Australia and Catalonia: a comparative study on the protection of minority languages from a legal standpoint. Education in the mother tongue. Is the language a factor of integration or a barrier?
This article is a comparative study of the education system in minority languages between Catalonia and Australia from a legal standpoint. Catalonia has a complex legislation: National Constitution, Statute of Autonomy, Regional Laws, a strong legal framework, a language always alive as a political instrumentto get the power. Australia has not a legal framework in this area and has a confused planning system. In Europe, the Council of Europe has been in charge of the protection of human rights.Australia signed and ratified some International Conventions which are not a strong legal basis to claim an education system in aborigines’ languages. The Catalan Law on Linguistic Normalizationn. 7 of 1983, replaced by the Law on Linguistic Policy n. 1 of1998, has, among the other purposes, also that to stimulate the use of Catalan as language of education in all levels of teaching.The school has a fundamental importance for the transmission of the culture of minorities. If the educational systems didn’t have any regime of teaching in the mother tongue all policies are not efficient.