Language and Speech Laboratory

Multilingualism and Language Attitudes: Local Versus Immigrant Students’ Perceptions

Amaia Ibarraran, David Lasagabaster, Juan Manuel Sierra Plo.

Language Awareness      volume:17: 4:326-341.

Spain took in more immigrants than any other European country in 2005, a fact which has had a clear impact on the education system. This paper examines the language attitudes held by 125 local or autochtonous (42.4%) and immigrant (57.6%) students in the Basque Country. The results showed that both groups of students held rather negative attitudes towards Basque, whereas their attitudes towards Spanish were very favourable. As for English, immigrants students' attitudes were far more positive than those of their local counterparts. Finally, the immigrant students' attitudes towards their own languages were the most positive in the battery. The participants' responses confirm the need to include a language awareness component in the Basque secondary education curriculum.