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Author: Gorka Roman Etxebarrieta, Naiara Berasategi Sancho, Idoia Legorburu Fernandez, Nahia Idoiaga Mondragon

‘I came to the Basque Country, and now I have to learn their language’ : migrant students’ attitudes towards the use of a minority language

This study analyzes the attitudes of migrant children towards the Basque language within the context of varying linguistic models and the dichotomy between public and private educational institutions. Engaging 145 migrant children aged 12–16; the research utilised open-ended questions analyzed via Iramuteq software to discern patterns in language perception. The analysis concludes that participants in model A or those attending private schools perceive Basque as a challenging aspect of their education. In contrast, students in model B regard it as just another language subject, while those in model D appreciate its community-binding significance, acknowledging its role in social integration. Students from public schools, which exhibit a higher prevalence of Basque than private religious institutions, recognised its instrumental value. The study emphasises the necessity of fostering positive attitudes towards minority languages like Basque, highlighting the importance of approaches based on the educational setting and linguistic framework. It also alerts to the ongoing risk of ghettoisation, stressing the imperative for meticulously devised and executed educational policies to foster inclusivity and prevent segregation. Additionally, there is a warning against the processes of ghettoisation that is currently taking place, highlighting the need for careful planning and implementation of such educational strategies.