What does and what does vehicular language mean?

The new education law proposed by Minister Isabel Celaá has been in the spotlight for different reasons. There has been talk of war on charter schools, attacks on religion and special education. However, among the various points of the debate, which is taking place in Congress this Thursday, there is one that has aroused particular tension in the Chambers: it is the elimination of Spanish as the lingua franca.

As explained by the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE), the vehicular language is the language used “usually by the educational community in its relations when there are differences of mother tongues among its members”. This concept is governed by Organic Law 8/2013 of 9 December which stipulates that the vehicular language must be Spanish.

Basically, the lingua franca is the language in which students are taught. Subjects like English or French are independent of this concept: what is debated is whether students should take the majority of subjects in Spanish or another language – mainly the co-official language existing in the region, if so.

A relatively recent reference

Last Tuesday, November 17, the Minister of Education defended in the Senate that the laws on education included Spanish as a vehicular language only in 2013. That year was born the “Wert Law”, still in force and with which the Spanish has gained in importance. Even so, Celaá urged the PP to stop “catastrophizing”.

In this sense, the Minister stressed that the key lies in the number of years during which this debate was not taken into account: “With the UCD governments, with the PP and PSOE governments. of the government that they did not put it will be because it was not necessary ”, expressed. Likewise, the Minister also argued that the appearance or disappearance of this reference would not change anything in terms of the use of Spanish in education.

In accordance with these statements, Celaá replied to PP Senator Miguel Lorenzo Torres, who asked about the elimination of the reference to Spanish as the official language of the state: “Are you going to tell me that from 1978 to 2013, the year in which is the vehicular term in the LOMCE, the Castilian was not vehicular? ”, The Minister dryly.

Beyond Congress, the Celaá Law reaches the world of literature

Politicians in Congress are not the only ones who have dared to comment on the Celaá initiative. For his part, the writer Mario Vargas Llosa declared this Wednesday during the presentation of one of his books that the suppression of Spanish as a lingua franca is “unlimited idiocy”. “Absolute nonsense that makes me laugh,” added the writer according to statements collected by Efe.

Along with these declarations, the RAE, which includes Vargas Llosa, will vote this Thursday, November 19 to approve a declaration in favor of the protection of Spanish as a language, according to Europa Press. However, as RAE sources pointed out to the news agency, the public institution’s proposal is unrelated to the reform of the education law in Congress.

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