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The development of Basque and Spanish in


									The development of Basque and Spanish
   in Basque immersion programmes

                             Idiazabal, Itziar
                           Almgren, Margareta
                             Manterola, Ibon

                   Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea-
            University of the Basque Country (EHU-UPV)

         Research projects: UPV/EHU (9/UPV 00033.130-13614/2001),
                Eusko Jaurlaritza-Basque Government (IT-262-07),
   Spanish Ministery of Education (BFF2003-05196; HUM2006 - 11862; FFI 2009
                                    – 13956).
•   Multilingualism is seen as a priority in education, in particular in Europe,
    where educational programmes such as CLIL are considered effective
    models to produce multilingual students (Council of Europe, 2001; Coste et
    al., 2006; Berthoud & Gajo, 2008)

•   Multilingualism contributes to cognitive, linguistic and social benefits (Baker,
    2001; Cenoz et al. 2001; Kecskes, 2008;)

•   Research questions in the Basque context:

•   Does education in Basque L2 contribute to linguistic competence in both
    Spanish L1 and Basque L2?
•   Does education in Basque L2 bring about attrition of Spanish L1?
•   In the case of immigrant children, do they attain linguistic competence in
    Basque L2?
•   Does age of first contact with L2 matter?
                 Our research project
•   Our research project aims at studying the development of Basque and
    Spanish in Basque immersion programmes.
•   Data have been collected on the same subjects at ages 5, 8 and 11 which
    gives our research a longitudinal as well as a cross-sectional perspective.
•   One immersion study group is constituted by children whose L1 is Spanish
    from a predominantly Spanish speaking environment.
•   A second immersion study group consists of children with immigrant
•   The reference group is formed by children whose L1 is Basque in an
    environment where the use of Basque is very extended.
•   Spanish L1 and Basque L1 groups have assisted preschool and school in
    Basque from age 2 or 3.
•   The immigrant children started school in Basque at different ages.
•   Our analyses contain both discourse and grammatical approaches (Almgren
    et al., 2008; in press; Idiazabal & Manterola, 2009; Ezeizabarrena et al., in
    press; Aeby & Almgren, in press).
•   The tasks carried out during data collection are related to classroom
    activities, a fact which renders special relevance to our findings for further
    research on didactics and teaching of languages in multilingual contexts.
            What do we analyse?
•    Text genre is considered a relevant research unit for
     the study of language acquisition and use (Bronckart
•    In this presentation the text genre chosen is that of oral
     story-telling, a frequent activity in classroom contexts.
•    The stories produced in Basque and Spanish by our
     subjects constitute the corpus for the study of L1 and
     L2 development.
•    Our analysis concerns:
    1. The level of narrative autonomy
    2. The reproduction of the narrative structures of the stories.
    3. Verb cohesion
    4. Language choice and self corrections.
      Subjects: Basque L2 / Spanish L1

• The same 37 children participate in this study which
  refers to ages 5 (preschool) and 8 (primary school).
• These subjects were selected according to their family
  language, Spanish L1.
• Their environment is almost exclusively Spanish-
  speaking, Basque being reduced to school context.
• The children have been educated in early and total
  immersion in Basque.
• Spanish is introduced as school subject during primary
• Their narrative skills are measured in Basque and
        Subjects: Basque L2 / immigrants

• 6 children with immigrant                  K    H    R          Z      A      S
  background and different L1               5;10 7;04 7;06       8;02   9;09   11;10
  participate in this study.
                                             A      P      P      B      A      P
• Their age of first contact with            R      O      O      U      R      O
                                             A      R      R      L      A      R
  Basque varies from 2 to 9 and              B      T      T      G      B      T
  their age at the moment of         L1      I
  recording from 5 to 11.                           U      U      I             U
                                                    E      E      A             E
• The children have been                            S
                                                                  N             S
  educated in total immersion in    A.O.    2;02   5;00   5;11   4;06   6;01   9;06
• Their environment is mainly
  Basque speaking.                  T. E.   3;08   2;04   1;07   3;08   3;08   2;04
• Only their competence        in
  Basque is studied.
          Reference group: Basque L1

• The same 24 children participate in this study at ages 5
  (preschool) and 8 (primary school).
• The subjects were selected according to their family
  language, Basque L1.
• Their environment is predominantly Basque- speaking.
• The children have been educated in their L1 Basque.
• These children constitute the reference group for
  competence in Basque.
                Data collection
• In groups of five these children were videotaped in a
  classroom setting while listening to an adult who told the
  story with the support of a wordless picture-book.
• One child then retold the story to a second one, while the
  others were taken apart. Next, the second child told the
  story to a third one…until all five children had completed
  the task.
• The children were told that their performance would be
  videotaped and shown to smaller children who did not
  know the story.
• When data were collected in Basque and Spanish, two
  different stories with the same structure were used, one
  for each language.
    The story in Basque: Mattin Zaku
                       Setting      Mattin Zaku and his mother were very
Classical structure    Onset        Mattin Zaku told her he would go to
of children’s tale                  the castle and ask the king for money.

with a happy end,      Unfolding    He met three helpers (the fox, the wolf
                                    and the river) and was faced with
with the canonical 5                three difficult tasks to overcome.
narrative phases
(Adam 1992)            Resolution Having solved the problems with the
                                    aid of the helpers he obtained the
                       Outcome      Mattin Zaku and his mother had
                                    money and lived happily ever after.
     The story in Spanish: Centellita
                       Setting     Centellita and her mother, who lived in
                                   the forest, ran out of fire and could not
Classical structure                cook.
of children’s tale     Onset       Mother told her to go and find fire at
                                   witch’s house.
with a happy end,
with the canonical 5   Unfolding   The heroine met three helpers (the
narrative   phases                 owl, the dwarf and the fairy) and then
                                   was faced with three difficult tasks to
(Adam 1992)                        overcome.

                       Resolutio   Having solved the problems with the
                       n           aid of the helpers she obtained the fire.

                       Outcome     Centellita and her mother could cook
                                   and lived happily ever after.
                  Narrative autonomy

• Many authors consider the age of 5 the reference point for narrative
  autonomy (Berman & Slobin, 1994), although not for all children
  (Serra et al. 2000).

• In Spanish L1 the 78 % of our subjects can be considered
  autonomous, and in Basque L1, 85 %.
• In Basque L2, the degree of autonomy is even higher: 89 %.
• At age 8, all of them are autonomous in Basque L1, and 92 % in
  Spanish L1 and Basque L2.
• Among the immigrant, only the 5-year-old girl needs help in telling
  the story.

• Although these degrees of autonomy are remarkable, other
  discourse skills may of course not have been acquired yet (De
  Weck, 2005; Hickmann, 2003).
                 Narrative structure
• Both stories are constructed according to 5 narrative phases.
• The reproduction of all 5 narrative phases reflects the ability of text
• Our analyses of children’s reproduction of narrative structures
  (Almgren et al. 2008; in press) show that phase 3 (unfolding) is
  always present although with occasional omissions of characters or
• However, the symmetry between the setting and the outcome and
  the onset and the resolution often poses more problems. Children
  tend to forget to mention the lack of money / fire which is the reason
  why the whole story happens. Similarly, the success of the
  enterprise is also omitted more than once.
• On this occasion we choose to analyse more closely the symmetries
  between phases 1 and 5, where most problems seem to appear.
                     Phase 1 - Phase 5:
 Table 1
           Age 5   Age 8   Age 5   Age 8   Age 5   Age 8

Spanish     86 %    97 %
Basque                      73 %    92 %
Basque                                      29 %    79 %
Immigra      K       H       R       Z       A        S
nts         5;10    7;04    7;06    8;02    9;09    11;10
L2           X       √       √       X       √       √
                 Phase 1 - Phase 5: comments
•   This table reflects certain differences between the groups in their text
    planning and also the influence of age.

•   In Basque L2 children perform well already at age 5 although by age 8
    they have improved.

•   This is also true for the same subjects in their L1 Spanish.

•   The low results in Basque L1 at age 5 were unexpected. However, they
    have improved considerably at age 8 although they remain below the L2

•   The results for immigrant children seem to approach at those obtained by
    Basque L1 subjects.

•   In this group, the 5-year-old child fails to reproduce the symmetry
    between phases 1 and 5 and so does one of the older subjects.
        Verb cohesion: tense maintenance

• Discourse analysis has revealed that each genre tends to hold to a
  basic or dominant tense system.
• One of the characteristics of story-telling is the use of past tense to
  mark the distance between the story and the communicative
  situation, one of the means by which the narrator establishes a
  narrative discourse outside the hic et nunc (Bronckart, 1996).
• In some cases young children’s stories are anchored in present
  tense (Bamberg, 1987; Sebastian & Slobin, 1995).
• It follows that if unexpected tense switching occurs, this produces
  problems in the cohesion of the text (Dolz 1990).
• However, some changes between past and present tense may not
  be considered unexpected tense switching but can be seen as a
  resource for narrative dynamism.
                  Past tense maintenance
 Table 2
           Age 5    Age 8   Age 5   Age 8   Age 5   Age 8

Spanish     78 %     89 %
Basque                       89 %    94 %
Basque                                       79 %    67 %
Immigra      K        H       R       Z       A        S
nts         5;10     7;04    7;06    8;02    9;09    11;10
L2            X       √       X       √       √       √
•   The Basque L2 / Spanish L1 subjects are quite systematic in both
    languages, a little less so at age 5. Sometimes unexplainable
    tense switching occurs as in the following examples:
    esan zuen otsoa / nora zoaz Ma-kin Zaku? / erregearen gaztelura / esan-ten
    zu-en Makin Zaku / eta esaten du otsoa / nik e nik oi- e: zalditegia ikusi nahi
    dut / the wolf said/where are you going, MZ?/ to the king’s castle/ said MZ/
    and the wolf says /I e I want to see the stable.

    le dijo la madre / vete... / y va caminando.. / y le dice... / y le dijo...
    The mother said to him /go / and he walks on / and he says to him / and he
    said to him

•   Most immigrant children maintain the story in past tense. Two of
    them produce unexpected tense switching as above:
    ta gero esan do / ibaia! / sartu zakoan! // ta gero / Ma- / Ma- / Matin Zaku esan
    / esan esan zon / erregea! dirua nahi dut!
    and then he says / river! / get into the bag! // and then / Ma- / Ma- / Matin Zaku
    sa- / sa- said / king! I want money! /

•   Sometimes, however, this tense switching expands over longer segments
    than single sentences and this rather seems to be a resource used on

    da ezin tzun pasa / da da ibaya boltsan sartu zun (4") iristea gaztelura atea jotzen du
    tan tan / ta eztote irekitzen / berriro jotzeu / tan tan / da ireki iteyote / da erreana jutea
    / (...) ta sateyo zalditegira eramateko / ateatzeu otsua / ta zaldi danak akatzeitu (5") ta
    san tzun / oin / plaza erdiyan jarriko diogu / sutan / da atea zun ibaya ta su dana
    itxaldu zun /

    and he couldn’t pass / and and he put the river into his bag (4’’) he arrives at the
    castle and knocks on the door / and nobody opens / he knocks again / and they open
    the door / and he goes to the king (...) and he tells him to take him to the stable / he
    brings out the wolf / and it kills all the horses (5’’) and he said / now / we will put him
    in the middle of the square / we will burn him / and he took out the river and it put out
    the fire.

•   The lower percentage for Basque L1 at age 8 (as reflected in table 2) can
    be explained by these alternations, rather than unexpected changes. These
    kinds of alternation do not happen so often in Basque L2,
       Ellipsis of the auxiliary as a verb cohesion
                    resource in Basque
• In Basque the auxiliary verb containing tense, case and person
  marks can be omitted in certain contexts.
• In narrative contexts this is a frequently used resource which brings
  about swiftness or quickens the story-telling.
• At age 5 only a few such examples can be found in Basque L1.
   ta / en / zakua hartu –tu –tu (Ø) (4´´) ta jun tzen ya basotikan
   and / m / pick (Ø) up the bag (4’’) and he walked through the forest

• The ellipsis of the auxiliary verb increases at age 8, with similar
  percentages in both L1 (in 37,5 % of the stories), and L2 (32,4 %).

• In the immigrant corpus we only found one example:
   ibaia zakun sartu (Ø) eta gaztelura jun zan
   put (Ø) the river into the bag and he went to the castle

• This example appears in the story of S, age 11, whose first contact
  with Basque was at age 9;06.
          Metalinguistic awareness
• We assume a wide definition of metalinguistic
  awareness that includes both the knowledge about
  structural components of language and the knowledge
  about discourse features and language use (Hammers &
  Blanc, 2000; Schneuwly & Erard, 2005).

• We also refer to the fact that the acquisition of an L2
  may bring about an increased conscience of the
  linguistic forms and functions in the L1 (Vygotski, 1934/

• The following examples refer to features such as self
  corrections or finding the correct word form or tense and
  also to language choice within the classroom activity.
            Metalinguistic awareness
• Examples of self corrections as the following show that children are
  aware of verb cohesion features such as tense and mood

  eta esan zion Matxin Zaku e ea nahi baduz- nahi z-nahi ba-zu:
  duzu / nahi bazuen etorri / eta esan zion baietz (Basque L2, age
  and MZ said to him e if you wa- if he wa- want /if he wanted to
  come and he answered him yes

  que si quería ayuda que le llamaba- que le llamara a ella
  (Spanish L1, age 5)
  that if (she) wanted help she called- she should call her
                  Metalinguistic awareness
• The following example illustrates both searching for the correct verb
  form and vocabulary correspondence in Basque:
•   Haurra: dirua nahi dut! dirua nahi dut! / esan zuen / ireki zi- zuen atea eta: // nola esaten da
•   Heldua: e? /
•   Haurra: esposa /
•   Heldua: lotuta / esan lotuta /
•   Haurra: eta eskuak lotuta jarri zitzaio- / zi:- / zituzten // erregearengana eraman zuten
    (Basque L2, age 8)

•   Child: I want money! / I want money! / he said / (he) op- opened the door and/ // how do you
           say handcuffs?
•   Adult: eh?
•   Child: handcuff
•   Adult: tied / say tied /
•   Child: and with the hands tied (he) put hi- / flexional morpheme / they put them / (they) took
           him to the king

•   It seems that the child is more eager to find the correct word in Basque than
    the adult who does not give a translation equivalent.
                  Metalinguistic awareness
•   It is remarkable that the Basque L2 children always stick to Basque when
    asking about vocabulary they don’t know in Basque. They never slip into
    Spanish L1 seeming to be aware of which is the language to be used in the

•   Haurra 1: gero / abiatzen zeudenean / e / zorro- / nola da? / lobo bat nola esaten da? /
•   Haurra 2: otso bat /
•   Haurra 1: otso bat ikusi zuten (Basque L2, age 8)

•   Child 1: then / when they were on their way / eh / fox in Spanish / how do you say it? / how
    do you say a wolf?
             (‘a’ in Basque, ‘wolf’ in Spanish)
•   Child 2: a wolf /
•   Child 1: (they) saw a wolf /

•   On the other hand, now and then these children integrate Spanish words into
    Basque discourse, since they are aware that the audience understands both

•   Haurra: Eta joan zen eta kaminotik, mm, azeri bat enkontratu zuen
•   Child: And he walked along the(in Basque) road (Spanish) um, he met (Spanish lexical
    verb with Basque aspect marking) a fox.
               Metalinguistic awareness
•   The next example from the Basque L2 immigrant corpus shows in the first
    place an example of self correction concerning verb form

•   Haurra: erregea-ren-gana ta esan zuten / esan zun e / oi / esan zon // e- erraman (=eraman)
    (helduari begira, laguntza eske)
•   Heldua: oilategira!
•   Haurra: oila-tegira!

•   Child: to the king and (they) said / (he) said eh / uups / (he) said (in local dialect) // ta- take
    (looking at the adult for help)
•   Adult: to the hen coop!
•   Child: to the hen co-op!

•   However, the immigrant children rarely ask “how do you say... ?“ in Basque.
    Neither do they use their L1. Evidently they know that the adult cannot help
    them there.

•   Finally, they never integrate words from their L1 into their stories in Basque,
    which also shows that they are aware of their own linguistic situation.
                            Conclusions (1)
•   Returning to our initial questions
•   Does education in Basque L2 contribute to linguistic competence in both Spanish L1 and
    Basque L2?
•   As our data show, already at the age of 5 the Basque L2 group have acquired a narrative
    competence which is comparable to that of the Basque L1 subjects.
•   They also show a parallel development at age 8.

•   Does education in Basque L2 bring about attrition of Spanish L1?
•   As to their competence in Spanish L1, no signs of attrition can be appreciated.

•   In the case of immigrant children, do they attain linguistic competence in Basque L2?
•   As far as our data show these children do not differ substantially from the Spanish L1

•   Does age of first contact with L2 matter?
•   The early contact with Basque among the Spanish L1 children leads to a high competence
    in Basque L2, which was not unexpected. But the immigrant children, with varying ages of
    first contact with Basque also acquire linguistic skills which are comparable to the Spanish
    L1 group. No doubt, not only age, but also the sociolinguistic environment has been
    relevant for the results in the immigrant group.
                   Conclusions (2)

• As a whole, as far as narrative skills are concerned, our
  research shows:

• Immersion in Basque contributes to a satisfactory development
  of both Basque L2 and Spanish L1

• Immersion in Basque contributes to a satisfactory development
  of Basque L2 in the case of immigrant children.

• Bilingual children not only develop their two languages
  satisfactorily but also gain conscience on formal and functional
  linguistic aspects.

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