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Asturian is spoken in the Autonomous Community of Aturias, to the North and west of the city of León, and to the West of the city of Zamora. A variant of Asturian, Mirandese, is also spoken in and around the city of Miranda , Portugal.
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|Asturian language area|
|KML track: asturian|
In the 19th century, the Asturian born Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos expressed the urgency for the compilation of a dictionary and a grammar, and for the creation of a language academy for Asturian. It was not until 1980 that the then Conseyu Rexional d’Asturies (Regional Council of Asturias, the transitory government body of Asturias) officially created the Academia de la Llingua Asturiana (Academy of the Asturian Language).
In December 1981, the Estatutu d’Autonomía d’Asturies (Statute of Autonomy of Asturias), signed by King Juan Carlos, set out in Article 4 that “Bable [as the Asturian language is also termed] will enjoy protection. Its use and dissemination via the mass media and its teaching will be promoted, respecting, in all instances, local variations and the voluntary nature of learning the language”. This resulted in the Government of the Principality of Asturias initiating a linguistic policy.
Thus, in 1985, the Oficina de Política Lingüística (Bureau for Linguistic Policy) was created in order to prepare action campaigns to promote the use of Asturian and its standardization 4).
Asturian is covered under Part III of the Charter.
Download the Council of Europe report 2014-2016 about Spain.
Article 4 of the Statute of Autonomy of Asturias (1981) states that the teaching of Asturian has to be promoted, as well as its use and its dissemination in the media.
The Llei d’Usu y promoción del Bable/Asturianu (Use and Promotion of Bable/Asturian Act), passed by the Asturian Parliament in 1998, elaborates on this as follows:
The autonomous Community of the Principality of Asturias is fully competent in educational matters5)
The Conseyería d’Educación, Cultura y Deporte del Principáu d’Asturies (Technical Educational Inspectorate of the Regional Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sport) inspects Asturian language education.
Asturian is taught as a voluntary subject, but is not used as language of instruction, for two one hour classes a week. Almost 65% of pupils attend the voluntary Asturian language classes 6).
In secondary education, Asturian is a optional subject, but not all schools offer it. Normally, Asturian is not used as language of instruction, but there are some teacher experiments7).
A small number of Bachillerato (Baccalaureate; two year education (16-18 years) to provide access for university) institutes offer Asturian as a subject. Around 3% of students took Asturian as a subject in 20138).
The University of Oviedo (the only in the Principality of Asturias) students can use Asturian according to the Llei d’Usu y promoción del Bable/Asturianu. At the teacher training for primary education, students can take up a two year minor Asturian which includes subjects such as Asturian philology, literature, sociolinguistics, and language teaching. Future secondary school teachers can choose the Asturian specialisation in the master's degree9).
Classes for Asturian is limited, though some courses have Asturian as language of instruction10).
Read more about Asturian language education in Mercator's Regional Dossier (2014).
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