A LINGUISTIC revolution in Catalunya has sparked a furious backlash among parents.
Public schools in the region have taught most subjects in Catalan for years, and there are now some 10 million Catalan speakers – putting it on a par with Swedish and Greek.
But the success of the language’s revival – the result of Catalunya’s fierce battle for independence from Spain – has sparked outrage among parents, who feel their children are not learning enough Spanish, the world’s second most-spoken language.
Parents – whose children receive as little as three hours of Spanish lessons a week – now have the backing of Madrid.
Central government has passed a law forcing Catalan schools to provide more hours of Spanish lessons if parents demand it.
Franco imposed Spanish-only teaching across Spain during his dictatorship but, since the end of his regime in 1975, the Catalan language has been making a determined comeback.