Attitudes towards Euskera : using the matched-guise technique among school children in the Basque country
Neither a language nor a society remains unchanged. Change is both inevitable and natural. Similarly attitudes towards speakers of different languages change over time. When more than one language is spoken in a community their relative distance from one another influences attitudes within it, since speech is a particularly sensitive instrument for gauging stereotyped attitudes present in a community. The affective aspect has created much research interest among those working in the area of language acquisition and is of primordial interest to teachers and educationalists, especially those concerned with primary and secondary education where most formal language learning starts. The context of the present study is the Basque Country where two languages, Castilian and Euskera, the Basque language, are spoken. They are studied with reference to the attitudinal and affective aspects, with the main emphasis on the minorised language, Euskera. The history of Euskera is examined in the light of other selected minority languages. An investigation into language attitudes towards Euskera using the 'matched-guise' technique is described and the conclusion drawn that a process of constant community accommodation is required to bring a positive resolution to the situation.