Protocol on Language Use in the Classroom

Language transparency and safety as a guarantee of students’ and professors’ language rights


Legal framework
  • Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia, 2006. Article 35. Language rights in education:

    1. All persons have the right to be taught in Catalan, in accordance with the provisions of the Statute. Catalan must generally be used as the vehicular language and the language in which students learn in university and non-university education.

    5. University professors and students have the right to express themselves, orally and in writing, in the official language they choose.
  • UPC Statutes, 2012. Article 11. Language:

    Catalan is the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya’s main language and its normal means of expression. Spanish is used alongside Catalan and involves the same rights for all members of the university community, on the basis of respect for the freedom to express oneself, orally and in writing, in the preferred language in each case. The University must foster knowledge and use of Catalan in all areas of university activity, facilitate it being learnt by all members of the community and ensure a sufficient level of competence in the two official languages, in accordance with the legal framework.
  • Legal framework on languages in Catalonia [Catalan version]
  • The right of professors to choose the official language (Catalan or Spanish) of instruction and to use it orally and in writing.
  • The right of students to use the official language they choose in both oral and written communication, regardless of the official language (Catalan or Spanish) in which the subject is taught.
  • The right of students to information on the language of instruction of a subject before they enrol.
  • The right of professors and students to use the language they choose by mutual agreement in personal interactions inside and outside the classroom (official languages or foreign languages).
  • In subjects taught in Catalan or Spanish, students may use English in class orally and in writing, if this has been agreed beforehand with the professor who teaches the subject.
  • The UPC will inform students of the language of instruction for each class group before the enrolment period.
  • Professors will announce the language they will predominantly use to teach the subject and stick to it throughout the teaching period.
  • If there are last-minute changes in the professors assigned to teach a subject that involve a change in the language of instruction, the school must approve this change and make the language of instruction public.
  • Students will respect the stated language of instruction and will not ask for the language to be changed for their class group.
  • Information on the language of instruction is a commitment that brings language safety to both the students enrolled in a subject and the professor who teaches it.
  • The stated language of instruction is that in which the professor mainly teaches classes, both orally and in writing (including exams and tests), and is independent of the subject’s reading list, which may include works in different languages.
  • In subjects taught in English, students must use English in the oral and written contexts specified, particularly with respect to the provisions of the academic regulations on the attainment of the foreign language competency on bachelor’s degrees.