat

@PerLaGarrotxa Don't forget that educators are organized around #SomeEscola to defend school in Catalan. More info: http://www.somescola.cat

@Nuriastorch Els resultats de les PAU demostren la igualtat de condicions en què hi arriben alumnes catalanoparlants i castellanoparlants #somescola

@Nuriastorch Standardized test results indicate education equality between Catalan and Spanish-speaking students #somescola

‏@assemblea No acatem la sentència!! No és el nostre tribunal, no és la nostra constitució! http://www.assemblea.cat #ANCat #somescola

@assemblea Boycott the ruling!! Not our Supreme Court, not our constitution! http://www.assemblea.cat #ANCat #somescola

@cupnacional “Només amb la independència dels Països Catalans podrem garantir el futur per la nostra llengua” http://ow.ly/bRwFn #somescola

@cupnacional “Only independence will guarantee the future of our language.” http://ow.ly/bRwFn #somescola

Public opinion seems to be in step with the many Catalan bloggers and tweeters who expressed anger at the ruling. The Centre d'Estudis d'Opinó's (Center for Opinion Studies) most recent public opinion poll [cat] indicates that 51% of respondents support independence for Catalonia, the first time in decades that a plurality of voters responded this way.

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