La Bressola

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La Bressola (Catalan pronunciation: [ɫə βɾəˈsɔɫə]) is a cultural association founded in Perpignan, France in 1976 to promote a network of community-run schools engaged in Catalan language immersion programs in France, particularly in the comarques of so-called North Catalonia. The first center was opened in Sant Galdric (Perpignan) in September 1976. Subsequently, other centers have been opened in El Vernet, Pontellà, Prades, El Soler and Sant Esteve del Monestir.

Since 1983, the schools of La Bressola have hosted students from two to eleven years. In 2005, they maintained eight educational centers for nursery and primary school children, one of them (El Soler) being, since 2003, the first to impart secondary education in Catalan in France. With seven primary schools and one high school, some 600 students are currently being taught.

Together with the Calandretas, Diwan schools, the Seaskas (ikastola of the French Basque country) and the association ABCM-Zweisprachigkeit (French-Alsatian[1] bilingual schools), form a confederation of bilingual schools in France.

Centers[edit]

High school in El Soler

Educational system[edit]

The pedagogy that is practiced is the so-called "active pedagogy" and it maintains a comparable level to its French-language counterparts. The administration's relations with the association, which since 1982 has tried to obtain government subsidies, have been difficult because of pressures for the introduction of bilingualism in equal parts. In 1995, the introduction of bilingual education at the end of primary school was agreed to. In 1987, the Generalitat of Catalonia awarded the Honor Award to Lluís Carulla.

In 1981, a split led to the creation of the association Arrels, directed by Laura Manaut and Pere Manzanares. The general director is Joan Pere Le Bihan.

Public support[edit]

In March 2007, the players of FC Barcelona, Lilian Thuram and Oleguer Presas participated in the reading of a manifesto in defense of the Catalan language and of these schools at a ceremony in Perpignan. The manifesto has been further supported by club president Joan Laporta, the coach of the French national football team Raymond Domenech, and the singers Manu Chao, Cali, the group Zebda, and I Muvrini.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ ABCM School Website (in French)

External links[edit]