On immigrant students’ linguistic competence: secondary education in Catalonia. The role of length of stay and family language
Migration flows are closely intertwined with the high presence of students of immigrant origin in schools. In this general context, two of the issues about which educational authorities are mainly concerned are: home language (L1) diversity and, specially, the different degrees of linguistic competence in the language of instruction in students recently incorporated to the educational system.Bearing in mind this background, a sample of 271 students of immigrant origin was compared to a group of 332 autochthonous students, all of them attending Compulsory Secondary Education in Catalonia. We analysed the levels of competence in Spanish and Catalan, and the effect of variables such as the length of stay in the host country and the family language. The results obtained indicate that the process is long and complex, even in the case of students from Latin America whose L1 is Spanish.
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