What has changed over 18 years? : future teachers’ language use and attitudes towards multilingualism in the Basque Autonomous Community
Attitudes are learned and one’s personal experience and social environment play a role in shaping them. Teachers in particular exert a significant impact on the formation of students’ language attitudes. This study targets prospective teachers. It is a replication of a survey whose data collection took place 18 years ago in the Basque Autonomous Community. It explores future teachers’ perceived competence, habits of language use and attitudes towards Basque, Spanish and English. The sample consisted of 576 participants. Data collection was carried out by means of the same questionnaire and following the same procedure employed in the original study. Data were analysed using inferential statistics; significant results, with medium and large effect sizes were obtained. Results indicate that Basque is mainly linked with the education domain, whereas Spanish is dominant in leisure time. Attitudes are highly positive for all three languages, as considered from both a monolingual and a multilingual perspective. While participants expressed the most favourable attitudes towards Basque, the most noticeable improvements were detected for English. With this study, we wish to contribute to the discussion about multilingualism within a multilingual education system, where a minority language co-exists with a national majority language and a global lingua franca.